As a quick addendum to our previous post, here’s a short Henry Rollins video that Trey has dug out.
This no nonsense, in your face style reminded me of speculative fiction writer Harlan Ellison (Yeah, speculative fiction. “Call me a science-fiction writer and I will come to your house and nail your dog’s head to the coffee table!” he said. I don’t have a dog, but…). Theodore Sturgeon, in his Introduction to “I have no mouth and I must scream”, described him. as: “… a man on the move, and he is moving fast. He is, on these pages and everywhere else he goes, colorful, intrusive, ABRASIVE … and one hell of a writer.” Another friend of the author, Isaac Asimov went further: “Harlan uses his gifts for colorful and variegated invective on those who irritate him — intrusive fans, obdurate editors, callous publishers, offensive strangers.”
Film director James Cameron certainly learned this the hard way (Ellison sued Cameron alleging the Terminator movies drew from episodes of The Outer Limits Ellison wrote) and it is said that even Frank Sinatra once felt the brunt of it.
Not to say that the man is a monster, but I stress this aspect of Harlan’s complex personality in an attempt to challenge our romantic concept of the rebellious artist. Trying to explain Real Life from the artist’s perspective is always difficult and, as has it has been proven countless times, is ultimately doomed to failure.
The reason it fails is well illustrated in those two videos.
As a personal aside, my meeting with Harlan was brief, but very amicable. I must say that I envy my friend (and Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame inductee) Ken Steacy who was lucky enough to have worked with the man on a couple of graphic novels of which the latest, 7 Against Chaos, has just been released.
About what Harlan says here? My personal experience? Let me put it this way, the promise of “good publicity” has been made quite often.
And I’m still waiting for a few comp copies.