If you've been paying any kind of attention to the budding Bizarro scene you know who Jordan Krall is. If you haven't been paying attention to the budding Bizarro scene you need to, seriously go to Bizarro Central right now then come back and finish reading this.. Jordan Krall is a literary animal, writing books filled to the brim with kinks and squids that hop genre lines like the Soulja Boy dance. He is the author of an ever growing list of not only good, but great works. His western Fistful of Feet is my favorite bizarro novel (we'll talk about it later) and his novella King Scratch (see the doubled head review from a few days back) has a great chance of being nominated for a Wonderland Award this year. In short he is awesome and donkeys everywhere look up to him. I know its hard to depchier though all my babble but Mr. Krall is seriously one of my favorite writers working today and I am honored to bring you his DEATHMATCH interview!
Q. Okay, lets start from the beginning. What made you want to become a writer and who and what do you credit with influencing you?
A. There was no defining moment that made me want to become a writer, no magical moment when I realized my “destiny.” I suppose it all came about from growing up in a household where everyone read books. The ironic part is that my family mostly read nonfiction. My earliest memory of my wanting to be a writer was when I was very young and drawing/writing in the inside covers of books. I specifically recall one book being about robots. As a teenager, I was heavy into the Beat writers as well as Surrealism and Dadaism… and I think that might have influenced me to think of writing as a lifestyle, a way to express my thoughts for other people. At that time I was also reading a lot of horror like Clive Barker, Lovecraft, Koontz. My goal was, and still is, to have my writing enjoyed by people I don’t know (and therefore have no obligation to me so they don't have to lie about liking it). I’ve accomplished that. So I guess I can stop writing any day now.
Q. I gotta admit Fistful of Feet is my favorite work of bizarro fiction. As a fan of both old westerns and bizarro it captured the best of both; sticking to classic western story lines and action while breathing twisted weird life into the town and the large cast of characters. Is there any chance of more stories returning to Screwhorse?
A. I did write a few related stories and they are available in a short ebook called FOR A FEW FEET MORE. They went to people who preordered FISTFUL OF FEET (though I might have forgotten some people so if you didn’t get a copy, contact me!). I also wrote a prequel story THE PISTOL BURPS which you can find in the first issue of the Magazine of Bizarro Fiction. I don’t have anymore plans on writing anything substantial connected to that book, though. I suppose if a publisher approached me about doing one, I would.
Q. Is it true that at Horrorfind 2010 William Pauley III drank you under the table?
A. Is William Pauley III even old enough to drink? He doesn’t look it. He might be about old enough to maybe shine my shoes. Anyway I don’t recall his drinking anything at Horrorfind except for my “jerky vodka” and that is the god’s honest truth.
(Interviewer Note: *shiver*)
Q. What are you working on right now?
A. Wow, that’s crazy question because I got a lot of stuff going on at the moment. I’m finishing up TENTACLE DEATH TRIP for Eraserhead Press. It’s a post-apocalyptic road race with some Cthulhu mythos elements. Also, PENETRALIA which Legumeman Books will be publishing. I guess the best description I can give right now is that it’s like an Andy Milligan film novelized by someone like Edward Lee….but without the humor. I’m planning on this being a pretty dark, serious book with a lot of intense sex, violence, and psychosexual themes. Also, I have a book coming out soon by Copeland Valley Press. It’s called BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE APOCALYPSE DONKEYS and is probably my best work so far. It involves a rare film, an obsessed fan, a nudist colony, and a hummingbird. I believe it defies genre labels. It’s somewhat bizarro. It has elements of horror. But it also has melodrama, romance, action. It’s probably my most personal work.
Q. Writers write about what they know, and it’s been said horror writers write about what scares them. Seriously, are you more afraid of squid than they are of you?
A. Sea life both fascinates and repulses me. Some childhood experiences in the ocean have also placed some deep-rooted fears in me. But really..look at vampire squid and horseshoe crabs and tell me they don’t belong in Hell. I'd like to wipe them off the face of the earth.
(Interviewer Note: I think the answer would be the same if I asked about feet.)
Q. How far would you make it through Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory?
A. I wouldn’t even have gone in. I’d have known it was a trick from the beginning. No one likes a liar, Willy Wonka.
Q. Since I know you are a fellow fan of the true masters of rock, Clutch, I gotta ask what’s your favorite Clutch album? And why?
A. Probably Blast Tyrant because it’s just the most consistently rocking and the one I can listen to over and over the most. I also like the vocals better than in the early stuff.
( Interviewer Note: EXCELLENT ANSWER!)
Q. Six horror movies for an all night movie marathon?
A. That’s a tough question because I like all sorts of horror movies and will sometimes have different marathons (Universal, Hammer, etc). But if I was going for an all out favorite horror marathon these would be the ones, the movies I could watch over and over (and often do): Halloween III, Tourist Trap, Suspiria, Eaten Alive, Vacancy, Cigarette Burns.
Q. You and William Pauley III are doing a sweet ass duel novella for Library of Bizarro Horror this year, can you tell the people a little about your story?
A. My story is called YOUR CITIES, YOUR TOMBS and is difficult to describe except that I’ll say it involves a motel, an industrial park, and it’s probably nothing like anything I’ve written before.
(Interviewer Note: This duel novella will rip off faces and tack it to walls.)
Q. William Pauley III once stated his Indian burns kick your nipple twisters ass, how does this statement make you feel?
A. It makes me feel uncomfortable because William has been warned several times not to talk about my body.
(interviewer note: in the official cover this donkey has nipples)
Q. Who is your ALL-TIME favorite bad guy?
A. Another tough question. Maybe Mr. Slausen from Tourist Trap but that sounds lame.Or maybe Michael Sullivan from Road to Perdition though I guess he's not really a bad guy.
Q. If you could knife fight one celebrity who would it be?
A. Julia Roberts. I’d love to carve that stupid grin off her face.
Q. Is William Pauley III’s hair as soft as it looks?
A. It’s actually a wig. I’m not kidding.
(Interviewer note: I don't believe him. That hair looks silkier than a wig)
Q. Who said, “just because we’re bereaved it doesn’t make us saps!” ?
A. Haha! Someone I emulate every chance I get.
Q. Quick, name drop five great Bizarro talents!
A. Just five? There are quite a few who are authors to really look out for so I’m going to end up leaving some good people out. But here are probably my favorite authors, ones who are completely brilliant at what they do: William Pauley III, Garrett Cook, Andersen Prunty, Eric Mays, Matthew Revert.
(Interviewer note: I can vouch for each of these dudes.)
Q. Mere moments after Joe Fox of Fox Books realizes ‘Shopgirl’, the woman he has slowly been falling in love with on-line, is really Kathleen Kelly, the spirited independent book store owner around the block, a horde of zombiefied television sitcom stars converge on Manhattan. In seconds Joe and his general manager/wing man Kevin are surrounded by dead Hollywood brats whose behavior in life was unpredictable and twice as much so now that they are rotting. Please describe in a 1000 words or so Joe and Kevin’s plan of attack to save ‘Shopgirl’ from the gnashing teeth of television history!
A. Dabney Coleman who plays Joe Fox’s father, watches from the sidelines. Who the fuck do those Hollywood brats think they are, right? That’s what he’s asking while he channels his inner Jack Flack and comes out with his Cold War-era espionage skills a-blazing. His “son” Joe Fox (who, in reality, is really actor Henry Thomas) beats his general manager Kevin to death with a copy of House of Leaves. He doesn’t need that wise-cracking asshole to survive this apocalyptic shit. Unnecessary character taken care of.
Dabney “Jack Flack” Coleman aka Father Fox, well, he’s wearing a beret and sneaking around the outside of Fox Books. He’s always prepared for any sort of Blitzkrieg undead or otherwise.
“Come on out, son,” he whispers though the whisper is quite loud….not unlike a stampede of elephants amplified through a bullhorn. “We gotta save Lady Ace!”
Joe Fox aka Henry Thomas, he’s just sitting there with a bloody copy of House of Leaves, trying to wonder if saving that woman, Kathleen “Lady Ace” Kelly aka ShopGirl is really worth it. I mean, she’s so passive, so weak, even for a woman. She’s even annoying when she sneezes. He realizes he should have stayed in San Antonio because New York City is a haven for degenerates and Communists and hipsters and small businesses and Mafiosi and Disney occultism and fashionable but passé vegans. Then there are the anarcho-primitivists who ride bicycles just like people did 10,000 years ago.
“Dad, we don’t have to save anyone but ourselves,” he says. “Let me just grab a bag and fill it up with books for our journey west.”
Again, Jack Flack Dabney whispers/screams. “Make sure you grab every copy of Simon Revair’s Stadium Games!”
“Will do, pa!” Joe Fox yells, sarcastically calling his father “pa” because it was old-fashioned and he was a man of the 20th Century (1998 to be exact. Two years before the Y2K catastrophe which left millions without access to porn and Dime-a-Dance clubs).
What about the zombies? Oh, the zombies are doing their thing, shuffling around and making sounds like massive indigestion. They are only playing second fiddle to the real stars who are, of course, the Fox men. But still, we can’t leave the zombies out. Gary Coleman himself is shuffling himself into Fox Books, kicking books and grabbing any customer he can. He bites one man and he eats and he spits out yuppie flesh which is bland and tastes like trendy health food and an overpriced education.
And then in the Hobbies section of Fox Books there was Morris who looks a lot like Flattop from the 1990 movie version of Dick Tracy. Poor Morris won’t make it, of course. He gets shot by a real smart zombie with a huge mustache. The bullet goes through Morris and into an old computer monitor while dead Gary Coleman giggles.
Joe Fox Henry Thomas watches this and decides he has to at least have some contact with dead Gary Coleman because, in fact, he did enjoy the work of the live Gary Coleman though now it is mostly old episodes Diff’rent Strokes on television and a lone copy of season one on DVD (It had been an X-Mas Gift from pa Fox who, despite DNA evidence to the contrary, insists that Gary is his first born for they share the same dry sense of humor and sarcastic wit).
Being as stealthy as can be, Joe Fox grabs his bag, stuffs it with the books his father requested, and walks down to the first floor of the store and approached dead Gary Coleman.
He says, “Dead Gary Coleman…..can I touch you?”
“Blah! BAWAAAWAWAWAWAWAWAAAAA!” is all dead Gary Coleman replies. It isn’t even that he can’t speak as much as he doesn’t want to spend any of his remaining brainpower on coherency for some capitalist pig like Joe Fox. That bargain books megastore was hell on earth.
Joe Fox (aka Henry Thomas… you get the idea) backs away from the dead comedian and wonders, “Why the hell am I afraid of this guy?”
Before he can answer himself, Mr. Gary Coleman dons a fedora hat and a trench coat. He glides across the bookstore floor and lands a punch square in Joe Fox’s nose. Blood and disappointment fly everywhere.
Father Dabney Fox (now in priest garb over his spy attire) runs into the store to avenge his son’s beating. He stands in front of his “first born” …. Gary himself.
“Punch someone your own size, son number 1,” Fox says.
“Blah! That’s impossible,” Gary says.
“Blasphemy!” Father Fox says, pulling off his beret and throwing it Frisbee-like towards Coleman.
A decapitation occurs.
Other things happen.
There’s a fire in Fox Books and out of the flames walks a figure…..and that figure resembles Jack Flack….but Joe Fox watches the figure morph into none other than TOM HANKS.
“How is that possible?” Joe Fox asks himself.
Father Fox answers, “Anything is possible in San Antonio .”
“But we’re in New York City , pa,” Joe says.
“Shit, boy, I think you’re right.”
Dabney Coleman quits and shit just disintegrates from there. The fucking end.
(Interviewer note: this is one of very few photos of Mr. Krall without his human mask on.)
Visit Krall's website.
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