Friday, 6 March 2009

Repent Harlequin! Said The Ticktockman

And from Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction, here's Roy Thomas & Alex Nino's adaptation of Harlan Ellison's double award winning classic "Repent Harlequin!" Said The Ticktockman. At the time, Ellison himself, though a huge fan of Nino, went on record as saying he didn't like this version of his story much. The lead character Everett C. Marm aka. The Harlequin is, as you'll see, the living embodiment of chaos in a perfectly ordered future world. Ellison's complaint was that the entire strip was insanely chaotic, thereby diluting the repressive, drone-like order of the setting, and the story's message. And you can completely see his point. BUT. It's Alex Nino, Harlan!

Alex Nino was born to draw bizarre science-fiction, him being from another dimension and all.
He's one of those artists whose work is so personal, so unique to them, that you genuinely can't see how he does it. Think about it, Kirby has hundreds of imitators, as does Kane, or Perez, or Buscema. Nobody tries to draw like Nino, because it's impossible. To do what he does, you'd have to actually be him.

Like Master Of Kung Fu, most of the material from UWOSF will probably never see print again, tied up as these adaptations are in copyright wrangling. So don't hold your breath waiting for an Essential Marvel Sci-Fi, and enjoy this stuff where you can.


  1. One of my favourite Marvel sf strips, I was only re-reading it a couple of days ago. Re: Harlan Ellison's gripe - I like the fact that the strip's so chaotic, it seems as if the Harlequin's rebelliousness is infecting his surroundings.
    And just how spooky is the Ticktockman? Brrr!