It gives me immense pleasure to introduce the newest member of the Eraserhead Press Team, John Skipp.
Writer/editor/longtime literary troublemaker John Skipp helped invent splatterpunk, inspire Bizarro, launch modern zombie fiction, and turn on generations of readers to exciting alternative prose.
Skipp is one of the most enthusiastic, infectiously cheerful, vivacious, hard working people you’ll ever meet and he’s been a supporter of Bizarro since before it even existed.
If Bizarro is the literary equivalent of the “Cult” section in a really cool video store, then Skipp’s new Eraserhead imprint, Fungasm Press is the equivalent of the Coen Bros., Tarantino, Jeunot’s AMELIE, Michel Gondry’s THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP, Alex Cox’s REPO MAN, or the David Lynch of TWIN PEAKS.
Where most Bizarro takes place in an entirely Bizarro world – Pancake Island, for example – Fungasm Press grounds its weirdest ideas in contemporary realities, meeting at the freaky juncture where genre and mainstream collide with indescribable strangeness.
Fungasm will feature “short, intensely alive books with all the boring shit left out,” Skipp says. “With giddy momentum and a shameless desire to both provoke and entertain, they’re fun-to-read modern stories about sad, beautiful, horrifying things.
“Our first title – Laura Lee Bahr’s debut, HAUNT – is kind of like HOUSE OF LEAVES, only fun (laughs), or a slightly less high-toned McSweeney’s. It’s a stunning puzzle box, a delicious soul-scrambler, and the perfect book to kick off the imprint.”
In addition to publishing 2-3 Fungasm titles a year, Skipp will also serve as an Acquiring Editor and Cunning Elder Strategist for both Eraserhead Press and Deadite Press. And with his feature film ROSE: THE BIZARRO ZOMBIE MUSICAL, he’s taking Bizarro to new multi-media heights.
Below is a short interview I conducted with John Skipp.
Why are you the perfect person for the job?
I absolutely love editing, and creating a showcase for writers that knock me out. My tastes are promiscuous as fuck itself, and I really love work that doesn’t fall into easy categorical constraints. Finding ways to market strangeness is one of Bizarro’s great strengths, so I feel like I’m in precisely the right place here.
What does Bizarro mean to you?
What were your first few days working with Eraserhead Press like?
My first few days were as a writer, when Eraserhead gave THE EMERALD BURRITO OF OZ its fantastic new edition. Working closely with Carlton and the team on the cover design and sales copy, I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm, dedication, and most importantly, the freedom to say FUCK on your covers (laughs). You guys work the way I like to work: with honesty, whole-hearted devotion, and near-constant hilarity.
What are your five favorite Bizarro books right now?
Aside from HAUNT and THE EMERALD BURRITO OF OZ? In alphabetical order, as of this moment:
APESHIT by Carlton Mellick III
THE FAGGIEST VAMPIRE by Carlton Mellick III
THE MENSTRUATING MALL by Carlton Mellick III
PERFECT UNION by Cody Goodfellow
SILENT WEAPONS FOR QUIET WARS by Cody Goodfellow
That said, I’m really loving THE CANNIBAL’S GUIDE TO ETHICAL LIVING by Mykle Hansen right now. And could name easily a dozen more writers I’m really excited about.
For more information about Skipp and his thoughts on Bizarro Fiction, check out the following video interviews: