I’m pretty new to the works of cartoonist/animator Graham Annable; and, I came to it from a very strange direction. I’d had some peripheral knowledge of his comics work from Alternative Press in his Grickle comics and the Hickee anthology, but had never had occasion to connect directly with it. My four year old son is a big fan of the Pajama Sam video games and I’d started to look for other good kids adventure games for him to play. Following the path of the creators of Pajama Sam and other classic games by Humongous Entertainment – Spy Fox, Freddi Fish, Putt-Putt – led me ultimately to Telltale Games.

Telltale appears – to my video game naive brain – to be the smartest thing going in that world. Their two latest announced signings are The Walking Dead and Fables. Their other licensed games include Wallace & Gromit, Bone, Sam & Max, Homestar Runner’s Strong Bad and the latest installment of adventure game classic Monkey Island. No bullshit. That’s one hell of a lineup. And then we have the Grickle.

Graham Annable describes Grickle as “an umbrella term for the style and types of stories I seem to create. The name comes from the many nicknames my Dad used for both my sister and I growing up. When I first compiled the stories into a home-made booklet years ago “Grickle” just felt like the right unifying name for it all. And it has ever since.” His comics stories and animations (on his popular YouTube channel) tend to be a bit more dark and macabre then the stickish cartoon characters might suggest. The fact that they are often screaming might be a tip-off. As my son says, “the funny ones are funny, but they don’t make me laugh”. I laughed at a few, but, then, it really isn’t kids stuff, really.

Aside from this body of Grickle work, Graham has also worked as an animator for many others, notably as the storyboard artist for Henry Selick’s feature film version of Neil Gailman’s Coraline and in video games, many of those for LucasArts. Graham was the creative director for Telltale, from it’s founding until a couple years ago. He has been creating web comics for them ever since: Dank: The Caveman Inventor and Dunk. The Comic Creator. This past year he created the very Grickly Puzzle Agent with Telltale. Despite it’s 12+ age tag, my young son greatly enjoyed playing the game with me the past couple of days. It’s a good game. We look forward to part two, which is to be released this Spring/Summer (teaser trailer above)

Puzzle Agent is available for Mac, PC, iPod & iPad It is a mere $4.99 on all platforms. Demo & Light versions are available for free.

2010 was really the big year for things Grickle. Dark Horse released The Book of Grickle, a 200-page hardbound collection of the best of Grickle, including strips from the Alternative Press books and many rare gems, such as minicomics and other rarely seen strips. Many of Graham’s earlier books are still available, including Stickleback, The original Grickle paperback, Further Grickle and Hickee (eight installment anthology series 2003-2008).

And now, a massive Graham Annable Link Dump:

Grickle Home Page | Graham Annable on Twitter | Grickle’s photostream on flickr | Coraline Storyboards | Wikipedia entry

Interviews: CBR’s Robot 6 | Drawn | The Comics Reporter | Inkstuds | AMO – Alternative Magazine Online