Eraserhead Press is ten years old (woot!), the worst part of being sick, and goofy freaking browser issues

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Summary: Eraserhead Press is 10 years old this year. That's amazing. I celebrate, sickly, for them just a little bit. Then I whine on and on about feeling tired. Finally, some weird browser issues that I have been experiencing.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

(05:33:20 CST) (1 Comment)

Eraserhead Press is ten years old (woot!), the worst part of being sick, and goofy freaking browser issues

Let's see, it is 4:37am (at the time I start writing this post). I slept for maybe 5-6 hours and then got woken up by a mixture of a sore throat exacerbated by being a sickly mouth breather for the past couple of days and a weird drift of almost feverish dreams in which I worried, of all things, about job security. Man. It was like trip city and I was laying there in the dark and couldn't sleep and figured "what the hey?" and got up to do some site tinkering. More on that in a bit. Before I leave the whining about my sickness, though, I have to say that the worst part of being sick is the tiredness. The incessant lack of energy. You should never become exhausted just from watching television or taking out the trash. Once you get sick, though, sometimes just laying in bed takes all the energy you have. I hate that. That is all. Now, on to greener climes.

Eraserhead Press turned ten this year. Isn't that amazing? My first experience with them was, oh, 2004 or so when I got a copy of Carlton Mellick III's Electric Jesus Corpse after my Chuck Palahniuk shopping trends had queued it up as a suggestion. The description snagged me almost right off (taken from the Amazon product page for EJC): "The twisted and surreal version of the story of Jesus Christ set in a bizarre version of modern day Earth that has been ravaged by war and cannibal zombie plagues, where the landscape is slowly mutating into meat and human flesh is transforming into machine. The novel follows Christ's twelve apostles. However, in this world the apostles are pimps, necrophiliacs, skinheads, and other assorted freaks. And they have no desire to follow Jesus Christ on his crusade to save humanity whatsoever. So this novel follows the lives of these never-been apostles on their separate epic journeys into the bizarre. An awkward and chaotic work of art that is like nothing you've ever seen."

At that time, I had almost exactly no real experience with the surreal genre outside of short poems, and so reading about hungry carpets and such was mind-blowing. I never finished the book. That was not really the point. It was mostly about having it on hand to thumb through. It got my attention enough for me to later try Sunset with a Beard (alas, seems out of print at the time I write this). Which I adored. Alot. Stories about earwig flesh factories, hand farms, melting-into-color diseases, people turning into egg things. Freaky, crazy horror. From there, I set out buying most of his works (the two that were the most fun were Satan Burger and Teeth and Tongue Landscape, I'll leave you to browse the descriptions).

Outside of Mellick's works, I have a spattering of other novels, novellas, chapbooks, and what-have-you from Eraserhead's catalog. Some are better than others. The Bizarro genre has it's ups and downs, and can drift off into poorly written land from time to time. When it's good, though, it can be absolutely amazing. For example, look up Jeremy C. Shipp's "Victim: A Story Inspired by Takashi Miike" in the first issue of The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction; combining elements of horror, weirdness, social angst, and so forth.

I'm drifting off target here, slightly, so let's bring it back to focus. Eraserhead Press, by putting out independent fiction for a decade, manages to represent hope in a decade where the only time books make the news is when they are crappy pop bestsellers or when publishers fight with their best friends (e.g. distributors, customers, and authors) over microscopic amounts of revunue and back-catalog rights. While the so-called "Big Six" wrestle with their interneral and external demons, Eraserhead Press, and its related publishing companies/subsidiaries, continue to put out a hefty and varied catalog. Its authors are out there talking with fans, spreading good cheer, and backing up each other. They continue to promote themselves in fan-centric ways: free downloads, cheap "starter-kits", experimenting with and implementing Web 2.0, and hosting sites like Bizarro Central.

Here's to ten years, Eraserhead Press. I kind of miss being in a bookstore where I could randomly recommend your books to people. Ah well, guess I should go and start ordering them through my local Barnes & Noble just so I can make them carry them, after all. Thanks!

Before I wrap up this post, wanted to take a moment and say that I have been having some issue with my website that I became aware of earlier tonight. Apparently certain extra-literal browsers (Konqueror and w3m and Lynx, for examples) were not displaying the bulk of DoaB posts because of the way I used html remarks. Read: incorrectly. I'm not sure when or why I started using them like that, but I closed them off wrong: double dash, splat, greater-than; as opposed to simply double dash greater than. Now I need to write a script that goes back and corrects them. I am not sure if this has been hosing up things like webcrawlers or not. I'm almost going to guess it has, since it was viewing 90% of the page as one giant comment.

Ah, well, live and learn, I suppose.

Si Vales, Valeo


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