The Second Annual BizarroCon (October 21-25, 2009) was a huge success. Five days of Bizarro writers, artists, publishers, and fans came together as one big happy family.
This event was of great significance to Eraserhead Press as it marked our 10th Year in independent publishing. Each year, the Bizarro community continues to grow and BizarroCon provides us the special opportunity to get together in a very unique setting, spend time together creatively and really get to know one another. We are grateful to every person that came out to BizarroCon this year, many of you traveled long distances and overcame financial obstacles and it wouldn't have been the same without all of you here. Everyone at this event contributed in some way. As one participant, Nicole Cushing, put it, "What I loved is that this just wasn't a Con where we talked about being creative. This was a Con where we were creative".
Eraserhead Press would like to send out a hearty THANK YOU to everyone who came to BizarroCon and those of you who were there with us in spirit, THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the writing workshops that Carlton Mellick III and Eckhard Gerdes presented, THANK YOU to all our panelists and those who attended, THANK YOU to all of the readers and those who attended the readings, THANK YOU to everyone who stayed in the Ad House and took care of each other, THANK YOU to everyone who participated in The Ultimate Bizarro Showdown and to the judges who did not get drunk and mistake the Kevins like I did, THANK YOU to everyone who came to our party on Friday night and drank our beer. An atmosphere of creative energy was created and for five days we lived in a different world together. A beautiful, wild, messy, bloody, wonderful world. BizarroCon is not just an event, it's an experience. The contribution of each person was felt by all. In particular we would like to extend special love and thanks to the following people:
Thank you to KEVIN L. DONIHE for his tireless work editing the New Bizarro Author Series. The first four releases on this line debuted at BizarroCon along with their authors. Thank you also for arriving early to help with preparations, participating on panels and and keeping us all greatly entertained during the now legendary "Ask Kevin L. Donihe" session. Congratulations to Donihe for winning the Wonderland Award for Best Novel of 2008 with House of Houses.
Thank you to JEREMY ROBERT JOHNSON author and editor of Swallowdown Press and idiot savant for a truly outstanding job hosting the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown and for presenting the Wonderland Award for best novel, participating on panels, shuttling people to the airport and for your support and attention to detail.
Thank you to ANGIE MOLINAR and CHRISSY HORCHHEIMER, the stand out Bizarro artists who are regular illustrators for The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction and cover artists for Eraserhead Press. Angie and Chrissy designed the fabulous centerpieces for the Wonderland Book Awards Dinner (nine head sculptures themed after Bizarro books) and generously donated their original artwork from the Magazine to the Bizarro Raffle. Hearty thanks for the mimosas, hosting people at the bunker, giving rides from the airport and for generally having my back.
Big thank you to ECKHARD GERDES for his fantastic workshop Defense Against the Dark Arts: Preparing for criticism. In this class students were asked to create an artistic statement of purpose and share with each other. This provided a context for relationships that continued into the rest of BizarroCon as we learned more about each other's goals and interests. Additional thanks for judging the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown, participating in panels and hooking us up with "The Good Stuff" (and by that we mean Templeton Rye Whiskey).
Kevin Shamel 2nd Place Winner of The Ultimate Bizarro Showdown bursting his winning pinata with a beer bottleThank you to KEVIN SHAMEL author of Rotten Little Animals. Shamel really went the extra mile for BizarroCon, shuttling people from the airport to Edgefield, holding down the bunker, and pitching in whenever he found himself needed. Extra special thanks to Shamel for all of the gorgeous photos he took of the event (including most of the photos that appear in this blog post). Congratulations to Shamel for winning 2nd Place in The Ultimate Bizarro Showdown.
FAMOUS AUTHOR MYKLE HANSEN for contributing to an intense schedule of panels and readings with flair and for helping out with rides. Many thanks to you and Jeff Burk for putting together a kick ass presentation of Bizarro short films late/early Saturday/Sunday morning. Congratulations to Hansen for winning the Wonderland Award for Best Collection of 2008 with Rampaging Fuckers of Everything on the Crazy Shitting Planet of the Vomit Atmosphere.
GINA RANALLI winner of the Wonderland Award for Best Collection of 2007 for presenting the award to the winner for 2008 and for judging The Ultimate Bizarro Showdown.
Thank you TROY CHAMBERS, ZACK GOWEN and ERIC ROBINSON (aka CannibalCheese). These underage darlings of bizarro really earned their beer on Friday night decorating for the Eraserhead Press party. I knew right away that these stylish fellows would do a bang up job and they transformed the Ad House into a truly Eraserhead Press space. Special thanks to Troy Chambers for generally being my bitch that weekend and taking charge of a good share of the grunt work with a great attitude.
Andrew Goldfarb looks on at Eric Mays who has just been attacked with squid by Cameron Pierce during Meat Magick
Thank you ERIC MAYS author of Naked Metamorphosis. We just met, but you really stepped in and made yourself a part of the team taking initiative to help where needed. Thank you!
ANDREW GOLDFARB for being your awesome self. Goldfarb is the type of person who has a distinct vision that he expresses in everything he does. A snake oil voodoo surrealistic weeping willow slub glub lump lump world of wonder and magic. He is not only the author of multiple books and comics but he is also a one man band The Slow Poisoner. Thank you for your outstanding entertainment on Friday night, participating in panels and judging The Ultimate Bizarro Showdown. Thank you for giving me a reason to dance, the seance, and your completely unique perspective.
We would also like to send out special love and thoughts to Chris Genoa and Bruce Taylor who were in our thoughts and to all of the Eraserhead Press authors and readers all over the world. We hope we see all of you again next year!