Friday, January 28, 2011

Bob Fingerman, author of the novels Pariah and Bottomfeeder, and artist of countless brilliantly twisted comics, has been a friend of mine since he first contacted me after reading my novel Xombies. I've been a fan of his since first seeing his work in Heavy Metal magazine in the '80s, and it was a bizarre privilege to get a fan email from someone whose name is in the pantheon with Corben, Moebius, Liberatore, Bilal. Giants, man, giants! I'm still an insufferable fanboy about it, but Bob kindly continues to mention my work at every opportunity, such as this interview on EntertainmentWeekly.Com. Thanks, Bob!

'Pariah' author Bob Fingerman reveals his five favorite tomes of terror

by Clark Collis

XombiesWalter Greatshell
2004 zombie novel recently reissued as Xombies: Apocalypse Blues
 After I read Xombies, I tried to find information about him and couldn’t find anything, which is unusual in this Google-friendly age. I became pretty convinced “Greatshell” was a pen name, because I had also never encountered that name before. The book had a really high quality of writing so I thought, “Maybe this is some well-established writer who considers horror ‘slumming,’ so he’s hiding behind a pen name.” Then I found him online and it turned out he was a fan of my comics, which was very nice. His zombies were something I hadn’t seen before. For one thing, his were completely gender-based. All the women become these blue-faced creatures—and they’re the really revved-up zombies, they’re not the old shamblers. And his book took the cast of characters to places I hadn’t seen before. Turns out, Walter was a technician on a nuclear submarine for a while, so the book is set largely on this submarine. The main character, Lulu Pangloss, is a 17-year-old girl who hasn’t turned. She’s the lone female presence and everyone is very nervous about her, considering what they’ve seen—all their wives and daughters and sisters and so forth going berserk. Again, it is claustrophobic, being set on a submarine, but it also really spans a huge amount of space. It’s a small book and a huge a book at the same time. It’s a neglected gem.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I just got a really nice email from someone who compared Mad Skills to a cross between Flowers for Algernon and La Femme Nikita. Since I love both those things, that's about as high praise as it gets. This is what I hope for with anything I write, that people will tune into my psycho wavelength and share my obsessions.

Writing is both a very isolating and very intimate activity. It's a strange and wonderful thing to realize that real people are reading your work, which in a sense means that they're reading your thoughts. Sometimes that can be depressing, if people don't like what you write, or if you feel they've misunderstood it. We all want to be loved. But being loved is not as important as being truthful with your reader. Books should be personal; no matter how far-fetched the subject matter, they should strongly express the concerns of the author. This is just my opinion, based on what I like to read. Any story is better with a touch of personal idiosyncrasy--otherwise, it's just empty hackwork. This is true of movies and TV shows as well as books. In fact, it's true of everything.