Archive for May, 2009

Crypticon Performance

Posted in Bizarro Events on May 31, 2009 by carltonmellick


At Crypticon, in Seattle, June 5-7, I will be performing my Brutally Evil Satan Show…which is an hour-long comedy performance that is so evil it is retarded.

By retarded, I mean this retarded:

demon of satanness

There will also be a bizarro fiction event with readings from Jeremy Robert Johnson, Mykle Hansen, Bruce Taylor, Jeff Burk, Cameron Pierce, Forrest Armstrong, Daniel Scott Buck, and Gina Ranalli, as well as a “Create Your Own Story” panel with Jeremy Robert Johnson, Cameron Pierce, John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow, where audience members tell the panelists story ideas and the panelists must improvise the story on the spot.

The “Create Your Own Story” panel will be at 1pm Saturday in the Fidalgo Room.
The “Brutally Evil Satan Show” with Carlton Mellick III will be at 6pm in the Fidalgo Room.
The “Bizarro Fiction Hour” will be at 9pm in the Olympic room.

There might also be a release party for the first issue of The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, but time and place is TBD.

If you leave near Seattle, come out and meet the NW bizarro crew.

For more information, go to

Cameron Pierce to be a guest on Lair of the Yak tomorrow night

Posted in Bizarro Authors on May 29, 2009 by carltonmellick

Cameron at Lair of the Yak

Cameron Pierce will be interviewed live on the online show The Lair of the Yak tomorrow night. Cameron is a bizarro author who has been a part of the scene ever since he was a teenager and is one of the most dedicated bizarros I know. His first book about giant flying sharks in the garden of Eden, Shark Hunting In Paradise Garden, which came out last year, has been acclaimed by many to be one of the best bizarro books out there. Jeff Burk, the editor of The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, has called Cameron the bizarro author’s bizarro author. He’s just got a wild imagination and a keen sense of the strange.

But Cameron as a person is even more fascinating than his writing. From his crazy Meat Magick performances (that are kind of like insane puppet shows that use meat instead of puppets…such as fresh squid, whole fish, pig feet, chicken feet, and duck heads) to his strange food creations (such as weird meat pies that contain curried fish and cocoa puffs) to the time he brought a crack dealer home with him just because he thought it would be funny (and then spread peanut butter all over his face while in a conversation with him as if it were the most normal thing to do in the world).

Here is a clip from one of his Meat Magick shows that he did in his bedroom for a group of party-goers:

Here is another clip of Cameron Pierce. It takes place at Ground Kontrol (a retro arcade) where Cameron Pierce and Jeremy Robert Johnson, author of Angel Dust Apocalypse, battle each other one-handed in the game of Mortal Kombat (they are playing one-handed so they can drink PBR while they play). This clip really has nothing to do with anything, but you will see me in the background playing Robotron.

Here’s the clip:

Right now Cameron is working as an intern for Eraserhead Press, and also working on his second book, The Ass Goblins of Auschwitz, which will be released later this year. If you want to learn more about Cameron Pierce check out the Lair of the Yak tomorrow night. If you miss it you can still watch it on the Lair of the Yak website later on.

Weird for the Sake of Weird?

Posted in Writing Related on May 28, 2009 by carltonmellick

I was asked this question last night by young writer named Miles, so I decided to blog about it today.

The question was:

How do you guys or the publisher discern what is bizarro and what is weird for weirds sake?

This was my answer:

Well, in a way, all bizarro is weird for the sake of weird. Just as horror is scary for the sake of scary. But weird can have different meanings for different people. Sometimes weird means interesting, sometimes weird means nonsensical, sometimes weird means funny. Bizarro isn’t all definitions of weird.

If it is weird for the sake of being interesting or weird for the sake of being funny, then that is bizarro.

If it is weird for the sake of being random or weird for the sake of being nonsensical, then it is not bizarro.

Really, though, the term “weird for the sake of weird” is just bizarro when it is weird but boring. When writing bizarro you want it to be so weird it is interesting, not so weird it is boring. Usually, the way you make it interesting-weird instead of boring-weird is through good storytelling. A good storyteller can make anything worth reading no matter how weird it is. A bad writer can make anything boring no matter how weird it is. However, what is good writing and what is bad writing, what is interesting and what is boring…these are all opinions and can vary from person to person. One person’s bizarro might be another person’s “weird for the sake of weird.”

Another thing I want to mention is that there are certain people out there who think all weirdness in fiction has to be a metaphor, or have a deep hidden meaning, otherwise it is “weird for the sake of weird.” These people, I have to say, are complete douche bags. Never listen to them. While creating a metaphor through weirdness can be interesting, it can also be very very lame if handled incorrectly. A story about woman who gives birth to a marshmallow could be interesting on its own. It raises questions: how would the mother take care of a marshmallow baby? Would the family dog try to eat it? What would its childhood be like? What could it be when it grows up? These could be interesting avenues to explore. However, this story could just be a metaphor for the fragility of youth…which would, more likely than not, just come off as really really lame.

So, my advice is: never force meaning upon your weirdness. Just focus on telling an interesting story. More often than not, the meaning will slip in naturally. It should be so subtle that a reader wouldn’t even notice it until their third or fourth read through. If it’s too heavy-handed it will make people groan. Don’t make people groan.

If anyone else has questions like this that you’d like me to blog about email them to me: carltonmellick3 at

On being a cult author

Posted in Writing Related on May 27, 2009 by carltonmellick

The difference between a cult author and a mainstream author:

A mainstream author writes a book and sells it to thousands of people.
A cult author writes thousands of books and sells them to one person.

For those who are wondering why I write so many books, that is the answer.

Reading Event this Thursday.

Posted in Bizarro Events on May 26, 2009 by carltonmellick

Portland Agressive

Daniel Scott Buck, author of the bizarro children’s book The Kissing Bug, has created a big reading event. Readings will be performed by other Portland bizarro authors Cameron Pierce and Jeff Burk, as well as readings from members of the Portland Lit Offensive.

It’s on Thursday May 28th 7pm @ Ella Street Social Club 714 sw 20th Place in Portland, OR

The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction #1

Posted in Bizarro Books on May 25, 2009 by carltonmellick

I’ve already read it, so I know. This is an incredible magazine featuring some of the best bizarro fiction. Andersen Prunty’s novella “The Sex Beast of Scurvy Coast,” a weird and a bit perverted Scooby Doo parody, is one of the most entertaining pieces of bizarro fiction hands down. His story alone is worth the $7 cover price.

Bizarro Magazine

Issue #1


“Justice in Amerry-Ka” by Bruce Taylor
You’re on trial by two giant spiders. Then things get bad.

“The Sex Beast of Scurvy Island” by Andersen Prunty
What if Scooby and the gang were traveling pornographers?

“Puzzles” by Michael James Gibbs
Sudoku is much harder without eyes.

“The Pistol Burps” by Jordan Krall
A surreal and violent prequel to Krall’s forthcoming Spaghetti Western collection, Fistful of Feet.

“Victim: A Story Inspired by Takashi Miike” by Jeremy C. Shipp
A severed penis head and clowns await you.

“Mr. Plush Detective” by Garrett Cook
A Teddy Bear detective in a world of furries.


“Four Scenes” by Jeremy Kemp
Scenes of joy, decay, and the surreal.

“Power Flower” by Andrew Goldfarb
Man versus flower!


Punk Rock and Mother Punching: Author Spotlight on Gina Ranalli by Jeff Burk
A career overview and analysis of bizarro figurehead Gina Ranalli

My Bear Will Kick Your Ass: Reflections on Bizarro Book Promotion by Mykle Hansen
The trials and joys of a DIY bizarro book tour.

How to Write a Short Story! By Bradley Sands
English Grads, listen up!

The Squishiest Place on Earth: Report on BizarroCon 2008 by Jeff Burk
The sights, sounds, smell, and quotes from the first BizarroCon.

The 2008 Wonderland Awards
Book Roundup

Regular Features

A Rant from the Editor by Jeff Burk
Welcome and “What is Bizarro?”

Bizarro Book Reviews by Jeff Burk, Cameron Pierce, and Forrest Armstrong
Reviews of The Faggiest Vampire by Carlton Mellick III, The Caterer: Issue #3 by Steve Aylett, Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden by Cameron Pierce, House of Houses by Kevin L. Donihe, Piecemeal June by Jordan Krall, Discouraging at Best by John Edward Lawson, 13 Thorns by Gus Fink and Gina Ranalli, This City is Alive by Forrest Armstrong, Every Sigh, The End by Jason Hornsby, and The Menstruating Mall by Carlton Mellick III

The Bizarro Books that Never Were: Omega Flappy by Kevin L. Donihe
Kevin L. Donihe talks about The Flappy Parts.

Cover Art by Carlton Mellick III
Interior Story Illustrations by Angie Molinar
Editor-in-Chief: Jeff Burk
Copyeditor: Cameron Pierce

Get it at

Cover Art for “Kobold Wizard’s Dildo of Enlightenment +2”

Posted in Bizarro Books on May 23, 2009 by carltonmellick

Here is the final cover art for my D&D parody book:


(click to enlarge)

I don’t know about you but the Junior High D&D geek in me is creaming in his shorts over this cover.


Posted in Bizarro Books on May 22, 2009 by carltonmellick


Jeff Burk took a class I taught at BizarroCon that was about writing high concept bizarro fiction. I had students come up with ideas for possible future books that were so irresistibly out-there that anyone who read the back cover description would need to read the book based on the description alone. Jeff Burk’s idea was called “Shatnerquake.” After I read his description I told him that he had to actually write it and get it published because people would absolutely love to read a book like this.

This is the description of the book he came up with:

William Shatner. William Shatner? William Shatner!!! It’s the first ever ShatnerCon and William Shatner is the guest of honor. While promoting his latest TekWar novel, he must deal with obsessive fan boys, obnoxious impersonators, and people with an even looser grip on reality. When a meteorite collides with the convention’s theater, Captain Kirk, TJ Hooker, Singer-Shatner and Denny Crane are let loose into the real world. Their mission – kill the real William Shatner and assume his mantle. No fictional character is large enough to contain all that is Shatner, and he will do anything to prove it. No matter how many pimply geeks are maimed, dismembered, or disemboweled in the process. Will the real William Shatner please stand up? He will, with guns ablaze. Explosions, kinky alien women, and singing! It’s Being John Malkovich meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith with an all William Shatner cast!

Of course, after he wrote the book the plot changed quite a bit and the back cover was re-written by Eraserhead Press.

This is the description that was published on the back cover:

William Shatner? William Shatner. WILLIAM SHATNER!!!

It’s the first ShatnerCon with William Shatner as the guest of honor! But after a failed terrorist attack by Campbellians, a crazy terrorist cult that worships Bruce Campbell, all of the characters ever played by William Shatner are suddenly sucked into our world. Their mission: hunt down and destroy the real William Shatner.

Featuring: Captain Kirk, TJ Hooker, Denny Crane, Rescue 911 Shatner, Singer Shatner, Shakespearean Shatner, Twilight Zone Shatner, Cartoon Kirk, Esperanto Shatner, Priceline Shatner, SNL Shatner, and – of course – William Shatner!

No costumed con-goer will be spared in their wave of destruction, no redshirt will make it out alive, and not even the Klingons will be able to stand up to a deranged Captain Kirk with a lightsaber. But these Shatner-clones are about to learn a hard lesson…that the real William Shatner doesn’t take crap from anybody. Not even himself.

The book was published 5 months later and within just a few days it got down to the top 125 sales ranking on, which is pretty damn good especially for a new small press writer.

I highly recommend getting Shatnerquake. Basically, it’s like Die Hard, but instead of Bruce Willis fighting terrorists it’s William Shatner fighting other versions of himself… In other words, it’s fucking awesome!

The Shatnertastic novel by Jeff Burk “Shatnerquake” is now available in kindle as well as paperback.

I cannot… I have ham.

Posted in Bizarro Authors on May 21, 2009 by carltonmellick

Mykle Hansen is one of the funniest and most talented of the bizarro writers.

He is the author of:

help a bear is eating me


rampaging fuckers

Both great books.

I am a huge fan of home movies and Mykle is quite good at them.

Here is a video about his novel “Help! A Bear is Eating Me!” published by Eraserhead Press:

This next video Mykle is one that he acted in quite a while ago. He showed it to the bizarro crew after the last Bizarro Writer’s Association meeting. We were drunk on Lucky Lab beer and totally loved it. Check it out:

If you haven’t read Mykle’s writing I highly recommend it. It is brilliant and hilarious from start to finish.


Posted in Random Shit on May 20, 2009 by carltonmellick


I’m obsessed with burritos and now I have found the perfect site for me:

It has reviews for taco shops in your area. Although far from complete, I have found some good burritos in the past week because of it. One burrito included ground beef, raisins, almonds, green olives, onions, potatoes, sour cream, rice, beans, and pico. It was pretty good, even though I tend to hate ground beef in mexican food.

If I opened a taco shop these are the types of burritos I would sell:

Pizza burrito – pepperoni, italian sausage, onions, green olives, tomato sauce, cheese, habaneros, hot sauce

German Burrito – bratwurst, kraut, onions, mustard, rice, cheese, habaneros, hot sauce

Curry Burrito – some curried potatoes and chicken masala, rice, cheese, habaneros, hot sauce

Macaroni and Cheese Burrito – macaroni and cheese, bacon, mushrooms, roasted garlic, extra cheese, habaneros, hot sauce

Lasagna Burrito – some lasagna, cheese, habaneros, hot sauce

Pizza Roll Burrito – pizza rolls, chili, tater tots, ranch dressing, bacon, cheese, habaneros, hot sauce

Taco Burrito – 7 miniature hard shelled tacos, habaneros, hot sauce

White Castle Burrito – 5 sliders, bacon, chili, chorizo, jalapeno poppers, green olives, lunchables, a pretzel, hamburger helper beef stroganoff, mustard, cheese, habaneros, hot sauce

French Onion Soup Burrito – a bowl of fucking soup, cheese, habaneros, hot saucee