Tag Archives: harlan ellison

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week and we’ve got a few early reviews for this week’s comics out this week today! Keep your eye for them on YouTube. While you wait for that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Kotaku – Harlan Ellison Wrote One of the Best Daredevil Stories Ever – Agree?

Inside Edition – Blake Leibel Gets Life in Prison After Girlfriend’s Murder That Mirrored Plot of His Graphic Novel – Good.

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – Bedtime Games #1

Talking Comics – Modern Fantasy #1

Comic Attack – Thor #2

Talking Comics – Thor #2

Harlan Ellison: A Memorial

Harlan Ellison died in his sleep. Not a bad way to shuffle off this mortal coil as these things go but I am reasonably confident that he would have preferred some form of corporeal immortality to what dreams may come. I never got to meet the man but he wrote with his heart on his sleeve so I feel like I know him and that, I think, was responsible for most of his appeal. Neil Gaiman once wrote that “writers are liars” but Harlan Ellison was the exception that proves the rule: he was, in his art at least, completely and brutally honest.

I think that maybe this is one reason that he took such umbrage at being identified as a “science-fiction writer”. There’s a certain sense that science-fiction (and fantasy, horror, and comics for that matter) don’t mean anything because they aren’t about real things. This is true to a certain extent. Most of what passes for popular fiction in both its prose and graphic form is hollow, a bronze titan with feet of clay ready to collapse under the weight of its own conceits. Ellison’s fiction, both fantastic and otherwise, was as solid as Mount Everest and (hopefully) just as enduring.

Ellison’s work is special because he combined several traits that are rarely found in a single individual. The first of these is a childlike lust for life that became truly poignant when combined with an adult’s sense that mortality is essentially unfair.  Read a story like “Jefty Is Five” or “Grail” and you’ll see what I mean. 

Ellison was also full of rage, not merely angry but burning with a pure, righteous fury at humanity’s cowardice, cruelty and stupidity. There are some who would characterize him as a misanthrope but I’ve always thought that Ellison was a true humanist who was constantly frustrated by the fact that far too many people are content to waste their small span of years as bigots, dupes and trolls. Some would argue that he hated the internet but I think that he was just annoyed that a small fraction of humanity took the greatest invention for human mass communication since the printing press and turned it into a cesspool where monsters bred unchallenged behind their pseudonyms and avatars. This is the Ellison you’ll see in “’Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” (my personal favorite), and “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.”

Of course none of that would matter without a fine eye for details and character. Ellison’s people seem to be shards of himself, refracted onto paper through his typewriter in black, white, and a thousand shades of gray in between. And funny too. Only Twain was funnier when Ellison was trying. Read “Prince Myshkin, and Hold the Relish” and “Paladin of the Lost Hour” and you’ll see what I mean.

Ellison was prolific as few writers of his quality are. Among modern writers only Stephen King can compete with Harlan Ellison in term of both the quantity and quality of words produced and even he falls far short on both counts. Ellison wrote almost everything, in almost every genre, and almost every media. The stories I’ve mentioned above barely scratch the surface of Ellison’s genius. All are collected in Harlan 101: Encountering Ellison along with many other classics and this is just the surface of an ice burg big enough to drown a dozen Titanics. 

Harlan Ellison died in his sleep but read and share his work and it will live on so long as humanity dares to dream.

Harlan Ellison and IDW Voyage to the Official Star Trek Convention!

ST_CityForever01_cvrA copyThis weekend, from July 31st – August 3rd, acclaimed creator Harlan Ellison will join IDW’s Editor-in-Chief and CCO, Chris Ryall, at the official Star Trek Convention at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Celebrating the rich universe of Star Trek, Ellison will be featured throughout the weekend on diverse panels, and on hand for a number of signings.

Ellison’s award-winning Star Trek episode, “The City on the Edge of Forever” is a lauded sci-fi masterpiece; cited by many as the greatest episode in the franchises’ long history. Recently adapted to comics by IDW, “The City On The Edge of Forever” rapidly sold out of the first issue, and received a second print, in stores soon! Adapted by Star Trek veterans Scott and David Tipton, with stunning art by J.K. Woodward, the comic series is bringing the complete, unedited script by Ellison to fans, as it was originally intended.

During the weekend, fans will have the opportunity to hear Ellison speak on a number of Q&A panels. The first of which will take place on Thursday, the 31st at 5:20 PM in the main theatre. On Friday, the 1st at 1:20 PM, also in the main theatre, Grace Lee Whitney, the actress who played Janice Rand on the classic series will host a Q&A session, while Walter Koenig, best known for his role as Chekov on the original series, will host a final Q&A with Ellison on Sunday the 3rd at 10:15 AM, in the main theatre.

Ellison and Ryall will be signing and meeting fans alongside “The City on the Edge of Forever” cover artist, Juan Ortiz, during the rest of the convention at Harlan and IDW’s booth, B26.

Harlan Ellison’s Acclaimed Star Trek Script Comes to Comics

Star Trek: The Original Series episode “City on the Edge of Forever” is regarded by many as the greatest Star Trek episode of all time, but there’s much more to the story than fans saw on TV. Harlan Ellison’s original teleplay for “City on the Edge of Forever” was modified before the episode was filmed, but now, at long last, fans will be able to enjoy his original teleplay in the form of an all-new miniseries coming from IDW in June: Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay.

Ellison’s original teleplay won both the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation as well as the Writer’s Guild of America’s Award for Most Outstanding Teleplay.

For decades, legions of fans have speculated about the episode’s history, but few people have read the original teleplay, which is very different from the televised version. This comic-book miniseries, produced under the guidance of Harlan Ellison himself, now offers fans everywhere the opportunity to see a classic Star Trek episode the way no one has seen it before.

Adapting the teleplay for the comics series are writers Scott Tipton and David Tipton, no strangers to IDW’s Star Trek comic universe; interior art will be painted by J.K. Woodward, coming off the well-received Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who maxi-series written by the Tipton brothers. Each issue of the series will feature a special cover by artist Juan Ortiz, whose artistic interpretations of every episode of Star Trek: The Original Series were recently published in an oversize hardcover collection, Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz. Variant covers will be provided by movie poster artist/Star Trek: Khan cover artist Paul Shipper.

Star Trek’s “City on the Edge of Forever” originally aired on April 6, 1967, as the penultimate episode of Star Trek’s first season. The episode is, at its most basic, a poignant love story as well as a breathtaking trip through space and time, from the future all the way through 1930s America, as Kirk and Spock race to apprehend a renegade criminal and restore the order of the universe. IGN awarded it the number-one spot in their list of the Top 10 Classic Star Trek Episodes. Further, TV Guide named the episode one of its 100 Most Memorable Moments in TV History. The first-ever comic-book adaptation of the teleplay as Harlan Ellison originally intended it is a true publishing event.

Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s Original City on the Edge of Forever Teleplay #1 (of 5) will be available in June.