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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Grigbertz


Female Dungeons and Dragon elves get naked, bound and intimate a lot in the world of the artist known as Grigbertz. Image source: grigbertz.com.

One night about a year ago I discovered a series of pencil sketches on the Interwebs by an artist named Grigbertz. They showed extremely sexy female elves enslaved by various individuals, some of them human, some of them not, generally in some very sexy bondage (see above).

In addition to being sexy, hot and well done, the images were lighthearted and fun, in fact, some of the elves seemed to be enjoying their sex slavery and bondage (see above).

Along with the pics was a very sexy storyline about a planet of elves where female elves who were not tall enough on reaching adulthood were forced into slavery in a vaguely medieval society that seemed to have offplanet visitors a lot. In short, it was a gloriously irrational mashup of stuff that made for a nice erotic fantasy, kind of like the Gor novels, only without all the lengthy diatribes about how short elves being sex slaves was part of the natural order of things. Although that would have been kinda funny.

I downloaded the images and kind of forgot about the story for a while, but came across the pics recently and decided to track the story down.

I never was able to find that story again, though you'd think Gooogling variations on the keywords "female elves enslaved by height" would turn up SOMETHING.

But I did find out who did the artwork, a Swedish artist going by the handle of Grigbertz. Grigbertz has been a busy lad, right through about 2009, when most of his activity as a kinky online artist either ceased or decreased greatly.

But if you go to grigbertz.com you will find a message board full of ... well, spam, if you look at only the most recent posts, because spammers have taken advantage of the inattention and lack of moderation on the boards and posted all sorts of messages about products and services that are of no interest to any sane person. But if you go to the older posts you will see that at one time there was a community of roleplayers building RPG storylines based on Grigbertz's art, sometimes in conjunction with Grigbert himself.

Around 2008 the posts in the forums just stopped, with maybe a few trailing into 2009, I'm not sure. The forum has been dead for three years. Fortunately the galleries are still up, and in fact the most recent sign of life I could find on the site is a May 2012 invitation to download the entire Grigbertz gallery as a single zip file ... which I highly recommend.

Also around 2008-2009, Grigbertz moved into Second Life with his Bondage Witch Project. Apparently there was a roleplay group, and there was a store/headquarters where you could get avvies that looked like the characters Grigbertz drew and there are also neat bondage accessories and things for the avatars to wear.


Entrance to the Bondage Witch Project headquarters in the Second Life region known as Lugubris. (The SLURL is http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Lugubris/180/199/44). Image source: me.

Like the Grigbertz website, the Bondage Witch Project place has a cobwebsite kind of feel to it. There were no tumbleweeds blowing through the place, but there was a server to distribute news subscriptions for the group, and it's offline. All the models have 2009 style hair, the sort of stuff that is only found in freebie markets nowadays, and which is far from the best hair you can find in freebie markets. Plus I camped an avvie there for three days on and off and never got a single indication that anyone other than Uncanny Vallerie had been there.

Now the weird thing about THAT is that it takes REAL MONEY to have a big store in Second Life: you either have to rent a whole sim, which will run you a cool $300 a month (you can make payments a nice car for that kinda money) or you pay rent for a portion of a sim, a distinct possibility here, or you get somebody else to provide you the land for free.

Any way you cut it, somebody is spending real money to leave up a site that gets very few visitors. Not that there aren't a LOT of ghost lands on Second Life.

Grigbertz also maintains a deviant art page as seen here, but it's totally inactive, all it has is a link to the Grigbertz website.

So did this guy lose almost all interest in his kinky artwork around 2009? Did he fall into Second Life like I did, except of course, I re-emerged and he did not? It's hard to say, since the absence of information is not enough to base a theory on.

And he has not fallen COMPLETELY off the map. I found a message board that mentioned that Grigbertz is the artist behind a webcomic called Pawn. It was most recently updated in January 2012, which makes it positively modern by Grigbertz stardards. The comments indicate that updates on the comic are few and far between ... going on about a year since the last one ... which is a shame, because it's a fun, engaging, sexy read that promises huge potential for an interesting story if the lead chracters can ever get out of that undergound labyrinth. (I suspect Grigbertz may have written himself into a corner here).

Pawn is set in an underground cavern (so far) of your typical Dungeons and Dragons world. A hot sexy young female scholar who apparently does not wear pants goes to a treasure room in the caverns where a gigantic but hot, sexy and very well endowed demoness guards the treasure. The story is about the relationships between the scholar and the demoness. It's done with the usual wit and humor. For example, the scholar is having digesting issues that result in a lot of farting. At one point the demoness says (paraphrasing here): "My feeings about your butt have grown ambivalent. I find it both disgusting and attractive." Ah, the raw honesty of demonesses.

So basically, Grigbertz hasn't done any new stuff --that I know of -- in almost a year. A shame, he's a talented artist and storyteller. Some of the posts he has placed on Pawn indicate that work is keeping him too busy to do much, but given that Pawn, like most of his artwork, consists mostly of pencil sketches, which are relatively fast and easy to knock out. (That's why Adam Warren's Empowered consists mostly of pencil sketches) Interestingly, Empowered seems to be sputtering out after six volumes, Warren's upcoming project is a 16-page one-shot that will be drawn and inked (but not written) by a guest artist.

My hope for Grigbertz is that he has a great job, and has found the sexy elf of his dreams and that his reality makes fantasizing feel beside the point. In short, I hope his status is like that of the Deviantartist Shiniez, whose webcomic Sunstone has amassed a huge enthusiastic following and is now available in PDF format for free (run, run, get it!) and who doesn't do commissions because he has a lucrative art job and doesn't need the money or the grief.

The real point I wish to make is that it would really be great if there was a way for artists (and writers) on the Internet to get compensated for their efforts properly. I've purchased volumes of Empowered, I've bought some of the gear at Grigbertz's Bondage Witch Shop and so forth, but my experience indicates that it's very unlikely Grigbertz has made significant amounts of money as an artist based on his online work that I've been able to find, despite clearly having a lot of talent and a very interested fanbase.

I've read about various proposals to monetize the Web in ways that make a little more sense for what the Web is. The one I think makes the most sense is micropayment systems. I understand that few of my blog posts are worth much at all in the way of money for visitors to my blog. But you know, if I had a penny for every time a visitor had read my blog or visited my website, I'd have ... a LOT of freaking pennies. Let's just say, it would make the difference between this being a hobby and it being a job of sorts, in terms of income.

And aside from my semi-noble works, I'd like to see artists like Grigbertz and Shiniez compensated for doing the things they care about and really enjoy, rather than commercial art that may be more of a matter of technical prowess than personal interest. Because I think works like Sunstone and Pawn are the real gold that these artists have produced, metaphorically speaking, and I think our world would be a lot richer if artists and writers were able to get gold for making gold, instead of getting gold for making dross, however skillfully they make it.

What we have here, is a failure of the marketplace.


Yes, this pic shows that this is The End of this post. And the thing on Uncanny Vallerie's butt is Grigbertz's "Buddy" a sort of living metal thong (the eyes moves about and glows in the dark) that I immediately rechristened (in my mind) the "Butt Buddy." Very imaginative work, you bet. Just fifty Lindens (about twenty cents US$). Image source: me.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a friend of Grigbertz', I have a few comments. Overall I like your article, but I can fill out some details.

Bondage Witch Project has a main store in the Farshore sim (adult). You will find it a little less out-of date but still not very active. It actually sells pretty well, so it pays the rent in Second Life. We ought to put up a redirect sign in Lugubris.

Pawn is not drawn by Grigbertz, but by an acquaintance.

Grigbertz indeed has a good job rl and is busy with other projects, but the website is never far from his mind. Trouble is, it is hard to compete with 20-30 years of your own production, so updates are a trickle compared to what is already there. Encouraging comments and blogs like sure are an inspiration.

Pat Powers said...

I'm glad to learn that Grigbertz is doing well. Always nice to hear that talented people get some success. And yeah, it is hard to compete with decades' worth of production, for sure. And a link to the new location in Lugubris might be a good idea.

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