Well, today’s my birthday and exactly two weeks ago I flew out to Portland again for the EIGHTH annual BizarroCon. It was huge, it was hilarious, and for a change I actually didn’t get sick. The Sunday after a convention I’m usually sick, but this time my physical form felt as vibrant and energized as my astral form. I then went Super Saiyan and destroyed Mount Hood. Here’s what else happened.
My wife dropped me off at the airport on Thursday and I wind up meeting another BizarroCon attendee (Nicholaus Patnaude) while waiting for the plane. Pretty cool. I read J. David Osborne’s story from the latest Bizarro Starter Kit on the plane. When we land Nicholaus and I hitch a ride with MP Johnson to Edgefield. As soon as I arrived I checked in and started seeing/hugging people. When I finally got a chance to check my phone I saw that I’d won a Facebook contest for the latest David James Keaton book (huge thanks to him and Max Booth). Running on coffee fumes, I spent Thursday evening talking to Alan Clarke about alcoholism and insanity, and then turned in early. I got a full night’s sleep, another BizarroCon first for me, and woke up early as hell for Friday.
On Friday I just hung out all day. I chilled with Adam Millard and John Wayne Communale. I chilled with Carlton Mellick III and Rose O’Keefe, my publisher. We made some crazy plans that I can’t talk about yet, but they’re important enough that I’m going to learn to Skype. I went to a highly informative workshop with Jeremy Robert Johnson, where we learned some intricate techniques on how to sling a book (it’s NOT all in the wrist, as I’d been told). Later I wound up chilling a lot with Karl Fischer and his wife, and also MP Johnson. Eventually I got to catch up with Jim Agpalza and we decided to make some insane plans for my next book. I even roped Nick Gucker into it as well, so two of my absolute favorite artists are going to be helping me create some really rad shit.
Friday night were readings, which were hilarious and entertaining as always. I talked with Bradley Sands about comics, and then found Sam McCanna of Skurvy Ink. He made an awesome shirt for The Night’s Neon Fangs. I bought a bunch and gave them away. Also they GLOW IN THE FREAKING DARK, and since we were in Portland and it was cloudy all weekend, they pretty much glowed all the time. I had a reading at some point, paired up with Scott “MULTI-CRABS” Cole. I read a tale told by an apocalyptic human-hating frog. Cameron Pierce (whose opinion I value quite a bit) told me it was great and that he wanted to read a manuscript of it. So there’s another story I’m going to be working on, hopefully with another frog reading at next year’s BizarroCon. More and more rad shit kept happening.
And it ain’t even over yet. Saturday featured MORE readings (and also my favorite readings) by: Tiffany Scandal, Rio de la Luz, and Gabino Iglesias, all featured during the Broken River Books reading. Karl Fischer also destroyed the room during the NBAS reading. Later came the Wonderland Awards (winners: Violet LeVoit and MP Johnson) and the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown, where I once again pointed my finger at the crowd and yelled a bunch of stuff. I didn’t win the Showdown (Danger Slater did, because he’s entertaining as fuck). Both Pedro Proenca and Adam Millard shed their hair for our amusement, especially Adam who chose to wax his torso while reading to us. Later on, while I was boxing up books for Rose, I stole Adam’s showdown script, which he hardly got to read from because he was busy with his own agony. I feel like I own part of a legend now. My man Nick Gucker also won an art contest for his rendition of “Christmas Shark vs. Butthole Monster.” It was beautiful.
And then it was over. I ate breakfast on Sunday with Gabino, Andy de Fonseca, Robert Devereaux, and Lee Widener (who informed me that the great Fred Gwynne had written children’s books, which I must now have). Karl gave me a ride back to the airport and I paid him in cookies. While waiting to get through security, I met ANOTHER BizarroCon attendee, Lucas Mangum, who was carrying the Con sickness. I hugged him anyway. Now it’s all done, and I’m left to slog through the holiday season and most of 2016 until I can fly back and show these foolish humans the biological superiority of the frog. Viva la Amphibian.