Pills For Miss Betsy


Pills For Miss Betsy pg 1.

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Artwork: “Pills For Miss Betsy” (as featured in 1994’s THE STARRY WISDOM: A Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, Creation Books) © 1993, Rick Grimes.

GRIMES: “It’s a fine book I am very proud to be in. Dave [Mitchell] and whomever else he worked with did a great job with it. Much better book than I’d imagined it would become. And still worth the wait.{I did not see a copy ’til Ryan H. (instigator & cocreator of the intial website) gave me his, in 2009}. Tho’ it will probably take me ages to read all of it, it did impel me to start reading Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, this winter.

My story, strangely enough, both looks as if it does belong and yet doesn’t. How Dave ever knew it would fit when I hadn’t done it yet, I don’t know. Surprised, too that as well established a talent as Ramsey Campbell is even bothering to mention me in his intro, let alone saying, even tho’ so briefly, that I outdid HPL himself.

Flipping throo the book gives me a strange feeling. You can’t miss my story. It blares out, as the only comic story of that basic comic book format and line, like an insert in one of those encyclopedias or medical books. Like my story is the paper lungs or kidneys in some anatomy book. Part of the drawing of the human body. And the rest is all about the surgical procedures or what not. The book even pops open in my hands like that. All by its ‘lonesome’ And while I do feel it actually holds its own right where it is, and like I say, am proud its there and have no regrets having done it, I am sure there are many an H.P. Lovecraft purist, (or ‘impurist’), that would like me and my work to get the Hell right out. Tough udders.

Am also proud of it because it is at last, and to date, I think, the only work I have had appear anywhere without any direct connection to my friends from the school. {Dave’s having been a reader of at least some Taboo issues, noted}. Like Akimbo, there are also further chapters. In this case, the ‘Pills’ story continues on with the same character. Further bobbing him along through additional variations of what he’s already been through. In fact, on checking my notebooks found that the initial run of notes for all of it began in January, 1990. Considerably before Dave Mitchell contacted me. (Tho’ I had done no work on the art, only the writing or creative side). This sort of thing is sometimes of interest when ‘Looking Back’ at an artist’s career, output or what-have-you. You can get mistaken impressions of your own past by the time the work comes out. The most obvious implication here, for the Lovecraft fan is, yes, I was crazy enough on my own to make up the story without H.P.’s influence. It just fit. (It’s creatures, etc.) Make of that what you will.

The initial story in my notes was too long for an anthology or its manageability as a project for same. So, a chunk of it had to be bitten off and modified a little to have apparent flow and an ‘ending’. What all happens to the troll later, I don’t recall. We’ll see. Any further chapters will be similarly titled. And in the same style, of course. Hopefully. There are at least two more sections of some several pages. (Some already in panel by panel notations). The notes are still in conflict with each other and need alot of sorting. By the time you trade off ‘beginnings’ and ‘endings’ of chapters and one bit of business for another you effect something else you had intended. Then, what to do with ‘Plan A’? Typical of complex projects, that have ‘unreality’ as a fundamental part, besides. Everything begins to seem arbitrary and up for grabs. This one’s still in that ‘birds nest’ stage where you can’t tell which ‘bird’ brought what bit of junk or if you even need it. {But, as to the first completed chapter shown above, I’m fairly well pleased at it’s relative coherence}.” — Rick Grimes (March 15, 2009). +2/’015


DAVE MITCHELL: “When I was compiling the ‘Starry Wisdom’ anthology for Creation Books (my attempt to salvage Lovecraft from the RPG* crowd) I instinctively thought of Rick Grimes. Who better has portrayed Lovecraft’s ideas of a ‘vast gulf of primitivism underlying a surface gloss of civilisation’? Any one of Grimes’ characters could have passed for a modern equivalent of Lovecraft’s Whateley family or easily sat as a character study for Richard Upton Pickman.” –DM 9/9/’09

* {Role play group, (I take it), for any of you fellow hermits living under rocks}. –rg 2/’015

Dave’s extended comments regarding my work…>


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