Jeremy Maddux’s Bizarro Boycott

In this brief monologue, Maddux commits to his first boycott, of Bizarro fiction. He doesn’t care if you are vehemently against it, indifferent to it or even if you support it. This is not to impress anyone. This is to simply say that no more of his money will go to paying the overhead on a company that allows repulsive personalities that whine about an ‘evil white man conspiracy’. Maddux also touches on Lazy Fascist Press shuttering their operation, and Cameron Pierce’s sudden regret to have even given his press that name. Why? Because politics… Just like Maddux and Strange said six months ago. This is no different than football fans telling the NFL they’re no longer willing to fund their antics.

The following is a transcription of Jeremy’s monologue:

Jeremy Maddux here with a heavy heart on this Tuesday, October 3rd. Why do I have a heavy heart? Because I have to say goodbye to a literary genre that has been my passion for the last five years. For newer listeners who don’t know what I’m talking about, it was a genre of fiction called Bizarro. Though there are opposing viewpoints on where these stories came from, it’s pretty much understood that Eraserhead Press popularized it to legions of readers with disenfranchised reading tastes and fans of B-Movies.

I fell so in love with these books that I was motivated to go meet the authors, who are mostly based in Portland, Oregon. I saw a lot of good and a lot of bad in my 2 weeks among that crowd. More or less, I felt like I’d found an extended family. I wanted to believe.

Then, I got home. And I started to see more bad than good. Instead of knocking on every door they possibly could to talk about their books, their wares, their community, all they wanted to talk about was the evil white man, rape scenes in Game of Thrones and how Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver was a sleeper agent for male patriarchy. These mostly white people never missed an opportunity to demonize other white people.

They were quick to signal their acceptance of all other cultures no matter what misogyny or cruelty lurked in said cultures, so long as they weren’t white. Now that I had advanced through this fraternal order, I began to field requests from these authors to ‘keep an eye’ on a problematic author named Kevin Strange due to ‘bad intel’ about his personal life, which I strongly felt was none of my or their business. To this day, none of them have apologized to Strange for prying around in his personal life. These people maintained toxic social media presences far longer than I did.

Then Trump got elected. They lost their minds. They literally became ugly people with base, aimless vitriol. Then the gloves were off. I said ‘fuck these people and their disgustingly permissive attitude towards all things progressive’, even turning on artists, other writers and filmmakers who didn’t share their strictly progressive regimen. They turned on everyone from Steve Martin to Tim Burton to Lloyd Kaufman.

Fast forward a few months… They are openly insulting a man with stage 4 cancer and they come after me for taking exception to this. I’m the bad guy for defending an ill man who is not a physical threat to anyone.

Now, one of their own, Tiffany Scandal, responds to the Las Vegas massacre not with sobering thoughts but it seems she can only muster more hatred for the white male patriarchy. “White men are the worst terrorists this world has ever seen.”

This is someone selling you books, all too glad to sell you books about how oppressed modern women are, oh, but they’re just as capable as men while still being victims, though! All too glad to sell them to white men who hate their own color and gender. How do you not see the insanity in that?

So here it is: My first boycott. I never do these. I think they’re bullshit and the people are usually bluffing. I am not bluffing. All told, I have spent thousands of dollars on Bizarro fiction in the last five years. That comes to an end now. No more New Bizarro Authors Series. No new Carlton Mellick books. No more proofreading for Rose. Sorry, Rose. I won’t even buy my good buddy Kevin Donihe’s books any longer, which is a shame because he’s an actual author not a novelty act like many of the people over there who won’t be writers at all five years from now.

I see all this heinous behavior going on over there that they refuse to even see as heinous. All this lashing out at customers, fans and readers by Jeff Burk over stupid social media disagreements. Hell, he did it in person too! Over what? The color blue, comic books, some stupid Howard the Duck bullshit. I see them trolling people with cancer, organizing their temper tantrum anthologies to bemoan the inauguration of Trump and Tiffany Scandal goes and hammers the final nail in the ol’ Bizarro baby coffin with this verbal detritus about white men being terrorists, nevermind that she’s dating one. She took one of the biggest mass shootings in US history and tried to make it about her.

They think they ‘triggered’ me. They love to use that terminology from early 2016. I am not triggered. I am flat out pissed off. There is no happy ending for Bizarro. I quarantined both of the Tiffany Scandal books that I owned. I don’t burn books but I had to do something, so I tore There is No Happy Ending down the middle to symbolize my official break with everything Bizarro. As for her other book, Jigsaw Youth? I used it as a piss mat.

I mentioned Rose and Carlton earlier, and I want to once again extend my apologies that things turned out this way. But, honest to God, they didn’t leave me much choice. People like Jeff Burk, Garrett Cook, Tiffany Scandal, Nathan Carson, Michael Kazepis. They actively work to alienate people, whether they realize it or not.

Rose and Carlton, all you had to do was step in and squash these antics when they were happening. Are you not the bosses? Do you think they would have respected you less or more if you told these individuals to snap out of it and get back to work? Carlton, I want to draw a comic book analogy and compare you to Black Bolt of the Inhumans. He’s their king, yet he always worked in the shadows and he never spoke, even when pressed to. Then, one day, during a very intense battle, he feels overwhelmed and he screams at the top of his lungs. His voice is so powerful it shakes Heaven and Earth. Be like Black Bolt, Carlton. When are you going to use your voice to set things right? Do you honestly think these people would challenge you if you asserted yourself in a way they’re not used to seeing?

I understand there is something to be said for friendship. But I hope it was worth losing this long time reader who truly, passionately believed in the forces of weird, someone who once dreamed of becoming a contributor to this once mighty press. Now? Well, now quite frankly, most of them are beneath me.

Kevin Strange’s Top 3 Bizarro Books of 2014


Another year has come and gone, gang. 2014 was one of the more challenging years since I began writing fiction full time. But, even though the year was full of doubt, ended relationships, far too much isolation and second guessing decisions, there were many bright spots, many wonderful surprises and challenges overcome, lessons learned, and friendships built and solidified with the promise of great, powerful things to come in the future.

I moved into a new apartment. I started a vlog show. I released a short story collection and a double novella with Danger Slater. I started two more novels and wrote a dozen short stories. More than enough for another collection. I ended some toxic relationships. I saved a lot of money for a cross-country move to somewhere still not decided. I launched this website. I started a newsletter and released its first issue. I attended Bizarrocon for the first time.

I began the year full of doubt that anyone truly understood me or what my goals were in this fiction game, or even in my personal life. I end the year with the profound sense that I am understood. Maybe not always liked, and often disagreed with. But understood. And that’s all life is, in the end, isn’t it? A battle cry out into the emptiness of space. Hear me! Understand me! This is how I interpret the human condition! This is my sliver of the universe perceiving itself!

The calendar resetting doesn’t change who we are, fundamentally. But it gives us a moment of pause to assess where we came from and where we’re going. As long as we’re healthy enough, and have the piece of mind, we can take another step forward. Every journey in life, in love, and toward success starts with that first step every day, week, month, and year.

Here’s to that first step into the new year, gang. For all of us, let’s make it a good one.

-Kevin Strange


OK, with that nonsense out of the way, here are my top three bizarro books of 2014:



1. Fantastic Earth Destroyer Ultra Plus- Cameron Pierce and Jim Agpalza

This is, hands down, my favorite book of 2014 and one of the very best bizarro books I’ve ever read. It is sad. It is violent. It is bleak. It is full of the most beautiful imagery Jim has ever created. All of his strengths are at work here. Awkward looking gaunt characters with looks of profound sadness that only Jim can create. Lots of nudity, an Agpalza mainstay. But more than those things, he’s able to take Pierce’s ethereal, dreamlike prose, and just go with the flow. Mom is young and beautiful until she isn’t. The humans are real, until they’re puppets. Tetsuo grows a whale foot named Candle. Summer goes blind and becomes something less than human. Cameron has written his darkest, most bleak tale to date. Jim has created his finest, weirdest illustrations to date. This is a masterwork of bizarro fiction. I can’t wait to see these two giants of the weird collaborate again.

2. Wormjob- M.T. Granberry

Humor is extremely hard to pull off in fiction. Many brand new authors attempt humor because it feels safe. Like they’re not committing to much. Like they’re simply goofing off and if they fail, oh well, they weren’t taking themselves seriously anyway. Humor is often employed by those afraid to fail. The problem is, those people aren’t actually committing to much. They aren’t actually putting much thought toward their comedy. This is true for all art. Movies, music. A lot of brand new artists think starting by goofing off is the best way to test the waters before they plunge in with what they really have to say to the universe.

And that’s fine. Maybe that’s the way it should be. But most of the time, those jokes aren’t funny, and that humor is really bad. Not the case with M.T. Granberry’s Wormjob. This delicious body horror tale of a woman getting experimental breast implants full of, you guessed it, parasitic worms is an absurdist tale to be sure. But the humor is funny. The absurdity is the style in which we’re told these awful people’s story. And it works! It works so well it had me laughing out loud.

Fiction doesn’t have to be crafted with pompous, pretentious prose to be moving and tell a larger truth. Newspaper comics have been cutting right to the heart of truth with absurdist cartoons for more than a hundred years. And that’s what Wormjob is. A cartoon in prose attacking the absurdity of superficial, manufactured beauty. The plastic surgery industry. Consumerism. Religion. And it is done well!

Don’t let the silliness of Wormjob fool you, Mr. Granberry is a powerful voice in bizarro fiction. One that will create many more tales of the absurd that just might give you pause and make you think that maybe, it’s not his fiction that’s absurd, but the world around you instead.

3. Kill Ball-Carlton Mellick III

For an author with 40+ books in print, one might guess that Carlton Mellick III might be running out of things to say in his fiction. And while a lot of his books aren’t exactly making profound statements about the human condition, they are always weird, always heart-felt and typically do leave the reader with a few things to chew on after they’ve closed the book.

Kill Ball shows a true bizarro veteran’s ability to take just about any premise, and create characters and a plot around them that are both engaging and honest. When Kill Ball begins, we meet a young boy who wants to touch his ailing mother so badly, he crawls inside of her protective plastic bubble, only to see her melt before his eyes. Fast forward a decade, and everyone on earth lives inside mobile plastic bubbles lest they meet the same melty fate.

That’s the setup. That’s the world Carlton creates for us, and does so effortlessly. Within 15 pages, you’re immersed in bubble world not questioning for a second the ridiculous idea that an entire planet of people would bounce around inside plastic bubbles. That’s easy to do when reading a Mellick book, because he approaches these nonsense premises with absolute sincerity.

What follows is a classic Italian horror tale of a leather clad killer ball chasing down and murdering strippers. It gets really weird and takes several turns that you will not see coming. It’s a solid book with a crazy premise that works on every level. If this guy is still hitting homeruns at 40+ books, imagine what he’ll be writing when he gets close to triple digits? I, for one, can’t wait.