The Factory

Placing our thoughts in order and putting them into practice is the hardest challenge of all.

Month: August, 2015

‘Ultra Fuckers’ Book Review

“Ultra Fuckers” is a novel written by Carlton Mellick III that I chose as my first steps into the ‘Bizarro’ world. I was surprised and let down at the same time by what I found within its pages. The story was more Goosebumps then underground sensation. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t into it. I liked it a lot. The simplicity of the writing style was the first thing that stood out about this book. It certainly wasn’t overcooked, and as a poet it reminded me of how easy it is to throw a Thesaurus at a piece of prose. I’ll be keeping this book by my side while making future edits.

My disappointment with this book was that the story line wasn’t as trashy or outrageous as the title would suggest. The characters aren’t strong, but even though this is classed as a novel, it comes in at 120 pages, the author’s shortest, so I can appreciate there are limitations. So, there isn’t room for much character development and there were times that it felt that the story wasn’t going anywhere, but I was still eager to know what was going to happen on the next page, my brain was working overtime creating imagery even when the character was just sat in front of the TV.

So, this book does do what every good novel or story should do. It gets you asking the basic questions; Who, What, When, Why?

The author shares my dislike of cheap, pop-up housing with no character, using this as a central theme for the story. Most of us have lived on, or knows someone who lives on one of these estates that expands the borders of our towns and cities, and can relate to the mundane similarities that spreads from one street to the next. A classic punk-rock dig at Capitalism, and middle-class suburbia.

If you love a spine-chiller with a touch of sci-fi, don’t let the title put you off. There are even some punks thrown in to give a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles style humour, to a cocktail of Mad Max meets Transformers.

Please bear in mind that I am new to this genre, so forgive me if I’ve over analysed. Overall mixed feelings, but intrigued enough to have purchased another title.

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A ‘Bizarro’ World

The other day started like any other, I got up put on the television and flashed up Facebook. Nothing unusual, until I noticed a striking post from the Metro newspaper; 12 of the Most WTF Book Titles on Kindle.

I was intrigued, which probably says more about my personality and sense of humour then it does about my taste in books. This was going to be a post about the publishers behind these titles, until I thought that most were probably self-published, I might be wrong* but one thing at a time. I quickly found the Wikipedia page of an author named Carlton Mellick III, a leading author in the ‘Bizarro’ movement.

Now, unless I am really out-of-the-loop, this is a genre I’ve never heard of. So what is ‘Bizarro’ and who is Carlton Mellick III?

Described as “literature’s equivalent to the cult section of the video store,” (this excited me immediately, as I used to work in a video store and spent most of my time in the cult section).

From first glance, bearing in mind I have yet to read any book from this intriguing genre, it would appear that the genre acts as a birthing pool for a host of ideas borrowed and reworked from genres like sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, as well as being associated with avant-garde movements such as Dadaism and Surrealism.

As I delved a bit deeper into my research, it was becoming more apparent that this is literature’s answer to music’s horror-punk/trash-punk scene; the Misfits, the New York Dolls, the Cramps… I could go on.

Carlton Mellick is American, he had written twelve novels by eighteen and has a delightful talent for coming up with titles such as; Satan Burger, Punk Land, and Tumor Fruit. I won’t regurgitate his whole Wikipedia page.

To really get to grips with this genre and do it any justice I am going to have to order some books and read.

 

*After further research I have found many publishers that specialise in this genre.

I’ve been included in the Million-Line Poem, Day 928

Million-Line Poem, Day 928.

Artist’s Studios II

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There are endless ways to turn a room in your house, or apartment, into a professional studio and make it your own. Whether you dress a room up, or play the space down with a minimalist style, it can be easy to fall into the trap of just throwing in a desk and a few draws. Here’s why.

Personally, I hate draws. I used to have a set of three, and although I started with the best intentions of keeping them clean and tidy, that never happened.

I, now, have a basket and a large storage box, but they too are untidy.

Penholders attached to the wall are so simple, yet it never crossed my mind to do this – even when on a desperate pen hunt. They don’t take up valuable space on the desk like conventional stationary pots, but still keep everything in an easy-to-find place.

Every time I set up a new studio I aim for the minimalist look, and every time I fail.

I have been looking into floating desks, as shown in the second picture. Annoyingly, when I moved in I had a spare worktop, but couldn’t source any suitable legs for a decent price. I took it to the tip and now I have to order a new worktop, luckily Ikea came to the rescue and I found one for around £30 while the brackets that hold it in place can be found for next to nothing.

What I’ll do to the wall space above is another question. I’m undecided whether to have my folders on shelves or just stick with the draw and storage box. The box takes up space, but looks tidier – until opened, allowing enough room for my lino cutting tools and collage offcuts. Maybe, I should be more regimented in keeping my studio clean

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