Here's an excerpt from my interview with the multi-talented artist Percy Carey, best known as MF Grimm. For the full interview, go to Comic Critique.
["One man's trash is another man's treasure." Percy Carey outside the Puck building.]
Percy Carey has embarked on a new venture, which is to be expected of an artist like him. With enough street cred to choke a stable of horses, he’s trained his energy to music under names like Grand Master, Jet Jaguar, Grimm Reaper, and MF Grimm, and founded Day by Day Entertainment. Even if we were to dismiss all of his previous musical output, his latest release American Hunger, an imaginative and versatile triple-disc album, is enough to make him a force within Hip-Hop.
And it’s his former street life and artistic aspirations that’s the subject of Vertigo’s upcoming, autobiographical graphic novel Sentences: The Life and Times of MF Grimm illustrated by Ronald Wimberly. Sidestepping the well-publicized rivalry he had with one-time friend and partner at the mic, MF Doom, Mr. Carey discussed his latest creative endeavor as a writer of comics. Sitting between smokers and dumpsters on a warm Sunday afternoon on the infamous Mulberry Street outside the Puck Building — and with Mr. Carey’s blessings — we spoke about craft, comics, and Krypton.
FR: So how did this project come about?
PC: It came about with a good friend of mine, Casey Seijas. He’s an editor at Vertigo, DC comics. He approached [me] with the idea of doing a story on my life. [He asked me to do] a couple of pages on my life. It was something that I didn’t really – I thought my life was boring to write about. But he showed me that everyone has a story so I [sat] down and [wrote] it out. [I] did it and [editor in chief] Karen Berger and [publisher] Mr. Levitz, Paul Levitz approved it. And here we are today. It was a beautiful experience. And Ron Wimberly I can’t forget him. Ron Wimberly did the artwork for Sentences.
FR: Yeah. Looks like he did an awesome job from the looks of the sampler.
PC: Thank you so much.
FR: What’s it like to transition from being an artist, a rapper, [and] a musician to being a writer of comic books?
PC: I would have to say it’s the equivalent of a writer of comic books coming into the realm of hip-hop. You have to be looked at. You have to be watched. For instance, I don’t want it to be seen as a gimmick or just a commodity. I really have comics in my heart and I’m a creator so I want to be viewed in the same way and held to the same standards as someone coming into my medium. I want to be watched [and] critiqued and also if need be, and appropriately, praised. So, I’m just thankful. I don’t want it to be viewed as something to be taken advantage of, you know. It’s a sacred art and it should be held at a higher esteem and I look forward to the people telling me if I’m appropriate for the medium.
© Frank Reynoso, Sept. 2007, All rights reserved