When people say “my favorite time of the year,” I always think about BizarroCon. When it comes to fun, inspiration, friendship, learning, performances, booze, and love, nothing compares to that second week in November where weirdos from all over the world get together in Portland to ensure that bizarro literature and art keep taking over the world. In any case, now that November is almost here (and yes, I’m counting down the days to BizarroCon), I thought it’d be cool to revisit my favorite images from the past four years and share them with you. I’m a photographer, so I usually come home with about 500 pics from the con. These are not the best shots, just the ones that, for some reason, are closer to my heart or remind of some of the best moments from that year.
This was the year of flying noodles and meeting Gutmouth for the first time. Also, with Shane McKenzie, Robert Devereaux, Carlton Mellick III, and Brian Keene around, to name a few, it was the year many folks realized that bizarro and horror walked hand in hand and, when together, couldn’t be beat.
This was the year that I kissed Steve Lowe, hung out with Rios de la Luz and J David Osborne, got some advice from Stephen Graham Jones, and watched Karl Fisher, Jeremy Robert Johnson, and Bix Skahill make out. I also realized that bizarros are some of the prettiest people in the world.
This was the year Brian Allen Carr did a reading that changed the way I read in public forever. Also, Violeet LeVoit celebrating was awesome, and so jamming with Andrew Goldfarb, Michael Allen Rose, and John Skipp while Sauda Namir danced
This was the year the Bizarro Showdown broke down any remaining barriers of creativity, craziness, hilarity, and good taste. It was also another great year for Malort. I finally got to hang out with CV Hunt and Andersen Prunty, look up Christoph Paul’s skirt, and watched meu irmao Pedrinho Proenca work his weird magic on a crowd. Oh, and we all learned that electric shocks don’t affect Kevin Donihe.
This is the year…that’s coming up. I’m fucking excited. See you there, sweet things!
The latest collection by Kevin Strange is here! All the Toxic Waste From My Heart will be available for purchase on September 17th, but it can be pre-ordered at Amazon today!
Since 2012 Kevin Strange has been smashing medulla oblongatas with his unique brand of horror and bizarro fiction. He returns here with a brand new collection of short stories sure to leave readers recreationally deranged or at the very least psychotically inclined.
All The Toxic Waste From My Heart features ten brain-bending tales ranging from the whimsical fantasy of a boy who falls in love with a whale fart to an apocalyptic wasteland full of cannibalistic sludge monsters.
Fans of Strange know that he only gets better and weirder with time. And ALL THE TOXIC WASTE FROM MY HEART proves to be no different.
BONUS: This collection includes four erotic spider microfiction stories. What’s an erotic spider microfiction? Read on to find out!
Word Horde is proud to present the latest book from author and illustrator Alan M. Clarke. A Brutal Chill in August is a fictionalized historical account of Polly Nichols, the first victim of Jack the Ripper.
We all know about Jack the Ripper, the serial murderer who terrorized Whitechapel and confounded police in 1888, but how much do we really know about his victims?
Pursued by one demon into the clutches of another, the ordinary life of Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols is made extraordinary by horrible, inhuman circumstance. Jack the Ripper’s first victim comes to life in this sensitive and intimate fictionalized portrait, from humble beginnings, to building a family with an abusive husband, her escape into poverty and the workhouse, alcoholism, and finally abandoned on the streets of London where the Whitechapel Murderer found her.
With A Brutal Chill in August, Alan M. Clark gives readers an uncompromising and terrifying look at the nearly forgotten human story behind one of the most sensational crimes in history. This is horror that happened.
Head to Amazon to get your copy!
John Skipp, the head of Fungasm Press, has put together a trailer for Autumn Christian’s book, Ecstatic Inferno. And just like the book, it’s a trip.
Sometimes you do an interview and then life happens and the interview never sees the light of day. That happened to me with this interview you’re reading right now. Luckily, it’s never too late to take a look at the shelves of the queen of bizarro erotica, the great Mandy De Sandra.
GI: Who are you and what role do books play in your life?
MDS: In my mind I am still working for the Dept of Labor and in an open relationship with my boyfriend Trevor. He is very into cuckolding and watches me have sex with alpha studs while we party on his yacht.
Books are everything to me. At my Department of Labor job we don’t do much actual work so I read to pass the time. I read so I can write. I love Bizarro Fiction, horror, and literary novels. People are surprised to learn I only read one erotica author, Tiffany Reisz. I love her writing and The Siren series.
GI: As an erotica writer, how do you deal with every guy out there thinking you’re just begging for dick pics?
I actually welcome dick pics. I got the idea from the terrific show You’re The Worst. Basically, I save all my dick picks and sell them to SmallPenisHumilation.net. Small penis humiliation fetish is on the rise and most of these guys aren’t packing. The site pays 5 dollars for under 5 inches and $7.99 if it is really thin, too!
GI: There seems to be an emerging genre that blends satire, politics, and sex. As a pioneer in this area, why do you think we crave this type of literature? How and why does bizarro come into the equation? How hard is it to stay on top of current events? How does our short memory for news affect your writing?
MDS: Someone said I am South Park of erotica. I like that and love Matt & Trey so much, even though they are not hot but I’d let them DVDA with Trevor and Henry Price.
I love Bizarro Fiction. To paraphrase that sexy fucker Brian Keene, Bizarro Fiction is all about being genre fuckers. Why not give weird erotica a good genre fucking?
I want to do stuff besides the news tho. I want to write more about publishing. I am working on something now titled “I Was Published in An Anthology for Exposure, But All I Got Was Fucked in the Ass & A PDF.” Also academia, as I get very excited about the idea “My MFA Teacher Made Me Gay.”
I get requests now to write about people in the news. That is why I did the one about British Prime Minister getting head from a pig.
GI: If you could have one of your books turned into a movie, which one would it be and how would you cast it?
MDS: My favorite book of mine is Ravished by Reagansaurus. I must admit that I see this book as more Bizarro than erotica even though there is a lot of dinosaur bukkake. It is also my only novella. I would love to see the cast behind Wet Hot American Summer play all the roles.
GI: What’s your latest sexy tale about and why should folks go dip their eyeballs in it right now?
My latest sexy tale is Fox News Fuckest published by New Kink Books. I am a big fan of comic books, I have Trevor collect and then masturbate to the pictures. My favorite is The Age of Apocalypse and this book is part of series I am calling The Age of Trumpocalypse. The second book will be Donald Trump & The Alpha Billionaire Buttrons.
Thanks for having me, you sexy stud.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of Zero Saints (Broken River Books), Gutmouth (Eraserhead Press), Hungry Darkness (Severed Press), and a few other things no one will ever read. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias
March 2, 2016 | Categories: Authors, Bizarro Fiction, BizarroAuthor, Interviews | Tags: bizarro, Books, christoph paul, erotica, Gabino Iglesias, Mandy De Sandra, Show Me Your Shelves | Leave a comment
I met Scott Cole online a few years ago and then had a chance to hang out with him at BizarroCon. He likes talking books and movies, so we got along splendidly. He’s an easy guy to get along with and one someone whose passion for weird films, horror, comics, and bizarro are hard to ignore. Needless to say, I was stoked when he become a fellow NBASer. Now, besides his bizarro chops, we get to check out the stuff he’s filled his shelves with. Dig it.
GI: Who are you and what role do books play in your life?
SC: I am Scott Cole – master illusionist, renowned chef, military strategist, humble philanthropist, and author of SuperGhost.
Books are big for me. I’m always reading something. They’re one of the few things I spend money on, beyond food-and-shelter-type necessities. I worked in an indie bookstore once upon a time, and was able to buy books at the store’s cost. That was a hungry year.
I’ve probably got enough books in my house to use as bricks to build another house. Maybe I’ll do that someday, just so I have somewhere nice and quiet to sit and read the ones I haven’t gotten to yet.
GI: You read horror, bizarro, and other genres. Give us your top ten for the last two years. Then, tell us about a book you loved that no one would’ve guessed you dug.
SC: I’m constantly behind when it comes to new stuff, and I’m always going back to read things I missed, or just recently discovered (for example, I’ve been reading a lot of 1930s “Weird Menace” stories the last several years). There’s just so much out there, and so many new books coming out all the time, it’s impossible to keep up. But I’m trying. So let’s say Top Ten Things I’ve Read in the Last Two Years (Or So), Which May Have Been Released in the Last Five or Six, Although I’ll Try to Keep it as Current as Possible. In no particular order:
I Am The New God by Nicole Cushing
The Atrocity Vendor by Nick Cato
Never Bet the Devil by Orrin Grey
Light Boxes by Shane Jones
Misery and Death and Everything Depressing by C.V. Hunt
Fantastic Orgy by Carlton Mellick III
We Live Inside You by Jeremy Robert Johnson
King of the Perverts by Steve Lowe
Clown Tear Junkies by Douglas Hackle
In the Fishbowl, We Bleed by Jeremy C. Shipp
People will look at this list and say “But what about _______?” And I’ll just have to say “It’s in my TBR pile. I’m getting to it. I swear.”
As for a book I loved that no one would guess? Hmmm. Would people be surprised to know I enjoy the hell out of some Dashiell Hammett? Or that I have a big collection of reference books on graphic design? Or that I generally don’t like superhero comics, but do have a couple dozen Batman collections? I have no idea.
How ’bout I change this question around too, and instead give you a movie that no one can seem to believe I hated. Easy. Cabin in the Woods. I saw a preview screening before the hype started, and I…disliked it. Actually, I could rant against it for hours, but maybe I’ll save that for an essay.
GI: Finish these sentences:
SC: Adam Cesare is: actually just a family of turtles living inside a canvas bag stitched to look like a human.
Philadelphia is: probably nicer than it gets credit for, and definitely far, far weirder than it’s known for.
Writing bizarro is: about the most fun one can have telling lies without getting into (too much) trouble.
My favorite sandwich is: the vegan cheesesteak at Blackbird in Philly. Seriously amazing, whether you eat meat or not.
You have to read Junji Ito because: he’s one of the most important voices in modern horror.
Your momma is so fat: making fun of her is only making things worse.
GI: Got any ghost stories from real life? What/who/where would you haunt if you were a ghost and why?
SC: When I was a kid, we would visit my grandparents’ house on Cape Cod a couple times a year. The stairs going up to the second floor were hidden behind a door in the living room. One day, while my parents and grandparents were outside, I was inside watching a Creature Double Feature, and that door suddenly popped open. I jumped up, ran to it, and saw some sort of dark shape at the top of the stairs. I closed that door real fast.
Now, the door opening could’ve had something to do with the house settling, and the shape I saw may have been conjured up by my monster-movie-obsessed mind, but I’m not going to say that’s what it was for sure. Who knows.
If I was a ghost, I’d probably just hang out in graveyards and spooky old houses and pretend I was “living” in an old movie.
5. What’s your NBAS book about and why should we all run and buy it?
SuperGhost is the story of a mad scientist who steals phantom limbs from amputees, and uses them to build a giant ghost-monster. The amputees, of course, then have to band together to defeat the SuperGhost, save the city, and take back what’s rightfully theirs. Oh, and there’s ice cream!
I sometimes describe it as being like Frankenstein meets Ghostbusters meets Godzilla. It’s probably the weirdest kaiju story around, at least for the next day or two.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of Gutmouth (Eraserhead Press), Hungry Darkness (Severed Press), and a few other things no one will ever read. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias
October 13, 2015 | Categories: Authors, Bizarro Fiction, BizarroAuthor, Eraserhead Press | Tags: bizarro, bizarrocon, comics, Gabino Iglesias, movies, New Bizarro Author Series, Scott Cole, Show Me Your Shelves, SuperGhost, Writing | 1 Comment
Jeff Burk was one of the first people I met outside of Facebook that quickly joined my “if you don’t like this person, you’re an asshole” list. I’ve talked books, beer, and horror with Jeff and it’s always been great. I’ve also talked about piracy, politics, the ins and outs of publishing, and even black pus and being tortured by bed bugs, and Jeff has always been cool, honest, and charismatic. Oh, and then there’s the fact that he’s one of the first bizarro authors I read and a man whose work I still dig immensely. So yeah, if you dislike Jeff, there’s something wrong with you. Here’s what he had to say about books, his shelves, his mast…er, his cat, and some upcoming books(!).
GI: Who are you and what role do books play in your life?
JB: I am Jeff Burk. I am the author of SHATNERQUAKE, SUPER GIANT MONSTER TIME, CRIPPLE WOLF, and SHATNERQUEST. I’ve also done a shit tone of short stories, interviews and essays. In addition, I am the head editor of Deadite Press and I do editorial work for Eraserhead Press.
I am a full-time writer and editor – so it is no exaggeration to say that books are my entire life and my life depends on them. Not only are they a personal passion, they are how I pay all my bills and feed my cat.
GI: You know a lot of authors, so picking favorites will be hard, but I’m gonna ask you anyway: apocalypse is here and you can only take Squishy and five books. Which five make the cut?
This is super hard but I think I can do it.
1: THE INVISIBLES OMMIBUS by Grant Morrison and various artists – My favorite long-form comic book. It’s a super-psychedelic, anarchist adventure comic and I have a super nice hard-cover edition that contains every issue ever published. It’s basically the comic book world’s version of Jodorowsky’s THE HOLY MOUNTAIN.
2: ZOMBIES: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE HUNGRY DEAD edited by John Skipp – my all-time favorite horror anthology. It used to be, THE BOOK OF THE DEAD (also edited by John Skipp), but his more recent zombie collection blew the original away (in my opinion). From classic atmospheric tales to hardcore horror, this has it all, plus shit tons of zombies.
3: THE WAY OF THE TAROT by Alejandro Jodorowsky – I find Tarot cards fascinating and my favorite book on the subject was written by the brilliant Alejandro Jodorowsky (of EL TOPO and THE HOLY MOUNTAIN). Not only is it the best, most insightful, work ever done on the cards, it’s also a wonderful spiritual guide to life.
4: ALL I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FILMMAKING I LEARNED FROM THE TOXIC AVENGER by Lloyd Kaufman and James Gunn – Part history of Troma Studios (the oldest independent film studio in the world), part how-to-guide for DIY filmmaking, and part feel good guide to living an artistic life. I love this book. Nothing else gets me hyped up to go out and make art of my own. Plus, my copy is signed to me from Kaufman himself.
5: HOWARD THE DUCK OMMIBUS by Steve Gerber and various artists – there’s no harder book to recommend to people than the original comic of Howard the Duck. Sadly, George Lucas’ film has completely destroyed the reputation of one of the most brilliant, funny, and insightful comics ever written. This features the most brutally honest depiction of depression that I’ve ever come across (seriously) and is my go to read for when I feel down and just need the idea that someone else understands.
GI: Where can I get some decent tacos in Portland? How does it feel to be a human paintbrush?
JB: For good tacos, just hit up any taco cart – of which there are dozens of them spread out all over the city. They are cheap and delicious. Or you could just come over to my house while Garrett Cook and I are having a cook out – we make some pretty kick-ass food and tacos are easy for the menu.
Being a human paintbrush is pretty awesome. You can make great artwork without having to do any work. (In case you are not aware, the brilliant Alan M. Clark, who has done covers for Eraserhead and Deadite Press, has done painting demonstrations using my dreadlocks as the brushes. He’s even painted a portrait of me using only the hair attached to my head).
GI: You obviously love horror, but your own work is more bizarro/fun/weird/funny than blood/black pus/tentacles. Why is that?
JB: While horror is my true love and I can never get enough sadistic violence and gore – my natural writing inclinations do not go that way. What comes easiest to me (and what readers seems to like) is silly sci-fi stories with lots of action.
However, I have finally started work on my first straight-forward horror novel. And it will be fucking nasty (in all the best ways).
GI: What’s your latest book about and why should we run and get it?
My latest book came out over a year ago – SHATNERQUEST. Rather than pimp that, I rather talk about the three books I have in the works. Who knows, you might be seeing them soon.
HOMOBOMB – a tragic love story about a bomb that is attracted to other bombs when it is supposed to be attracted to people and buildings.
LORD OF THE LARPERS – a rewrite of LORD OF THE FLIES but with live-action role-players in the roles of the characters. The villains will be Civil War re-enactors led by “Robert E. Lee.”
A SNUFF FILM IN A HAUNTED HOUSE – my first straight-up horror novel. It’s about…well, the title kinda tells you.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of Gutmouth, Hungry Darkness, and a few other things no one will ever read. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias
August 5, 2015 | Categories: Authors, Bizarro Fiction, BizarroAuthor, Eraserhead Press, Uncategorized | Tags: bizarro, Books, Deadite Press, Gabino Iglesias, Jeff Burk, Show Me Your Shelves | Leave a comment