Dennis Mallonee Remembers Dærick Gröss Sr

I well remember the first time I met Dærick Gröss. It was in the mid-1980s. I was publishing the illustrated fantasy/sf magazine, Fantasy Book, and he’d been recommended to me as a potential illustrator. I took a trip up to the Simi Valley to meet with him. At the time, he was working out of a basement studio. And when I got in there I was surprised and somewhat taken aback to find him completely naked.

Rick had a wicked sense of humor, and knew instinctively how to frame a story. To this day, although he did at the time claim that he simply preferred to draw in the nude, I don’t know whether or not he was actually trying to gauge my reaction to the situation. I never asked. It wasn’t necessary. I loved his artwork.

Later, at a time when I was looking to expand Heroic Publishing’s line of comic book titles, I recalled that Rick had a few interesting characters of his own. In particular, I wondered if he might be interested in doing new stories featuring Murciélaga She-Bat and her martial art friends, the Reiki Warriors. And yes, he absolutely was. More than that, he was interested in launching a whole line of “Studio G” comic book titles.

Rick had grand vision. And to whatever extent I was able to help him realize some small part of that, I am grateful for that opportunity. It was a favor he returned with story art and costume designs for several of Heroic Publishing’s own characters, notably including Flare, the Liberty Girl, and our newer incarnation of the Tigress.

He will be missed.

Dennis Mallonee

About Author