December 19, 2012
In 2007, I published a fictionalized story about my first encounter with Ray Bradbury in a magazine called Tales from the Dim Unknown. The story was called “Live Forever!”. It began with a young newspaper reporter going to the Bradbury house in sunny California only discover that the great literary legend held a startling secret he was willing to share for the very first time.
Here’s a short teaser:
Bradbury looked down at the floor and was silent for a moment and said, “I’ve never told anyone this, not even my beloved wife of 56 years, God bless her soul. But I’d like to show you something. You must keep it a secret.”
My friend Chris Burnham did the illustrations for “Live Forever!”. Chris used to live a couple blocks from me and we would run into each other often on the street, or at the grocery store. Chris has since gone on to great acclaim as a comic book artist, working on titles such as Batman Incorporated, X-Men and many others. One of Chris’s illustrations for the story is reproduced below.
As a side note, a year after the “Live Forever!” was published, I recommended Chris to John McNally and Owen King who were co-editing an anthology of new literary super stories. I had my own story in the book and the editors wanted to have an illustration to go with each tale. The book is titled Who Can Save Us Now? Brand-New Superheroes and their Amazing (Short) Stories.
Chris Burnham gave the original art from “Live Forever!” to Ray. He kept it in his bedroom until his final days.
Now, fast forward to the present. Another pal of mine, Mr. Mort Castle, who co-edited Shadow Show with me, asked if he could include “Live Forever!” is his forthcoming anthology, All-American Horror of the 21st Century: The First Decade 2000-2010. This book is due to drop any day now. I hope you will pick it up! “Live Forever!” is a fun one. I think there’s something in it for Bradbury fans and non-fans alike.