Gris Grimly’s art is cartoon gothic, a precarious balance of light macabre and dark whimsy. His elegant illustrations are peopled with disarticulated characters that evoke broken dolls and muppets gone terribly wrong.
Grimly’s books, ostensibly for children, have won him fans of all ages. Notable titles include Wicked Nursery Rhymes, Santa Claws, and Boris and Bella. He has illustrated Neil Gaiman’s The Dangerous Alphabet and Kelly DiPucchio’s book of “Campfire songs for monsters” with the delightfully creepy title of Sipping Spiders Through a Straw.
Having done his own very personal versions of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Pinocchio — currently under development as an animated feature produced by Guillermo del Toro — and the stories of Edgar Allen Poe, Grimly has now undertaken an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
The project is just underway. The drawing seen here is a very early test and the first one in color, but already you can see how Grimly has already made The Monster very much his own.
Grimly’s basic material is the original 1818 text of the novel, which he says, “feels like that raw punk version, untainted and untouched. It’s like discovering a lost manuscript.”
The author is generously sharing his experiences in deconstructing, adapting and illustrating the new book through a dedicated blog, a rare and revealing look into the creative process. Follow the artist’s journey from concept to publication, looking over his shoulder, as he stitches together Gris Grimly’s Illustrated Frankenstein.