Francis Mulbarth, author and illustrator of the "Grobbits" comic that has become a major focus of interest in the recent death of Colonel Grimm, was murdered in Riverside fifteen years ago after his first issue of Grobbits was released. The comic was not a success, selling merely thirty copies on release day. Mulbarth didn't even receive a single check from Aias Books (his publisher) because he was killed while walking the River Walk not far from the Military Honor park that was built that year to honor all the Riverside Veterans who've served in the United States Armed Forces.
He was stabbed in the liver, and although such an act is a particularly messy and risky way to murder someone, no DNA evidence and no witnesses made tracking down his assailant impossible.
Now that Colonel Grimm's death is rumored to be a homicide, many Riverside citizens are speculating that Mulbarth's murder might have something to do with Colonel Grimm's. After all, Colonel Grimm did have many of Mulbarth's originals and did have one of the copies of the Grobbit comic.
Mulbarth's case is still open for investigation, and Police Chief Willis has stated that it is possible that a link between the two crimes might exist. "We do not deal in speculation, though," Willis said. "We are looking for evidence and facts. We do not want to alarm anyone or to create some silly uproar over some comic books and an old man's natural death. Show me facts, like the comic books that were found in the industrial park, and I will show you a group of dedicated and highly-trained officers ready to do their jobs."
All of these new developments are taking a lot of attention away from the Zeva Pacariz case, which we still have no new information on. And people are beginning to wonder if we ever will have new information about that case at all.
There is no new information about Mulbarth's case either, but a Mulbarth scholar from Australia (where Grobbits was wildly popular after Mulbarth's murder) has come to town and is verifying and cataloguing what is likely to be almost 100,000 dollars worth of Mulbarth work. Norman Dashgoth has been working on a book about Grobbits titled, "Grobbits: an Illustrated History" and is hoping that his university in Australia will pay the money needed to purchase all the comics and originals that were discovered by a loading dock in the industrial park earlier this week.
"This is an amazing find for myself and the world, really," Dashgoth said. "Certainly I am sad that Colonel Grimm passed, but in that box of comics is access to one of the greatest comic minds who ever lived. A man whose life was cut short. And with those books, I will have all I need to honor his life and work the way it deserves."
If anyone has information regarding either of the two murders, please contact the Riverside Police Department or The Riverside Tribune. More to come as it develops.