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Sunday, September 26, 2010

MadCon 2010: Where'd the Weekend Go?

Harlan Ellison, Susan Ellison, Josh Wimmer
You see, there's a conundrum for people who have websites like this. We can either be websiting or we can be out there in the wide, wide world - gathering material for websiting. Or we can be breathing heavily after being in the wide, wide world and trying desperately to remember all the things we told ourselves we'd remember to post "as soon as possible." And, yes, I have stacks of notes and photos and such regarding what I plan to post about Comic-Con International: San Diego. Which was weeks and weeks (and weeks) ago. So I'm in the hotel room munching on a McDonald's bagel with (um, let's see) egg and cheese and bacon and sucking down a Frappe - mostly because the hotel coffee bar had indicated yesterday it wouldn't be open today and (as I came back into the hotel) it is - but after I'd gone out to East Towne Mall and ended up settling for McDonald's because East Towne Mall turns out to be not even functioning until 10 a.m. on Sundays (which I didn't discover until I went there. Whiiiiiiiiine).

So. Here's a photo I'd planned to post yesterday. As he sat to sign books (with a huge line stretching down the hall), Harlan was handed print-outs of an e-mail exchange between Josh Wimmer and Buck Howdy. Who, you may ask, is Buck Howdy? Well, for the 52nd Grammy Awards, there were six nominees for Best Children's Spoken Word Album. Put on the ballot in alphabetical order, Howdy's performance came first, thanks to alphabetical order: Aaaaah! Spooky, Scary Stories & Songs. The other nominees were by Dean Pitchford; the group of Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Hillen Mirren, Forest Whitaker and others; David Hyde Pierce; Ed Asner; and Harlan. (Harlan, by the way, was reading Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There - and it's a wonderful performance, unlike any other I've heard. I would link to its spot on Amazon for you, but the one thing Amazon apparently wants to discourage people from buying is audiobooks. It has separate link departments for "Grocery" and "VHS" but not for "Audiobook." It has 1,759 options for "Through the Looking-Glass," though fewer than 300 for the full title - but I still don't have time to find it, given that such items as Alice mousepads were apparently a better match for the title than Harlan's wonderful performance. I digress.)

Buck Howdy won the Emmy is the point here. And he'd e-mailed Wimmer a note that came across as something of a "say hi to loser Harlan" message. And here's Harlan with his first look at the printout. And, in his banquet speech, Harlan waxed eloquent on the matter. And I didn't have time to post it last night. And I've got to get back to the con. So ...

6 comments:

DrBOP September 26, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

You are doing a GREAT job, and obviously I'm looking forward to your continuing reports after you've had a chance to catch your breath. Thanks again!

mrtwug September 26, 2010 at 12:13 PM  

Here's the Amazon link to Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There as read by Harlan.

http://www.amazon.com/Through-Looking-Glass-Alice-Found-Library/dp/1433287528/ref=sr_1_1?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1285521025&sr=8-1

Tony Isabella September 26, 2010 at 1:03 PM  

That bagel sandwich is so much better without the cheese. Although asking for the sandwich without the cheese is possible illegal in Wisconsin.

Buck Howdy September 26, 2010 at 1:06 PM  

Hi Maggie,

For the record, my note to Josh Wimmer, was FAR from a "say hi to the loser" email. In fact I still can't believe I received the Grammy over such a prestigious field of nominees. I happen to be a fan of Mr. Ellison and when I read Josh's account of Mr. Ellison's reaction to the Grammy thing I simply wanted to reach out and try to tell Mr. Ellison how much I enjoy his work.

Bottom line, he's a LEGEND . . . and I'm just an old cowboy who got lucky.

BH

Josh September 26, 2010 at 2:07 PM  

Yeah, just a quick note to underline what Buck said: His note was gracious and funny, more self-deprecating than anything else, and made it clear he holds Harlan in the highest regard. I wasn't at the banquet, so I don't know what Harlan said, but if he thought Buck was poking fun at him (and I sure hope he didn't!), that would be too bad, and he needs to go back and reread the emails.

(Also, FYI for readers who aren't aware: Buck's exchange with me was in regard to Harlan's comments about the Grammy here.

Paul Chadwick September 27, 2010 at 1:01 AM  

It certainly is a balm to visit this site and see evidence Harlan is as lively and electric as ever, when in his down moments, he feels mortality's cold breath on his neck.

I know people come "up" in social situations -- who more than Harlan, who lives to perform? -- while day-to-day their ailments press upon them heavily.

Still, it's good to see he can summon his reserves.

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