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The Legend of Grimjack, Vol. 1 (Legend of GrimJack) [Paperback]

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Item description for The Legend of Grimjack, Vol. 1 (Legend of GrimJack) by John Ostrander...

Gathering all of the earliest GrimJack stories from the best-selling comic book series of the 1980s in one tome for the first time, The Legend of GrimJack, Volume One introduces the major characters and origin stories and also includes the classic GrimJack/Starslayer crossover saga. This volume also includes brand new story and art as well as critical background information heretofore unrevealed.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.1" Width: 6.6" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 16, 2005
Publisher   IDW Publishing
ISBN  1932382518  
ISBN13  9781932382518  

Availability  0 units.

More About John Ostrander

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Ostrander has been a prolific comic writer during the last two decades, working for Marvel, DC and Dark Horse. His writing ranges from superheros (JLA) to science fiction (Star Wars: Twilight) to westerns (DC's The Kents.)

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > General
2Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Legend of Grimjack, Vol. 1 (Legend of GrimJack)?

"For he's a jolly good Grimjack..."  Dec 25, 2007
Security guard (in front of a bar): "You goin' in here, Gaunt?"
Gaunt: "Yeah."
Security guard: "There gonna be a fight?"
Gaunt: "Maybe."
Security guard: "Guess I better move then."

Damn, I love GRIMJACK! With this comic book it's always been hard for me to properly convey my feelings without resorting to cuss words, I get so into it. I was a mere teen when I first picked up GRIMJACK, and I was simply blown away by the title's flawed, world-weary anti-hero and by the fantastic concept of Cynosure. Grimjack is the street name of John Gaunt, a nasty, surly, grizzled mercenary for hire. Grimjack is a bit past his prime (he's in his 50s), but he makes up for that with vast experience, street savvy, and an implacable streak of ruthlessness. Oh, and he fights dirty.

John Gaunt is one of the most tortured souls in comics, and the man can certainly brood with the best of them. We learn why as, thru the course of GRIMJACK's run, Ostrander unveils Gaunt's sordid past and recounts the tragedies what slapped the poor bloke upside the head. Gaunt's seen everything. He's an ex-everything: an ex-gladiator (from boyhood), an ex-soldier, ex-temporal bounty hunter, ex-transdimensional cop, ex-spy...His base of operations is the dubious Munden's Bar, located on the lip of the Pit, the most murderous part of Cynosure. And, sure, Grimjack swishes a stylish cape and sports a purple beret, but there's no foo-foo in this cold-blooded killer. He's no-nonsense meat and potatoes, charnelhouse mean and alley cat vicious. He's not exactly a swell guy, but he's faithful to his friends and rigorously follows his own code of honor.

Equally instrumental to the series' popularity and success are the grimy, dank Munden's Bar and the wondrous Cynosure metropolis, these two venues being characters in their own right. Munden's continues to reflect Gaunt's melancholy nature, while Cynosure, the nexus of all dimensions and realities, presents Ostrander and Truman (and Grimjack) with an endless and exotic playground in which to romp. In these stories, steampunk technology tends to bump heads with eldritch sorcery. Because of the nature of Cynosure, GRIMJACK presents a mishmash of genres, ranging from swashbuckling adventure, to film noir, to sword & sorcery and sci-fi, to western, then horror, and even comedy. Naturally, a dash of the hard-boiled is peppered throughout.

A brief history: GRIMJACK started out as a backup feature to First Comics' STARSLAYER series. But it wasn't long before John Gaunt bullied his way into his own series. GRIMJACK's monthly issues ran from 1984 to 1991, for a total of 81 issues, after which its publisher First Comics went bankrupt and placed this title in hideous red tape. It's only been since 2005 that co-creators John Ostrander and Tim Truman were able to wrest back the rights to GRIMJACK.

The fallout to this is that, not only are we being treated to new Grimjack stories, but there's also the release of THE LEGEND OF GRIMJACK volumes, which collects the regular series' entire run (it's up to 9 volumes now). THE LEGEND OF GRIMJACK VOLUME 1 collects the 8 Grimjack backup stories in the short-lived STARSLAYER series (from #10-17), as well as STARSLAYER #18, which guest-stars John Gaunt in the main story. Here in these initial tales is where we first meet Gaunt's fellow merc and staunch buddy BlacJacMac, Gaunt's gruff ex-partner cop Roscoe Schumacher, that unmatched barkeep Gordon, and, of course, the popular and ever inebriated Bob the Watch Lizard.

With GRIMJACK, writer John Ostrander's always had the knack for seamlessly meshing a hardboiled approach with crisp dialogue and fast-paced narration. He knows how to make the weird and the fantastic seem normal in Gaunt's environment. A pulp flavor colors Gaunt's adventures. There's a taste here of Burroughs and R.E. Howard, of Lovecraft, and Raymond Chandler, as well. In these pages you can just about see the rapid improvement in Tim Truman's artwork, originally vigorous and raw but then speedily metamorphosing into more polished but still energetic illustrations. For THE LEGEND OF GRIMJACK VOLUME 1, eight new pages are constructed to frame the stories. Those curious to see the evolution of Truman's art need no further than to compare these eight pages to the early issues. But it must be noted that Truman's rendition of John Gaunt was so immediately definitive that Ostrander, as he mentions in his foreword, didn't hesitate to hand over co-creatorship honors to Truman. At 128 pages, this volume also comes with three forewords, respectively by Ostrander, Truman, and longtime editor Mike Gold. If you're a Grimjack junkie, these are revealing must reads.

Finally, you know you're doing something righteous when Roger Zelazny declares himself a fan.


Here are the stories reprinted in THE LEGEND OF GRIMJACK VOLUME 1:

"Mortal Gods" (2 parts) - Grimjack is hired to search for a missing God. He finds Him in a bar.
"Buried Past" - (5 parts) - This one details Gaunt's relentless pursuit of a mysterious vampire. Character developments galore as we first learn of Gaunt's lost love, of the devastated land of Pdwyr, and of Gaunt's espionage days at the Cadre.
"Night of the Killer Bunnies" - Holy Poot! John Gaunt grimly trains cute talking animals in waging war against homicidal wabbits. He gets paid in funny money.
"Blood and Thunder" - During a rescue mission Grimjack encounters Torin MacQuillon, the Starslayer.
Very nice collection...  Sep 4, 2007
The only reason that this gets 4 stars instead of five is that the books aren't as solid as I remember them being. Still, if you are a fan of Grimjack (as I am), this collection is for you. I hadn't read any of these books in well over a decade (probably closer to 20 years), and they are not as great as I remember them, but they are still pretty darn good. Grimjack is a cool character in a cool universe with cool stories... there is a Frank MIller-esque appreciation for noirish action and dialogue that will entertain anyone who liked Sin City. Enjoy!
Graphic SF Reader  Sep 3, 2007
I was overjoyed to hear about this publication. Taking the fabulous Grimjack series and making it available again to all. This has a quite lengthy and interesting introduction into the various trials, tribulations and stuff-ups along the way.

A very nice book, and looks great. Grimjack in all his glory from the start. John Gaunt is a troubleshooter or sword for hire, operating out of a bar in Cynosure, a city where many planes of reality meet, and anything might be seen. An ex-arena fighter, ex-demon fighting soldier, he now tries to get by and do the right thing.

This also includes a bonus new story done by the old team.

Robert Howard meets Raymond Chandler  Feb 19, 2006
Grimjack was the book for me back in my college days. When First Comics (the book's original publisher) folded, the character and his universe fell into a sort of legal limbo. Now, I'm gratified to see that it's back, with new stories and this fine collection of reprints for you young whippersnappers to get caught up.
The eight-page introduction story (mainly consisting of familiar characters saying "welcome back") lets the old-time fans know that they were missed as much as they missed the book. It also gives the reader a chance to see how Tim Truman's art has evolved from the early days in the back pages of "Starslayer". Those stories are collected here, with the book ending in a crossover with the parent title, which is the weakest part of the book. One gets the impression that it was included for the sake of completeness only.
Ostrander shows considerable depth as a storyteller, especially in light of the limited space he had to work with at this point in time. The stories move forward briskly without ever feeling rushed. John Gaunt's internal monolgue is pitch-perfect, a steady voice of reason in a city where reality is markedly unreasonable.
Any fan of good adventure comics should start collecting Grimjack. Scroll up. Do clicky thing. Major credit cards accepted.
A blast from one of my favorite comics of my youth  Aug 4, 2005
It seems amazing to me that it has been so long, but there it is. The Legend of Grimjack is staring at me, and I'm transported back to the early 80's and my halcyon days of comic book collecting as a young teen. I had broken out of the spell my mother had laid upon that kept me reading Richie Rich and Walt Disney's Comics and Stories well beyond when I should have, and I'd discovered not only Marvel and DC superhero comics but a wonderful world of alternative titles put out by smaller publishers. Grimjack was one of the first ones I discovered, and I was immediately hooked. The hero: a taciturn and scarred mercenary based out of a place that offered up a touch of just about any kind of genre you wanted since it was a multi-dimensional time and place - the city of Cynosure.
The Legend of Grimjack presents all of the original Grimjack stories in their original order and presentation, in color. I bought this collection when I saw the hardbound offered on an auction site and I didn't want to pay the exorbitant price they were asking. This collection is the same as the hardbound but in a trade paperback/graphic novel type format and I do not think it suffers in any way for being cheaper.
Twenty years later, Grimjack still seems just as well written and illustrated as it did to me back then. Many of the other comics from that era that I was entranced with have not held up nearly as well! Truman and Ostrander's work is well presented here and there's also the promise of new Grimjack stories to be released (I believe they have been released already in single issue format, with trade soon to come.)
The overall genre is certainly sci-fi, but there's (as I said) just about any flavor you could want and all of them are well done. I highly recommend this. It stands up to any hero book of the same era, and far surpasses many of them. First-rate stuff! (pun intended)

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