Archive for the Bizarro Events Category

BizarroCon Report

Posted in Bizarro Events on November 13, 2009 by carltonmellick

bizarrocon gang

I’ve been out of commission for a few weeks doing conventions and recovering from said conventions. I’m just now getting back in the swing of things.

BizarroCon was a blast, as always. If you happen to be somebody interested in becoming a bizarro writer you should go next year. You should go every year.

Jeff Burk wrote up a BizarroCon Report last year for the Magazine of Bizarro Fiction. This year he has written about it in his blog. To read about BizarroCon 2009, go to:

Return to the Squishiest Place on Earth

Rose Okeefe, who organizes BizarroCon, also wrote a little something about the event here: Thanks to all BizarroCon Attendees!

Bizarro Beer

Posted in Bizarro Events on October 20, 2009 by carltonmellick

I’ll be out of commission a bit longer because I have BizarroCon this weekend, and then World Fantasy Con the next. But I wanted to show you beers that will be served at this year’s BizarroCon:

bizarro beer

It will be given away at the Eraserhead Press 10 Year Anniversary party on Friday night.

BizarroCon Workshops Announced

Posted in Bizarro Events on September 17, 2009 by carltonmellick

These are the workshops that will happen at BizarroCon:

“Writing High Concept Bizarro”
Instructor: Carlton Mellick III
Time: Friday morning (exact time TBA)

People read bizarro books primarily for the outlandish, crazy ideas. Some books have ideas that are just so out there that readers can’t resist picking them up. This workshop focuses on how to write bizarro books that sell based on the ideas alone. Each student will come up with the most irresistibly strange idea for a book that they can, write a back cover description for it, then the class will critique the descriptions and decide which book ideas are worth their money. The most irresistible books are guaranteed publication by Eraserhead Press.*
Space limited.

“Defense Against the Dark Arts: Preparing for Criticism.”
Instructor: Eckhard Gerdes
Time: Friday afternoon (exact time TBA)

This workshop will be designed to help every writer better defend his or her writing against the inevitable pettiness and jealousies of reviewers and others. We need to identify our own weaknesses and develop cogent and coherent theories of defense that befuddle even the most acute academic into thinking that what we do intuitively is actually carefully planned and intentional. We’ll have everyone bring in negative reviews and criticism they have received in the past, and then find ways to pre-empt those strikes through interviews and promo materials and such, thus disarming the attackers. There are ways of disarming entire schools of attack, and in so doing we immunize ourselves against the critics.
Space limited.

* Even though a book might be guaranteed publication, if the writing is not up to standards the author might have to go through several drafts until it is publishable. Good ideas don’t necessarily make good books. If needed the Eraserhead Editorial Board will offer guidance on how to turn your good idea into a good book.

If you want to take one or both of these workshops, you have to sign up for BizarroCon before the end of September. BizarroCon takes place October 22-25 near Portland, OR

Learn more about BizarroCon here:

If You Want to Write, You Have to Attend

Posted in Bizarro Events, Writing Related on September 8, 2009 by carltonmellick

With BizarroCon coming up in October, I’ve been thinking a lot about how crucial attending conventions is for writers, whether they’re new or established. If you decide you want to be a writer, you start by just writing for fun, then you improve your skills, then you try to get some work published, then you join an online writing community for support and comradery, then you start attending conventions. If you are at all serious about being a writer, you have to attend conventions. Perhaps you thought writers lived solitary lives? They don’t. Writers live very social lives. You’re not going to get anywhere if you just sit at home all day. You have to go out and interact with editors, publishers, and especially other writers. All the time. Conventions are where everything happens in the publishing industry. You want to be a part of that.

This is why you should be attending conventions (especially BizarroCon):

1) Publishing deals. Most publishing deals aren’t done through the submission process, they are done over beers. Almost every publisher who’s ever asked me to write them a book, happened at a bar at a convention. This is because: a) publishers recognize and make friends with authors who attend conventions regularly, b) publishers feel out writers at conventions and see if they’ve got the right drive and character for the job…like any business deal, you want to get to know the person you’re about to do business with, and c) publishers know that serious writers attend conventions. At BizarroCon, so many new projects and book deals came out of the convention that it was hard to count.

2) Meeting your heroes.
At conventions, you don’t just get the chance to buddy up with some of your favorite writers, but share crazy experiences with them. You might just find yourself in a hotel room late at night getting whipped by a dominatrix with Neil Gaiman and Jack Ketchum. (This actually happened to me, though only I was getting whipped by the dominatrix, they just watched and laughed.) At small conventions, like bizarrocon, you’ll pretty much be best friends with many of the writers by the time you leave.

3) Support your genre.
If you are part of a genre or writing community you want to make sure that it thrives. One way to do this is to attend conventions. Nothing reinvigorates a writing community better than having a well-attended convention, with as many major players in the genre as possible. If you are an established writer you especially owe it to your genre to attend these events. Nothing depresses a writing community more than a convention where most of the major players are absent. If you are a bizarro fiction writer or want to be a bizarro writer, attending BizarroCon at least every other year (if not every single year) is a must. If attendance is too low at BizarroCon then it sends out signals to the community that there is a loss of interest in bizarro fiction. If it is well-attended it inspires everyone involved to take action, write more books, publish more books, promote the genre more, create more bizarro events, etc. Perhaps you don’t write in a specific genre, but you probably fit in somewhere. Even literary fiction is a genre.

4) Education. Conventions are a good way to learn tips on improving your writing skills, developing self-promotion skills, and how to make a living as a writer. You can learn these things by attending panels, joining workshops, or just striking up conversations with those who are experienced in these matters.

5) Making friends. The friendships you build by attending conventions regularly always pay off. They might recommend you to publishers or magazine editors. They might give you tips on how to succeed. They might become fans of your work and promote you to their readers. They might give you advice on anything from getting health insurance as a writer to which publishers you should avoid. These friendships can, at times, make your career. You can never have too many friends as a writer. Although you shouldn’t make friends just to help your career. If you did, then you wouldn’t exactly be friends.

Other things to keep in mind:

1) You can’t just go to conventions and expect them to do anything for you. You have to put yourself out there, socialize, make friends, have a good time, and get the most out of it you possibly can.

2) Attending conventions might be expensive, but they are important. Necessary. You just have to save money for them, even if you have very little money to save. I know several unemployed people who make it to cons across the country every year. I know of people who risk losing their jobs by going to cons when they don’t have any vacation time available, but they still go.

3) You’ll never regret attending a con, but you’ll always regret missing one. Don’t let excuses get in your way. Just go. You’d be surprised how everything seems to work out in the end, even if you don’t have vacation time left and it’s the busiest time of year at your day job and could really use the money to pay off debts and don’t know anyone at the con and will have to miss your wife’s birthday and have a deathly fear of flying and can’t really afford food once you get there and can hardly move because of a freshly broken leg. Just go. If you have enough money in your bank to afford a plane ticket and a convention pass (or have a way to earn that much money by selling plasma or your dvd collection) just buy them. Things will work themselves out later.

For more information on conventions, from a bizarro writer’s perspective, check out Jeff Burk’s blog entry: A New Writer’s Guide to Conventions

If you write or want to write bizarro fiction, you should attend BizarroCon in October. Go to:

Vegan Bizarro!

Posted in Bizarro Events on July 16, 2009 by carltonmellick

I admit that I eat vegan food from time to time. Not because I am vegan, but because I really appreciate the food. Since vegans have limited ingredients, they have to get really creative with their recipes. This is what I like about it. They invent completely new types of foods. I’ve always liked trying weird new foods. Usually, the way to try something completely different is to go to an ethnic restaurant, but I have pretty much tried every type of ethnic food out there. Then I realized that vegan food is becoming like the cutting edge for imaginative foods. When done right, it’s almost like eating Thai food or Indian food for the first time, and it has the right flavors and textures that you don’t miss cheese or meat at all. When it’s done wrong, it tastes like it really could use cheese or meat. That’s when it fails…at least for me. I know that this is sacrilege, but sometimes I do add cheese or meat to vegan food. Not often, though, because there’s usually no point. My favorite breakfast is a tofu scramble with veggies, cheese, and sometimes bacon…because I think tofu tastes better in a scramble than eggs. But most of the time I eat vegan food the way its meant to be eaten, and it’s usually pretty good (or at least interesting).

So why am I bringing up vegan food? Well, because two vegan bizarro writers are having a release party at the Hungry Tiger Too bar in Portland on August 4th, which is supposed to have some pretty good vegan food. If you live in the Portland area, come check it out. If you’re not interested in the vegan stuff, they also have regular bar food.

Here’s the info…

Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Time: 7:30pm – 10:30pm
Location: Hungry Tiger Too! 207 SE 12th Portland

Screams From a Dying World” is short Story collection by a local Portland author David Agranoff. It’s 13 tales of horror and Science fiction all with ecological and animal rights themes. “Swarm of Flying Eyeballs” is a novel by Seattle based Wonderland Award winning author of “13 thorns” Gina Ranalli. Gina’s fiction is sometimes horror, absurdist, visionary and always bizarro! Readings, Q and A, greasy vegan food!

Fun! Come by and throw things at us! (vegan things, please!)

The Slow Poisoner Summer Casketeering Tour 2009

Posted in Bizarro Artists, Bizarro Authors, Bizarro Events on July 10, 2009 by carltonmellick

SLow Poisoner

For those of you who don’t know Andrew Goldfarb, he is a bizarro author of many talents. For starters he writes excellent books, such as “Ballad of a Slow Poisoner” and his upcoming children’s book “Slub Glub in the Weird World of the Weeping Willows.” He is also a comic book writer, of “Ogner Stump’s One Thousand Sorrows.”

And he plays in the surreal one-man rock and roll band, “The Slow Poisoner.”

My favorite part of Andrew’s work is that all of his books, comics, and music take place within the same world and usually feature the same characters. His world is like David Lynch mixed with Dr. Suess and perhaps even Edward Gorey. I can’t recommend his art, music, and stories enough.

His one-man band is going on tour this month, so if he’s coming to your area make sure to go check him out:

7/15: Nashville, TN: Springwater Supper Club
7/16: Russellville, KY: Logan County Public Library
7/17: Huntsville, AL: Flying Monkey Arts
7/18: Baton Rouge, LA: Babel Con (Science Fiction Convention at LSU)
7/20: Houston, TX: Super Happy Fun Land
7/21: New Orleans, LA: Neutral Grounds
7/22: Mobile, AL: Alabama Music Box
7/24: Chapel Hill, NC: Nightlight Club (Steampunk Party)
7/25: Columbia, SC: Big Summer Corn BBQ
7/27: Marietta, GA: Swayze’s

Here is one of his songs:

“The Hex” by The Slow Posioner

To listen to more samples of his music, go to:

Continue this comic here: Rent Day

Jeff Burk on Metal Crypt

Posted in Bizarro Authors, Bizarro Events on June 10, 2009 by carltonmellick

Jeff Burk will be a guest on the radio show Metal Crypt at 3pm-6pm EST on June 10th. He will be talking about Shatnerquake, The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, and lots of other bizarro goodness. Check it out.


Crypticon Photos

Posted in Bizarro Events on June 9, 2009 by carltonmellick

Just got back from Crypticon. Of the bizarro crew, there were twelve of us: Rose O’Keefe, Jeremy Robert Johnson, me, Jeff Burk, Cameron Pierce, Forrest Armstrong, Angie Molinar, Kevin Shamel, Gina Ranalli, Karen Townsend, Bruce Taylor and Mykle Hansen. It was a great time. Here are some highlights.

The Eraserhead Press crew on the way to Seattle:

Eraserhead crew

The Eraserhead Press table:

ehp table
(Tabling is a pain in the ass, but Eraserhead always tends to sell a ton of books at every convention, even when the turnout isn’t as good as expected)

ehp table

Me and Forrest Armstrong:

me & forrest
(my head against my head)

Mykle Hansen being attacked by Angie in a bear suit:

(To promote his book “Help! A Bear is Eating Me!” Mykle did this impromptu comedy sketch in the lobby.)


Mykle eaten

Jeremy, me, John Skipp, and Cody Goodfellow at the Elysian Brewery:

(Drinking at a local brewery is usually my favorite part of doing conventions)

Rose with shirts of my head on them:

cm3 shirts
(These shirts might be on sale soon)

Rose with Lloyd Kaufman:

(Rose hung out with Lloyd quite a bit over the weekend. He’s a cool guy, of course, and was really
supportive of bizarro fiction and Eraserhead Press. He seemed genuinely interested in what we were all about and perhaps some bizarro writers might even be writing for Troma at some point. We’ll have to see.)

The Brutally Evil Satan Show:

satan show
(So this is my retarded satan performance.)








My book signing session:


The bizarro hour:

Cameron + audience
(Picture of the audience for the Bizarro Hour. Too many people came to see this event to have it in the reading room, so it had to be moved to the lobby.)

Cameron doing lloyd the centipede(Cameron Pierce the banana man doing Lloyd the Centipede during his performance.)

(Jeremy Robert Johnson doing his magic show)

(Jeremy and Mykle hosting the Bizarro Hour)

(Bruce Taylor’s performance.)

(Mykle Hansen’s reading)

(Forrest Armstrong’s performance.)

(Jeff Burk doing his Shatnerquake performance)

Jeff as shatner

More photos:

Rose O’keefe’s Crypticon Photo Album on Facebook

Kevin Shamel’s Crypticon Photo Album on Facebook

(You might have to be facebook friends with them to access the images)

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

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