Friday, November 28, 2008


I cannot begin to describe how much fun this year's Bizarrocon in Portland was. First off, let me begin by saying that I am dry as a Mormon until Christmas. Did my drinking in Portland, started to like it plenty. None of that for awhile. Bizarrocon was a joyous meeting with family I didn't know I had, a group of inveterate authors who welcomed the new guy with open arms in spite of his eccentricities and fringe status. Not quite what I expected. I thought there might be some de facto hazing, that nobody would know who the hell I was, that people would be rude because I was new to the genre/movement. This couldn't be further from the case and it was great. I never felt more like a real, honest-to-god writer than I did at Bizarrocon.
I was picked up from the train station by the gracious and excellent miss Rose O' Keefe in the morning and brought to the offices of Eraserhead Press. (Author's Note: Henceforth, all events in this blog might be Bizarro'ed up by at least twenty five percent. What is fiction? What is fact? Moot. Fucking moot.) At the Eraserhead offices, a group of Mexican tourists in the hallway threw down money on a minotaur fight. It was the third best minotaur fight I'd ever seen. It was here that I met Carlton Mellick, Jeff Burk, Gina Ranalli and George Bernard Shaw. They were all really cool (except for Shaw, who steadfastly refused to wear any pants) and I was quite excited to meet them. The familial atmosphere, as we approached the Edgefield, an abandoned Imperial Space Station in the Shnorgoth Sector, which, while haunted by the spirits of slain oxygen miners, was still an excellent place to chill out and drink. I had a chance to meet my publisher, Emperor Jeremy Needle of the Evil Nerd Empire and we discussed the Empire's plans to subjugate mankind. Also present were Jeremy Robert Johnson (who is cryogenically freezing himself so that he may write his next book in a less obtrusive century), Confederate General Kevin L. Donihe, known dick Bradley Sands, Andersen Prunty whose shoes were twenty five percent more red than you thought they were, Eckhard Gerdes, who I had previously met, but this time graciously offered a soup tureen full of angel's blood to the party, transgender prize fighter Cameron Pierce, his companion Molly Goldstein and seven year old computer whiz Forrest Armstrong. There was rowdiness, drinking and fun until Cameron Pierce challenged Jeremy Robert Johnson to a fistfight. Dozens of lives were lost as the patented Pierce thunderpunch found its mark, shattering Johnson's giant mecha exo-armor.
The following morning, we were joined by conspiracy theorist and Archon Mitch Maraude, ursine enthusiast Mykle Hansen and writers Maggie Lance and Christopher Reynaga, who is, as his name implies in a multilingual pun, king of the snakepeople. The future of Bizarro was discussed with good comrades and a book release party for Cameron, Mykle and Carlton occurred. Fun was had by all. I later got a chance to meet hotblooded Haiku machine Jess Gulbranson, and let me tell you, the stories you heard are true. Jesus.
Things were capped off the following night by the Ultimate Bizarro showdown, where each of us took turns rocking the mic until it came down to three of us. The only way to settle it from there was an all out three man battle royale. Mykle Hansen assumed werebear form, while Mellick played it safe, hiding inside an armored sentient chalupa with missile launcher eyes. It was quite a fight for Hansen, who eventually realized he could triumph by simply eating the chalupa. In a surprising twist, it came down to me, the new guy and Hansen. I attempted to stop the rampaging manbear with the thunderpunch I had learned from Cameron Pierce, but it was not to be. I had to rely on a blood sacrifice to the elder god Bestialitor, a creature with the head of a squirrel, the claws of a crab and the body of Jane Russell. I barely made it out alive and had to raze an entire Somalian village. But, it was worth it for the inflatable moosehead I won. The next day we all parted company as good friends and brothers at arms. Bizarrocon is awesome. Bizarro is awesome. The moosehead is awesome. Bestiality is awesome. Scratch the last one.
So, okay, it was 25 percent less weird than all of that, but it was still one of the great experiences of my life, one I hope to trump next year. I hear Carlton is constructing a giant lobster made out of chicharon for next year's ultimate Bizarro showdown. Will it work? Maybe. Will it kick ass anyway? Definitely. Bizarro rules, especially everyone at Bizarrocon.