Here’s a Christmas tale from my childhood:

It’s 1951. I’m four years old… just… and my brother Bob has gotten special permission to take me to school with him to see Santa Claus. Now, at four all I know about Christmas is a tree and a bunch of toys that show up overnight. But I’m getting the idea…

See, there’s this fat old guy who lives at the North Pole who has a bunch of elves working for him–little people with pointy ears (I just survived Halloween, so I know about goblins)–and they go around and spy on little kids to see if they’ve been bad (I’m sunk already) or good (fat chance), so be good, for goodness sake! Oh, yeah, and he sneaks into your house when you’re sleeping! Just like a burglar!!! You better watch out!!!!!

I used to lie awake staring into shadows and imagining I saw little goblin creatures peeking at me. I never passed a fireplace without checking for a fat guy up the flue.

Comes the big day and off to school I go with my big brother, who is in the third grade. Everybody is talking about Santa Claus… The fat guy. You better watch out!!!!

Then comes the sound of bells jingling outside in the hallway. You better watch out!!!

And here he comes, the fat guy himself, dragging a huge sack. What’s in that thing, bad little kids? I mean, did he get that fat from eating little kids??? Ho Ho Ho!

All the kids line up and I’m standing there with my brother holding me by the hand to keep me from bolting because he and I both know I’ve been anything but good and I know damned well I’m going in that sack. You better watch out!!!!

And here we are and it’s my turn to sit on Santa’s lap. Bob picks me up and sets me down on Santa’s knee and I look up into a face straight out of a Stephen King nightmare. Ho Ho Ho!

Santa is wearing one of those old painted masks made out of stiff cloth, only it hasn’t been packed very well, because over the years it’s acquired a bunch of dents. Like someone smacked Santa in the face with a ballpeen hammer. And his eyes don’t line up with the holes. Ho Ho Ho!

“Have you been a good little boy?”

Hell no! Lemme outta here! I kick and scream bloody murder.

Realizing the nature of my panic, Mrs. Doyle tries to explain that this is only the janitor, acting as Santa’s helper. The old guy takes his off mask…

Holy crap! He peeled his face off!!!!!! 

I’m gone. Straight under the teacher’s desk.

Eventually, the guy with the removable face leaves, and Mrs. Doyle tries to coax me out, but I’m no fool. I can hear bells in the hallway and I know he’s going to the other classrooms. Ho Ho Ho!

Back under the desk.

Then I get the bad news… it’s not even Christmas yet. Santa Claus is coming to town!!!! I want to warn the kids… You better watch out!!!!

But then I figure maybe he’ll eat them instead of me and he won’t be hungry anymore. 

And that’s how you get to be a cartoonist.

Merry Christmas! You better watch out!!!



Anthony Scaramucci with his special commission! It was quite a challenge drawing so many great American heroes.



Hi, guys –

I’m very excited that my pal Mark Ryan has decided to resurrect his brilliant project THE PILGRIM with a Kickstarter campaign planned to launch sometime in late January, 2020. I had the pleasure of working with Mark on the original series, which was first released as a web comic in 2008 before the publisher fell victim to the economics of the time. 

Based on a real-world British counter-intelligence program from WWII, The Pilgrim tells the story of an entity created from pure mental energy to become the perfect clandestine warrior. During the London Blitz, the house where the experiment is taking place is bombed and the entity is set free. Decades later, this wanderer begins to remember his origins… and his purpose. The world has changed, but forces of evil are eternal. 

At the time publication was suspended, we had completed 55 pages of story and art with another 11 pages scripted and penciled. Mark’s plan is to run a Kickstarter to fund the completion – inking, lettering, coloring –of the existing material with additional pages added to round out the package in the first of a two-part graphic series. 

Due to prior commitments, I will be working with top notch artist Stephen B. Scott (http://comicbookdb.com/creator.php?ID=2855) who will be providing finishes to my existing pencils as well as the framing sequence that will form the bridge between the original series and the continuing story going forward. Steve’s work on the adaptation of BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT and Neil Gaiman’s THE GRAVEYARD BOOK are just the tip of his creative iceberg. 

Look for more news on THE PILGRIM after the first of the year.


Letter to Kickstarter Backers

Hi, Guys –

First off, I want to thank you all for your continued support and patience as we stumble and bumble our way through this whole process. 

Yes, there have been numerous delays — some of them related to production, some due to a far steeper learning curve than anyone anticipated and some due to plain fumbling the ball. I take responsibility for all that–whether I was directly involved in that aspect of the whole operation or not–because my name is on it.

Meanwhile, I give you my word that the individuals who have already received their packages were not the highest investors, as some folks have assumed. Just the opposite. Due to production/printing issues, they were the folks who had pledged at lower levels because their packages contained far less material than the upper levels. We felt it important to deliver what we had on hand as soon as practical, rather than delay until everything was completed. I’m very sorry it gave the impression anyone was being singled out for favoritism. I swear to you that’s not the case.

My crew and I are working hard to get everything wrapped up and hoped to have everything shipped ahead of the holiday crunch, but that may not be the case as we’re still digging out from the double-barreled winter storm that hammered us this week. Fortunately, power has been restored and storm-damaged trees have been turned in to firewood.  We’ll be posting regular updates to keep you informed.

To show my appreciation for your patience, those of you who have not yet received your premiums will be getting an extra special bonus print in your package. Reproduced from the original art, the cover for JON SABLE, FREELANCE #2 represents my artistic epiphany, a dramatic turning point in my style. This image was offered briefly in 2018 to mark Sable’s 35th Anniversary and I consider it to be my all-time best. 

Again, I appreciate your support and welcome your feedback; it will help me avoid the same pitfalls going forward. And I apologize for not personally keeping everyone informed every step of the way.




I wanted to share the excitement of opening the package of Legion of Superheroes sketchbooks and cards!The quality is amazing and I know these are going to be a hit with our Kickstarter supporters.



A taste of what’s coming your way In Jon Sable, Freelance “RULES OF THE HUNT”, the untold story of Sable’s first case… and nearly his last. 

An African hunter in the concrete jungle sets out after the deadliest prey.

MAGGIE THE CAT – The Presses Are Rolling

Well… this has certainly been an adventure. I’m pretty sure my MAGGIE THE CAT Kickstarter was plotted by the same guy who wrote RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK — it started off gangbusters and then took a bunch of unexpected twists and turns. Things are finally running smoothly and the presses are rolling. 

We’ll be announcing ship/delivery dates in about a week. 

Meanwhile, by way of thanking you for your patience while we crawled through the pit of snakes and ran from the giant boulder, I’m adding another exclusive print to the package for everyone who pledged above the PDF level. This one is my illustration for the cover of my SABLE hardcover novel which was published in July 2000 and features some particular architecture which were sadly destroyed a little more than a year later. This is the only time this print will be offered.
Thanks again for keeping the faith. 


Mike Grell Original Art Commissions

Scott Kress at Catskill Comics is the exclusive agent for Mike Grell commissioned art. Fans looking for comic art originals or wishing to commission a special piece for their wall can contact Scott at: www.catskillcomics.com


Guys –

I want to thank everyone for your continued patience as we fumble our way through what’s turned out to be a far more complicated process than anyone anticipated, compounded by a tragic death in my family that threw me into a tailspin. 

Books and prints are going to press as I write this and our fulfillment team is standing by to pack and ship. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the PDF copy of MAGGIE THE CAT we’re sending along with this note.

To show my gratitude, everyone who contributed above the PDF Only level will receive a special MAGGIE THE CAT print which will only be available to backers of our Kickstarter. I hope this in some small way helps make the wait worthwhile.

Thanks again for all your support.


Digital Warlord Art

HOLY COW! That’s really amazing! — Mike

Art by John Gallagher, uncannyknack.com

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