A Half Dozen About Ray Bradbury

Our favorite newsmaker, Ray Bradbury, generated all six of these stories.

Art by Gris Grimly for The Halloween Tree.

Art by Gris Grimly for The Halloween Tree.

(1) Creature Features in Burbank gets a head start on the season of the witch with an August 2 showcase of Gus Grimly’s artwork for the latest adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree.

Grimly casts his unique spell over this fantastical tale of a daring group of trick ‘r treaters embarking on the ultimate Halloween adventure, led by the mysterious Mr. Moundshroud. The show opens August 2nd with Grimly on hand to display his original art and sign the new hardbound edition from Knopf Books. Limited edition prints will also be offered exclusively through the gallery.

Runs Sunday, August 2, 2:00pm – 4:00pm at Creature Features, 2904 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank CA 91506.

(2) See Ralph Steadman’s Rare and Rapturous Illustrations for Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, the whole beautiful color portfolio.

In his magnificent 2013 monograph, Proud Too Be Weirrd (public library), Steadman admits to having grown jaded with illustrating other people’s prose — “not much more than shameless self-indulgence” — but writes of having gladly completed the Bradbury project due to its “vitally important theme — the burning of all books.”


Ralph Steadman art for Fahrenheit 451.

Ralph Steadman art for Fahrenheit 451.

(3) Author Sarah Beach recently paid tribute to Bradbury’s influence:

I am trying to hold onto that love of my stories, that love of the craft.  It’s so easy in the regular beat of trying to get on with life to lose track of loving your stories. It’s so easy to just be focused on getting the next patch written for the paycheck. I want to keep Ray’s words in my soul, so that even the “work-a-day” writing jobs are filled with that love that comes from the core of me.

(4) John King Tarpinian was sitting in the front row when Ray Bradbury and Hugh Hefner discussed the origins of Fahrenheit 451 for this video.

Iconic author Ray Bradbury and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner talk with LATimes.com blogger Geoff Boucher (Hero Complex) about how TV and radio inspired Fahrenheit 451, the connection between the novel and Playboy magazine and why Bradbury thinks of himself as a “pomegranate.”

(5) The FBI spied on Bradbury and his children:

Ray Bradbury’s biographer, Sam Weller, says he was shocked by the FBI’s incompetence and perfidy.

First, they got Bradbury’s name wrong in their documents, consistently calling him “Raymond,” when his given name was “Ray.” And the FBI reported that Bradbury made repeated trips to Cuba, when he never went there in his life.

But the Red File, which Weller obtained through a Freedom of Information Request, also shows that FBI agents were parking their cars at night on Bradbury’s street in Cheviot Hills, watching his children.

Bradbury, Weller says, “was quite startled by that. He was a pack rat, so he took that file out of my hand immediately and said, ‘Mine! Mine!’ He wanted to keep it.”

(6) One time Ray was doing a signing/fundraiser for the Beverly Hills Library.  Docents would bring batches of books for Ray to sign.  Santiago, Ray’s nurse, asked one of the docents if anybody had ever told him he looked a lot like Tom Hanks.  The docent was Colin Hanks.

6 thoughts on “A Half Dozen About Ray Bradbury

  1. I have a couple of Gris Grimley’s books. He’s an extremely good pick.

    And has anyone ever seen SWITCH ON THE NIGHT, as done by the Dillons? It becomes a completely different experience.

  2. While I came here for the puppy roundups, its articles like this that will get me to keep coming back.

    I read The Martian Chronicles and Illustrated Man so many times when I was a kid and teenager. The Halloween Tree struck less of a chord with me, but tastes differ. Maybe I need to hit the library and see how I feel about them these days.

    And oh yeah, any chance of a monthly book talk thread for the commentariat? It’s hard to find the recommendations, suggestions and reactions among all the bits spilled over the Hugo controversy.

  3. Steadman illustrating Fahrenheit 451 is a perfect demonstration of an art director really doing their job well – it’s an obviously wonderful fit, that would never have occurred to me.

  4. Bruce Baugh on June 22, 2015 at 12:38 pm said:

    Steadman illustrating Fahrenheit 451 is a perfect demonstration of an art director really doing their job well – it’s an obviously wonderful fit, that would never have occurred to me.

    Oh gods, yes, I love when art directors do things like that.

  5. Geoff Boucher has moved on from the Los Angeles Times and now writes for Entertainment Weekly, ew.com

  6. When was the interview with Bradbury and Hugh Hefner done?

    Note that Hefner also talks about Charles Beaumont and some of the important stories Beaumont published in PLAYBOY.

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