Rock God • 1969 • magical realism short story by Harlan Ellison


Creepy #32 (Warren, 1970) Cover art by Frank Frazetta.

Meta: isfdb. This magical realism short story appeared November 1969 in Coven, as a comic book story April 1970 in Creepy#32, and was re-published in Deathbird Stories.

Synopsis:  The body of rock god Dis was divided across the globe. But the mote remained buried in Stonehenge until it was dug up by a madman and handed over several times until it was settled into the cornerstone of a New York city skyscraper. Soon, Dis will awake again.

Review:  The comic book story is a showcase of the creativity of three artists: Ellison wrote a story based on Frank Frazetta’s cover art, and Neil Adams illustrated it. The rock god appears to be a human-sized troll looking down on a European town. Before the comic story, a one page intro article titled „The story behind Rock God“ features three portraits of Frazetta, Ellison and Adams, drawn by Adams. What you get in Deathbird Stories is the text-only representation, which is only half as good as the comic version.

The story itself reads quite straight along, spinning around the history of this rock god and ending in a corrupt estate developer. It certainly isn’t Ellison’s best story, but combined with the artists‘ works it is absolutely stunning.


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