Although Grau lived in Toronto while Darrigo lived there, the two had never met. Grau submitted samples of his work by mail to Darrigo in Brantford, who was “amazed at its professional quality”. Dave then arranged to meet Peter at Dragon Lady Comics Shop in Toronto.
Dave found out that Now Comics in Chicago was looking for a new creative team for their Green Hornet comic. He sent them samples of his writing and Grau’s illustrations. The publisher phoned and asked to meet them as potential recruits. Excited Dave and Peter went to Chicago but things did not work out as planned. Dave became a writer for The Green Hornet but Peter wound up a penciller on a new series called Super Cops. This occurred at the end of 1990. The whole arrangement soured for both with Dave not being paid and Peter only partially paid for work done.
After this debacle, Darrigo created the character “Piranha specifically for Grau to illustrate. Piranha Is Loose under the Special Studio logo appeared on the shelves January 1991. It was short lived ending with issue 2 dated March 1991.
As Piranha Is Loose ended Black Scorpion issue 1, dated April 1991 began. In this issue Peter Grau painted the cover. In the last issue of Black Scorpion number 3 dated October 1991 Grau painted the cover and did the story “Blackmailer’s Auction”.
Black Scorpion reappeared about ten years after Special Studio ceased to exist. A Toronto literary agent contacted Darrigo with the proposal to sell Special Studio properties to film/TV producers who were interested in independently created comic book characters. As a result, the Darrigo-Grau team created a mini promotional comic of the Black Scorpion character but called it Blue Scorpion because there was now a T.V. character called Black Scorpion. Blue Scorpion’s assistant the teenager, Dart was changed to Eddie Navarro nicknamed Stinger. Unfortunately, the sale of Special Studio properties never materialized and so this promotion remains the only story of Blue Scorpion.
After the demise of Special Studio, Peter Grau went to work for three New York based comics companies. He penciled Solar: Man of the Atom for Valiant in 1993 and 1994. Then moved to Mickey Spillane’s Mike Danger for Big Entertainment Inc. in 1996 and finally to The Titans for DC Comics. He rejoined Darrigo to create one more comic book title Atomic Overdrive published by Caliber Press in Michigan in the U.S. before he retired from comic book work altogether. Grau painted the covers for both issues. In the first issue Darrigo and Grau did the entire book.In the second issue Darrigo and Grau did the first and third stories. Issue 2 was the last for Atomic Overdrive which appears to have been published in 1997.
All of his Canadian work is in black and white while most of his U.S. work is colour. He inked his own Canadian work.
Piranha Is Loose, 1, January1991.
Piranha Is Loose, 2, March 1991.
Black Scorpion,1, April 1991.
Black Scorpion, 3, October 1991.
Atomic Overdrive,1, no date.
Atomic Overdrive, 2, no date.
Tony Bravado Trouble Shooter, 4, Mar. 1990 “Bravado Pin-up.”: 33.
Black Scorpion, 3, Oct. 1991: “Black Mailer’s Auction.” Writ., George Stryker (Dave Darrigo): 1-16.
Piranha Is Loose, 1, Jan.1991: “Silver or Lead.” Writ., Dave Darrigo. Let., Fred Fairfield: 1-32.
|Piranha Is Loose, 2, March 1991: …. Special Studio. Black & white.|
|“Expedition Into Terror.” Writ., D. Darrigo. Let., F.Fairfield: 1-22.
“Tony Bravdo Trouble Shooter -Fox Hunt.” Writ., Dave Darrigo. 1- 10.
Blue Scorpion a promotional mini comic. Writ.,, Dave Darrigo: 1-4.
|Atomic Overdrive,1, no date:…. Caliber Comics. Black & white|
|“The Creature That Craved My Comet.” Writ., Dave Darrigo: 1-16.
“Hot Rods And Zombies – One Of Our Zombies Is Missing.” Writ., Dave Darrigo: 1-16.
|Atomic Overdrive, 2, no date:…. Caliber Comics. Black & white|
|“Hot Rods And Zombies – Hot Rods = Cold War.” Writer, Dave Darrigo: 1-10.
“They Want To Warp Our Minds.” Writ., Dave Darrigo: 1-13.
Supercops, 1-2, Oct. 1990: “ND Generation.” Writ., Chuck Dixon. In., Enrique Villagran. Col., Kelly Kinsey & Holly Sanfelippo, Suzanne Dechnik. Let., Patrick Williams.
Supercops, 1-4, Dec. 1990: “The Samaritan.” Writ., Chuck Dixon. In., John Strangeland. Col., Kelly Kinsey & Holly Sanfelippo, Suzanne Dechnik. Let., Patrick Williams..
Solar: Man of the Atom,1-23, July 1993: “Split Decision, Afraid of the Darque: Pt 3.” Writ., Kevin Vanhook. In., Stan Drake. Col., Carol Vanhook…
Solar: Man of the Atom, 1-27, Nov. 1993: “Awake in the Dreamtime.” Writ., Kevin Vanhook. In., Jimmy Palmiotti. Col., Carol Vanhook.
Solar Man of the Atom, 1-28, Dec. 1993: “Fool’s Paradise.” Writ., Kevin Vanhook. In., Jimmy Palmiotti. Col., Carol Vanhook.
Solar:Man of the Atom, 1-29, Jan. 1994: “An Angry Light.” Writ., Kevin Vanhook. In., Jimmy Palmiotti. Col., Carol Vanhook.
Solar: Man of the Atom, 1-30, Feb. 1994: “Ravenus.” Writ., Kevin Vanhook. In., Jimmy Palmiotti. Col., Mark Pusateri.
Solar:Man of the Atom, 1-31, Mar. 1994: “Noel Nightmare.” Writ., Kevin Vanhook. In., Jimmy Palmiotti. Col., Mark Pusateri.
Solar: Man of the Atom, 1-32, Apr. 1994: “Parent’s Night.” Writ., Kevin Vanhook. In., Jimmy Palmiotti. Col., Mark Pusateri.
Solar: Man of the Atom, 1-33, May 1994: “Genocide, Pt. 1 of 3.” Writ., Kevin Vanhook. In., Jimmy Palmiotti. Col., Carol Vanhook.
|Mickey Spillane’s Mike Danger, ….Creators, Mike Spillane & Max Allan Collins. Writ., M. A. Collins. In., T. Beatty.|
|1-9, March 1996: “The Head Man.” Let., T. Harkins. Col., Heroic Age.
2-1, June 1996: “Virtual Man.” Let., T. Harkins. Col., Heroic Age.
2-2, July 1996: “Bring Me The Head of Michael Danger.” Let., Clem Robins. Col., Prismacolor.
2-4, Sept. 1996: “A Woman Called Mann.” Let., T. Harkins. Col., Heroic Age.
Solar: Man of the Atom, 1-31, March 1994. Co-illus., Palmiotti.
Solar: Man of the Atom, 1-32, April 1994. Co-illus., Palmiotti.
Solar: Man of the Atom, 1-33, May. 1994. Co-illus., Palmiotti.
Interview & Correspondence:
Dave Darrigo February, 2009.
See ATOMIC OVERDRIVE, BLACK SCORPION & PIRANHA