Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Naked Metamorphosis Goes International

Okay, kids! Exciting news today...and I really needed it. I open my email today after weeks and weeks of hard promotions work and what do I see?

Hi Eric:
Barrie Public Library will order the book Naked Metamorphosis.
Thank you for giving the information about the contents.
Mary McAlpine
Information Services

Now, for those that don't know, Barrie is in Canada. Shortly thereafter I received emails from Medicine Hat (coolest named city ever!) and the library system of Cambridgeshire, UK. All of them are purchasing at least 1 copy of Naked Metamorphosis.

This is awesome, as you may imagine. Yes, I'd rather people purchase the book than check it out from the library, but making it available across the globe is wonderful for buzz. In fact, if you think about it, go ahead and call your local library and request that they pick up a copy, too! It's really what it's all about.

I realize this post isn't that exciting. Believe me, I get it. I'm too tired, though, and busy at work (hee hee) and just wanted to share some good news.

Peace, kids! Peace!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

BizarroCon 2009!

So...where to begin? BizarroCon was a HUGE success. What other convention can you go to and make so many new friends (one of which you talked about porn with during the course of two days)? Where else can you go where you can get copious amounts of fresh brewed beer made just for you? Where else can you go and see performance pieces that included a lactating Viking warlord, a talking poo puppet, and an interactive reading for Rotten Little Animals?
The answer is, of course, BizarroCon! Eraserhead Press has some amazing things in the pipeline right now, great books on the rise (including a new imprint that will be for comics), and some amazing titles that require you to check them out.
While I'm completely drained of all physical energy, the suffering is and was totally worth it.
The reading of Naked Metamorphosis was a high-energy, overly theatrical performance (not as inventive as Kevin Shamel's Rotten Little Animals puppet show), but I felt great about it! Met a young lady (aspiring writer and theatre) from British Columbia who picked up a copy (thank you, Sam) my tale has ventured into International waters. Thank God for Canada.
My Bizarro Showdown piece was an interesting story. I had several ideas that all got scrapped last minute and did a Dr. Seuss inspired tale about masturbation (yes, I was shocked too). For those that want to read it, I'll be sure to tell you how. Let me say this, if you purchase a copy of "Naked Metamorphosis" and post a review on Amazon, I'll send you a personal copy through USPS on my dime, with a hand drawn image and a Shakespearean insult! That's a cool little promo, right?
Also, my facebook page lit up! Now I've got over 100 friends, which is nice on the self-deprecation.
Sadly, I was either too busy, too tired (seriously, about 2 hours per night and two 36 hour days), or too tipsy to remember to take any, but I'll post some that I find here when I get them!
Too, here are some books to recommend:
  • Fistful of Feet
  • Ass Goblins of Auschwitz
  • Jack and Mr. Grin
  • House of Houses
  • Warrior WolfWomen of the Wasteland (especially if you loathe McDonald's)
  • Carnageland
  • Sex Dungeon for Sale
  • Shatnerquake
  • Rotten Little Animals
  • The Slow Poisoner
  • And the Magazine of Bizarro Fiction #2!

Also, if you go to iTunes and want some really wicked music, check out Andrew Goldfarb, the Slow Poisoner, as he sings rockabilly riffs that will have you laughing. And, stay tuned for a nice picture of me, Eric Mays, smothered in copious amounts of raw squid (*yes, I was slimed*)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

First reviews!

RVA News Quick Book Blurb posts says:

"the literary mash-up and alternate lit is big business. It ranges from great to god-awful. Naked Metamorphosis by Eric Mays is a new addition to this emerging genre. It's the first time the subtleties of Hamlet are explored, and is riddled with hilarity. The later acts feel a bit rushed (was the author under a deadline?), but if you enjoy Gregory Maguire, the master of this genre, you should give it a look."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stories in the Sex Dungeon

Patrick Wensink has got a story to tell you. He actually has several stories to tell you...and I advise you to pay attention. Sex Dungeon for Sale may sound shocking, but it's a great representation of how diverse bizarro can be, and why the genre is so appealing. Sure, we love the weird strangeness. But, when you can do bizarro, shedding some of the pulp and shock, you get a decent read, too. That's what bizarro is. It's a collective of unique ideas that are outside the realm. (Twilight Zone is bizarro on the family friendly scale, where as Perversions of Science was a little more mature)
Here's the deal. If you like humor, dark humor, and savvy wit, pick up a copy of this book. Reading it, several of the tales, particularly "Clean Bill of Health", reminded me of something O. Henry might scribe. Other stories - Wash, Rinse and Repeat and Jesus Toast - remind me of Palahniuk. I'm not saying Wensink mimicked their style...I'm just sayin', they're quality reads.
I'm not typically a fan of anthologies (kind of like I'm not a fan of's nice to see me pleasantly surprised), but I really liked this one.
I blew Coke (not coke) out of my nose reading "Sex Dungeon for Sale"...and will never be able to think rumpus room without giggling like a middle schooler. I feel comfortable now that I've been schooled on kidnapping. And, I'm relieved that Rico Suave himself, the irreplaceable Gerardo, is here. My two personal favorites, though (and I have a dark sense of humor), are Clean Bill of Health and The Many Lives of James Brown's Capes. I'm happy to know how much "sex machine" fetched.
Sex Dungeon for Sale is a quality collection. Most are quick reads that you can grapple in one brief sitting. So, if nothing else, get a copy, keep it in the bathroom, and chuckle your ass off!
Check out Patrick's book at and help us authors out. We write stories for you!


David Barbee is a sick man – and I use that as a term of endearment.
Carnageland is an interesting read. There’s little character development; the characters are what they are. There’s some repetition in the action. But I loved the hell out of it. Why? Well, it’s the same reason that I love the hell out of Corman flicks or SciFi (now, the oddly named SyFy) original movies. Because they’re like sugary confectionary Saturday Morning cartoons for adults.
If you’re looking for a sympathetic character and massive development, or even scientific gadgetry in your sci-fi, then bypass this book. If you watched Saturday Morning cartoons, like B-grade movies and twisted fairytales, then you’ll absolutely love this book, like I did.
Remember Sherman and Peabody? Yeah, those two. They were always messing with history. Fractured Fairytales did the same. Now, imagine that land, twisted by Todd McFarlane, and invaded by aliens. There you go…that’s kind of what Carnageland is.
It opens with 898 preparing for invasion. Inpire, Inc, the world where these “invaders” come from, is a pretty cool place, and I’d love to see more of it in the future. Aliens are selected by an epic claw (just like Toy Story…”the claw is our master”!) as the chosen invaders. Well, 898 gets selected to decimate a planet filled with fantastical beasts…slightly twisted fairytale creations. And decimate he does. If you’ve ever imagined some of the fairytale creatures getting slaughtered in horrific fashion, well, now’s your chance to see it unfold. (On a side note, my favorite twisted character was the Ninjerbread Man…’nuff said.)
Carnageland is a fast read – almost too fast, ‘cause I wanted more – and fun. It really is like Roger Corman got his hands on the works of Piers Anthony and went to town.
Carnageland is available at…help us authors out.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rotten Little Book

I've had the distinct pleasure of befriending Kevin Shamel over the past month. He's a groovy author breaking into the bizarro scene with his entry in the NBAS (as am I, though Kevin's been bizarroing it up a whole lot longer). His entry is Rotten Little Animals, which is...distubingly funny.
Let me first say this: this book has a lot of poop in it. No, not the bad kind of poop (like it sucks), I'm talking actual poo. Excrement, feces, ca-ca, shit. But then again, we're talking about a book filled with animals and if you've ever owned one, you know they poop a lot. So, now that that's out of the way...
Rotten Little Animals is a book about animals, but we ain't talkin' 'bout Charlotte's Web. This is not even Beatrix Potter style animals. Rotten Little Animals is what you'd get if Quentin Tarantino had a love child with Beatrix Potter. It's like merging South Park and Sesame Street.
So, animals live and breathe in our world, but are capable of things we can't even fathom. They speak, for starters, and they drink, cuss, enjoy human pornography, and are capable of working movie cameras. Their biggest goal, though, is to make humans feel like they are superior because they have thumbs, so they do their activities in secret (like the Animal Academy Awards).
Meet Itsy, Stinkin' Rat, Julio, Filthy Pig, and Dirty Bird, as well as the numerous zombie-cats and camera crew chickens. They're out to make the perfect Animal movie. Unfortunately, their plans are thwarted when they're spotted by the boy across the street, Cage. Cage is kidnapped, tortured, and videotaped for an entirely new project.
Later he offers, he used to like animals.
The anthropomorphic thing, I was a little skeptical, but soon after the first act, the story kicks into gear following Cage - through trauma, murder, psychological rehab, fame, and a brief fling with Paris Hilton. I don't want to give too much away, so I'll stop there and hope that I've whetted your appetite.
One thing, the book moves quick. I read it in a sitting and plan to revisit it. I realize as you're zipping through the thing, you tend to miss something. There are few books that I would revisit - more that I always intend to and never do - but Shamel's book is one I'll definitely recommend, gift, and revisit for years to come.
Help us authors out...visit and pick yours up.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Naked Metamorphosis is Available

It's out! Yes, my brain bay has been birthed...though not as big as that Australian baby (19 lbs?!) . Naked metamorphosis is available at and you should definitely purchase a copy.
if you need something to get the free shipping from Amazon...look for the following: Ass Goblins of Auschwitz, Fistful of Feet, Rotten Little Animals, and Carnageland.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The First Zombie Trilogy of October 2009 (and another zombie flick...)

Good morning, ghouls! Speaking of ghouls, I heart zombies. Whether it's the cool folder my friend Re-Re got me (including all things zombie, even a conversion chart for metric brains) to the baseball jersey that reads: I heart (and it's an actual heart) Zombies. I even like that stupid little Pop-Cap game, "Plants vs. Zombies". I have an addiction. A serious problem.
This October I wanted to explore the roots of the zombie legend, though. Sure, everyone loves the Romero zombie, which defined the genre the way it is today. However, many forget about the voodoo legends and how zombies have changed a bit over the years (though, I'm actually reminded of "The Serpent and the Rainbow" which did work with the voodoo concept of zombies and was pretty good. I'll have to revisit this).
So I went back in the way-way-back machine to discover all that zombies can offer. It's not a real trilogy, but the films are all connected.
First, White Zombie. I'd never seen this one, and it's a real shame. I guess Bela Lugosi has always maintained that Dracula persona and never once would I have rather associated him as a Haitian sugarcane plantation owner.
The movie works. Looking at the film, it's the first of the thrities that I can see was utterly scary. The concept itself is very Dollhouse, and in a pre-WW2 time, that is rather spooky. Bela is wonderful in the film, though I question the decision for that ridiculous looking Fu Manchu beard of his. Not so sure that this makes it "authentic Haitian". Don't know, though. Maybe Haiti changed over time.
Also from the 30's, I Walked With A Zombie. I don't think that this is so much a horror movie as it is a primer for Haitian zombies. It's a tight psychological piece, that drops some zombie knowledge on our asses.
Basically, a new doctor moves to Jamaica (not bad) to hospice care for a rich guy's wife. Everyone thinks that the wife is a zombie. Thus begins the search into what is a zombie? How does one become a zombie? Is she really dying? Are their conspiracies afoot?
Personally, for me, I loved it because it's got one of my favorite actors in it (joking, but sort of not) - Snowflake.
Finally, there's Tales From the Crypt: Ritual. There's always got to be one crap one, right? Well this is it. This was supposed to be the follow-up for the Tales From the Crypt movies (following the wonderful "Demon Knight" and the lackluster, but fun, "Bordello of Blood"). Ritual is a straight to DVD release. And it kind of shocked me: the cast has Tim Curry, Jennifer Grey, and Craig Sheffer, as well as John Kassir as the voice of the Cryptkeeper. Seemed to me to be a good enough cast.
While the script is pretty good, the acting is subpar. The pacing it lethargic. The movie just doesn't work. There's some pretty good gore effects, but they're few and far between.
Why, pray tell, is this film the piece in a zombie trilogy? Well, it's not. I included it because it's a remake of I Walked With A Zombie. Jennifer Grey plays the disgraced doctor who moves to Jamaica to perform hospice care. Craig Sheffer plays the rich baron. This time, though, she's caring for his brother not his wife.
Not the worst movie ever, and it might be worth taking a look at. But, it should have remained a thrity minute Tales from the Crypt episode.

Finally...I just saw Zombieland, which I think may be one of my favorites of the year. I'll write more about it soon...because this movie had more going for it than the comedy, acting, writing. The cinematography is beautiful, the slow-mo scenes in the beginning (done by the same guy who did the slo-mo in The Watchmen) is gorgeous. I'll write more about this soon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Final Cover! Hooray!

After the epic title wars (as chronicled in the ninth month of the year of our Lord 2,009, by scribe Eric) the cover has been tweaked a bit! Allow me to introduce you to:

Naked Metamorphosis...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Naked Metamorphosis and Shakespearean Insults

Most people know I'm a quotes guy. I love 'em. Probably that English major inside. I don't know what it is, but I love that people (famous, smart people) contradict themselves all the time and it's caught in the annals of history for all to share. I'm always amazed by what people say now - especially in contrast to what people said then.
I was looking into Shakespearean Insults (something I love, personally, and will come to later) and came across my files from some of the research for the upcoming book. Interesting quotes that I never associated with the thing.
From Franz Kafka:
A man of action forced into a state of thought is unhappy until he can get out of it.
God gives us nuts, but he does not crack them.
Heaven is dumb, echoing only the dumb.
It's fascinating to me that I never paid more attention to these at the time. Just sort of glanced over them. These three quotes really echo the themes of NAKED METAMORPHOSIS.
From William S. Burroughs:
I don't care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do.
Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.
A paranoid is a person who knows little of what's going on.
Again, major thematic statements about NAKED METAMORPHOSIS. Too, major statements about Hamlet. All could be interjected in a thesis on Shakespeare's Danish Prince. Fascinating...or maybe not.
Now, onto quotable Shakespeare...
Most know I'm a buff. I love the guy. Why? It's not the floral arrangement English he chose to use. Nor is it the pendulous swing from comedy to tragedy. No, I love Shakespeare 'cause he was a controversialist and, perhaps, one of the first bizarro writers.
His ideas were sweeping fantasies, just about always including an element of the supernatural. But beyond that veneer, Shakespeare pushed the envelope of proper heftily. The stories are bawdy, dirty, borderline pornographic. If most High School students caught the innuendos and references, they'd eat it up like crack.
There were definite devices that Shakespeare employed: mistaken identities, long lost love, the supernatural, situational comedy of errors, mental illness as humor, questionable morals, strong female characters (played by men, but the female characters are some of the most fascinating in literature). All these devices make it into NAKED METAMORPHOSIS. I'm happy about that.
Don't believe me about the Shakespeare thing? I'm pretty sure (...and by pretty sure, I mean like Wikipedia pretty sure) that the Bard perfected the insult.
Take these for instance:
"You impertinent, hell-hated malcontent!"
Not too shabby, eh?
What about: "Infectious, tardy-gaited Basket-Cockle!"
Not too sure what Basket-Cockle is, or tardy-gaited, but I've incorporated them into my vocab!Here the Bard goes straight for the juggular: "Wart-necked, fat-kidneyed canker-blossom!" I think I knew a girl in High School who fell into that category.
My favorite, though, is "beef-witted whore master!"
So as I'm signing, I feel it is my obligation to educate the masses. You may receive a Shakespearean insult in the front cover. Don't worry, I'm not insulting you. Well, I am. But it's in the name of education. filthy scuts!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Halloween Marathon Continues...

So, we started with classic wolf-man fare. I gotta say, the werewolves get no love. Sure, they pop up in all the vampire cultural phenomena, but as nothing more than background fluff. I don't want to make the case that werewolves are cooler than vamps, or vice-versa (Lord knows there are too many "Twilight" fans and "True Blood" fans that would love to lynch any lycanthropes from rising to power). Alls I'm sayin' is that werewolves are pretty freakin' cool. And, I think that may be because their usage is sparse, in comparison to the mass expansion of vampires in pop-culture today. Think of it, though...there have been some pretty cool werewolves. Michael J. Fox, Jason Bateman, Jack Nicholson, and, soon, Benecio Del Toro (though, he was the dog-boy in Big Top Pee Wee...that counts, right?).
But I digress.
I did follow up the initial trilogy with two addendums - fluffy, sugary, nonsensical cinema. But the two films compliment the Wolf-Man saga pretty well.
First, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Now, Abbott and Costello are comic geniuses, make no bones about it. What's fascinating about this match-up is the supporting cast. Of course, Chaney is back as the tormented Larry Talbot (give the man credit) and Bela Lugosi returns into the role of Dracula. Karloff is not in the mix. Instead, Glenn Strange shows up as the Frankenstein Monster.
Don't ask me how all these characters came together. It was an interesting plotpoint in House of Frankenstein, in A&C Meet Frankenstein, it's just nonsense. It doesn't matter, though, it's friggin' Abbott and Costello.
If you've never seen it, you're doing yourself a huge disservice. This is classic comedy. The interactions between Costello and the Wolf-Man in the woods is hilarious and on the verge of classic Three Stooges. And watching it, it reminded me of growing up with classic cinema and classic comedy like this...which is not found in today's raunchy comedy.
The other bookend on this trilogy, which also reminded me of childhood (though the Saturday morning cartoons), was Van Helsing.
I know, I know. Everyone HATED Van Helsing. If you're a hardcore hater, go back and take another look. It's not that bad. Yes, it's B-Movie grade with B-Movie acting that's trying to pass itself off as A-List material. That's the movie's fatal flaw. However, Van Helsing is the powdered sugar of movies. It is what it is. And, what it is, is fun...if you can get past the pretentions it brings.
If Roger Corman had been given a Speilberg-sized budget back in the sixties, this is the flick he would have churned out. No doubt in my mind.
So why did people hate it?
1.) Wolverine's not playing Wolverine; 2.)Nobody cares about the Universal Monsters anymore; 3.)Kate Beckinsale wasn't wearing her Underworld PVC dominatrix get-up.
Stephen Sommers did the same thing here he did with The Mummy franchise. He funned it up a bit, and got to play like a kid. Difference? He does some very cool stuf here.
Three reasons why you should revisit the film:
1.) Universal Monsters are very, very cool. The opening sequence is a beautifully well done homage to the classics;
2.) Shuler Hensley as Frankenstein's monster. I loved the Frankenstein monster storyline here. Karloff got close to humanizing the monster...but there's was only so much he could do. The role evolved into Peter Boyle adding humor to the beast. Now, Shuler Hensley perfects it. He truly is remarkable.
3.) Animation. The CG creatures are outstandingly remarkable. Remember, this is 2004 we're talking about. CGed Transformers hadn't come out yet. The animated beasts are insane! My personal favorite - Mr. Hyde (voiced by the wonderful Robbie Coltrane).
So, check 'em out, if you haven't already: Abbott and Costellor Meet Frankenstein & Van Helsing.
5 down...26 to go.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Halloween Movie Marathon!

Most of you know that I'm a bit of a cineophile! I love movies - classics, B-films, and even the contemporary popcorn munchers. But nothing blows my skirts up more than a good, solid horror flick. That's why every October, I dedicate the month to the genre. Some are movies I've seen; others are movies that I've not. I realize that a lot of you know I have a soft spot in my heart for Italian horror (I know, I know, the Japanese are cranking out the creepy ones right now - but, Italians dominated the 70's and 80's).
Because I have to work...ugh...and have BizarroCon...hooray!...I'm squeezing in a few mini-marathons in. Here's the first. If you haven't checked them out, I strongly encourage it.

The Wolf-Man Marathon:
The Wolf-Man
The Wolf-Man Meets Frankenstein
The House of Frankenstein
Sure, on the surface it may not seem that these films are connected. However, it's the first example of a Hollywood trilogy (the subsequent Frankenstein and Dracula films followed these). The other unique factor here is that Lon Chaney Jr is the only actor to play a Universal Monster through all the flicks. That's right, he WAS the Wolf-Man. Frankenstein's Monster was played by Boris, Bela, Glenn and others and Dracula was played by too many actors...but in the Universal world look for Bela Lugosi and John Carradine.
The Wolf-Man is cinematic perfection. It doesn't give away too doesn't give away too little. Interesting factoid: it's not the film that famous for the amazing Lon Chaney transformation. You see the lap-photography, but it's not 'til the last ten minutes. What you see if a transformation of the feet.
If you've never seen The Wolf-Man, do so. It's a great thriller and it clocks in at just over an hour - it's easy to squeeze in. Lon Chaney is an amazing physical actor. The stuff he does with the character is pretty remarkable, especially considering that he's a big guy. Too, the generic score used here (as it was recycled in all the Universal monster movies) works.
The big sequel to The Wolf-Man is The Wolf-Man meets Frankenstein. It's better than the first, if that's possible. Chaney, here, gets a chance to show his acting chops. He's wonderful as the sad-sap, afflicted everyman. Of course, he does happen upon Frankenstein's monster...and interesting concept that would be mimicked in the 60's...and their interactions are quite remarkable. Bela plays the monster in this flick, and I'll tell you, it's the first time you truly miss Karloff. Not that Bela's not talented. Playing the monster, though, you always though anyone could play it. Not true.
There's no real showdown between the two giant monsters until the last two minutes. Still, it's a fairly remarkable effort to contiue the story of Larry Talbot's troubled soul, with a passing mention of Frankenstein's name.
Finally, there's a joy! House of Frankenstein. This is probably my favorite Karloff performance. He plays an imprisoned mad scientist who idolized Frankenstein. He even has a hunchback follower named Daniel. Karloff is absolute evil here. He cares nothing about any other character. All he cares about is his own gain. And to that end...he drags all the Universal monsters into the batter.
First he frees Dracula (played by John Carradine, who's not bad, it's just after Bela Lugosi you kind of long for that authentic European flavor), then comes across the frozen corpses of Larry Talbot and the Frankenstein Monster (played here by Glenn Strange) from the end of the Wolf-Man Meets Frankenstein.
This was the first effort at a legitimate franchise and Universal nails it! The movie paces better than the other films in the Universal monster collection. It's also tributed to great performances (Boris and Lon are really at their very best).
If you're up for some classic horror...though, not scary by today's standards...check this trilogy out.

More to come...