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My favorite BizarroCon images: a retrospective

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.

2012

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.

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2013

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.20131201322013320135201344

2014

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 danced20141201422014320144

2015

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. 2015120152201532015420155

2016

This is the year…that’s coming up. I’m fucking excited. See you there, sweet things!


The Bizarro Legend of Kreepy Krawly

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A special Flash Fiction Friday event Oct. 4th – Nov. 1st. Featuring the talents of MP Johnson, Shane McKenzie, Alan M. Clark, Robert Devereaux and Gabino Iglesias. Check back soon… or you may not have a back. Or maybe you’ll have a back, but with a knife in it! Boo!

“Shadow Games” copyright © 1993 Alan M. Clark


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Live Bizarro Event: Iris Book Cafe Cincinnati, OH

Join seven authors right in the middle of Cincinnati’s Fringe Fest for two hours of weird storytelling. We’ve been given a green light for profanity and content. You’ve been warned!
WHERE:
Iris Book Cafe
1331 Main Street
Cincinnati, OH
WHEN:
June 2nd
6:30 to 8:30
Reading to take place in the courtyard located at the back of the shop.

-Meet the readers –

Andersen Prunty
Andersen Prunty is the author of FUCKNESS and HI I’M A SOCIAL DISEASE, among other books. He lives in Dayton, Ohio. http://www.andersenprunty.com/

Justin Grimbol
Justin Grimbol grew up in Sag Harbor New York. His parents were both Presbyterian ministers. He attended Green Mountain College, and majored in partying. He is the author of DRINKING UNTIL MORNING and THE CRUD MASTERS. http://buttsharkuniversity.blogspot.com/

William Pauley III
William Pauley III is the author of the DOOM MAGNETIC! trilogy, DEMOLITION YA-YA, and THE BROTHERS CRUNK – which FANGORIA magazine called “A perfect example of bizarro fiction… every line is littered with wild and imaginative ideas.” http://doomfiction.com/

C.V. Hunt
C.V. Hunt is the author of the ENDLESSLY trilogy, HOW TO KILL YOURSELF, and ZOMBIEVILLE. She lives somewhere in Ohio.
Steve Lowe
Steve Lowe is the author of a handful of Bizarro books, including MUSCLE MEMORY, KING OF THE PERVERTS, and SAMURAI VS. ROBO-DICK. His next book, YOU ARE SLOTH! is forthcoming in 2013 from Eraserhead Press. He is not a good dancer, but makes delicious fried chicken. People generally like him until they get to know him. http://steve-lowe.com/

Jake Wilson
Jake Wilson is a new media journalist & wordplay’er based in New York City. A collection of his short stories titled PSYCHEMYSTIC METAFICTION is scheduled for release fall 2013. A selection of his work can be seen at Metawordz.com.

Michael Kazepis
Michael Kazepis lives in Cincinnati when he doesn’t live somewhere else. His first novel, TOMB CITY BLITZKRIEG, will be out later this year. http://wizenedyouth.wordpress.com/

Official H.P. Lovecraft Film Fest Pre-Party/Shatnerquest Book Release Party

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This Thursday in Portland, Oregon!

Bizarro Central Presents an evening of Bizarro Fiction, Comedy, Music, and Circus Acts in Celebration of H.P. Lovecraft at Portland’s only H.P. Lovecraft themed bar!

This is a very special event celebrating the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival – a Portland institution and horror tradition. Come get drunk beneath the elder sign with us!

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AND THAT’S NOT ALL – this is also the book release party for SHATNERQUEST by Jeff Burk. The sequel to Eraserhead Press’ 2009 cult hit SHATNERQUAKE.

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Featuring:

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MISS SPOOKY
Sideshow performer extraordinaire performing death defying feats and nauseating stunts!

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CAMERON PIERCE
The author of CTHULHU COMES TO THE VAMPIRE KINGDOM will summon the deep one himself.

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EFFWORD
Dark noise and electronic music from one of Portland’s premiere nightmare sound designers.

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ROSS E. LOCKHART
The author of CHICK BASSIST and editor of BOOK OF CTHULHU VOL 1 & 2 with some hard-knock punk rock life lessons.

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HOSTED BY JEFF BURK
The author of SHATNERQUEST with a guide of what to do in case of a giant William Shatner Attack

You don’t want to miss this weirdo literary musical sideshow!

Thursday, May 2
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
FREE
21 +
The Lovecraft Bar
321 SE Grand Ave
Portland, OR
Facebook Event Page

Bizarro Central Presents is a continuing series of Portland events curated by Jeff Burk featuring bizarro authors and friends of bizarro.


At the Hollywood Premiere of Edward Lee’s “The Bighead”

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Edward Lee’s novel “The Big Head” has been described as many things. “Distinguished by pornographic violence and sex” – Tim Kreider of CITY PAPER and “Exploitation fiction” – Kyle Scott of THE HORROR HOTEL are just a few, and these were people that enjoyed it. Having read it, I can say the story is both disgusting, and irresistible. But, don’t be fooled. It’s more than just torture porn.

The savagery of “The Bighead” is some deep shit, trust me. In contrast to the, ‘can I trust myself’ element that we see all too easily in fiction, we get a story that breeds fear of those around you. Not blatant xenophobia, mind you. It’s that bestial, often sexual violence that lies in every stranger we pass. Every one of them waiting for you to be alone, with your guard down.

The real monster of the book is the epitome of this ultra-nastiness; a regular Jungian archetype on rape quest from hell. So, naturally I was fucking psyched to see the movie that was goo g to be made, based on the book. When I found out that it was premiering at the Acme Theater in Hollywood, only a quick jaunt from me, I knew I had to see what was what.

Surprisingly poppy music filled the small theater before the start of the show. The front row was sunk into a concrete pit that reminded me of a trench. The crowd that filtered in already had the lay of the place. The fashionably late were still on their way; the bulk of the seat-fillers had been laying in wait. They had skulked through the bar for god knows how long before the start movie, and they were ready for blood.

The music took an ominous turn as the crowd reached its peak, but the screen remained black. Already familiar faces were starting to crop up among the newcomers. Cody Goodfellow and John Skipp showed their mugs, as did John Palisano. Edward Lee was there, of course. The director might have been there, but I’d never met him before, and couldn’t pick him out. More than one of the attendees had the look of possible magicians.
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The director, the producer, and some other guy did make an appearance. Suddenly, something happened in the room. It was easy to tell by the way he spoke, and the way the people in the room who worked on the project received him, that this had been a passion project. A project that had been group funded through the notorious Kickstarter; something that the crew had rallied behind from the beginning.These people had a great time making the movie that I was about to see, and were proud of what they had done.image-137798-full

And then, the movie started. The first thing to know about this movie, and this especially goes out to the people who read the book, this movie does not run the whole plot. I don’t know if they are seeking more funding to do a part two, but this is only a very small chunk of the book. All-in-all, the movie is about twenty minutes long, and while intriguing, only wets the tongue.

The Bighead himself was creepy, which says a lot. The movie had a bit of camp, sure. But, it would have been easy to go overboard with the monster. This rampaging rube is actually unsettling; the kind of freak you might almost expect to see. The rest of the cast was well
rounded, Dicky and Balls didn’t disappoint, and the bartender was a damn gem.

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But, what everyone really wants to know, is how gruesome was it? Did it live up to the name of Ed Lee?

Well, it made my girlfriend squirm.

The thing about what the director chose to show, was that it was extreme, but it was believable. Believable enough to make that extremeness terrifying, instead of silly, which is what made the novel work.

            I got a chance to chat with Mr. Lee after the screening, as he smoked a cigarette in the warm Los Angeles night. He seemed pleased with what he had just seen, but thoughtful as well. Perhaps inspired, perhaps constipated. He did say that he would be at Killercon this September, for all of you that want to stalk him there.Image


Bizarro Event: Bizarro Hour at Knockbox Cafe- Round II

An hour so bizarro that it lasts two hours! Featuring weird performances, readings, comedy and music. Free!

Friday April 19th 7PM @ The Knockbox Cafe 1001 N. California Ave., Chicago, Illinois

scene-missingPerformances and readings by:
Michael Allen Rose (Author of Party Wolves in My Skull)
Justin Grimbol (Author of The Crud Masters)
MP Johnson (Author of The After-Life Story of Pork Knuckles Malone)
Michael Kazepis
Dahlia Fatale
KaCee Hudson
Andrea de Fonseca

Music by Jeff Arndt (From the band Mommy Sez No)

Hosted by good time gal Kristin Ryan

And of course, craft roasted coffee and espresso!