The Great Grendel Re-Read Project continues apace…

§ February 7th, 2012 § Filed under grendel, retailing § 9 Comments

…and actually jumped ahead a bit the night my technical problems began, as I passed the time waiting for utility software and installation-type things to work on my computer by working my way through that pile of Grendel I just happened to have sittin’ here. (In case you’re curious, as of today, I’m about two or three series into the Grendel Tales from the early ’90s, after skipping ahead and reading the harrowing Devil’s Child from a few years ago.)

In the process of rereading these, I was reminded of this particular product, as advertised in the later Comico issues from about ’89 or so:


I’m pretty sure this was the same product available in comic shops and not just through mail order, as at the time we certainly had a stack of about five or six packages of Grendel masks at the shop. (That $34.95 price point sounds about right.) It took us…a while to sell them, but sell they did, and I kind of wish we still had them so I could run across rooftops at night throw ‘em on the eBay or something.

Fine, I was joking about the “running across rooftops” thing maybe, but I did have a regular customer of ours ask me way back when what would happen if someone bought one of these masks, wore it while getting up to some hijinks (i.e. of a felonious nature) and suddenly Action News Team 7 is there at the shop’s front door wondering what my part was in all this. I think I told him I’d throw on one of the other Grendel masks and chase them out, because hey, no such thing as bad publicity.

…Okay, I probably wouldn’t have done that, and I’m pretty sure no one who did buy the masks was likely to go out on a crime spree, thanks to my extensive background checks, so I’m pretty sure I was safe from being the center of a media firestorm. Well, at least until a couple of years later when Superman died and fingers started pointing at me — “He’s the one! That comic shop guy killed Superman!”

Anyway, that’s a swell ad, and I hope and pray that was actually Grendel creator Matt Wagner modelling the mask in the photos there, because that would be awesome. Yeah, I know, it probably isn’t, but don’t you poop on my dreams.

9 Responses to “The Great Grendel Re-Read Project continues apace…”

  • Bruce Baugh says:

    So I’m curious, Mike. What were the masks like in person? I always wondered if you could, you know, actually see and breathe with one, and like that.

  • Tim Sheridan says:

    Why does Grendel have to look so seductive in that pose? Daymn!

  • Tom Wu says:

    Given the involvement of various Canadian comics creators with Wagner’s Grendel, there’s a whole bunch of people it could’ve been. But I really, really hope that it was Joe Matt.

  • Noah says:

    Oh my god what is he doing to that concrete wall!?

  • Jon H says:

    It looks like the photo was probably taken in Somerville, where the mailing address is, or maybe Cambridge.

    Maybe Kevin Church recognizes the stuff in the background.

  • BBayliss says:

    I have one of the plastic half-masks (face only, worn using elastic string around the back of the head, but this is WAY cooler.

    On a side note, since we’re discussing Grendel-crap: I’m looking to replace my Grendel Cycle pin, which somewheres along the last 10 years I lost, anyone have any ideas on where to get one?

  • Shannon S says:

    Hey Mike,

    Are you thinking of the Graphitti Desgins Grendel mask mentioned by BBayliss above? These, at $40, were rather expensive at the time and while they were offered wholesale, my memory is that it was only direct through mindgame and that the discount was fairly minimal. To my knowledge, not many stores ordered them.

    Bruce, as for how they were/are in person: about how they look in the photo. Not so hot but a neat idea.

    Oddly, there are Chinese made unlicensed spandex “zentai” Grendel hoods available today from the same retailers of all the bootleg superhero costumes and the like, which was quite a surprise me and to Matt Wagner.

  • Mikester says:

    Bruce – I didn’t actually put one on my head (no, honestly, I didn’t…I mean, I know my head is clean, but the person buying it might not, and I didn’t want to sell it as “preworn”), but I did try to look through the eyeholes…you could kind of see through them, but I wouldn’t take a driver’s test or anything with this on.

    Shannon – These were definitely cloth full-head masks that we had at the shop…I presumed they’re the same ones as in this ad. I’ve never seen the half-masks Bbayliss mentions.

  • Uncle Dave says:

    I have one downstairs still in the box. I think I wore it once, but the graphics on the box were great. I’ll scan it up if I come across it.