Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mike Grell & The Cat Of Doom...Part I

Since Mike Grell and I launched “The Pilgrim” on ComicMix.com, many people have been curious as to how we became acquainted. So, to satisfy everyone’s curiosity and because there is so much to tell, here is Part I of “Mike Grell & The Cat of Doom”.

There are many legends surrounding the life and extraordinary times of Mr. Mike Grell. From pulling a Colt .45 semi-automatic from his briefcase during a meeting at DC Comics, to his service in Vietnam, to adventures in Africa, to his mastery of outdoor pursuits, longbows, swords, horses and beautiful women!

Some of these stories even include myself, and have been related at conventions and small gatherings about lost souls sharing colliding lives and experiences over dinner, such as the meeting in a Japanese eatery in New York with the urbane and ever cheerfully mutinous; Mike Gold; a retired editor of “Soldier Of Fortune” magazine and sometime CIA consultant, Bill Guthrie; Grell and myself. I was then a singing sword-slinger and aspiring writer with a “gray” past in African adventuring and a taste for dubious company. Mike and I were pals from the get go, but even I thought this strange gathering socially eclectic.

I've also been present in Chicago with Mike when the late, great Del Close enthusiastically attempted to conjure up the spirit of Aleister Crowley at the dinner table and surreptitiously tapped me on the shoulder to confirm his presence. Mike almost choked, giggling like a loon!

Actually, we really met in the mid 80's at a fan convention in Seattle where he rescued Ray Winstone, Mike Praed and myself from a fate worse that death and showed us some of the Seattle that is so close to his heart and has featured so much in his ground-breaking artwork for “The Longbow Hunters.” I also got introduced to Chimey Beer at “The Bucket 'O Suds.”

As a friend of Mike's, finding oneself in his graphic novels is also no unusual experience. My likeness has actually been featured in “Maggie - The Cat” and hung from a meat-hook in a Jon Sable story about monsters in the New York subway. I've also been quoted in his “James Bond” graphic-novel…more to come in Part II on the story behind what inspired my quote in “Permission To Die”.

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