Archive for August, 2009

Weird Characters vs. the Everyman

Posted in Writing Related on August 12, 2009 by carltonmellick

Eli Hicks asks the question:

“What makes bizarro “bizarro” is the plot, right? But how do you know how normal or how strange to make your protagonists? In all your work that I’ve read, I’ve always found the “heroes” quite relatable…”

In mainstream fiction, the main character is usually the “everyman” (AKA the most normal human being on the planet, one who is relatable to pretty much everyone). In bizarro, the hero doesn’t have to be completely bat shit weird, but shouldn’t be the everyman. To bizarro readers, the everyman is boring. Who wants to read a story about the kind of people we live next to already and have no interest in getting to know?

For bizarro writers, I recommend making your characters as interesting and abnormal as possible. They can be quirky, eccentric, surreal, or freakish. Some writers don’t like to write about weird characters because they think it will make them unrelatable to the reader. However, I disagree with this. I believe that it’s possible for the reader to relate to any kind of character. It’s like the old saying: “Even Hitler loved his dog.” So you can even relate to Hitler, if you love dogs. And if you can relate to Hitler, you can relate to any character. Even a girl who has tentacles for hair and a cockroach-sucking fetish. There are problems, passions, and emotions that she has that anyone can relate to. So it doesn’t matter how weird you make a character, you can still make people feel for them.

Of course, as in your case, if your reader happens to be as weird as the character then it will be even easier to relate to that character.

But I do want to also say that the character doesn’t have to be weird for a story to be bizarro. Only the plot has to be weird. You can put the everyman in a bizarro world. Still, I think it’s more interesting to focus on unusual characters. Of course, another thing I’d like to point out is that I don’t actually believe that the everyman exists. I don’t think anybody is “normal.” Everyone is strange in one way or another. Some people hide their weirdness, some people flaunt it, and some people can’t control it. Mainstream writers tend to focus on what is normal and relatable about their characters, but bizarro writers should focus more on what is weird and unique about their characters. It doesn’t matter if your bizarro books has is a suburban middle-class family man as the main character, because even a suburban middle-class family man has a strange side that is worth exploring.

Sexuality

Posted in Writing Related on August 10, 2009 by carltonmellick

Jeremy Pellington writes:

“i would like to know what sexuality means to your work. reading some of your books, i’ve noticed that sexuality is a common theme, sometimes leering towards discomfort. i know that you are a bizarro writer, and it may be possible that you’ve thrown these things in for a bizarre attitude.”

Sexuality is usually important to my stories. I probably wouldn’t say that the sexuality has any meaning, but I often use sex as a way to create conflict, build character, or add strangeness. Sometimes it’s even there for the sake of world-building. Almost every one of my books has an unusual sex scene that is there for a reason. In Ugly Heaven, people have sex by cutting open their bellies and pressing these squid-like organs together, which is important for world-building because it illustrates how people are able to have sex in Heaven even though they no longer have human sex organs. In Cybernetrix, there is a sex scene in the Tron world, which is important because it creates conflict when the character goes back to the real world with an electronic STD. In the Egg Man, there is a lot of uncomfortable sex between a man with a heightened sense of smell and a woman who purposely never bathes in order to torture him. This creates conflict and builds on the woman’s sadistic nature. In Apeshit… well, I don’t even want to get into the sex scenes in Apeshit, but let’s just say they reveal the ugly sides of some of the characters.

So the sex in my books have a reason for being there. Kurt Vonnegut said that every single sentence you write should do one of two things: build character or move the plot forward. Sex scenes shouldn’t be any different.

I also try to make the sex scenes as imaginative as possible, because imaginative sex is something I feel is lacking in most books. And, as they say, if you want to read about something that other people aren’t writing about then that is the thing you should be writing about.

I also use sexuality to explore gender roles in my books. I often give conventional masculine personality traits to the female characters and conventional feminine personality traits to the male characters, so the sexuality of the female characters tends to be more aggressive, lewd, and predatory, while the male characters tend to be more innocent, emotional, and tender. Of course, this is nothing new (not just in fiction, but in reality) but in my opinion it makes the characters more interesting and more fun to write about.

I’m not saying the sexuality is completely without meaning. Razor Wire Pubic Hair, for example, is one big exploration into the meaning of sex. But for the most part, it is usually there to build the characters.

Kevin L. Donihe on Metal Crypt

Posted in Bizarro Authors on August 8, 2009 by carltonmellick

One of my favorite bizarro writers, Kevin L. Donihe, was interviewed on the Metal Crypt radio show.  

Have a listen:

My Cover Artist’s New Book of Strange Fetish Pinup Girls

Posted in Bizarro Artists on August 6, 2009 by carltonmellick

Artist Ed Mironiuk has done a good amount of my covers: Sex and Death in Television Town, Teeth and Tongue Landscape, Sausagey Santa, Ultra Fuckers, Apeshit, The Egg Man, and Cybernetrix. As well as covers for my upcoming books: The Cannibals of Candyland, Warrior Wolf Women of the Wasteland, and The Kobold Wizard’s Dildo of Enlightenment +2.

He specializes in strange fetish pinup girls who can kick your ass. In other words, his artwork goes perfectly with my fiction. Almost every book I’ve ever written has a female character that would make a good Ed Mironiuk painting. He has brought to life some of my favorite characters I have created, and lately (with future books such as The Super Evils) I have started writing books based on the girls he creates.

Ed has just come out with a book of his artwork that I received in the mail recently, and I have to say it is amazing. Definitely check it out:


Mironiuk

Here’s a description:

Some people hide their deepest fantasies and fetishes from a world they know will never understand them. They live lives of quiet kink and desperate bondage. Then there are types like Ed Mironiuk – loud, proud, and unmatched in his love of the bizarre and who delights in the spikey edges of what’s not appropriate. And he makes a fine living at it as well! A remarkable artist, Ed’s love of fetish, tattoo, piercing, and all things weird and wonderful make him a most excellent candidate for a showcase of his own! His pin-up girls have a rough and ready attitude, his latex and leatherworks shine with the sweat of a well-spent evening in a well-appointed dungeon, and his general design-sense is – well – Stimulating! Not for the faint of heart, but a must for the thrill-seeker who likes his (or her) stillettos pointy and their boots thigh-high.

MORE INFO

You’ve seen some of his artwork on my book covers, but here are some more of his images:

peeps

These are images I might be using for future books:

I’d like to use Hornet Girl (pictured above) as one of the characters in my not-yet-written bizarro superhero book The Super Evils. This book is about a man who wishes he could be a superhero. Unfortunately, his only super power is that he can make babies explode. Still, he wants to somehow use this power for the better good (like by stopping bank robbers from escaping as they pass by strollers), but in doing so he ends up becoming the most evil super villain in history. This attracts the attention of a squad of super villains called The Super Evils, who want to recruit him into their ranks. Hornet Girl will probably be one of the main super villains. I should be writing this book later this year or early next, but I’ve got a couple other projects I want to do next.

The above picture will be on the cover of the re-release of Sunset with a Beard.

4926_113721171600_726336600_2482840_438770_n

I hope to write a book based on this character. I might call it “Space Elf” or something. Not sure. Either way, I’ve been wanting to write something set in outer space for a while so I think this would be a good character to write about.

Get a special signed copy of the book for $20 here:
http://edmironiuk.bigcartel.com

Or

Get a special signed copy with an original sketch by the artist for $40 here:
http://edmironiuk.bigcartel.com/

Help support this artist by picking up a copy from his site. I highly recommend it.

COMING SOON

Posted in Bizarro Books on August 5, 2009 by carltonmellick

candyland

MS Paint Porn

Posted in Random Shit on August 3, 2009 by carltonmellick

I just stumbled across a website that is dedicated to pornographic art created in MS Paint. How can someone create erotic images using the crappy impossible-to-use MS Paint program? Well, they can’t. These images aren’t erotic at all. They look like the drawings a six year old boy might create if he happened to be addicted to porn. In other words: pretty awesome stuff.

Here is an example:

I believe that’s supposed to be a lizard with a dick and a beetle with a dick, in a threesome with a woman. A lot of the site is this kind of stuff. I’m not sure why it exists, but it’s pretty funny that it does.

If this is your kind of thing, check out the website:

http://www.mspaintporn.net

Cameron Pierce in the New Times

Posted in Bizarro Authors on August 1, 2009 by carltonmellick

cameron

Cameron Pierce has an article written up about him in the New Times this week. You can check out the online version here:

The Mind is its Own Place

It’s an in-depth article on Cameron and his book “Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden.” It also mention a bit about his upcoming book “Ass Goblins of Auschwitz”