For Cleveland residents, the artwork of John Greiner (John G.) is a staple to our city.  From the gritty and monstrous imagery of THE LAKE ERIE MONSTER comic books, to the edgy advertisements for the Cleveland Cinemas, to the seminal look and feel of the restaurant chain MELT Bar & Grilled, John G.’s artwork is Cleveland.  His style is unflinching and unforgiving, filthy and resentful, brash and beautiful, and completely reflective of the region that inspires him.  While John G.’s artwork can be found all over Cleveland, the story behind the man who created it has been somewhat of a mystery.

Until now.

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Turnstyle Films and director Jon Nix have made a short documentary about John G. and it’s truly a must see for those wanting to become an artist.  The struggle of an artist is a tale we’ve heard time and time again, but the raw truth exposed about John G. and his journey becoming one of the most influential artists in Cleveland is truly moving.  Featuring interviews with John G.’s friends including MELT owner Matt Fish, Greiner’s longtime collaborator (and THE LAKE ERIE MONSTER co-creator) Jake Kelly, All Dinosaurs’ Dave Gibian, and fellow artists Joshua Rex, Grainne Bird, and Kevin Czapiewski, DRAW HARD is an inspiring look at a man who had every reason to give up, and instead chose to overcome the seemingly impossible.

In May of 1995, Greiner severely injured his neck in a BMX accident that left him without any feeling from the neck down.  Confined to a wheelchair, John G. defied the odds and taught himself to write and draw again…without the ability to feel his own hands.   “When you’re drawing with a brush, a pressure sensitive tool, and you can’t feel your hand … I mean, I know where it is, I can see it, I can sense it, so I’ve just had to learn how to do that through trial and error,” explains Greiner. “I think determination, just having the will to do it, that’s what I do. I don’t draw fast, I draw hard.”

DRAW HARD is available for rental or purchase on VHX .  For $10, you can even get digital versions of the first 5 volumes of the Lake Erie Monster comic as part of a bundle deal.  The documentary is also available for streaming through Fandor.  (Fandor is a Netflix alternative subscription service dedicated to building larger audiences for independent filmmakers.)  To purchase copies of THE LAKE ERIE MONSTER visit,

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