The hard-rocking Hailstorm is a year old now, there’s continual web chatter regarding a Dictators reunion, and Ross “the Boss” Friedman is heading to South America for a number of shows. Ever the gentleman, Ross took a few moments to answer the important questions that everyone has been asking:
Cliff: A guy walks into a house of ill repute and says, “I want a punk girl.” And the Madame says, “We only have metal chicks.” Is this a problem?
Ross: House of ill repute? Never been to one! Hahaha! To me there’s only two types of music. What are they? Good and bad. To me, good is good, so there would be no difference in my mind. Besides, when the lights go out, who cares?
Cliff: Have you played South America before?
Ross: We played in Venezuela last summer in a baseball stadium.
Cliff: What are you listening to when you’re not playing music?
Ross: I tend to listen to my old favorites—classical, blues, old-school metal, punk and real country.
Cliff: With you on lead guitar, assemble the perfect band, dead or alive.
Ross: Great question. Hmmm… Geezer Butler on bass, John Bonham on drums, Jim Morrison doing lead vocals, and Jerry Lee Lewis on keyboards. Cliff: And now the million-dollar question--You played with Andy Shernoff in May at the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash. What’s it going to take to get the rest of the Beatles back together?
Ross: Sad to say, the Dictators as we know them won’t play in the very near future. But the new band “Manitoba” will make its debut at The Don Hill Benefit at Irving Plaza on December 15.
I continue to get the occasional emails or queries in mid-conversation: “Have you heard from Harlan?” “So what’s with Harlan?” “Is is true that Harlan…?”
As if I’m my brother’s keeper. Which I guess I am.
But I prefer to leave all things Harlan for him to announce. He certainly has the outlets, between Rabbit Hole and his website. Besides, most of what the two of us discuss is fairly private.
I can tell you that when we spoke last week, Harlan was energized by his current projects and events. He talked about his “strong third act.”
So. Act Three:
“Possibly (he said, jocularly) the last chance to see Harlan alive performing his death defying life-story in the flesh.” Thus reads the flier I received on Friday inviting me to “An Evening with Harlan Ellison (Redux),” a reprise on his “public interview and rampant racontourage” at the Cinefamily Theatre last November, a sold-out event emcee’d by writer Josh Olson (another swell guy). The event, which any of you can attend, too—for the price of a ticket—is January 19, 2012, at 7:30pm at The Cinefamily Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036; phone: 323-655-2510.
Act Three also includes a number of book releases and revamps. The one I look forward to most is BUGF#CK: THE USELESS WIT & WISDOM OF HARLAN ELLISON (Spectrum Books and Edgeworks Abbey, $10), 123 pages of Harlan quotes which, if you’ve ever spoken with Harlan or read him or heard him speak, promises to be priceless. Mencken had nothing on my brother.
It doesn’t appear that YR. PAL HARLAN, the book of Harlan’s web posts and e-letters that I edited a few years ago, will be coming out any time soon. But, as with all things Harlan, we never say never.
Out of nowhere, I heard from a friend of Gene's today. He had some photos that he wanted to share. Among them was a photo he snapped of Gene working on the Star Wars art (commissioned by George Lucas Studios) which eventually went missing.
If this art is offered for sale, please note that it is considered stolen.
I am late to the party with this news but I just hung up with comic artist Joe Giella and wanted to share this immediately:
Joe had the following items stolen from his home:
* “Menace of the Man Missile”, pages 1 and 9. Pencils by Carmine Infantino. * “Castle with Wall to Wall Danger” pages 7 and 8. Pencils by Carmine Infantino. * Green Lantern/Green Arrow #107 cover. Pencils by Joe Staton.
Please re-post this notice to as many places possible. If you hear of this art being offered, please contact Detective John O'Connor, Nassau County Police Dept., Third Squad, phone: 516-573-6353.
Tony Isabella just advised me that this story was broken weeks ago (I must've been sleeping) but it never hurts to remind folks.
CLIFFORD METH's writings have been teamed with such artists as Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, Jeffrey Jones, Alex Toth, Gene Colan, Dave Cockrum and George Perez; praised by The Who's Pete Townsend, Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, Leonard Cohen, Peppi Marchello, Handsome Dick Manitoba, Pat DiNizzio, Stan Lee, Kurt Vonnegut and Harlan Ellison; and optioned for Hollywood films. The recent Meth, Colan & Other Theologians (Aardwolf Publishing) reprised his Barnes & Noble Horror-Pick-of-the-WeekPerverts, Pedophiles & Other Theologians with artist Gene Colan, while his last hardcover Billboards (IDW Publishing) featured an introduction by science-fiction legend Robert Silverberg.
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Eye of the Beholder
Meth is a dangerous writer. He doesn’t seem to care if you like him. - Neal Adams
Meth’s writing is fresh and absorbing—clever and replete with surprises. - Stan Lee
Anyone who can give Barry Windsor-Smith a pissy fit is okay in my book. - Joe Staton
The only thing about Cliff’s writing that makes me crazy is the demented titles he puts on them. For a guy who writes as well as he does, and who thinks as deeply as he does, I can’t figure it out! - Harlan Ellison
Clifford Meth is one of dark fiction's best-kept secrets. - Barnes and Noble
Clifford Meth has the touch. Fantasy dark humour and ravishing detail to his characters. Isaac Asimov meets C. S. Lewis meets Beelzebub. - Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull)
Razor sharp dialogue, wonderfully erotic and beautifully said. The meaty characters appear extremely real in front of me. - Jeffrey Jones
Clifford Meth is one of the most brilliant writers of dark fiction out there today.
- Bud Plant Comic Art
The way that Meth carefully controls your expectations,then takes an almost sadistic pleasure in messing withyour mind is, artistically speaking, a beautiful thing. - SilverBulletComicBooks.com
Clifford Meth writes like whiskey bites: Deceptively smooth until you realize he’s put you flat on the floor. - David Gerrold (author of Star Trek's "Trouble With Tribbles" and The Martian Child)
Meth writes in pictures that make me want to draw. This is good stuff! - Joe Kubert
Clifford Meth writes with power and authority. Great stuff and a great read! - Gerry Conway (creator of The Punisher)
What separate Meth from most writers is his courage to take on sensitive issues. I’d read anything he’s ever written. - Gene Colan (creator of Blade)
What can I say that hasn’t been said about Meth’s work except the stories are so interesting and original that I’m looking forward to the next collection! - John Buscema
There isn't a writer in the world I would have preferred to have collaborated with--not even Mr. Ellison. - J.R. (Septimus Orion)
What makes Meth's work special is that it grows out of a unique confluence of outlook, culture, comics and prose. - Walter Simonson
Here's the key: Cliff is actor an audience. - Jim Reeber (Aardwolf Publishing)
Meth is one of the more intriguing writers of short stories to arrive in recent years. A damned fine writer. He does not write the easy stories. - Tony Isabella / The Comic Buyer’s Guide
Meth’s imagination, integrity and insight are touched by a dark, often perverse humor. It’s always exciting to discover new writers on their way up—and Meth’s course is worth charting. - Jim Steranko
I don’t know how much money the Cockrums got, but having a friend like Clifford Meth is worth more than a million dollars. - John Romita
Cliff’s writing has attitude. While his stories are frequently angry or outrageous, they’re all honest insights into the human psyche. - Dave Cockrum (co-creator of The X-Men)
Meth is a unique and exciting voice--funny, twisted, visionary. His insights into character and culture are often startling and his stories, always entertaining. I am a huge fan. - Richard Saperstein, Pres. The Weinstein Company
Clifford Meth sharpens the mundane details of everyday life to a razor's edge. I know of no other experience so simultaneously depressing...and uplifting. - Steve Brown, Chairman IDT Entertainment
You write character dialogue like O'Hara & string words together so effortlessly, kiddo. Kudos to you! Love good writing--the stuff so rare in comics & animation, my two vexing venues...I'm ossified, I'm sure, by actually reading top story work. - Alex Toth
Although they're called dark fiction, there's a "real" quality to Clifford Meth's stories that lifts them up and out of his books. And each successive story remains unique enough to make me start another, wondering what he'll come up with next. - Steve Forbert
Clifford Meth knows things. Dark, dank, nasty things... He doesn't scrape away the barnacles covering the hull of human interaction so much as he lifts up the barnacles, describes what's under them, and then puts the barnacles back and walks away with his hands in his pockets, whistling in the dark. - Peter David Clifford Meth has done more to make the comic book industry better for its creators than has the collective career of many good people working within it. Those who speak much and do little struggle to fathom how some inspire granduer with few words. To them, Clifford Meth is of the unfathomable. - Michael Netzer
[Meth's] work is about the dark side of life, as if he were sculpting beautifully realistic statues while working exclusively in blood and excrement. And then setting them on fire...I'm a huge fan. I read him mouth open and giggling, stunned, amused and aroused. - Bill Messner-Loebs
I love Clifford. He's a mensch. - Harlan Ellison
Read Meth. He is pure humanity, pure emotion, pure smart... And, the fuckin’ guy made me cry. - Handsome Dick Manitoba / The Dictators
Cliff is a dangerously talented writer. - Pat DiNizio (The Smithreens)
I read Clifford Meth because the guy has a unique niche. He doesn't write fiction--he writes punk fiction! - Andy Shernoff (The Dictators)
Meth's writing is dark, relentless and always in your face. It doesn’t make for easy reading, but it is highly emotional and makes you pay attention, which is the best thing a writer can do... He writes from a place others won’t walk. - Marv Wolfman (creator of Blade)
Every Clifford Meth story is a tale of two balls. - Peppi Marchello (The Good Rats)
If you have missed the true, revealing richness of [Meth's] implications, then consider this an urgent reminder--a rap on the knuckles--to read it again. - Robert Bloch (author of Psycho)
Cliff writes very well about very intimate subjects. - Steve Gerber (creator of Howard the Duck)
It's easy to be your friend when there ain't no shit coming down. It's when the nails are being driven into your wrists that you find out whether somebody is a real friend and a stand-up person. And that's Cliff. - Harlan Ellison
Saying good things about Clifford Meth is like giving endorsements to Zorro. - Barney Dannelke
Comics for Sale
In addition to representing Dave Cockrum's personal collection for his Estate, I am selling my Silver Age collection. Click here for details.