Risk Griffin was a highly gifted cartoonist and artist born in Palos Verdes, California in 1944. Griffin was surfing by age 12 and developing his artistic skills by copying the cartoons in Mad magazine. At the age of sixteen, Griffin met John Severson, who had just recently released the first issue of Surfer Magazine. Severson saw the potential in Griffin's work and agreed to put Griffin's cartoon strip, "The Gremmies" in the next issue. That cartoon was followed by a mop-haired, wide-grinned character called Murphy. The beloved Murphy series ran in every issue of Surfer until late 1964, becoming somewhat of an unofficial mascot of the global surfing community. Beyond cartooning, Rick Griffin is also known as one of the psychedelia art movement's pioneers, with some of his best known work coming on album covers such as The Grateful Dead (Aoxomoxoa), The Eagles (On the Border), Jackson Browne (Late for the Sky), and a popular album cover featuring a surfing eyeball on the Chris Darrow & Max Buda album (Eye of the Storm). In several pieces of his work for The Grateful Dead, the surf themes from Griffin's youth can be seen merging with his counter culture art in the form of surfing skeletons and psychedelic waves.