Monday, September 28, 2009

Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective

This is a little late, I guess...but better late than never, right? Another bizarro author, Garrett Cook, has a nice book coming out that I'm jonesin' to read. Everything is karma, and I'm hoping to send some good gris-gris his way by posting this here for him. The first chap is pretty great. Not to mention, it's a teddy bear kickin' ass and takin' names. Enjoy...

Excerpt from Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective

Below is an excerpt from “Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective” by Garrett Cook. You can preorder a copy at I recommend doing so right now, because not only would you be getting a great book but you would be helping a new talented writer who could really use the support right now (he’s unemployed and trying to raise enough money to make it to BizarroCon next Month).
If you didn’t read my last blog about this book, here is the back cover description:“In a city ridden with prostitute furries, cannibal cops and warehouse-sized mob bosses, I’ve got my work cut out for me. My name is Jimmy Plush. I’m a private detective. I’m also a teddy bear. It all started when the original Jimmy Plush entered my life, offering to take my gambling debts away if I agreed to switch bodies with him. But I didn’t know that being a three-foot-high plush toy would be such a living hell, especially now that everyone in town wants a piece of me. All I’ve gotten out of this deal is a faithful Chinese chauffeur, a custom teddybear .45, and a girlfriend who won’t take off the fox suit she turns tricks in. Now I’ve got to keep this town clean and try to track down the real Jimmy Plush without losing my stuffing for good. Only one thing is for sure: Life is hard when you’re soft.
Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective is a high octane pulp satire. In the tradition of Sam Spade, The Shadow, Dick Tracy, Hellboy and Howard the Duck comes a new kind of hero, a hero that reminds us that the measure of a man is in his guts and his gun.”
Here’s the excerpt:
An Excerpt from Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective coming soon from Eraserhead Press“Mr. Plush and the Dead Horse”
Being a gumshoe is stressful. Being a gumshoe in the body of a three foot teddy bear is a hell of a lot more stressful than that. So I decided to take the day off for once. Since trading my body to that bastard teddy bear to pay off my gambling debts, the closest thing I’d gotten to time off was time spent face down in an alley unconscious. And unlike some people, I wasn’t there for leisure. I knew this day would start off with a couple of annoyances, but I thought it would end at that. The first one, I’d figured on. Having no private residence, I had a tendency to sleep in my office. I also had a lapdog of a Chinese chauffeur that had a habit of waiting outside with my limo ready to go and a tragic attempt at coffee in his hand. I stepped outside, and I was right. There was Chan with coffee staler than politics and pictures. I sighed.
“Chan, where do they grow the coffee in China?”
Even for a Chinaman, Chan went stiff.
“They do not grow coffee in China, Mot Honored Mister Plush.”
I took the coffee from him. This was an important part of my morning ritual lately.
“Do you wanna know why they don’t grow coffee in China, Chan?”
He sighed. There was anger behind his slanty subhuman eyes.
“Yes, Mister Plush. I would like to know why.”
I tossed the coffee in his face as I did every morning. The coffee was piping hot. Good old Chan. Even confronted with certain scalding he wouldn’t serve me lukewarm coffee.
“That is the worst damn coffee I’ve ever had. You run somebody’s laundry through the pot?”Chan folded his hands and bowed.
“Humblest apologies. Does Most Honored Mister Plush require breakfast? Or to be driven somewhere?”
“Does sycophantic Chan want to lose his job and have to make noodles for a living?” It’s important to be firm with one’s chauffeur.
“Chan is very sorry.” He bowed again. Chan bowed pretty often. Unavoidable when a kid hears Confucius in the nursery.
“I’m taking the day off, Chan.”
Chan looked at me as if I were the one that talked goofy all the time.
“Are you certain Mister Plush, there is a lot to be done, there is especially the matter of…”
I didn’t even wanna think about it.
“It can wait. He’ll wait.”
Chan laughed. “I do not think I would take getting shot as lightly as you have.”
“I don’t take it lightly, Chan. I got no leads, and I’m burnt out, so scram!”
Chan shrugged, got in the limo and drove off.
This left me alone. I called Jean and invited her to dinner. She said seven. I said not to wear the fox suit. She said I could go to Hell. I asked if she had any messages for her mother. She asked about the mess in her kitchen. I said I’d see her at seven and hung up, taking my phone off the hook afterwards. Within five minutes, I started pouring myself drinks. I was bored to tears. I shouldn’t have been.
There was a knock on the door. Chan was starting to make me real angry. How could people with so much opium in their country be so utterly against relaxation? I opened my door, wishing the chinaman had made me two cups of coffee. I wouldn’t drink the second one either. But it wasn’t Chan at the door. It was a pony wearing a police cap. There was a whistle and a badge around his neck. It seemed like the sort of thing that would be a bad omen. What did my granny from the old country say about a pony on your doorstep? Made me wish I hadn’t given up my memories during the transfer so I’d know things like that, like if I had a granny or where the hell the old country was.
“Sorry, pal,” I said to the pony, “this ain’t a stable and I’m closed for the day.”
“Listen, Plush,” the pony shot back in a voice that reminded me a little of Gary Cooper, “you don’t like meand I don’t like you, but I’ve got a problem. I’m gonna set aside my prejudices so we can make this town a little less awful.”
“Not interested. Go find yourself some oats and leave me alone, Seabiscuit.”
The pony got in my face.
“I don’t think you understand. I’ve got three dead city councilmen and a dead socialite. Think about it, four prospective kidnap victims. If they keep bumping off these people, there will be nobody to kidnap and murder’s one per customer, Plush. How long do you think a shameless shamus like yourself’s gonna last in a city where all the victims are already dead?”
He had a point. If I was going to maintain this lifestyle, I couldn’t have somebody icing every client that could pay me. Maybe I didn’t want to maintain this lifestyle, but when you’re a teddy bear with a bad reputation and nothing going for you but a chauffeur an office with “Jimmy Plush, Detective” on the door and a custom teddy bear handgun there usually ain’t many career paths open for you.
“Okay, horsey, you’ve got my attention. Now give me the details. Come on in.”
But before he could, three shots rang out and he was good as glue. If a pony on my doorstep was a badomen (and I couldn’t really tell if it was), then a dead pony on my doorstep was an awful one and a dead pony on my doorstep that had a badge was a disaster. I had to sort this out and I needed to do it fast.Lucky for me, Chan had not really taken off, but had instead parked the limo in an alley nearby and waited for me to change my mind. He pulled up to the curb, got out and gave me a bow. Even though I needed him now, I was not happy about this.
“I guess they don’t have days off in China either, huh?”Chan smiled.
“And yet, I’m not the one with a dead policeman on my doorstep.”
“Who is he? He knew the real Plush and hated him. Must have been a pretty good egg. For a pony.”Chan’s smile turned into a frown.
“He was. His name was Horskowitz. He was an honest cop, not into the same things the others are. He tried to put some of them away for corruption, so they beat him up, transferred him into the body of a pony. He didn’t quit. He felt that only showed how much he was needed. In my opinion, he was right.”
I could only think of one man that could be behind this.
“Chan, take me to J.L Wong’s.”
The scenery on the way to J.L Wong’s was pretty much the same tableau of heartbreak I was used to; Furries in species drag ranging from strap-on sporting mice to Murray the Monogram Unicorn waiting for clients against every lamppost, ugly hoods carrying violin cases, businessmen looking for a den where they could chase the dragon, a Chinatown that the Orientals were afraid to even go near. Same hell-on-earth where most of my cases ended up leading. Or was it? There was a giant black cloth covering the side of the street. Something huge was underneath, something the size of a few buildings or a gigantic warehouse. I hadn’t seen any construction or demolition going on last time I was here, and last time I was here was two days ago. Identical obese quintuplets in pink pinstripe suits stood outside guarding it. They were trying too hard to act natural.
“Chan, stop!” By the time I’d said it, he’d already stopped.
I got out since I had a sneaking suspicion that these five gentlemen might have had something to do with my case.
“Nice weather we’re havin’, huh?”
“Yes,” they said in unison.
“So…gentlemen, what’s under the cloth?”
“A carnival,” they replied, again in unison.
“It’ll never work,” I told them as I walked back to the car,“this town’s already too much fun.”

Friday, September 25, 2009

Title Agreed Upon?

Some of you know that we've been having trouble with the title of this particular piece. Now, when I birthed this brain baby...I was pretty set on taking a Gregory Maguire-esque approach (i.e.: WICKED, CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER, et al). So, initially, this was entitled ROTTEN SOMETHINGS IN THE STATE OF DENMARK. That was then shortened to ROTTEN SOMETHINGS, and then SOMETHING ROTTEN. Trouble was, though, none of these really prompted people to want to pick up the book (when asked if they would).
So, we went back to the drawing board. When it was submitted it was entitled HAMLET: THE COLLEGE YEARS. Kevin, my editor, quickly pointed out that there was recently a HAMLET 2, and this might get confusing. I wanted to ride the coattails of that funny film, but Kevin had a point.
Back to the drawing board once more. Ugh! I understand why there are some urban kids named things like Viagra, and Levitra, and Allegra. Shit! If I'd pushed the kid out and couldn't come up with a name, you're damn straight that kid's getting named after a product.
Kevin and I had lists going of possible titles. Some were good: KAFKA'S HAMLET BOOK REPORT, COCKROACH NUNNERY, ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE...and too many more to remember.
Some were not so good, like: THE VERMIN OF ELSINORE (sounds like somebody played too much D&D).
It's less than a month from release and what on earth could this thing be called. Well, I'm pleased to announce that my brain baby will not succumb to lazy names like BONIVIA or CIALIS or LEMONJELLO. At present, we're 99.9999% sure it will be NAKED METAMORPHOSIS. Your thoughts?
Mark your calendars - it's coming...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Zombie Cat Puppet Contest!

Okay, kids! I've seen some wild promos, and I've seen some interesting book premises. However, I've seen nothing like this! Kevin Shamel has a book coming out that is sure to rock! I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on it.
He's doing a contest to win a signed copy, and I think you guys might be interested in it. Zombies, check! Cats, check! Puppets, double check! That's right!
Check out his sight at And pick up ROTTEN LITTLE ANIMALS in October. Go ahead and pick up mine too!

Welcome to the Twisted Team

You know you wanna join! Peer pressure, peer pressure, do it, do it! Yup, it's just like high school, right? You wanted to be one of the cool kids, didn't you?
Of course, we all grew up and figured out the cool kids ended up being the imbeciles who make life miserable every single day. It was never about being cool or uncool. It was about being yourself! Outcasts? Pshaw! Who's laughing now?

It's time, kids, to recruit up. I'm recruiting a Twisted Team (a little lame in the moniker department, but it is a recession and all I could afford was alliteration), who will help spread the Gospel According to me, which in turn is the Gospel According to you. (You'll realize soon enough, that writers, in some respects, are a little like gods. Be glad I'm not asking you to worship me, though that is optional.) The Twisted Team is my first offensive move to boost numbers of copies sold and guarantee that I can keep spinning yarns for you to read, for your kids to read, for their kids to read, and then for those silly Elois and Morlocks to burn - all god things must come to an end.

There's no pay, sadly, but there's a lot of perks. One, I'm dependent upon your feedback - you suggest it, chances are I'll try it out. You want a booksigning in your town? Let me know.
Two, you never know when I'm going to have goodies...and you like shiny goodies, don't you?

I guess the words of Randy Jackson of American Idol fame, I'm beggin' you to help a brotha out!

I'm not above shameless promotion.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Actual Excerpt and a little about Kevin Shamel

Okay, gang...sorry, I meant to post this yesterday but was having a few problemos! Here's an excerpt from the first few pages. Enjoy...and talk amongst yourself.
Oh! And another title to pay attention to: Rotten Little Animals by Kevin Shamel. It comes out the same time. Rotten Little Animals is about a little boy captured by animals (cats, dogs, squirrels...zombie cats) and terrorized - with terrorist style videos, etc. You can find information at Kevin's
Till we meet again...


In the beginning there was…
…wait a sec! The god was surprised. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go. There should be nothingness, a blank slab that would allow him to indulge in his creativity. Yet here he was, and here too were characters, animals, sweeping landscapes, and everything seemed drenched in epic proportions.
“Well shit,” said the god, blushing. It was no big deal to use colorful vernacular when you were speaking into the void. When there were already creations wandering the world it was considered unprofessional for a deity to use such language. You channeled that sort of behavior into the characters below, and filled them with guilt about it referring to them as sinners. “I suppose I’ll have to make do with what’s been handed to me.”
Disappointed as he was, he took the blow like a god should—never questioning, never complaining, and never thinking twice before acting.
He surveyed the world playing out beneath him. “Well, this is just tragic,” he said. Then he went to work.


There were hiding places and then there were hiding places. Sure there wasn’t much difference on the surface. The difference lay in the inflection. Thank gods for inflection.
Hiding places were the nooks and crannies that angsty teens oft hide themselves while looking at a naughty picture or succumbing to the whims of peer pressure. Hiding places were brought out of a little more desperation. A fugitive on the lam seeks the carcass of an expired deer to use as a hiding place. Or, a small Jewish girl who is forced to push her entire family into nothing more than a closet to hide from knot-zees—now that’s a hiding place. I wasn’t sure why the thought of goose-stepping knot-zees popped into my head. Horrible vision, that.
I’d chosen to hide the prince in a hiding place. After all, if you were looking to hide a member of the royal family (and perhaps a known fugitive) you needed a hiding place. A regular hiding place just wouldn’t do. Royals were always hiding dark secrets in any convenient nook or cranny in the castle. Lots of skeletons in the closets.
I’d chosen the barn because it was the last place anybody would seek out a prince. Princes had standards to uphold. It got worse the more princes there were. While the King may have stooped to being seen in such a rat hole, the Prince was forced to be far superior to his predecessor. And on, and on, and on.
The barn was perfect.
It was a shoddy little building that appeared to be put together by an individual of mental deficits. The building may have been a sturdy structure at one point, but now it was nothing more than a wooden skeleton. The breeze that blew over the countryside forced the barn to sway and creak, each creak sounding like a suicidal cry for help.
I composed myself. The Prince was…well, he was…needy. The fact that he was my college roommate aside, the Prince had changed into something…different. He’d treated me as nothing more than cow dung as I succumbed to his bidding. There was the belligerence in his mood. There was the abuse, both physical and verbal, that I’d never seen exhibited by my good prince. And of course, there was the over indulgence in drugs that had eaten craters throughout his brain.
The newest development—and the most disturbing by far—was that my lord, Prince Hamlet of Elsinore, had claimed he was turning into a cockroach. Metaphorically, yes, he was becoming an absolute vermin. But the prince meant the claim literally.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Excerpt of the New Book

Okay, kids,

So here's a little gift for you - the cover art for the new book. I hope you like it. It's a lot of humor, a lot of highbrow literary commentary, and a long journey. Basically, it Hamlet as if it was told by Shakespeare, then told by Franz Kafka, then told by William S. Burroughs, then told by George W. Bush.

Okay, is your mind about to explode? Good!

No, seriously. It took a lot of work. I think I got the style and thematic elements. Remember, it comes out October 20th, and I want you all to order it, review it on - all of are essential - and recommend it. Read it on the Light Rail, the subway, in the cab. Get it out there!

Welcome to My World!

Great! You've found the website! That's step one, so I can assume that you're not one of the moronic few, wandering about the Earth's surface contributing to stress-related illness. Thank you for that.

Well, this is a getting to know you session, right? You're getting to know me, and I'm doing the same. Since I don't know you yet, the responsibility is all on me. So here it goes:

  1. I'm a Gemini.

  2. I'm really into zombies and think they would make the world a happier place. I also think that sex with a zombie is NOT necrophilia, but sex with a vampire is. Geeks, talk amongst yourself.

  3. I think George Lucas should just stop.

  4. I hate reality TV and think it's going to ruin society (random exception: "Who Wants to Be a Superhero", 'cause that shit's just funny).

  5. I can tell you the stormtrooper number that Han Solo took over in Episode 4.

  6. I'm an author of bizarro fiction, new book upcoming.

  7. I'm a HUGE dork - see points 3 and 5.

  8. I'll kick your ass at Trivial Pursuit.

  9. I'm not above begging for you to buy my books. Please buy them, but go one step beyond - recommend them, start a bookclub and make your members purchase them, write to me and tell me how much you loved them, and finally, they make lovely holiday gifts.

  10. I have a thing for jackalopes.

Okay, so that's a little about me. What about you? You definitely are on the verge of something awesome. Me, of course. Talk to me. Tell me what you want from this web presence.