Unfinished Stories

The Grove cartoon by Steve Groves

A friend of mine, Steve Groves, was a tal­ent­ed writer and an amaz­ing car­toon­ist. I think he had a hard time believ­ing it, though.

For a while he drew a week­ly strip for a local news­pa­per, called The Grove, that fea­tured humans and ani­mals in a small town. The main char­ac­ter had moved home from the big city and would often ques­tion just why. The humour veered between gen­tle and bit­ing, as all the best satire does.

A sam­ple car­toon is at the top of this post. I often told Steve that The Grove remind­ed me, in tone and in exe­cu­tion, of Bloom Coun­ty. He’d always mum­ble some­thing in an embar­rassed voice about how it “can’t be that good”, but it was.

(He would some­times tell me that he found my suc­cess in writ­ing inspir­ing, and I’d mum­ble some­thing in an embar­rassed voice, because I know how much rejec­tion I’ve col­lect­ed, how much fur­ther I feel I have to go. So I guess that par­tic­u­lar knife cuts both ways.)

Steve died last year after a bat­tle with can­cer. A mutu­al friend, one T. Kei­th Edmunds, set about on a project to gath­er some of Steve’s work into a memo­r­i­al col­lec­tion. Mine arrived on Thurs­day, and it’s gor­geous. 96 pages of car­toons, draw­ings, sketch­es, and notes for projects that run the gamut from “kid’s book” to “night­mar­ish mon­ster hunter”.

Thanks, Kei­th. And of course, thanks, Steve.

Unfin­ished Sto­ries: The Art of Stephen Groves is avail­able for pur­chase, as are select prints of Steve’s work.