Kicks Books


HARLAN ELLISON (1934-2018) was unarguably the last great JD author (writer of juvenile delinquent fiction) in the world, a pedigree that tags along with a mile-high stack of accolades. Ellison was hatched in Cleveland, Ohio in 1934 and grew up in aptly-named nearby Painesville. He ran away from home several times, and worked a colorful string of odd-jobs, including tuna fisherman, crop-picker, nitroglycerine truck drive, door-to-door salesman, and short-order cook. He made it through high school and enrolled at Ohio State. He was promptly expelled. His writing career began with a couple of news stories and a sale of a tale to EC Comics. He relocated to New York City in 1955 and joined a teenage gang in Red Hook, Brooklyn, traveling under the name “Cheech Beldone”. The experience in a black leather jacket and motorcycle boots would affect his work throughout his long and sturdy career. Where his early delinquent books like The Deadly Streets and Rumble has been reissued over the years, the extremely scare and desirable SEX GANG, a collection of early men’s magazine fare and delinquent-tingled tales, has remained unavailable until now. Ellison allowed Kicks Books to issue the stories from SEX GANG in two volumes, with several additional stories from the late fifties and early sixties. PULLING A TRAIN and GETTING IN THE WIND, together, encompass all the action, traction and raunch that formed a genre all its own, a style populated by several fiction and science fiction scribes alongside Ellison, but Ellison was and is the king of the heap.


Photo by Chris Cuffaro


Books by
Harlan Ellison: