Love him or hate him — and there are plenty who fall into either category — there’s no question that Harlan Ellison is one of the most talented, outspoken, and influential writers of the past five decades. After a long and ridiculously prolific career, his output has slowed in recent years…that’s understandable, since the guy’s 78 years old. But that means that I’m always excited to see something new on the horizon from Ellison, and now I can make my calendar for next summer. Harlan is collaborating with artist Paul Chadwick on a new DC comic entitled 7 Against Chaos.
It should be intriguing to see what happens when these two combine their talents, Voltron style. Here’s the first bit of promo artwork for the series, the better to entice you.
So what’s this whole 7 Against Chaos thing all about then? Here’s the official synopsis, via io9:
Harlan Ellison, science fiction’s brightest luminary, has joined forces with multi-award winning artist Paul Chadwick, creator of the incomparable Concrete, to bring you HARLAN ELLISON’S 7 AGAINST CHAOS, a graphic novel that is singular, powerful and unpredictable. This extraordinary odyssey of mystery and adventure will take you to the rim of reality and beyond.
In a distant future, Earth is in grave danger: The fabric of reality itself in unraveling, leading to catastrophic natural disasters, displaced souls appearing from bygone eras, and sudden, shocking cases of spontaneous combustion. The only hope for Earth’s survival is a force of seven warriors, each with his or her special abilities. But can these alien Seven Samurai learn to get along in time to find the source of the gathering chaos and save all of reality?
HARLAN ELLISON’S 7 AGAINST CHAOS will arrive Summer 2013.
If you’re a fan of speculative fiction, you’ve almost certainly encountered Ellison’s work, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. He’s penned countless unforgettable short stories such as “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” and “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman.” (And my personal favorite work of his, the novella “Mephisto in Onyx.”) He also wrote what is considered one of the best episodes of Star Trek ever, “The City on the Edge of Forever.” (Although the script was infamously rewritten against his wishes by Gene Roddenberry and others…Ellison’s original script went on to win a Hugo.) Needless to say, he’s got a bit of experience with the genre.
Chadwick is a name you might not be familiar with unless your comic tastes extend beyond the mainstream. He’s best known for his comic series Concrete, about a man trapped inside a body made of rock. (Think the Fantastic Four’s Ben Grimm, only with less clobbering). His work in comics has won him an Eisner Award, basically the comics equivalent of an Academy Award. He’s also done storyboard work on films such as Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Strange Brew, and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. Wow, I hadn’t thought about that movie since…well, since the ‘80s. Chadwick also worked with the Wachowskis on the short-lived The Matrix Online MMO, but we won’t hold that against him.
We’ve got a long wait before 7 Against Chaos hits shelves next summer, but we’ll keep you posted if we hear more. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go update my comic pull list…