The following is a a post from Harlan Ellison's forum at harlanellison.com. We are printing it here with his permission. We are assuming he liked his Flash Gordon statues and thank him again for letting us use his name on our packaging! The forum is in the section called the "Art Deco Dining Pavilion" so stop by and browse if you get the chance. You'll be entertained for hours.
- Thursday, March 23 2006 15:35:53
SOMETHING WAAAAAY KYEW-ELL:
A lot of the time, people send me stuff. Sometimes it is a stuff I want; mostly it is a well-intentioned but nonetheless useless-to-me stuff that someone with a good heart and a puckish thought JUST KNOWS would be adored by me; mostly that makes for an awkward moment in which I think, "What the hell was s/he on, that s/he thought I'd kvell over this (well-intentioned but nonetheless useless-to-me) dust collector?" As I am originally from Ohio, and as I was early-on inculcated by my mom and dad with the inescapable responsibilities and graciousness of "being beholden," I pretty much HATE it when someone sends me something unbidden because they JUST KNOW how much I'm going to enjoy it. Unsolicited time-wasters. Nice as these folks may be, big-hearted as they may be...they are not telepaths, they cannot read my mind, they don't know me near well enough to presume a liaison of such a kind, and frankly, he said with a downcast mien, it puts me in an AWFUL situation.
My closest friends know the few things in this life I cannot get for myself, and even THEY are smart enough--or have been bitten enough times--to query first, before spending any money on gifts. I am tres leery of getting gifts. (They imply, even at the lowest energy level, some gratitude or notice or quid pro quo will be required.)
I enter this prolegomenon to ready you for what might seem to be an endorsement...and actually...enthusiastically...oh well, boy...reallytruly is!
Now, this ain't for all of you, it may be for only one or two of you, but ohboy this is terrific, and I am flensing my soul of "being beholden" by passing it along to the one or two of you who...
Oh, hell, why don't I just get TO IT:
Many makers and manufacturers of stuff send me requests for words, encomia, blurbs, adulatory remarks. I blow 98.8% of them off. Every once in a while, I like something enough to endorse it. I am sparing. Whether comics, office gimcracks, movies, books, whatever...if my name is there, it means I thought it worthwhile enough to attach my name to it.
So, a while back, if you recall, I told you about a little Mom'n'Pop design studio called ELECTRIC TIKI that had done a couple of truly nifty sculptures, the most recent of which had been their ZORRO figurine, which was marvelous, and which I'd recommended for folks who want iconic figures on a level of excellence with the stuff Randy and Rocky Bowen produce--which is the apex mark for such things.
Well, after the Zorro liaison, a few months ago as the crow flies, Tracy Lee of Electric Tiki called and asked if he could send me the specs on their next sculpture, would I look 'em over, and if I liked what I saw, would I give a short quote that could be used on the presentation box? I looked, I approved, I gave the quote, and today the big box with its sculpture arrived...with my quote boldly ensconced thereon along with my actual signature replicated (except they managed to drop the dot over the "i" in Ellison).
Okay. So if you're an "Ellison Collector" you might want this item, which is strictly me letting you know. But...
As a collector myself, I have got to tell you, this statuette--a skosh over one foot high--in living color--in a limited edition of only 500 and individually numbered--is spectacular. It is so cool I actually couldn't stop looking at it for a half hour. What is it?????
It is Alex Raymond's FLASH GORDON!!!!!
But not the crappy imagery you see so often (save for the two small Bowen busts of Flash and Ming from a couple years ago). Folks, this is TO DIE FOR. Everything about it, from the minute facial expression that says, "Yeah, I'm Gordon; wanna make something of it?" to the frozen-in-midstep body language, it is Alex Raymond down to the soles of Flash's boots, fer crissakes.
As I said on the side of the box, if I'd had a chance to get something like this when I was a kid, today it'd be worth a Shah's Emirate in a Hake's or Profiles auction. It is beyond the describing. Sculptor Ruben Procopio at his nonpareil best.
I urge you to go on over, the one or two of you who are suckers for this kind of bookshelf high-quality artifact, to the Electric Tiki website ( www.electrictiki.com ) and give it a squint. You will love me for turning you thenceward. If it don't knocka you soxs off, I'll eat a live gibbon. And I'm not that fond of gibbon.
Tell Tracy Lee that "Harlan sent you," so he'll know his gift did not fall on arid, beholden, terrain.
This hasn't been a paid advertisement, onaccounta he already sent me the Flash Gordon statue, which is, did I mention it, simply, uh, awesome.
Yr. pal, Harlan