Dærick Gröss Sr. (N. Richard “Rick” Gröss) passed away on December 8, 2023. Rick was born on January 28th, 1947 and grew up in Kettering, Ohio. Born to Marion Ann Sachs, he grew up with William Henry and Joy Mary Gross. During his attendance at the University of Cincinnati, Rick met his wife Lolly; thus planting the seeds of a lifelong career as an illustrator and a love story that spans more than 54 years.
As an artist and illustrator, Rick developed a strong following over the years. His work spanned across mediums and genres, including stage playbills, illustrations for newspapers and magazines, comic strips and comic books, caricatures, fantasy role-playing and card games, and general commercial illustration. Adopting the professional nom-de-plume of Dærick Gröss Sr., he was an artist and illustrator, art director, comic book publisher, art teacher, and an advisor and consultant. He generously shared his knowledge as a teacher and mentor to so many throughout his long career. Rick worked across many products, posters, and publications including the extremely popular human sexuality book The Guide to Getting It On, used in college courses across the country. He was known for his Hirschfeld- and Mucha-inspired styles for his caricatures and illustrations, and was a master with color pencils, gouache paints, graphite, and ink dyes.
A huge collector of comic books since childhood, Rick entered his beloved world of comic book illustration as he entered his 40s. Making a splash with the graphic novel adaptation of Anne Rice’s “The Vampire Lestat”, he lent his talent to a range of other characters and publishers including Marvel and DC, and ultimately his own line of comics and characters including cult-favorite Murciélaga, She-Bat. He was the recipient of the Russ Manning Award for Most Promising Newcomer Award in 1991.
Rick was a loving husband and a very proud father of two, a grandfather of seven, and a great-grandfather of five. His great sense of humor, playfulness, and deep insight drew others to him in meaningful ways, and he was well loved by both extended family and a vast number of people who called him a friend. His love for animals made him well known throughout his neighborhood as the man who had a pet goose, to his joy. As a child, he was the kid who at times had a pet monkey, alligator, and even a burro! When not immersed in his art or his garden, you could find him happily feeding and talking to the local squirrels and crows.
Words cannot express adequately how much his presence in his community and his family will be missed. There will be an opportunity to see him and say goodbye. On Saturday, December 16 at Rose Family Funeral Home in Simi Valley, CA the doors will be open at 6:00pm for people to come pay their final respects. We will have a brief Celebration of Life at 7:00, and the chapel and reception room will remain open for people to connect until 9:00. There will be light snacks available.