A ‘Bizarro’ World

by davidchrzanowski

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.