In searching for old art by Dave Trampier, I stumbled across an image of Grimjack (aka. John Gaunt). I’m not sure how many people remember him any more. He was a character from the 1980s, an independent comic by John Ostrander and Timothy Truman. Grimjack was a hardboiled detective from the transdimensional city of Cynosure, who tackled magic and gunplay with equal aplomb. His stories first appeared in the back of Starslayer comics. Most of us started reading with Grimjack #1, attracted by Truman’s fantastic cover art, and then chased down old Starslayer issues in which he appeared. Thankfully, Starslayer was always pretty cheap! By the way, the Grimjack Cover Gallery is worth a visit.
Grimjack hung out in Munden’s Bar, where he picked up most of his jobs. For a bit of cash, he would place his sword and guns at the service of any who paid, though of course he had a heart of gold that got him into trouble from time to time. His adventures were heavily influenced by film noir and Clint Eastwood westerns, which is a good combination in anyone’s book. I’m amazed that I cannot find an NPC sheet on Grimjack anywhere, but I did find a pretty cool D&D NPC generator.
Rack & Rune #4 (1991) mentioned that a Grimjack boardgame and RPG had been planned before First Publishing went under. Ah well! And Swords & Stitchery suggested that Nexus: The Infinite City would make a great Cynosure. But then I found Cynosure: City of Dreams, a homebrew campaign. Nice! It ran back in the 90s, when people still remembered the character, and includes equipment lists and a good deal of background. Mook also included a convention game in part 1 and part 2. So if you’re interested in Cynosure, check out those pages.