Wednesday, July 1, 2009
G is for Grendel
There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe how much Matt Wagner’s comics—and in particular, his Grendel stories—mean to me. They have had a huge influence on my own work and the way I write and draw comics. I was about 16 when I stumbled across a copy of his Grendel: Devil By The Deed graphic novel at my local comic shop in Tucson, Arizona, and I was immediately hooked. At the time my interest for comics had begun to wane, and I was looking for something different… something that didn’t involve people in capes knocking over a bunch of buildings while fighting other people in capes. Grendel, the story of the cunning assassin Hunter Rose and his vicious werewolf nemesis Argent the Wolf, instantly, single-handedly rekindled my interest in comics.
Rose, the protagonist (and villain) of the story, is a popular high society novelist by day and ruthless leader of the New York underworld by night. Feared by police and criminals alike, the black-clothed assassin Grendel pits his incomparable intellect and unique trademark weapon, a double-bladed spear he refers to as his forks, against the raging claws of the ageless, cursed wolf-man Argent.
After I finished reading that first Grendel story, I had to have more… I even managed to get my hands on the first three black and white issues of Grendel, as well as the character's first appearance in Comico Primer. I also discovered Matt's work on Mage, The Demon, Batman and Sandman Mystery Theatre. But that's a story for another time... Stay tuned!