REPORT! Fast Times at BizarroCon ’11

Hi, folks.  As you may know, BizarroCon wrapped up just less than two weeks ago.  There was a fuck-ton of hugging, drunken conversations, and insane laughter.  My head is still spinning and I didn’t even party that hard.  My geek gland is just so easy to stimulate that the awesomeness of BizarroCon hits me like a nuclear-powered seizure and my gland spooges against the back of my eyeballs, effectively pooch-screwing my perceptions of reality.  Anyway, let’s get started.  I, along with my faithful wife and partner Sonya, arrived in Portland Thursday afternoon.  At the airport, we were greeted by the great and powerful Steve Lowe and the lovely Laura Lee Bahr.  Vince Kramer picked us up and ferried our already-weary bodies to Edgefield, where the festivities would soon begin.  As soon as we walked in, we ran into some of my favorite bizarros, publisher Rose O’Keefe, my bestest pal Kevin Shamel, and the godfather Carlton Mellick III.  Hellos were had, but for the rest of the afternoon, I was on a mission to accomplish one of my lifelong goals: holding Kevin Donihe in my powerful arms.

Was the Bodyguard theme song playing in my head?  Maybe.

I love Kevin Donihe, possibly more than any mortal man should.  Zeus may punish me for it some day.  Anyway, the next morning was the Writer’s Workshop.  I was in Jeff Burk’s class.  Around twelve of us ate breakfast and tore into each other’s ideas.  My pitch didn’t make the cut, but this only served to give me more hang-out time.  I didn’t get into the advanced workshop like I did last year, but I got to see some readings and art stuff going on at the time.  Besides, I have plenty of shit to work on in a short amount of time.  My to-do list is long and mighty, just how I like it.

Damn we look gangsta.  Those “Attack the Block” kids better watch the fuck out.

That afternoon was the Bizarro Writer’s Association meeting.  There were so many people at the convention this year that only writers were allowed to attend this meeting.  I sat between Robert Devereaux and Mykle Hansen, and made sure to listen as a ton of really smart writers batted around ideas about the future of bizarro fiction and our plans to take over the world for all weirdokind.

Suckhole cake!

As evening approached, so too did my birthday.  My lovely wife Sonya produced a birthday cake for me and all the bizarros.  Huge thanks to Kevin Shamel for helping in this scheme.  And a huge “you’re welcome” to all the drunks who nursed their hangover the next morning with my birthday cake.  Glad none of it went to waste.  I also got a midget beer glass from Zoe Welch and Cat-Man Lawyer gave me a can of tuna.  My eternal gratitude to those two little weirdos.  Did I also mention that my book got an official BEER?  Suckhole Stout, a mixture of chocolate and habanero cooked up by my publisher Rose.  I was scared of it at first, but then I tasted it and nearly orgasmed over how delicious it was.

Tastier than hell!

Then came time for my reading.  I wore some raggedy overalls and snapped into character to tell all the people the magnificent history of a town called Suckhole.  Some were captivated.  Some were frightened.  Many laughed.  A few people got handmade Suckhole action figures, most of which broke.  But I got a lot of really nice compliments afterward.  Everyone said it was great, and the camera crew (yes, it was taped!) were having fits over it.  They bought copies right then.  Let that be a lesson to aspiring writers:  ranting and raving like a madman will get you far.

Sir, I’m here to date your billy goat.

Once upon a time I used to be a New Bizarro Author.  On Saturday I got to attend a reading from the next generation of NBAS’ers.  The Crazy Eights.  They were great, especially Michael Allen Rose and Troy Chambers, who gave me lap dances for my birthday (cake and beer was obviously not enough).  I also saw cunnilingus performed on donuts, a voodoo ritual, and got some awesome California Raisins figurines from Justin Grimbol.  Read the NEW New Bizarro Author Series, folks.  There are a lot of promising books in this batch.  There’s freakin’ EIGHT of them this time.

My coat has been enchanted to repel all ballsacks

As male body parts were pressed against me, other panels were going on.  I didn’t get to see it, but Cody Goodfellow and Nick Gucker did a totally awesome reading called “The Greedy Tree.”  I can’t imagine a better combination.  Cody’s words and Nick’s art are equally intricate and deranged.  Luckily, their performance was recorded for posterity’s sake, and it’s worth taking a look:

That evening was the Wonderland Book Awards.  J. David Osborne won Best Novel for By The Time We Leave Here, We’ll Be Friends and Cameron Pierce won Best Collection for Lost in Cat Brain Land.  Both are extremely talented writers and very deserving of these awards.  Put these books at the top of your to-buy list.

Me, Cousin Cody, Uncle Jere-Bob, and my wrestling buddy for the weekend Karl 

Over the course of that weekend, I hung out with A LOT of amazing people.  Wordsmiths, artists, musicians, filmmakers, young lovers, old pros, nomads, cross-dressers, punks, fine ladies, geniuses, madmen, badasses, and weirdos of every stripe imaginable.  So to all of you, thanks so much.  Now to drop a few names: I got to sit next to great minds like John Skipp, Robert Devereaux, and Mykle Hansen (twice!).  We laughed, joked, and I got to pick their brains a bit.  Also, monumental props to Cody Goodfellow and Jeremy Robert Johnson, who believed in my weird little book and were kind enough to say so publicly.  And finally, I got to meet BRIAN FUCKING KEENE!  And I’m here to tell you, he’s badass.  Like the “sipping whiskey and talking about Batman” kind of badass.  He did a reading from his book “The Damned Highway”.  Hunter S. Thompson meets Richard Nixon, dipped in Lovecraftian goo.  Buy it.  And as I was stuffing my face with breakfast Sunday morning, Keene complimented my own readings and compared me to a young Edward Lee.  I’ve heard that Keene won’t be doing as many conventions next year, but I hope to see him at the next BizarroCon.  I want to have a way-too-drawn-out discussion with him about how badass he is.  He’s badass.  Yeah, it’s worth saying a few times.  Make sure you buy some of his books, whether it’s his comics or his vast collection of books printed by Deadite Press.


Anyway, I said goodbye on Sunday morning and headed to the airport, sharing a ride once again with Steve Lowe.  Steve fought the good fight this past year and earned a contract for his efforts, so make sure you congratulate him.  At the airport, tragedy struck.  I tried to take some Suckhole Stout home with me, but it was confiscated by the TSA.  The inspector was terribly polite about it, so I understand.  I told him to drink them himself because they were awesome, but he said that was against regulation.  He better drink them, goddamnit.  On the plane ride I sat next to a 90-year-old lady.  She started talking to me when we began landing in Atlanta.  When I told her I was a writer, she asked if I write “funny stuff” or “nasty stuff.”  I told her that when I do it right, it’s a mixture of both.  And now here I sit, reading to punch another year in the face.  Bizarro is going to do big things in 2012, so stay tuned to all your favorite bizarro authors as we execute our plans for world domination.  Now, I’m off to work on the next installment of Redneck Masterpiece Theater.  In this episode… the legendary Jim Varney.


2 Responses to “REPORT! Fast Times at BizarroCon ’11”

  1. […] David W Barbee’s Fast Times at BizarroCon ’11 […]

  2. […] drinkable. Fairs well against Theobroma and Suckhole Stout. Paired nicely with dinner, and into dessert, a The Niner cupcake from […]

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