Issue 66, September 1992, Dark Horse Comics ($2.25)
writer/artist/cover artist, Paul Chadwick; art assist, Jed Hotchkiss;
lettering, Bill Spicer; editor, Randy Stradley
Concrete story which takes place at the Ellison Wonderland-like home of “Dwayne Byrd,” an Ellison homage.
Concrete, the creation of Paul Chadwick, first appeared in the premier issue of the anthology comic Dark Horse Presents before moving on to his own series as well as these occasional short stories. It is the story of a former political speech writer who is abducted by aliens and has his mind placed in a large, non-human body with super-human strength, etc. The series explores his reactions to this body and how they would affect a regular person in a world where one does not go out and fight crime in these circumstances.
“Byrdland’s Secret” takes place during the longer Concrete story “Fragile Creature” (Concrete: Fragile Creature #1-4, Dark Horse Comics, 1991-92) which involves Concrete’s experiences working as a “Special Effect” on the set of “Rulers of the Universe” a film with some resemblance to the movie Masters Of The Universe. “Byrdland” tells the story of Concrete’s visit to one of the original writers of the “Rulers” script, Dwayne Byrd, in his fabulous home “Byrdland.” Both the character of Byrd and his home are obviously based on Ellison and Paul Chadwick’s visits to Harlan’s home, Ellison Wonderland.
The story also features Byrd’s wife, Susan. It is full of references to Ellison; his work; his love of comics, art, fantasy, etc.; and several of his actual stories. The cover, also by Chadwick, is related to the story and features even more references to Ellison short stories (such as “Repent, Harlequin…”, “Shattered Like A Glass Goblin,” and “Love Ain’t Nothin’ But Sex Misspelled.”
While Chadwick had worked in Hollywood as a story board artist and Ellison as a screenwriter, neither worked on the Masters of the Universe film. Ellison has often praised Chadwick’s work on Concrete in his articles and interviews about comics.
This issue of Dark Horse Presents also features Part 3 of a “Dr. Giggles” story by Manny Coto and Alan J. Burrows, Part 2 of “An Accidental Death” by Ed Brubaker and Eric Shanower, and an “Alec” short story by Eddie Campbell.
- Reprinted in Concrete: Short Stories 1990-95, Dark Horse Comics
- Reprinted in Concrete Vol 3: Fragile Creature, Dark Horse Comics, 2006 ($12.95, ISBN: 1-59307-464-6)