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Eraserhead Press Sends a Big Thank You to BizarroCon Attendees

Eraserhead Press Team (Carlton Mellick III, Rose O’Keefe, Cameron Pierce, Jeff Burk)

The Second Annual BizarroCon (October 21-25, 2009) was a huge success. Five days of Bizarro writers, artists, publishers, and fans came together as one big happy family.

This event was of great significance to Eraserhead Press as it marked our 10th Year in independent publishing. Each year, the Bizarro community continues to grow and BizarroCon provides us the special opportunity to get together in a very unique setting, spend time together creatively and really get to know one another. We are grateful to every person that came out to BizarroCon this year, many of you traveled long distances and overcame financial obstacles and it wouldn’t have been the same without all of you here. Everyone at this event contributed in some way. As one participant, Nicole Cushing, put it, “What I loved is that this just wasn’t a Con where we talked about being creative. This was a Con where we were creative”.

Eraserhead Press would like to send out a hearty THANK YOU to everyone who came to BizarroCon and those of you who were there with us in spirit, THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the writing workshops that Carlton Mellick III and Eckhard Gerdes presented, THANK YOU to all our panelists and those who attended, THANK YOU to all of the readers and those who attended the readings, THANK YOU to everyone who stayed in the Ad House and took care of each other, THANK YOU to everyone who participated in The Ultimate Bizarro Showdown and to the judges who did not get drunk and mistake the Kevins like I did, THANK YOU to everyone who came to our party on Friday night and drank our beer. An atmosphere of creative energy was created and for five days we lived in a different world together. A beautiful, wild, messy, bloody, wonderful world. BizarroCon is not just an event, it’s an experience. The contribution of each person was felt by all. In particular we would like to extend special love and thanks to the following people:


(Kevin L. Donihe and the New Bizarro Authors: DW Barbee, Eric Mays, Patrick Wensink, Kevin Shamel)

Thank you to KEVIN L. DONIHE for his tireless work editing the New Bizarro Author Series. The first four releases on this line debuted at BizarroCon along with their authors. Thank you also for arriving early to help with preparations, participating on panels and and keeping us all greatly entertained during the now legendary “Ask Kevin L. Donihe” session. Congratulations to Donihe for winning the Wonderland Award for Best Novel of 2008 with House of Houses.

Jeremy Robert Johnson hosting the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown

Thank you to JEREMY ROBERT JOHNSON author and editor of Swallowdown Press and idiot savant for a truly outstanding job hosting the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown and for presenting the Wonderland Award for best novel, participating on panels, shuttling people to the airport and for your support and attention to detail.

Asphalt Flowerhead Centerpiece


Chrissy Horchheimer & Angie Molinar


Ultra Fuckers Centerpiece

Thank you to ANGIE MOLINAR and CHRISSY HORCHHEIMER, the stand out Bizarro artists who are regular illustrators for The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction and cover artists for Eraserhead Press. Angie and Chrissy designed the fabulous centerpieces for the Wonderland Book Awards Dinner (nine head sculptures themed after Bizarro books) and generously donated their original artwork from the Magazine to the Bizarro Raffle. Hearty thanks for the mimosas, hosting people at the bunker, giving rides from the airport and for generally having my back.

Eckhard Gerdes

Big thank you to ECKHARD GERDES for his fantastic workshop Defense Against the Dark Arts: Preparing for criticism. In this class students were asked to create an artistic statement of purpose and share with each other. This provided a context for relationships that continued into the rest of BizarroCon as we learned more about each other’s goals and interests. Additional thanks for judging the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown, participating in panels and hooking us up with “The Good Stuff” (and by that we mean Templeton Rye Whiskey).

Kevin Shamel 2nd Place Winner of The Ultimate Bizarro Showdown bursting his winning pinata with a beer bottle


Thank you to KEVIN SHAMEL author of Rotten Little Animals. Shamel really went the extra mile for BizarroCon, shuttling people from the airport to Edgefield, holding down the bunker, and pitching in whenever he found himself needed. Extra special thanks to Shamel for all of the gorgeous photos he took of the event (including most of the photos that appear in this blog post). Congratulations to Shamel for winning 2nd Place in The Ultimate Bizarro Showdown.


Mykle Hansen



Thank you FAMOUS AUTHOR MYKLE HANSEN for contributing to an intense schedule of panels and readings with flair and for helping out with rides. Many thanks to you and Jeff Burk for putting together a kick ass presentation of Bizarro short films late/early Saturday/Sunday morning. Congratulations to Hansen for winning the Wonderland Award for Best Collection of 2008 with Rampaging Fuckers of Everything on the Crazy Shitting Planet of the Vomit Atmosphere.

Gina Ranalli author of Sky Tongues

Thank you GINA RANALLI winner of the Wonderland Award for Best Collection of 2007 for presenting the award to the winner for 2008 and for judging The Ultimate Bizarro Showdown.

Thank you TROY CHAMBERS, ZACK GOWEN and ERIC ROBINSON (aka CannibalCheese). These underage darlings of bizarro really earned their beer on Friday night decorating for the Eraserhead Press party. I knew right away that these stylish fellows would do a bang up job and they transformed the Ad House into a truly Eraserhead Press space. Special thanks to Troy Chambers for generally being my bitch that weekend and taking charge of a good share of the grunt work with a great attitude.

Andrew Goldfarb looks on at Eric Mays who has just been attacked with squid by Cameron Pierce during Meat Magick

Thank you ERIC MAYS author of Naked Metamorphosis. We just met, but you really stepped in and made yourself a part of the team taking initiative to help where needed. Thank you!

Andrew Goldfarb

Thank you ANDREW GOLDFARB for being your awesome self. Goldfarb is the type of person who has a distinct vision that he expresses in everything he does. A snake oil voodoo surrealistic weeping willow slub glub lump lump world of wonder and magic. He is not only the author of multiple books and comics but he is also a one man band The Slow Poisoner. Thank you for your outstanding entertainment on Friday night, participating in panels and judging The Ultimate Bizarro Showdown. Thank you for giving me a reason to dance, the seance, and your completely unique perspective.

Zoe Welch assisting Cameron Pierce during his performance

Thank you ZOE WELCH #1 Bizarro Fan from TX. We weren’t expecting fans to show up at this event but you came and you provided something that no one else could have. Thank you for your feedback as a reader. Bizarro fiction is created for people like you, we are glad to call you our friend.

We would also like to send out special love and thoughts to Chris Genoa and Bruce Taylor who were in our thoughts and to all of the Eraserhead Press authors and readers all over the world. We hope we see all of you again next year!

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D. Harlan Wilson Interview in Dark Scribe Magazine

D. Harlan Wilson is interviewed in Dark Scribe Magazine.

Wilson is one of my favorite authors. I have published two collections of his irreal short stories, The Kafka Effekt and Stranger on the Loose. His stories also appear in The Bizarro Starter Kit (orange). If you are not familiar with his work I would recommend checking out one of these collections.

For more information about D. Harlan Wilson, visit him online at

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Net Neutrality and Independent Media

Please watch this important announcement from Lloyd Kaufman, Chairman of the IFTA.
Support independent media. We are living in one of the most media democratic times, but in order to keep it that way, we need to be aware of what big media conglomerates are attempting to do.

Eraserhead Press is an independent publisher of Bizarro Fiction. We aim to bring you the weirdest, coolest, most fun to read books you’ll ever find.

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Bizarro Author Jordan Krall

It’s Jordan Krall’s birthday today.

For any of you that have not read any work by Jordan Krall, I highly recommend starting with Squid Pulp Blues. The book is Lovecraftian, Film Noir styled bizarro. It is one of my favorite books of 2008. Jordan’s writing is visceral and dark. He combines squishy grotesque details with a gritty fast paced story telling style. When I read his work, I often don’t know whether to be turned on or grossed out. I have had people buy this book at conventions, start reading it and come back to buy more of Jordan’s books the same day.

Watch for new work by Jordan Krall in the first issue of The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction. His story “The Pistol Burps” is a prequel to his forthcoming Spaghetti Western-inspired novel, Fistful of Feet . I have read it already, and I can tell you it’s incredible.

Happy Birthday Jordan. Hope all your squidy dreams come true!


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Daily Rituals and Artful Living

I am lucky to work with a team of driven, dedicated and goal oriented people at Eraserhead Press. A typical “day at the office” is known to frequently involve

a meeting at the brew pub,

a video game competition,

or hanging out with Klingons

We work together in the office and we work separately at home. We work when we go out for drinks or to parties. We work while watching movies and while eating brunch. There is no difference between work and play. We are focused on our goals and are constantly exploring new paths towards obtaining them. The group energy is invigorating. The collective creativity that is at the heart of the Bizarro movement is inspiring and motivating. This group of story tellers is shaping a reality of their own design. A world that supports free-thinking, imagination, and individuality. We believe that there are more people out there that think like we do and we seek to connect to them through the fiction we create.

I just came across this site:
How writers artist and other interesting people organize their day

It has tidbits from all sorts of interesting writers about their daily habits. C.S. Lewis and W.H. Auden’s habits were my favorite to read about. I found C.S. Lewis fascinatingly fussy, pragmatic and sociable and W.H. Auden’s routine was manipulated with speed and barbiturates. I think it would be interesting to ask about the daily habits of many of the creative people that I work with. I know that I am always examining and tweeking my own routine.

In my opinion, the way to be truly happy about your productivity as an artist is to be able to incorporate your art into your lifestyle in such a way that life becomes art. Living an artful life, the creator is always at work. Art is a beautiful and enjoyable process. Some people think creating things is hard. It is easy, it is natural and it is done constantly every day. It’s only the matter of directing your creativity that is difficult to master. That is where habits are helpful and how routine can help tone the creative muscles.

But the flip side of it is the fantasy about what a writer’s life is like. I often encounter in new writers the obsessive quality of ritualizing the writing process. The feeling that in order to be a true writer they must go out to a cabin in the woods or that a bottle of wine and candlelight will inspire a great opus. I think the article on the daily routines of writers I mentioned provides some perfect examples to perpetuate that fantasy. Also any movie or book you ever read about authors will always glamorize this aspect of their process. I believe that there is a certain power to ritual, but there are also times when it can become cumbersome to the creative process. Without flexibility there can be no growth. And if you are not growing, you are stagnating. It’s never good to get too locked in to thinking that in order to be creative you must be in the perfect environment, or it has to be at a certain time of day, or that you need certain substances to get the juices flowing. All of these things might aid you, but they are not where creativity comes from, nor does the creative process rely upon them.

If you are reading this, I’d like to hear what you think. What are your requirements for creativity and how are they related to your routine?