Iconic comic book artist and writer, Mike Grell is making a few special stops in Asheville, ahead of his appearance at the Knoxville Fanboy Expo on June 29 – July 1. Grell will be vacationing in Asheville a week ahead of the show, and is planning a few special surprises for local fans.
Grell last appeared at the Asheville Comic Expo in October of 2015, and marks his return with two in store appearances at Comic Envy (333 Merrimon Avenue) on Saturday June 23 and Wednesday June 27, as well as a live interview show hosted by Jeff Messer at The Magnetic Theatre on Sunday June 24. The interview will be a ticketed event and is being filmed for eventual release. The format of the interview is similar to the TV hit “Inside The Actor’s Studio” but with comic book creators. The Grell interview will serve as a pilot episode for a proposed streaming series, which is already getting some interest from TV and film producers.
Messer’s relationship with Grell stretches back to his own childhood. He was a fan of Grell’s since the mid 1970s, and became friends with Grell over the past decade. Messer also helped co-author an upcoming book about Grell’s life and career, called “Life Is Drawing Without An Eraser.” It will be released by Two Morrows Publishing in September.
Grell grew to fame with his artwork in DC Comics in the mid 1970s, with Green Lantern, The Legion of Super Heroes, and Grell’s own original creation, The Warlord. In the early 1980s, Grell was among the first of the elite creators of the day to forge out as an independent creator, with companies that promised creator ownership of their works. He created such books as Starslayer, and his most enduring work, Jon Sable Freelance (which was a short-lived TV show in the late 1980s, starring Renee Russo). In the mid-80s he returned to DC Comics to reinvent Green Arrow, creating what remains the definitive take on the character (much of the CW network TV show is modeled off of his concepts, and the show even included a name drop of a Judge Grell in the pilot episode.)
Grell is among one of the most popular creators on the comic convention scene, offering prints of his work, original sketches and genial conversations at all his appearances.
Fans who stop by Comic Envy on June 23 and get an original sketch by Grell will also get a free ticket to the Interview show at The Magnetic Theatre on the 24th. All audience members for the live taping will have a chance to ask questions, and win both prints and original pieces by Grell during the show.
Comic Envy appearances: Saturday June 23, 11 AM to 6 PM and Wednesday June 27, 3 PM to 6 PM.
Live Interview Filming at The Magnetic Theatre: Sunday June 24, 7:30 PM. Tickets are $10.