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 6 Melt Movies

In honor of Calrton Mellick’s new novel BIO MELT (which you can pick up from Amazon right now!), I’ve decided to put together my top six favorite melt movies. The 80s and early 90s were THE decades for weird horror films, but while most people were watching slashers like Freddy and Jason carve up the silver screen, I was watching the weird home video shit. And one of my favorite genres was the melt movie. Lots of movies had meltdowns in that era. The Toxic Avenger, The Fly 2, and Robocop to name a few had some of the more memorable melting scenes. But a few movies took it upon themselves to theme the ENTIRE feature around melting. They’re all cool, but these six are my absolute favorites.

6. Bio CopBio-Cop-01

Bio-Cop is the reason this list is 6 movies instead of 5. While not actually a real movie, the mock trailer for Bio-Cop alone is brilliant enough to garner inclusion on this list. The story is, a beat cop has an accident in a lab, covering him in chemicals, turning him into a walking, talking slime monster. What makes this fake movie brilliant, is that ole Bio-Cop doesn’t take his transformation into a melt-man very well at all. Scene after scene in the trailer shows him deep in existential crisis. A poster for the film even has the tag line, “Why am I alive?”

 1373855248_75. Street Trash

Street Trash is a late 80s gem about a bunch of homeless people who get their hands on an alcoholic beverage called Viper. Problem is, when they drink it, they melt down into glorious technicolor puddles of goo. How this flick wasn’t produced by Troma is a mystery because it shares the same brash, low budget sleeze antics as Troma greats like The Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke Em High. It also has one of the best posters in all of cult cinema.

TheStuffDVD4. The Stuff

The Stuff is a goofy, almost noir tale about an ex-FBI agent and a young boy trying to solve the mystery of a new yogurt-like food item on the market turning people into crazed, zombie addicts. The film runs long and doesn’t really focus too heavily on The Stuff in question on screen, but once it gets going there are some great melty goo shots that make this a definitive entry on my list of top melt flicks.

large_society_13_blu-ray_-e14320953701803. Society

Brian Yuzna of Empire Pictures fame brings us a rare non-Lovecraftian gem in his first feature film outing. Society is an allegory about wealthy secret societies. Unfortunately for our rich, young protagonist, this particular secret society is made up of hideous monsters with the ability to melt together and form ridiculously weird shapes out of their bodies. This flick is probably the most graphic of any of the entries on this list. Yuzna loves his slimy latex creatures, and the climax of Society might just be the coolest melt scene in cinema history.

Body_Melt_1993-Movie-72. Body Melt

Body Melt looks and feels a lot like Peter Jackson’s early works like Dead Alive and Bad Taste. That’s because this weird ass movie was also filmed in New Zealand. With its shoe string budget, wildly divergent story lines and absolutely wicked melt effects, Body Melt will keep your head spinning as you try to keep up with the plot, all while putting a huge smile on the face of any true melty movie fan. In essence, it’s the tale of a corporation monitoring the effects of a product on a small neighborhood totally unaware that they’re being watched. But that plot probably makes up less than half the run time of the movie. With hillbilly cannibals and all kinds of other crazy shit going on, Body Melt has something for every cult movie fanatic.

blob-19881. The Blob 1988

For me, The Blob 1988 is the holy grail of melt movies. Taking the basic premise of the original, a meteorite falls from space onto a small farm, only reveal a purple, translucent blob lurking inside hungry for human flesh. What the 88 version does is crank up the gore and slime FX to 11. There are so many awesome graphic, horrific shots of people suffering, melting and dying inside the blob. By the time the thing grows to the size of a building and decimates a small town during the film’s climax, any discerning melty movie fan should be howling with delight. This is the best of the bunch. The biggest budget melt movie of all time, I’d suspect. And it uses all of that money to gobble up and melt as many humans as possible during its run time. A true melt masterpiece.

I won a dodgeball game once.

kevinthestrangelogo4My friend Bradley Sands has a new book out about Dodgeball, called Dodgeball High (available on Amazon here). You should buy it because he’s a great writer and his books are hilarious.

Little known fact: I won a Dodgeball game in junior high once. I was a complete loser in school. I was one of the dorks who got picked on in class and generally looked at as nothing. So, if I wasn’t the last kid picked on the team, I was damn close. Maybe there was a fatter, less athletic kid nobody liked in class, but flip a coin and I could have easily been dead last choice. Likewise, nobody gave a shit to try to knock me out of the game.

The competitive jocks were out for each other, and the other talentless losers always made the mistake of girly tossing their ball directly at the jocks’ chests, letting the jocks catch their ball, which was a way to eliminate players, for you sad folks who’ve never played Dodgeball. So I used a different tactic. Being generally ignored, it was easy for me to creep around and nail guys in the leg while they were paying attention to someone else. The tricky part was getting a ball back. That’s how I usually lost games. I’d get a couple of dudes eliminated, and then not have a ball to attack or defend with, and I wasn’t athletic, so actually dodging or catching balls never really worked for me.

This time, though? Oh boy, was I on fire. When I’d knock someone out of the game by sniping their legs, I’d hit them just right and my ball would roll back across the center line right back to me. I didn’t knock out very many players because I always wanted to have my ball to deflect the Jocks’ fastballs that I could never catch. And indeed, once the players were eliminated down to less than 10, and our coach allowed us to start crossing the center line to a line deeper into the other team’s territory, I needed those deflector balls cause the jocks finally realized the little fat kid was somehow a threat.

It wasn’t uncommon for our gym class to play Dodgeball two or three times a week in the winter when we couldn’t go outside, so we got a lot of games in, back in Junior High. I’d made it to this point a few times in the past, using the same strategy, but even with a deflector ball, some jock would inevitably throw a fast ball hard enough to blast my ball out of my hand, eliminating me. But this match? It was the perfect storm. We were only one line away from an open court, and only 4 or 5 players remained. I had my ball and two or three others at my feet to defend with when the remaining jocks turned on each other and knocked out all the players except one!

The coach called open court and it’s just me and a wrestler kid who used to be my friend when we were kids. But, like all the jocks, once we got older, he didn’t want anything to do with a comic book nerdy. So we’re surrounded by balls and I’m standing there, letting him circle me while his friends all shout rude shit at me and make fun of him for being in a match against a loser like me, when I notice something critical. I’m walking around with my ball clutched in two hands waiting to deflect, while he’s bouncing his ball like a basketball. In true jock fashion, he’s not the least bit concerned about my attack, expecting me to just crumble at his aggressive posture.

I realize right then, that I can use my lameness to my advantage. He doesn’t expect me to strike. So I wait, and I time him as he slowly dribbles his dodgeball, grinning at me while his friends call me a loser and a fag. That’s when I pull a jock move. While his ball is mid-bounce. I fake like I’m going to throw, causing him to spazz and grab at his ball, giving me plenty of time to step into a nice hard overhand throw and spike him right in the shoulder, eliminating him, and winning my first and only sports game in my entire life.

So yeah, Dodgeball is cool, and you should buy Dodgeball High from Bradley Sands and Eraserhead Press.