Third RailIn June 1981, Rick’s “Head Chez” (aka “Head Cheese”) appeared in Ken Feduniewicz’s magazine/fanzine, THIRD RAIL #1. The zine also featured artwork by Tom Yeates, Steve Bissette, John Totleben, Al Williamson, Roy G. Krenkel, Wallace Wood, Clarke Asthon Smith, Jim Bradley, Reed Crandall and Archie Goodwin.

RICK GRIMES: “(T)he Weird Dick and the Professor story ‘Head Cheese’, (triggered by) Max Ernst’s collage novel, Une Semaine de Bonte’ (A Week of Kindness), and set again in the (Kubert) school building, (was) created and drawn (the) winter ’76 – ’77 at the school in Dover, and completed ’79 or ’80 in Shreveport. (Thence) published in ’81 by classmate Ken Feduniewicz who…was well familiar with characters from time we spent at the school.

Ken’s book, nicely done by any measure, has ever since {’til the parent & this website} been the story’s one and only harbor. ” — Rick Grimes (December 22, 2008).

– “HEAD CHEZ” is available to read in WD & Prof section. Or you may also link to it on the Art/early comics page lists.



Dr. Wirtham's Comix #7-8 [1]In 1982, Rick’s “Sicky Claws Conquers the Weird Dicks” appeared in Clifford Neal’s DR. WIRTHAM’S COMIX & STORIES #7/8 (also feat. Jay Kinney, Terry Beatty, Eric Vincent, Joe Zabel, Mark Nelson, Neil Clifford, Doug Potter, Robert Williams, Gregg Budgett, Gary Dumm, Greg Irons, Bruce Younger, Bruce V. Kalnins, Lomax, Peter Bagge, Mike Roberts, Mike Matthews, Bradley Mudgett, Jay Kinney, Jim Ryan, and Al Sirois).

GRIMES: “As I recall, without ready access to the specific letters I still have someplace, Cliff Neal invited me to contribute something after Steve Bissette sent him some copies of some Weird Dick (and Friends) comic strips {still not posted here yet, tho I am considering it}, I’d passed along.

I was familiar with the ‘Wirtham’s’ book, and Cliff Neal’s own style, at the Kubert school. I was around when Bissette and Rick Veitch were cracking each other up creating  and completing their cl-assic Poe ‘rrrip’ (in issue #4), The Telltale Fart. And tho’ a bit taken aback at first, by Steve’s rather unilateral action, was eager to oblige with anything bizarre I could come up with.

Not only did Cliff Neal encourage me over the next few years, the resulting Sicky Claws story was perhaps my first real foray, away from the ‘niceness’ I was entertaining at the time, into the zones, for good or ill, I would explore later for Taboo and so on. Plus, it opened the way for the Puzz Fundles soon after.

I did a sort of followup a few years later. Both below. For the extended comments, plus the actual full stories themselves, go to the Art list or use the story title links on this page.” –RG 3/6/’015



Dr. Wirtham's Comix #7-8 [2]


GRIMES: “Bordering on self-parody, the mayhemic story relates the full blown conflict to the faux finish of newly upsurgent childhood characters on the attack against somewhat diminished versions of Weird Dick, (very much out of his usual contexts), and some of his friends, more recent characters I had been trying to establish. All made victims here because by then I felt maybe I should ‘run over them’ a little just because they meant a lot to me. Big misstep, really.

To this day, hardly anyone has seen any of these projects, as completed or otherwise. So, I’ve been stuck ever after with having ‘everyone’ (that reads Sicky), see all the victimized characters dead or almost so before ever knowing what they really are.

I used to consider a sequel where Sicky wakes up at the beginning with Weird Dick & Friends gum cards, belonging to Nudolph, stuck on his head. The story before thus explained away as a fever dream.

The originals of ‘Sicky Claws Conquers’ are larger than I work now. And I am stupefied today by its tremendous hodgepodge of detail.” –RG {story comments combined w/ Bio ~ both 12/’08}

{Note that a lot of Cliff Neals’ later issues of Wirtham’s were presented as double issues, w/ dual issue or even single issue #s, and turvywise half ‘n’ half contents that met in the middle. The above two covers are the front and then ‘back’ of #7/8}. –rg




Dr. Wirtham's Comix #10In April 1987, Rick’s “Maniac Island” appeared in issue #10 of the series (Rick also drew the back cover, signed ‘Rhick Ghreimz’ (also feat. XNO, Clifford Neal, Mr. Verlin, Pete Barba, G. Dumm, G. Budgett, Ed Watson, Al Greenier, J. Ryan, J. Kinney, M. Matthews, Brian O’Connell, Greg Dye, Mark Burbey, Bill Turner, and Matthew D. Bludgums).

GRIMES: Maniac Island has Nudolph and Cathy Doll, (Sicky Claws’ underlings) turn up for a healthy dose of karma at the erratic hands and implements of still another combo of newly lumped together ‘kiddy-characters’ (ie Spiketball Bobo, Mudda Mudda, Billiard-Ball Bull and their unstable overseer, ‘The Maniac’). Think: The Island of Dr. Moreau meets Snuffy Smith.

This time there is a built-in ‘out’ at the beginning. {The bulk of their ordeal is… possibly Cathy’s coma delirium}*…and did not really happen. …

At the same time, however, the story gives ‘reasons’ for why Cathy Doll’s foot, (or the lack thereof), is how it is, (or isn’t), on the cover.

Still my only published cover to date, gamely afforded by Cliff Neal, I am still proud of it as one’s ugly baby with the unspoken of disorder.

Dr. Wirtham's Comix #10 [back]Even did the primitive vellum color overlays.

Add it to your essential viewing!” — RG 12/22/’08; *3/15/’09

CLIFF NEAL: “Got the cover and MANIAC ISLAND all in good shape. All I’ve got to say is that you have hit(s) new heights of something!! Pretty unique and hard hitting stuff (to me anyway); very disturbing. Really grabs you. You’ve really got a talent. It shows the potential of comix; you’re really using them effectively in your own way getting across stuff that couldn’t be done in any other medium. [It] really makes 98% of everything else seem like just pablum. Undoubtedly it will cause a strong reaction from people both positive and negative. As far as I am concerned congratulations and keep up the good work. Strong and powerful…” –CN 7/14/’87 (letter)

{Note that a lot of Cliff Neals’ later issues of Wirtham’s were presented as double issues, w/ dual issue or even single issue #s, and turvywise half ‘n’ half contents that met in the middle. The above two covers are the front and then my ‘back’ of #10}. –rg


THE ONE (1985-1986)


The One #1 - cropBetween 1985 and ’86, Rick’s “The Puzz Fundles” story appeared in all six issues of Rick Veitch’s THE ONE comic book series (King Hell Press, published by Epic). Veitch came up with the idea of adding Grimes’ completely unrelated back-ups as a tribute to comics of the past, the likes of Cap’s Hobby Hints. THE ONE has also published in Spanish (as EL UNO, by Norma Editorial) and Italian (THE ONE, by Comma 22). The collected edition of this magazine is available via Rick Veitch’s official website: http://www.rickveitch.com.


GRIMES:  “The PUZZ FUNDLES were childhood characters, in a handful of mostly unrecurring drawings, newly named and developed a bit more in 1982.

The One #2 - cropThe invite from Veitch elicited extremely and minutely thorough notes from me on first #1, then #2, to his enthusiastic response. From then on, it was anything went.

I’ve never regretted doing them, and am probably known for them, (my overall obscurity still being a given), as much as most anything else I’ve done so far (next to the Taboo stories).

Apart from all the overlays of eccentric comedy, I made an attempt in each page at deliberate ‘disconnections’, usually in the openings, from the factualities of the prior page. Tho’ while working on them I often noticed this tend to disappear, as reason & banality took over. But, traces linger.

The One #3 - cropEach page is almost like a parallel zone, yet they each contain progressing situations and additions, if only in the character intros themselves. And all take place in the one world of Wacky Planet.

Look for Veitch’s cameo use of the characters internally (in one issue), and on the covers.

My perennials. I’m by no means throo with ’em.

Ask for them by name… ‘Sir, do you have Puzz Fundles?’ ”

{Working on them currently, as a matter of fact}. –RG 12/’08; 3/’015

The One #4 - crop  The One #5 - crop      The One #6 - crop




THE ONE has also published in Spanish (as EL UNO, by Norma Editorial) and Italian (THE ONE, by Comma 22). The collected edition of this magazine is available via Rick Veitch’s official website: http://www.rickveitch.com.

GRIMES: “Rick [Veitch] sent me one (*Spanish edition of THE ONE). Cracked me up – delight in the uniqueness of it. At first wondered if the logos had or even could be changed – what would you call it? I’d still be curious to know which jokes got lost in translation or if any new ones were created. One day I’ll comb throo it with my dictionario. Look for the jist. I’m all for it. Urdu and Pig Latin are waiting. Starring Eemomay and Ipeythray! How about Clem Clambeau, (who visits India), in actual Sanskrit? Finally, my work is unintelligible to me as well.” — Rick Grimes (December 22, 2008).

The One ~ foursome






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