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Well, the time has finally come. The project I’ve been developing these last few months is ready for launch. All my ruminations on this here blog, setting up my new mailing list (Fresh from the Vat! Sign up above!), and the sheer amount of research and painstaking planning has been building up to this moment. Now you get to see it…

Bacon Fried Bastard is now the very first Clone Warrior release. You can buy a brand new copy at Amazon, either in paperback or ebook (and if you’ve got Kindle Unlimited? Shiiiiiiiiit, it’s free). BFB was previously published by Eraserhead Press about six years ago now, and since I already had the artwork on hand, I decided this book would be the best guinea pig for my new publishing process. Setting up this first book was a huge task, mainly because I haven’t self-published in over a decade, but today has made it all worth it.

At this point, I want to thank everyone who helped me in the process. I hate dropping names, but these folks were a tremendous help: Karl and Whitney Fischer, my now fellow publishers who gave me invaluable advice while I was building Clone Warrior, and for helping to go over the BFB manuscript. I also want to thank Kari Holloway for her services in having BFB reformatted and for the sheer scope of her publishing knowledge, which she’s very generous with. Also deserving of thanks is the great Don Noble for designing the cover.  His work is always top notch and worth every penny. And last but definitely not least is the cover artist Nick Gucker. Nick created that cover image as a poster for me back when BFB first came out. Working with him again was a pleasure, as I’m an admirer of his gargantuan talents and hope to have him make the next few Clone Warrior covers. The man’s an amazing artist and an amazing human being.

But back to myself. Because even with this new venture finally kicking off, and the holidays, and the pandemic, and my wife and kids… I’ve got MORE stuff going on.

This weekend I’m taking part in a VIRTUAL BOOK SIGNING held by the good folks at Babou691. On December 5&6, just go to Babou691.com and browse the virtual sales tables of twelve weird writers. You can then choose to buy something directly from the authors, autographs included. I happen to have a lot of inventory from going a year without cons, and if you know me, you know I always send tons of crazy extra stuff when you order directly from me.

Check it out. Check out Bacon Fried Bastard. Sign up for my mailing list so you can check out everything coming in the future from Clone Warrior.

Because more is coming.

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Well, it’s the day after the 2020 election and, while it looks like Biden will win, it wasn’t the dominant blowout revolution that we were expecting after four years of rule by an evil game show host.

And as always, I look on the bright side. It’s for the best that the Democrats don’t get a full win. They wouldn’t know how to handle it anyway. They seem to work best (or work at all) when the situation is desperate and their options are limited. Still, not looking forward to the next few years of gridlock and bickering.

Best not to dwell on that. Switching the topic to actual writing: I had an article published at Babou 691 as part of their “How to Grow Bizarro” series. This gave me a chance to share my thoughts on what exactly the bizarro genre is and what it means for the people within it. Check it out HERE.

Babou 691

I may have caused some confusion because I said on twitter that bizarro was my “old genre”. Without making this into some sort of dramatic breakup, that’s the most accurate description. Over the years, “weirdness” has come to mean all sorts of things to me. It’s broken down into such granular pieces that I can’t lump myself in with any of the other weirdos anymore because my specific weirdness doesn’t quite match up with theirs. I think that’s probably true for most of us. Over the years the writing landscape hasn’t been so much a community as a desolate landscape where we’re all lone gunslingers doing our best to survive. Luckily for me, I’ve learned some stuff that has made me a better shot.

Maybe that’s how it always was back when I joined the bizarro tribe. Or maybe I’ve grown cynical. Who knows. I will say this, which I told a friend who asked me about it the other day: a few years ago a met Joe Lansdale, a hero of mine for all sorts of reasons. I told him I was part of the bizarro genre and… well, he seemed embarrassed for me. I told him I was trying to branch out and he said that was good. That you’re best off doing your own thing. That stuck with me. And I’m not saying that Joe Lansdale’s way of doing things should be my way of doing things, more like the whole point is to find your own way of doing it. That’s all.

Or you can go join a pirate crew. Maybe that’s your thing.

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We’re a week away from the official 2020 election, so I guess I better make this post about politics.

Which means it has to be about Donald Trump. What else is there to say that hasn’t already been beaten like a dead horse? Not much. Trump’s been trolling us all since he entered politics and everything he’s done and said has been unpacked and scrutinized. Which is what we, as a society, needed to do. We needed to hold up the absolute worst human being in the world—a man who was basically born and bred to be evil—and examine him. Take in who he is and what he stands for. What he means for our society. What it means that we could create such a guy.

And that’s a good thing. It’s like America is in therapy now. We all knew that there’s an underside to America that is shallow, corrupt, stupid, greedy, and even downright malicious. We knew that. We’ve been cynically joking about it for decades. We believe in truth, justice, etcetera, but hey, did you know the systems that run our society can be manipulated by the privileged? Yes. We knew that. But many of us denied that, and that denial allowed the problem to get worse and worse until…

Donald Trump. After all these years of watching, listening, and just generally dealing with his presence, we’ve all become disgusted and ashamed. The plausible deniability that some people could buy into isn’t so plausible anymore. Things got worse, and now we just want out. That’s why voting feels so cool all of a sudden (as it should). That’s why nobody’s hassling Joe Biden for his little personality quirks (which they shouldn’t).

We have Donald Trump to thank for that. Because he’s so disgusting and stupid and malevolent, he’s actually united most of the country against him. A lot of people bought into his hype in 2016, but that’s how Republicans have always won. People are more comfortable with the conservatives because they give a feeling of familiarity and thus are usually given more plausible deniability. The result, at least in this century, has been Republicans winning power by saying I promise not to fuck it up…then fucking it up. That’s how Trump knew he could take them over.

My hope is that Trump’s current scheme (because everything he does is a scheme, and after he loses he’ll be moving onto the next scheme) has shocked us to the point that we’re more vigilant in the next few elections. It’s good that we’re all disgusted and angry and hungry to vote right now. This election is important, but the next one will be, too. Because let me tell you something: we’re lucky we got Donald Trump and not somebody who’s even MORE evil. Somebody who’s a real believer in evil ideas and not just using them for his own fame. Somebody who really wants to screw up this country and hurt people but isn’t hindered by his own immaturity and recklessness. Hell, Dick Cheney could’ve been that guy, but as evil and smart and ambitious as he was, he still lacked the charisma to make people like him. What if we had a guy who was just as evil as Trump, but was better at seducing the voters, manipulating the systems of government, and keeping the press on his side? That’s what the Republicans will be putting up for the next decade, and they could win, too.

So, go vote the bastard out. All the rest of this week and then on Tuesday. But then stay vigilant. All the rest of your life. Or else the next boogieman we get will be armed with more than a third-grade reading level and stupid hair.

It’s a good thing Trump was elected. I couldn’t say that four years ago because I didn’t know how it would play out, but I suspected it at the time. And despite the death and destruction he’s caused, I’m glad it’s turned out this way. People have to reach rock bottom before they can start fixing the problem. It’s the only way we could get a liberal Reagan Revolution and what I hope to be a massive mandate for Biden to make some serious much-needed reforms. Going forward, no Republican should be able to rear his head without answering for Donald Trump’s bullshit. Without being tied to him and everything wrong with him. Because if they get half a chance to have power again they’ll fuck things up even worse than he has.

Luckily, the one move that the people in this country can make is the most important move in the game: VOTE. Nobody’s taken that away yet (and they won’t…but only if you vote).

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Welcome back to another installment of this here blog. Last week I appeared on the John Wayne is Dead podcast with my good friend, John Wayne Communale. We talked about Clone Warrior, signing up for my mailing list (you should) and general existence in the land of art and commerce. That recording is available HERE or at any other podcast provider. Our entire conversation can be heard if you subscribe to John Wayne’s Patreon.

John Wayne Comunale is creating Books and Music | Patreon

Otherwise, what’s going on? The Halloween season is in full swing and I’m trying to enjoy it before its all over and done. I actually like this time of year, and lately things seem to be calming down in my personal life. Today I tried to reach out to a few people and spread some positive energy. I offered to read something for one friend and just said hello to another. I expressed my deep interest in another friend’s upcoming book, which I know is music to an author’s ears.

But I’m also trying to quit smoking. I’ve weened myself down to nearly nothing but going cold turkey still puts me on edge a little. So that’s a little nerve-wracking, but I know that once I quit I’ll wonder how I managed to waste that much money sucking poison into myself. Oh, shit. I just thought about money. Now my mood’s ruined.

And I am THIS close to finishing edits on the debut book from Clone Warrior. I know it’s taken time, but I like to take my time. That’s kind of the whole point to all this. Plus a lot of this I’m doing for the first time, so there are bugs to work out of the system. Hopefully by the end of this week I can start the formatting process.

Also, two weeks from today is the 2020 Election, so I guess the next Barbwired will have to be a very special political episode.

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Hey, this week’s edition of Barbwired won’t be a very special episode full of drama and emotional processing.

It’ll be a reminder to sign up for FRESH FROM THE VAT. You can do that at the top of this here blog or using this link right here.

Now, I have to get back to work immediately, because very soon the first Clone Warrior book will drop and I have a lot of work to do to make it as fantastic as possible. But before I do that, I’m going to share a hint. It’s not anything about the book I’m working on. It’s about the book after that.

It’ll be one of the stories from this book, a collection of four novellas that’s about six years old now and long out of print. One of the four stories in there is getting a complete upgrade and rerelease next year. I refuse to tell you which one, so stay tuned to this here blog (and sign up for my newsletter) for the latest news.

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Well, something strange just happened. Somebody died.

I guess I shouldn’t eulogize her, because I didn’t really know her personally. She was a fan of the bizarro community, and gave a lot of support to various writers. I think she reviewed one or two of my books or bought them directly from me, but that was like five years ago. She was definitely a good person, and I definitely owe her a lot of thanks for her support. I don’t know how she died, but I think she was dealing with some serious stress and depression in her life. And even if that wasn’t the case of her death, whatever happened is still tragic as hell. She was too young to die.

That sucks. And now I’m depressed, too.

Things have felt out of control lately. And I feel bad for this person I barely knew, but I still don’t feel any connection to the overall “scene” of writers/readers/fans that introduced me to her. That connection has withered away over the last few years, along with a few other support systems I once had.

Don’t get bitter, David, don’t get—

Hey, did you know that some guy painted beautiful portraits of everyone in the bizarro scene a few years ago and literally everyone got a portrait except me? Everyone. Unless you showed up to the scene afterwards, I guess.

Okay, it’s time to stop wallowing around when I should be grateful to still have what I have and just be alive. Nobody likes a complainer. When people hear you complaining, they start lining up to talk about how you deserve it.

And anyway, I have work to do. As the Nazis said, “work will set you free.” Sure, it was a murderous lie, but damned if it’s not a good motivational statement. Back to work. Focus on the task. Don’t wallow in your own feelings. With the work, I have plenty to be happy about. I’m actually getting terribly close to finishing up the first Clone Warrior release. I’ve got the last few pieces of the puzzle lined up, just have to finish my parts first. Work is what matters, not misery.

And if you’re depressed, too, I hope you got something to work on.

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Big news, everyone!

Is it the newsletter I set up last week?

Well, yeah, but now it’s under a new name: FRESH FROM THE VAT. Why does it come out of a vat? Because it’s the mouthpiece for my new publishing venture: CLONE WARRIOR

I first have to thank one of my dear friends for making that logo for me. Whitney Fischer of Excession Press, you rule.

So what is Clone Warrior? It’s the imprint through which I’ll be publishing most of my writing. I’m very close to finishing up my first release, and beyond that the plans only get bigger and bigger. Clone Warrior will be the umbrella under which I operate from now on. Fresh From the Vat will provide important news and calls to action when I have something new to release. It’ll actually be sent out pretty rarely, unlike Barbwired (aka this here blog), which is a weekly update of… whatever. When you sign up for Fresh from the Vat, you’ll get important info sent straight to you right when it matters most.

The page to sign up is located at the top of this here blog, but if you’re not into a few scrolls upwards, follow this link RIGHT HERE. Sign up, please! It won’t be annoying, and I can promise you that big things are coming. A little self-publishing empire is being built over here. My hope is to use this platform to retell some of my favorite stories and publish what I think will be some of the strangest and coolest books on the market. All by myself.

Please join me.

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I’ve noticed that I say “I’d kill for…” a lot lately. I’d kill for this or I’d kill for that. I’d take a sling blade and plum near cut a man’s head in two for… whatever.

But that’s all self-pitying nonsense. Here’s what I’d really kill for:

FOR YOU TO JOIN THIS HERE NEWSLETTER, Y’ALL!

It’s so fresh it doesn’t even have a clever name yet. Just go to the top of this here blog and click on JOIN THIS HERE NEWSLETTER to get occasional and not-at-all-irritating updates on all my publishing activities. Social media is a wasteland of disconnected noise. This here blog, while much more intimate, still requires you to visit. Sign up for the newsletter and my news will come directly to you. I only plan to send out emails for special offers like new releases, contests, or promotions. It won’t be a semi-weekly thing like Barbwired is. This will be more a more discreet collection of concrete news and calls to action. No gushing about my favorite TV shows or bouts of existential sorrow, no sir. No, so come on down, and I’ll do anything–ANYTHING–for your business.

Beetlejuice | Beetlejuice cartoon, Juice movie, Tim burton movie

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I’m currently taking a short break from upgrading this here blog, or, at least, upgrading it right up to the point where I’d have to pay money. Sorry guys, but I’ve got enough expenses already.

So let’s just talk about TV and then get back to work. I’m still catching up on Perry Mason whenever the interest strikes me. It’s a dull show but the acting is undeniable. I’m trying to give Lovecraft Country a chance, but I keep getting a corny True Blood feeling from it. Plus, it’s become the thing that a lot of writers seem to be bitching about online, regarding race or Lovecraft or whatever. That doesn’t help my lack of enthusiasm for it.

Next is The Boys, which I just caught up on. It’s REALLY good, and a lot better than the comic book. I love Garth Ennis, but back when the series started it was obvious that Dynamite Entertainment was using Ennis as their superstar writer. The issues were usually boring as hell with something outrageously violent/perverse thrown into each one for shock value. The vast majority of it was filler with tons of conversation. Plus, they were overpriced as hell. Plus, I don’t much like Darick Robertson’s art. The show, on the other hand, has the benefit of taking the big ideas Ennis had for the book and rearranging them into a tighter plot. The supporting characters are fleshed out much better and brought to life by very good actors. Especially Antony Starr, who is making Homelander into the iconic villain America needs right now.

Raised by Wolves: The Different Types of Androids, Explained

And finally, RAISED BY WOLVES. This is the best thing on TV right now. Go watch it. It’s Ridley Scott’s hyper future movies and ancient warrior movies perfectly melded into one. I’m not even going to get into what I like about it, but it deals with robots, humanity, parenting, childhood, relationships, religion, belief, and fate. All great mythical themes played out on a far off planet by the last pieces of humanity.

Or maybe they’re the first.

Maybe next time we’ll talk about books instead of TV.

Alright, back to work.

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Holy crap, gotta go. Way behind on my to do list for today. Just finished a bunch of professional development regarding email scams and next I have to do a business transaction for some editing.

But first, sharing some love towards good friends. First is my local pals at Saturday Comics. They’re running a Kickstarter to produce a new magazine focused on horror and comics. Two of my favorite things! It’s called “Blood-Drenched Creature Double Feature.” I’d like to contribute to this one day, but no time for that now! Only time for you to help this beautiful little idea exist by heading to the BDCDF Kickstarter page and throwing down some cash.

And next: you’ve heard of it, you’ve anticipated it, and now Karl Fischer’s Levels is LIVE AND AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE. Head to Amazon to get one of my favorite weird sci-fi books of the year.

And now…. I owe somebody a few hundred bucks. Big news next week. Try to stay safe this Labor Day!