The Story Behind The Story Of "Rock God"
INTRO FROM CREEPY #32: “Frank Frazetta, Harlan Ellison, Neal Adams. Any way you measure it, this trio represents a magnitude of artistic and writing talent. 'ROCK GOD' is a showcase of their combined creativity.
Frazetta started it off last summer when he walked into our offices carrying a large manila envelope. We weren’t expecting Frank that day, and we certainly weren’t expecting him to open that envelope and surprise us with a cover painting.
A few weeks earlier Harlan Ellison, a Hollywood science fiction writer with a highly developed sense of imagination -- and a lover of comic art -- expressed interest in writing a story based onthe next Frazetta cover. Ellison is also a fan of another Creepy contributor -- artist Neal Adams. We asked Neal to illustrate Harlan’s story. Neal enthusiastically agreed to the project.
Ellison was then sent a photocopy of the original Frazetta painting (the cover the issue, shown above); soon we received Harlan’s short story 'ROCK GOD,' which was sent to Neal for breakdown into comic format and finished art. Another of our top pros, Ben Oda, did the lettering. Neal Adams did portraits of the three contributors (including his own, all three shown here). Each also contributed a quotable quote:
HARLAN ELLISON: ‘My work is writing. It’s also my pleasure. I’m 35, and have this portraiton my wall; I keep getting younger but the portrait is decaying hideously.’
FRANK FRAZETTA: ‘My first love is comic art. Probably always will be. Men who’ve inspired me, Michael Salanga, Hal Foster -- both truly great artists. My second love is drawing the female form. Can’t you tell. Altho, some days I’d rather be playing baseball for the Yankees.’
NEAL ADAMS: ‘I guess I’m really three different people… a quiet, serious student of good literature & art; also a guy who loves to draw pictures and convey ideas through the comic medium. The third Adams produces storyboards for television and illustrations for N.Y. ad agencies. Someday ‘all three of us’ will work on a project we’ll all enjoy.”
ROCK GOD is based on a short story by Harlan Ellison ®. Copyright 1969 by Harlan Ellison®. Renewed, 1997 by The Kilimanjaro Corporation. Text by Harlan Ellison. Copyright ©1970 by Harlan Ellison. Art by Neal Adams. ©1970 by Neal Adams. All rights reserved. Harlan Ellison is a registered trademark of The Kilimanjaro Corporation.
This story is reprinted in Harlan Ellison's Dream Corridor Vol. 2.