FRICKLES (1993) (RARE BIT FIENDS #2, 1994)


Artwork: “Frickles” (as featured in 1994’s RARE BIT FIENDS #2, Rick Veitch & King Hell) © 1993, Rick Grimes.

letter ('94) Veitch issue #8 pub Feb '95  copyGRIMES:Frickles is peculiar enough and established my approach from there on, but I didn’t quite nail the way the little babbling man really looked. Only memory to go on – he was quite real, as the letter, printed in #8, laid out – but he was sitting next to me, not in the view presented in the dream.  The letter Rick printed in #8, was sent to him, as the Frickles pages’ strange background; I had no notion he would print it. Consequently, a few of the words are wrong or I seem garbled; at the end, I was trailing up the side of the letter, not expecting a typesetter would have to read it. I have no artwork in #8. Just the letter.” — Rick Grimes (December 22, 2008).

+GRIMES: “Here’s the relevant portion of the letter itself. Originally, its writing was deliberately truncated, to train myself not to write long, elaborate reviews of my friends’ work anymore, so I’ve added and extended basic words ‘n’ phrases here and there, below, for a more natural read. The aforementioned errors were minuscule and mostly pertained to meanings in the last paragraph, about a different dream I have yet to do as another such comic story, tho’ I’d like to. As I said before, I was writing up the side of the page, so I don’t blame anyone for misconstruing an alphabet letter or two. My handwriting has it’s quirks, and by now, I barely know what i meant myself.” –RG 2/19/’015

{Click on the letter crop to read or go to full size to see tiny corrections/additions…}


ANECDOTAL DESCRIPTION via Letter from me to Rick Veitch, (1994):

“The horse track fanatic in my strip was a real man. I sat next to him on the bus from New York to the Kubert School Reunion (in 1988). Almost all the way to Dover, (New Jersey), from the moment I sat down, he went on reciting racing statistics, incomprehensible to me, barely a breath between his options and strategies for the elusive >Big Win<.

I was more or less forced by the crowds to sit by him: he was already there, in place, like he’d made the same ride a thousand times. And after the initial attempt to be cautiously friendly, or to listen politely and try to come up with simple, apt responses, I realized he was completely, sadly (this was me; he actually seemed ‘happy’ enough) awash in his own idiosyncratic, strictly personal, obsessive view of the world, and anything I had to say was totally irrelevant.

 My head likely still turned towards him, agape, I caught a tiny drop of his saliva in my open mouth.

Beside him on the aisle, yet unable to escape, since we were sealed in and rolling, I now had my own excrutiata to obsess over. Not so different after all…

He did finally get off before I did, tho a mere town or two before Dover. I pictured him heading home from his mop job in some store someplace. What would he even be capable of doing?

Guess he’s gone on to that Grand Raceway in the Sky by now. Anyway, my attempt at recalling him in the strip here is rather more pitiable than he was, and does not do his fragile animation justice. Full humanity is a very hard thing to capture, outside of film or photography. And I had neither.” –Rick Grimes ~ rewrite 2/19/015


Additional note: “The setting for Frickles is one of those emptied out, still carpeted storefronts I sometimes had occasion to peer into back when I used to make the effort to walk about taking pictures on my old 110 camera. Frickles himself is a surrogate, contrived for the comic to shift point of view away from what I consider the rather fruitless tacks of either telling a dream as most generally are seen, without oneself ever appearing; or the more ridiculous film and television cliche’ of including yourself, usually in something diaphanous I wouldn’t be caught dead in, wandering about in every shot fumbling for a key or a doorknob. The floor bubbler, bread block, and dubious utensil are, thankfully, pure dreamstuff.” –rg 2/19,20/015

<Art/Rare Bit Fiends

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