Archive for June, 2009

The Dark Washer

Posted in Bizarro Authors on June 19, 2009 by carltonmellick

dark washer

In Kevin Donihe’s book, Washer Mouth: The Man Who Was a Washing Machine, we meet great villain: the Dark Washer. It is an evil washing machine who learned what it was to be human by watching snuff films. Once it becomes human, he becomes a sadistic killer who destroys everything he comes into contact with. Today Donihe has found a real-life Dark Washer. A washing machine filled with pure evil. Let’s pray it does not become human.

Here is the story:

http://www.scarywashingmachine.com/story.html

The Worst Idea Pitch Ever

Posted in Bizarro Authors on June 17, 2009 by carltonmellick

This is a continuation of the Andre Duza story I mentioned yesterday. It features the absolute worst pitch I have ever read in my life. You’ve got to check it out.

In Andre’s words:

Mark Holdom offered me an option for the script, but John got a hold of it first and, thinking that MUF owned the script/movie rights, changed everything around giving them complete (and I mean complete) control. If you want an idea of what giving complete control to these guys would lead to, I offer Exhibit A. Just to give you a bit of backstory, Devil’s Due owns the rights (along with Universal) to the Chucky comic series based on the Child’s Play movies. When we met at San Diego ComiCon this past August, they (Devil’s Due) asked me if I’d be interested in pitching them a few ideas for a four- or-five story Chucky arc. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I sent them a few pitches anyway. John got wind of this and, since he owns me (in his mind), he went behind my back and offered up his own Chucky pitch that included characters from Hollow-Eyed Mary and other characters and real people associated with Devil’s Due. Now, John has never written a piece of fiction in his life. He runs a restaurant (that his family owns) along with his older brother, Jack. So, John then got a place out in LA and went to Devil’s Due’s LA office to ask for a job working on some of their titles and creating his own since he created Hollow-Eyed Mary. They, of course, shot him down.

Exhibit A is the pitch that John sent to Devil’s Due once he found out about the Chucky offer. I cut and pasted it verbatim from the original Word doc. I’m almost embarrassed to post this, but it’ll give everyone an idea about the kind of people I’m dealing with here.

Exhibit A:

THE HALLOWEEN HORROR HOTEL

It starts off on Halloween Night at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC, A secret train comes onto the scene underground and underneath the Hotel, tracks were laid down years ago for secret transport of ex presidents to and from the Hotel. It’s been sealed and closed off for years but a super hacker and wizard (someone who is recognized in the underground hacker community) who works with Edward/Robert Banks aka Banksy, a graffiti artist entity, or Shepard Fairey, (whom ever attaches to the project) uses his skills to open up the tracks without Amtrak finding out. The train is full of clandestine style taggers who are movin in to graffiti bomb the hotel inside and out. Little do they know Hollow Eyed Mary is on top of the train car catching a ride in to do her own personal damage. In the Lobby of the Hotel there is a huge masquerade ball for all the high profile, political, buorgie and artsy types of our nation, with secret service all over the place and top level security cameras and posts all over the hotel except for the train station basement which was sealed years ago and is now supposedly abandoned. The super hacker gets into the camera system and allows the taggers to move around without being seen as they infiltrate to spread their political propaganda graffiti. Everytime u see a scene there is more and more graffiti like in the bathrooms or elevators, outside they hang from the roof on ropes, in hotel rooms and the lobby etc. The hacker loops the cameras in the elevators and such so that they can move around freely. In the Lobby, the dj is a high profile type like Mark Farina, Dj Tiesto, or even possibly the Beastie Boys, Who ever is doing the music is twisted and sinister like vampire bad boy and has somebody all gimped out and gagged in a cage underneath the dj booth and a crow is eating away at the poor tied up chump, he is the masters of ceremony and announces and gives shout outs to famous people and politicians dancing and he is working his magic on the mic to the crowds. On the dance floor and at the bar cool shit is goin on and politicians and all types are mingling and are doin drugs together in the bathrooms and the suicide girls seduce a guy and take him up to their room for a threesome and end up sucking the blood out of him. Clive Barker (Or someone prominent like him) is sweating and frieking out at the party, getting all claustrophobic and he goes up to his room , and there is a tagger outside the window looking in on him without bein seen and Clive turns into this crazy werewolf cause of the full moon and rips his own arm off starts beating himself with it and eats himself to death. All the while Hollow Eyed Mary is slayin secret service guys and politician types at the party . Then you could even have chuckie runnin around doin damage.There can even be a famous tattoo artist or an art or fashion show tied in to the party in the lobby. In the end the hotel is tagged up head to toe w political propaganda and most every body is dead and hollow eyed mary walks away hand in hand w chuckie and the suicide girls are strollin out w the dj vampire. And the train strolls away w the graffiti artists and news broadcast tell the world of the terror that occurred and life just goes on like it was just another day…

It’s so terrible it hurts my brain.

Andre Duza’s Adventure in Comic Book Publishing

Posted in Bizarro Authors on June 16, 2009 by carltonmellick

If you don’t know Andre Duza, you should. He’s a bizarro author who writes very interesting books. Unlike many bizarro writers who write short minimalistic simplistic prose, Andre is a maximalist. His books are for readers who like epics with lush prose and intricate plots. They also usually involve zombies. His novels are Dead Bitch Army, Jesus Freaks, and Necro Sex Machine.

He also has a graphic novel version of Dead Bitch Army:

dba

Here is the pretty awesome preview of the graphic novel:
(Starring Andre Duza himself)

Here is a review in Fangoria:

http://www.fangoria.com

So a graphic novel of Andre’s Dead Bitch Army sounds cool, right? Well, unfortunately, Andre went through a nightmare trying to get this book out there. Not because the comic industry is tough (though it is), but because he ended up doing business with a couple of crooked idiots. For those of you interested in getting involved with the comic industry (or even the publishing or film industry), you’ll probably be interested in reading this horror story.

Andre’s story in Andre’s words:

This all started when a friend of mine (we’ll call him Joe), who had just come into some money through his commercial mortgage business, approached me about investing money in the then titled Dead Bitch Army graphic novel project. He knew that I was trying to salvage the project after my original deal with now defunct Indie Godz Publishing died when the company went under back in ’05. The arrangement was that Joe would give me creative control to do things the way I wanted. He would get his money back on the back-end, and that would be that. Being a comic geek himself, he could say that he contributed to a graphic novel, and it would help to move my career forward. Then he brought this complete idiot (a restaurant owner who we’ll call John) onboard. John started pressuring Joe and behind my back they created MakeUFamous Productions (MUF). Trust me, the name makes me cringe too. Their new goal (fantasy) was to now put together graphic novels out of existing books with the intention of getting some kind of movie deal in the end. Now, their only part in creating the Hollow-Eyed Mary graphic novel was to sign checks. I adapted and wrote the script, hired all the artists (penciller/inker, colorist, letterer, pinups and cover-artist, and editor), and directed the entire project from start to finish. Since they had no knowledge of or experience with the publishing, or movie industries, they wanted me to help them do this. I balked (nicely) about this from the beginning, starting first with the ridiculous name (MakeUFamous) that I, as a serious writer, didn’t want to be associated with. This was only supposed to be a financial contribution on their end for which I was grateful, and did my best to produce a quality product that would hopefully ensure that they made their money back. Secondly, I had already written a screenplay for Dead Bitch Army (which they all knew about and were fine with at first) that I planned to try and sell once the GN was released and hopefully made some noise. John sort of blew off the graphic novel until we started to get positive feedback based on the finished pages.

Joe and I met with a rep from Devil’s Due Publishing in NY and struck a deal (it was he and I who made the initial contact with most of the interested parties, mind you). Suddenly there was interest from producers, first Tony DiDio (Toolbox Murders), then Riyoko Tanaka (The Ring remake & The Uninvited), and finally Mark Holdom (Brown Bunny). Now, all of a sudden John’s brother (who we’ll call Jack) is involved. Then they bring another “money person” (who we’ll call Sue) to the table, who also has no experience in publishing, but did produce a documentary a few years ago that I never heard of.

Next, they tricked Joe so that now he only owns a 25% share of the company and once that happened they started making all sorts of ridiculous demands. They then tried to tie me up with contracts and strong-arm tactics to pressure me into signing over my script, and to give MUF (which is now John, Jack, and Sue) complete creative control over all of my work. When I said “no,” and (again nicely) stated my reasons why, John and crew took it personally and retaliated by first trying to cut off my communications with any potential producers/publishers, then by trying to circumvent the development process with Devil’s Due (which is why the GN didn’t actually come out when it was supposed to) and finally by putting pressure on Devil’s Due to ban me from signing at ComiCon.

John then tried to have my name taken off the book, and was actually planning to go to ComiCon and sign as the author until the attorney that I was forced to hire put him and the rest of MUF in their place. Unfortunately, they’re so drunk on “Hollywood Wannabe” juice that they can’t let go of the fantasy.

So, there you go. John and Jack are still going to ComiCon to act like they created the book by themselves. I had already reserved a room at the Park Central Hotel back when I was discussing the signing schedule with Devil’s Due and I’ll lose the deposit if I don’t go, so the wife and I are just going to enjoy two nights (Fri & Sat) away from the kids in NY. If anyone here makes it to the con, be sure to stop by the Devil’s Due booth and ask MUF, “Hey, where’s Andre?” I’m sure that the bullshit story they’ll give you would make for a great piece of fiction.

For more recent and indepth information on this story, check out the interview with Andre Duza at: Ain’t It Cool News.

Everybody Loves Rapeman

Posted in Random Shit on June 15, 2009 by carltonmellick

It’s the Japanese spinoff of an American sitcom, only instead of Ray Romano it stars Japan’s favorite superhero: Rapeman.

If you haven’t heard of Rape Man, he’s a superhero who has the super power of rape. I don’t really understand how rape is a super power, but it just is in Rape Man world. And somehow he saves the day through acts of rape. Instead of the Bat Signal, he has the Rape Signal. Instead of the Bat Mobile, he has the Rape Car. So it is supposed to be an erotica series with a really really dark sexist sense of humor. I like really really dark humor, but they should have made it less sexist by having Rape Man rape both men and women. That’s the P.C. way to rape. Or maybe there could have been Rape Girl, who teamed up with Rape Man and raped the male villains. Then I might actually be willing to watch it. In any case, there’s just way too much rape fetish stuff in Japan.

Here’s a clip:

Genius vs. Retarded

Posted in Writing Related on June 14, 2009 by carltonmellick

Recently, somebody online said that Jeff Burk’s bizarro novel “Shatnerquake” walks the fine line between genius and retarded. I don’t know how Jeff feels about that, but I think it’s a big compliment. Most of my favorite movies and books are pretty retarded works of genius.

Although it’s not a definitive element of bizarro, I do think a lot of bizarro walks the fine line between genius and retarded…as well as the fine line between garbage and art, or scary and funny, or simplistic and complex. In other words, bizarro is low brow entertainment and high brow entertainment at the same time.
That’s something I really like about bizarro fiction.

Here are some other examples of genius/retarded works of art/entertainment:

south park

SOUTH PARK

Devo

DEVO

JOHN WATERS

JOHN WATERS

KATHY ACKER

KATHY ACKER

AEON FLUX

AEON FLUX

Meat Ship

Posted in Random Shit on June 13, 2009 by carltonmellick

meat ship

If you haven’t seen this before, you must see it now. The glorious meat ship. Of course, it would be much cooler if it were the size of a real ship. And it actually floated. And the cannons actually worked. And I was able to sail around in it and fire meatballs at hungry people hanging out along the Oregon coast. And if it ever got boring I could just eat it and then swim home.

Bizarro vs. Surrealism

Posted in Writing Related on June 11, 2009 by carltonmellick

Rich Ristow asked me this question last week:

What separates Bizarro from run-of-the-mill new surrealism? Or, the difference between bizarro and the older, more “classical” sense of surrealism?

I’ll start with classical surrealism. While classical surrealism seems weird, it is not bizarro at all. Classical surrealism was all about examining the subconscious human mind. Through the process of automatic writing, the early surrealists would just let language flow out of them at random. Andre Breton, who started the surrealist movement, was a Freudian psychiatrist who studied the subconsciousness of his patients during WWI. He believed that automatic writing was the purest way to study the subconscious. He turned this into an artform. A lot of early surrealism read like dreams.

While bizarro can be considered dream-like at times, it is not like surrealism. Bizarro is the genre of the weird. Dreams and the subconscious are not weird. They are incredibly common. Weirdness caused through dreams, insanity, or drug trips cannot be bizarro because those things are far too normal. Other differences between bizarro and classical surrealism is that the surrealists were politically motivated and took themselves far too seriously. If a writer didn’t share the same political views as Breton he wouldn’t let that writer get involved with the movement. In other words, he was a complete douchebag.

New surrealism is harder to define. There’s no new surrealist manifesto, there’s no new surrealist movement, and most people who are considered new surrealists never use the term “surrealism” to describe their work. There is actually a lot of confusion over what surrealism is these days. Some people think that all surrealism is just the old style of surrealism, some people think that anything that takes place outside of reality is surrealism (including sci-fi/fantasy), some people think that surrealism is just weird fiction. Personally, I think if anybody is writing surrealism these days they need to get rid of the “ism” part unless they are doing automatic writing or a Breton tribute. Just call it surreal fiction. Or better yet, call it irreal fiction. Very few people know about the term irrealism, but what most people are calling surrealism these days is actually irrealism…which can be defined as “a style that features an estrangement from our generally accepted sense of reality.” I would put Russell Edson in the category of irrealism.

Irrealism is definitely weird. Bizarro is the genre of the weird. So bizarro does include the irreal, (a lot of bizarro is irreal). But bizarro cannot include surrealism… because dreams/subconscious are not weird. Also, bizarro is mostly about weird plots and weird characters, and the automatic writing of surrealism has no plots or characters (unless by accident) so it cannot be bizarro.