Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Delusion for a Dragon Slayer!"


Even though sometimes his cranky nature gets on my nerves, I usually enjoy the work of Harlan Ellison, so I was pleasantly surprised to stumble across "A Tale of Fear by Harlan Ellison--an epic of hate that engulfed two worlds! A Dragon Stalks by Night!" So proclaims the Gil Kane cover of Chamber of Chills #1, but it's not that close to the actual story.

An accident at a demolition site sends a wrecking ball crashing down on passerby Warren Glazer Griffin; who then awakens in another world, on the deck of an old sailing ship, with a talking sword. The sword explains this is Griffin's heaven, or at least his chance at it: if he can live up to his dreams and ethics, sail the ship through the rocky straits, reach the island, and save the girl from the devil.

For the first test, the crew of the ship are shackled in the hold (presumably, to keep from being thrown overboard?) as Griffin steers the ship. Momentarily thrilled by moment, Griffin misses a reef, which guts the ship and drowns his men. Ellison (or the adaptor, Gerry Conway) describes it as losing "through the treachery of his self-esteem."

Shaking it off, Griffin makes his way through the island. Finding a beautiful lagoon, he also finds the woman of all his dreams. Who is apparently seeing the devil the sword mentioned...Griffin is about to learn a lesson, about "the true face of sin," and that it's entirely possible to live a life without committing any crimes...and still not be good.

"Delusion for a Dragon Slayer!" Written by Gerry Conway, art by Syd Shores, adapted from an original story by Harlan Ellison.

Super-long homemade post tomorrow! See you then.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Wow! Now I'm definitely intrigued to see how this all plays out. I guess it's wiki-time!!!!!

And your right, Ellison really is a cranky old bastard, as proven by an old interview he did with Wizard once. But I guess of it's well-deserved after his bad experiences in the industry, Star Trek and Disney, of all places.