2007 - DREAM CORRIDOR Volume 2

The SPIDER Symposion: in-depth discussion of specific Ellison stories and works.

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:11 am

Graves may have been the first to use the phrase -- I don't know -- but it certainly has a history. Robin Morgan also used it for the title of one her seminal essays of Second Wave feminism in the late 1960s.

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:29 am

A tidbit regarding WOODSMOKE: Harlan had written about seeing a Nazi in Rio in HORNBOOK, installment 7. He thought it possible at the time that Bormann was still around. (I wonder why he didn't include a mention of Bormann's body having later been identified in Germany in the interim memo. He seems to update us on everything else.)

A tidbit regarding ROCK GOD: "was written to illustrate a moody Frank Frazetta cover on an issue of the now-defunct Warren Publications Creepy. It was visually adapted from the short story version by the legendary Neal Adams." (From: Edgeworks 1, pg. xxxii)

Harlan also tells us the artwork was lost and then rediscovered and bought by Harlan ten years later from an "incognito trafficker in goods".

Like David mentioned, the publication date is given as 1969!! Put that in your pipe and smoke it. :-) I mean it's probably the best entry in this 2007 collection. Adams sure makes you think that the comic book art has stood still in the past few decades.

David, have you read DC2, and if so, how would you rate it?

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:49 pm

Jan wrote:David, have you read DC2, and if so, how would you rate it?

I thought my reaction would have been obvious by my rather conspicuous silence.

But then, I haven't been a big fan of any of the DCs (though of course I collected them all). The stories just don't work as well for me when "brought alive" visually. I'd just as soon keep them strictly in words (and whatever floats into one's own head because of them).

Don't tell anybody.

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:18 am

Ok, but I'm afraid Mark overheard.

I checked the table of contents of the ongoing DC, and I wonder what happened to the four-part "I Have No Mouth..." by John Byrne. Perhaps Harlan is holding it back for a possible standalone release.

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Postby JohnPacer » Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:44 pm

JAN: I remember reading way back when, when the DC1 TPB was first released, that the IHNMAIMS by Byrne was intentionally withheld because Harlan hated it. I only have the first issue of the actual monthly comic, so I can't really comment on my own feelings for it.

On another note, you asked why Harlan's classic works weren't used for adaptation and I've been wondering the same thing (I also noticed the theme of corrupt building contractors, but considering some the pieces were commissioned in the nineties and even sixties if you count ROCK GOD I not sure it really means anything). While some stories I think it would be absurd to do, such as THE DEATHBIRD (how to incorporate the AHBHU piece or the pop quizzes? I suppose it could work in a Dada kinda way, but...) other stories such as THE WHIMPER OF WHIPPED DOGS, in the hands of a good writer/artist, could be beautiful. The sheer lack of any of HE's classic (I'm using that term instead of "greatest" because everyone's tastes are different. I mean "classic" in the sense of "most famous") stories suggests it may have been a deliberate decision for whatever reason.

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:06 am

Thanks. It would surprise me if Harlan literally hated anything he put into his own comic books, but the evidence certainly indicates that he's not very eager to re-publish it.

I could easily imagine THE DEATHBIRD as a b/w thing by Neal Adams (ROCK GOD). The quiz sections would simply be quiz sections, as if from a textbook, and AHBHU (I take the no doubt correct spelling from you) could be done as a color insert by someone else, or as plain text. The only problem is that there's little action and much narration, if I remember correctly, and it wouldn't be much fun to draw. I don't think comic book artists are itching to draw birds and mountains.

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:51 am

Someone agreed with me about The Voice in the Garden a few years ago. I found this in the archives.
Robin Goodfellow wrote:Also why is HE making excuses for it? It's a fun story, does he feel it shatters his persona as 'The most contentious person alive?'

I also found an interesting comment about WOODSMOKE, which Pavilion members had little positive to say about back in '97. Since no one else has said much about it, I quote the comment in full with thanks and apologies to the original poster.

Shaz
The Netherlands - Wednesday November 12 1997 23:42:59

Regarding THE LINGERING SCENT OF WOODSMOKE: I just reread "The Lingering Scent of Woodsmoke". I think it's a gem because it effectively illustrates the irrelevance of Jews in the minds of the Nazis' and how casual such a mindset was by putting the reader's mind in a similar position. When I read it, I didn't even consider that the "immoral crime" that this SS officer is to be punished for is slaughtering trees in the furnaces. The warcrime against trees doesn't enter your mind for a split-second until, of course, the plot twist is revealed. And this is why it is so brilliant. The reader, if s/he is PAYING ATTENTION, finally understands how the Nazis' could attempt to exterminate an entire race in such a horrific manner with impunity...they didn't give the Jews a second thought. Putting the Jews in the furnaces meant about as much loss to the world for them as tossing another log in the fire. Something to think about...

(It's one way of looking at it that I don't share.)

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:33 pm

Not knowing anything about baseball, I didn't pay attention to Harlan's homage to baseball players in GOODBYE TO ALL THAT. It now turned out that Harlan is a baseball fan.

Harlan, on Oct 05, wrote:I'm the guy from Cleveland who, in 1948, saw Satchel Paige pitch in the Major Leagues for the first time, in the old Lakefront Stadium in Cleveland.

Harlan, on Oct 07, wrote:Satchel Paige, a lifelong idol from my witling days till now, appears, along with many other members of the World Champion 1948 Cleveland Indians, in a story not so many years old, titled "Goodbye to All That."

Another interesting quote from the Pavilion, April 29, 2008. Harlan was asked about how to deal with bad reviews and mentioned "Goodbye to All That".
Harlan wrote:Nobody "gets" what you're about. I've been having that a LOT, a LOT, just a fuckin' large LOT with "Goodbye To All That," which not even the people who published it could figure out...if I was onto something singular, or if I was just out of my withered codger mind.

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:40 pm

More for the scrapbook: John Byrne's comments (9-15-08) about his adaptation of "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" which was not included. (John Byrne Forum)
As it was relayed to me by the editor, when the time came to try an adaptation of "Mouth" Harlan said "If we could get someone like Byrne, that would be great." The editor said "How about Byrne?" So he called, and on the basis of this being what I perceived as a pretty prestigious project, I said sure.

Of course, then I discovered that fitting the story into the 12 pages I had been allotted would require a lot of rewriting. That was something I discussed with Harlan over the phone. His contribution was "No." Which is how the adaptation came to be more than 12 pages!

I didn't know it wasn't in the trade. Don't know why that would be.

Quote from Harlan in Hero Illustrated, April 1995:
John Byrne wanted to adapt 'I Have No Mouth" and he did, but being John Byrne, instead of treating the story with... not exactly a reverence, but a certain fidelity to the material - because it's such a well-known story - John decides to do a John. If you remember the story, it takes place inside this giant computer, and the caverns are hundreds of miles in diameter. Well, John made it look like it took place in your kitchen. What I decided to do was run the actual story, the parallel amount of story for the amount of pages in each issue. John's done it in four parts and with each part, there's the original story as it was published. The story appears on one side, on one page, and then there's five or six pages of John's art, with balloons and the whole thing ... The text that text that precedes it is the section of the original story that parallels what John has done. It's sequential art, the way he does Next Men, only you've got two versions of it: You've got my version and his version.

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Postby markabaddon » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:10 am

"Rock God"

Has anyone here ever read a story and said, "yeah, that's OK, but nothing extraordinary", heard or seen it in a different format and been blown away by it? It has happened to me on only a few occasions: Neil Gaiman when he read "How to talk to Girls at Parties", Harlan reading "Grail" and "Rock God". When I first read the story, I had difficulty picturing the scenes. At the time, Dis to me was a very amorphous character, I could not get a handle intellectually on Frank Steadman and the ending I thought was too ambiguous. Then I read the comic version and I saw this work in an entirely new light.

Part of this is due to the artwork. Neil Adams is one of the most underrated artists in history and no one has ever captured the look of women in the 1960s quite like him. From the opening panel with a woman laid out on the sacrificial stone with a look on her face somewhere between terror and orgasm, I was hooked. As I continued, reading this version, I noticed the small details Harlan placed within the story that showed quite a bit of research went into this tale, specifically in the history of the stones that were Dis' body (also, remember what I said about Adams doing 60's women better than anyone, allow me to amend that to include women from Roman times, absolutely stunning).

Then, we arrive in the modern age and I am able to see Frank Steadman much more clearly. The reader can almost picture the wheels turning in his head as he tries to charm his way out of an untenable situation. One of the key scenes that I absolutely loved has no dialogue. After Monica tells Frank that she is going to turn state's evidence against him, he picks up a heavy object from the table and has a look on his face that combines all the rage, disgust and frustration he feels in one glance. Monica sees him and shoots him a look of utter defiance. It is a scene of intense conflict, heightened by the black and white coloring of the story.

The ending? Well, I see it a little differently now. Now I realize that what happens when Dis returns is not the important aspect of the story, but rather all the steps leading up to it were what should be focused upon. In that, it almost feels like the ending of Lost or Angel, both of which told us to concentrate on the journey, not on the endgame


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