1990: Lil’ Grusome

Lil’ Grusome and the Nutshell Gang (1988) by Gene Iossa.

What’s this then?

cat ⊕ yronwode’s web site says that they published “Lil’ Grusome, a cute green monster, learns how volunteering to help those in need can be fun in this comic produced for the United Way” in 1990. I thought that that’s what I bought from somebody on ebay, but instead I’ve gotten a book published in 1988.

Hm… I’ve now searched and searched, and I can’t find any mention anywhere of Gene Iossa publishing a Lil’ Grusome comic book, or United Way doing it, or Eclipse.

Iossa’s bio has this to say:

He won the award for the county’s “best” artist ,The Dupont award for art excellence.

Gene then went on to cartooning school developing LIL’ GRUSOME and THE NUTSHELL GANG which was published in 1988. The characters were again published in a comic in 1990 winning the “gold” award for United way of morris county for best new idea and character.

So both Iossa and yronwode says that a comic book has been published, but Google won’t deliver the goods. I won’t go on that whole Google rant now, but during the past year or so, they’ve really made it difficult to find obscure things. Behind the scenes, perhaps they’re translating the “Grusome” to “Gruesome”, even if I quote it? Because this image search gives me zero results.

Google! Why do you suck now!

But I found it! By going directly to the Mile High Comics site, and there’s a picture of the cover and everything, so it exists.

But they have no copies.

I’ll include a copy of the cover here from Mile High Comics, since that shot seems to be so scarce:

OK, let’s just have a look at this book instead, and if I ever find a copy of Lil’ Grusome (published by Eclipse Comics or United Way), I’ll update this blog post. I mean, I don’t want to cheat! That’s be bad!

My copy is signed by Iossa and has a sketch by him.

Published by Carlton Press.

This is a very short story about a little troll who grows up in an orphanage which is rife with racism.

But humanism prevails, and everybody gets along in the end.

There’s really not much plot here. I mean, I’m guessing this is directed at, say, four year olds? But even so, there’s not a lot there there. On the other hand, is Teletubbies? I mean, does? Er, whatever.

The artwork is serviceable.

At least it teases a sequel.

And the inside back cover has a sketch from somebody who was probably in the intended age group, from the looks of it.

If I managed to find the Eclipse comic, I’ll edit this blog article and talk it after the colon:

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