Monday, October 29, 2012

"Die You Doughnut Bastards" reviewed

When I was at Wordstock in Portland a few weeks ago, I randomly met bizarro fiction author Cameron Pierce. We chatted while tasting high quality bourbon provided by Bull Run Distilling. I have to plug these guys because A) I am a bourbon snob and B) they make damn fine bourbon. If you like good bourbon, check out their Temperance Trader Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It's one of the best bourbons I've ever tasted, and I don't make that statement lightly. I have deemed many a pricey bourbon "shit" after I've payed exorbitantly for a single shot.

While Cameron and I chatted, he told me all about Bizarro fiction. I'd never heard of this strange genre. I asked if it was anything like Bizarro World in the Superman comics. Cameron told me it sort of was. That got me on board immediately. I wanted to hear all about it. Fortunately, Cameron works for Lazy Fascist Press, an imprint of Eraserhead Press, and he knows quite a bit about this weird genre. He also writes Bizarro fiction himself. 

And as it turned out, his wife Kirsten Alene, who was sipping bourbon and talking bizarro with us, ALSO writes bizarro. I couldn't ask for a better pair to give me an overview of the genre. Kirsten told me she had just published a novel entitled "Unicorn Battle Squad." She called it her love letter to Terry Gilliam's "Brazil" with fighting unicorns thrown in. Having recently been told about the sub-culture phenomenon called Bronies, people who love the 1980's cartoon My Littly Pony, I couldn't wait to hear more. Because seriously, who doesn't love fanciful unicorns who kick ass?

When I got home from Wordstock, I immediately ordered Cameron's latest story collection entitled "Die You Doughnut Bastards" and Kirsten's "Unicorn Battle Squad." (I will be reviewing Unicorn Battle Squad in an upcoming post.) 

I was sorely tempted to start with Cameron's "Ass Goblins of Auschwitz" baed on the title and cover alone, but Cameron has stated publicly on his blog that if he gets 50 reviews for "Die You Doughnut Bastards" by this Thanksgiving, he will get a pink or similarly disgracefully colored mohawk. I have no axe to grind with Cameron, but when someone offers up such a bold publicity stunt, I HAVE to show my support. Also, I was amused by the utter coincidence that Cameron had written a story about killer doughnuts, and I have written a story about donuts that kill, entitled "Donut Does It," which is available on Kindle at for only 99 cents.

And now, on to my review for Cameron Pierce's brilliantly comical and rewardingly horrifying "Die You Doughnut Bastards."

Have you ever thought to yourself "Man, movies and books and TV shows are the same thing over and over again. Why can't Hollywood and the publishing industry make something different for a change?" I wonder this myself all the time. Everything is a remix of a re-hash of a remake of a book that was originally a folktale.

Cameron Pierce's story collection Die You Doughnut Bastards is none of those things. This book is actually different. It's original from top to bottom. It is chock full of stories like nothing you've ever read before. It is strange, surreal, morbid, poignant, intimate, and it's really good.

After reading a fair amount of commercial fiction lately, I was in the mood for something fresh and original. Bizarro fiction sounded like the perfect place to start.  Die You Doughnut Bastards delivered, and then some. It's a collection of short works that includes poems, flash fiction, short stories, and a novella. There are also dozens of quirky drawings by the author, one at the beginning of each story, which reminded me of Tim Burton's "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories."

Doughnuts do indeed kill...
Overall, the content of these stories are what I'd describe as a combination of the works of William S. Burroughs, Splatterpunk, Pulp noir, Surrealism, Magical Realism, the film-making of Michel Gondry (think of that Youtube video "Michel Gondry solves a Rubik's Cube with his nose"), some good old North American alternative comic book sensibility (Crumb, Harvey Pekar, Chris Ware), a bit of Ripley's Believe it or Not circus freak freakiness, and hallucinogens. It's everything weird and counter-culture you could possibly want.

At first, as I read through the stories sequentially (I can hear the die-hard anti-commercial types telling me I should have read the stories randomly or backwards or in a mirror or hanging upside down in a tree) I thought I was going to get a giant spaghetti bowl of weirdness where you never quite know what's going on, but you can't stop reading because it's all so vividly fascinating. This in itself would have satisfied me. Some of the shortest stories in Mr/ Pierce's book remind me of looking at abstract art or outsider art, where nothing fully makes sense in a familiar left-brain narrative capacity, but it's captivating and engrossing in an open-ended right-brain way. 

But Cameron Pierce is more than just an abstract artist. He also knows how to tell a good story and evoke emotion. Several of the stories in the book had a strong and finely-honed emotional narrative thru-line. "Death Card" tells the touching story of a quirky young couple facing the challenges of having a baby and dealing with mortality in their own creative way. "Pablo Riviera, Depressed, Overweight, Age 31, Goes to the Mall" makes some subtle yet enlightened observations about the nature of loving relationships. "Lantern Jaws" is the longest piece in the book, and would make a wonderful stop-motion animated film in the vein of "Coraline" or "Corpse Bride."

In case you're worried, this book isn't all just a touchy-feely mushroom-fueled hippie love-in. There's also guns, violence, amputations and blood. Lots of blood. 

And hordes of savage, killer doughnuts.

Die You Doughnut Bastards was a fabulous read, original and creative to the highest level. Cameron Pierce reminds all of us what art can be when an artist disregards the demands of commercialism and instead strives to be true to his own artistic vision.

Five stars.

If you're looking for something to read that is different AND good, buy Cameron Pierce's "Die You Doughnut Bastards" now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Robot Dinosaurs & Hot Babes

The core concept of Savage Paradise: hot babes using rock & roll instruments to control robot dinosaurs

My buddy Steve Curcuru is a genius.

Why, you ask?

Two reasons.

One, he is an amazing illustrator who can tell comic stories with his art like none other. Steve's work has always reminded me of the great Alex Toth, and as Steve continues to refine his style, his work gets simpler and more powerful every time I look at it.

The other reason Steve is a genius is because he has noticed something floating around in the public collective conscious that NO ONE ELSE has. Steve figured out that not a single person has realized you could combine hot babes, robot dinosaurs, the basic concept behind games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and wrap it all around a storyline about a nerdy teenage science whiz named Jasper Quan. So Steve did just that, and turned it into his hit online web comic Savage Paradise.

I don't think it's possible to squeeze any more coolness into the seed concept than Steve already has.

Savage Paradise is an amazing amalgam of some of the best all time post-apocalyptic and dinosaur story lines ever written. It combines Thundarr the Barbarian, Y: The Last Man, Jack Kirby's Devil Dinosaur, and even the "lost boy" story running through Jack Kirby's Kamandi. The lead character Jasper Quan is a hipper version of the archetypical boy-scientist we all know and love (think Will Robinson from Lost in Space as played by Billy Mumy, or a very young Ron Howard in the role of town genius in the cult-camp classic Village of the Giants).

The story's protagonist Jasper Quan is the classic egghead, too smart for his own good. Now that Jasper is in college, he is free to develop crazy science experiments involving cutting edge nanotechnology. Jasper has designed and built his own microscopic robots called "nano-meks" that can repair damage inside a body on a molecular level. These 'meks may also have the capability to create eternal youth or super strength in the subjects who are injected.

Like any crazy-smart, overly confident science genius, Jasper has injected nano-meks into his own body in order to test them. To make things worse, when he locks himself in a containment tank while the nano-meks go to work on the cells of his body, he ends up sleeping far, far longer than the four days he intended...

When Jasper wakes up, he finds himself in a savage world populated solely by beautiful women.

And robot dinosaurs.

The only problem? Most of the women are mean as hell, and the robot dinosaurs are even meaner.

What will Jasper do? How will he get back home? And what are those crazy nano-meks doing to his body?

You can find out every Monday and Thursday on Steve's blog,, where he posts new panels of Savage Paradise twice a week.

Dynomeks fighting
In the meantime, the story is well under way, and you can go back to the beginning of it on Steve's blog to fully immerse yourself in the story line and drool over Steve's art.

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy about the art style of Savage Paradise is that it combines a retro, pulp-paper four-color vibe with a distinctly modern sensibility.

Steve creates all of the art digitally, and yet you will swear that in some panels, you are looking at scans of yellowing newsprint comics. I can practically smell the wood pulp when I look at them.
Welcome to the Land o' Babes: Steve Curcuru's Savage Paradise

Steve also gives a lot of love to his drawings of believable, differentiated people. Not a single character in the story looks like a stamped-out generically idealized super hero. Each one is a unique individual, with their own body language, facial expressions, and mannerisms. These subtle touches are the hallmarks of an experienced illustrator and Steve has them down cold.

Stop by and start reading! You won't be able to stop.
Jasper Quan: the archetypical nerdy science whiz who can't get a date

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wordstock 2012: MORE ZOMBIES!

Meet my zombies
The victims

My zombie army grows. Like the mad necromancer that I have always been, I keep turning more people into zombies. This time, my unsuspecting victims were attendees at Portland, Oregon's very own Wordstock 2012 Book Fair, where I was selling and promoting my new novel Night Walk and my short story collection The Nose Knows & Other StoriesI find large festivals a great source for fresh bodies.

The book lover's party went on for two days, so I had plenty of time to bag a bunch of corpses, bury them in a graveyard overnight, sprinkle magic necromancer powder over their graves, water, and wait for my zombies to grow.

And this time, the zombies sprung up like weeds!

Zombie Monkey attacks!!
Look how many different varieties crawled out of their fresh tombs! My very own botanical garden of monstrosities. It was like a scene out of The Walking Dead, but more gruesome and with no survivors. EVERYONE got turned into a zombie.

So let this be a warning to anybody who decides to purchase my horror novel Night Walk or my short story collection The Nose Knows & Other Stories: if you see me at a book event, and you decide to buy my book, you may very well wake up dead and zombified. 


The Necromancer and his wizard's laboratory

Saturday, October 20, 2012

James Roy Daley's "The Dead Parade" reviewed

James Roy Daley first thing in the morning
I just finished reading The Dead Parade by horror novelist and all-around good guy James Roy Daley.

How can I describe his book?

In a word: grim.


Like being chained to the back of a pickup truck and dragged 40 miles down a gravel road.

This is a bleak book. It's an amazingly well written, fast-paced, page turner of a book. Reading this book is like witnessing a massive 18-car pile-up with multiple fatalities on the freeway first hand, narrowly avoiding death yourself, all while watching it through a microscope. The excruciating detail of human misery is presented with raw and scintillating depravity.

I loved this book.

First off, on a technical level, it's superbly well written. James Roy Daley has crafted The Dead Parade in a classically elegant pulp/noir "spare" style. There are no wasted words. Each sentence is about moving the plot violently forward. The metaphors are razor-sharp and inventive, reminiscent of some of Raymond Chandler's classic turns of phrase. The dialogue is fresh, authentic and reveals familiar and believable characters efficiently and with minimal description. A reminder to aspiring writers how much can be done with so little, Daley's style is akin to the masterly works of the late great Jim Thompson and equally skillful mid-career one-offs penned by John D. MacDonald (MacDonald is the avowed all-time favorite author of Dean Koontz). James Roy Daley has put a lot of words under his belt, and knows how to write.

He also knows how to captivate.

Secondly, let's talk story. Violence and tragedy erupt like an Independence day cannonade on page one. The story pauses to take a deep breath for but a few pages to establish character and setting, and then disaster bellows out for the remainder of the book. Like the train wreck that it is, how can you not keep reading? One terrible thing after another happens "seemingly" randomly to the innocents within. Does it seem gratuitous? Of course it does, that's why we read such books. Does it seemed depraved? Why yes, I'm glad you asked. Can people really do such terrible things to each other? They could, if given the proper motivation. But what sort of terrible impossible thing could motivate people to such lunacy? Read the book and you will find out. But how, you ask in shocked disbelief, could people THINK such things and DO such things to one another? I don't know, but when Daley takes us inside the heads of the characters in The Dead Parade, it all makes perfect sense. Their actions seem so perfectly suitable and sensible, as if we would all do the exact same thing in their shoes. Daley has such a deft hand when it comes to evoking the inner-minds of madmen, I have to wonder: did he write the manuscript with a two-inch pencil nub while straight-jacketed and chained to a wall? I'm going to guess yes.

If you like terror and horror, buy this book. Now.

If not, recommend it to your friends who do.

As an aside, I couldn't help but notice a similarity between the beast depicted on the two different covers of The Dead Parade and the infamous Zuni Fetish Warrior from Karen Black's magnum acting opus Trilogy of Terror. I have a life-sized statue of the Zuni doll from said film sitting in my office behind me right now, staring at my back. It glares at me malevolently, and when I'm not looking at it, I hear it creeping closer. I'm pretty sure that my copy of The Dead Parade has brought the previously inanimate doll to life. If you read James Roy Daley's The Dead Parade you will understand exactly why. I wonder if this was a conscious nod by Daley to "The" Trilogy? I hope so. He certainly earned a place on the podium directly adjacent.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Monster Men Paper Puppet Giveaway

Melissa Kojima's paper puppet monsters
My friend, artist Melissa Kojima, is having a giveaway for Halloween themed paper doll monsters over at her blog Artist in La La Land.

If you have a fondness for creepy paper dolls, which are arguably scarier than evil clowns, then you should check out her giveaway.

Alice in Wonderland, Paper Mache, Art Doll, Cheshire Cat in Teacup for gift giving, for decor, pink, gray
Melissa's Cheshire Cat

I've known Melissa for a long time, and not only does she make cool paper dolls, but she also makes some amazing and bizarre papier-mache oddities.

Melissa Kojima's Papier Mache conjoined rabbit
If you like tattoo'd circus monkeys, tattoo'd bunny rabbits, anything Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat, conjoined twins, or even conjoined rabbits, you will love her work.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

FASTSIGNS of Salem, Oregon ROCKS!!

If you are an author and have been following my blog, then you know that I've been doing a number of book festivals and comic book conventions to promote my new novel Night Walk and my short story collection The Nose Knows & Other Stories. One aspect of my promotion machine is my fondness for large 20" x 30" posters of my book covers for my booth display. I find that these big in-your-face prints are drawing a lot of attention from festival attendees.

It's easy to get someone interested in picking up your book and leafing through the pages if you have a giant poster SHOUTING at them to do so. Then you don't have to do the shouting yourself, which usually scares them away anyway.



Sales Tip #72: Don't shout at your customers. Let your sales material do it for you.

Me and Mark, the owner of FASTSIGNS of Salem, Oregon
When I needed to find a print shop that could make signage for me, I started with the local FASTSIGNS shop in Salem, Oregon. 

What a lucky decision that was. 

First of all, the entire staff at this branch of FASTSIGNS are awesome. The all know their stuff, are totally friendly, and always make me feel like I'm their most important customer, even though my orders are fairly small. If you've worked with print shops before, you know this is not always the case.

But at the end of the day, customer service is only a part of the process. Because ultimately I'm paying these guys to turn out great prints. 

Well, let me tell you, having worked with plenty of printers over the last 15 years as a print illustrator, I have never seen such a high quality of print output as I have with every single piece I've purchased from the guys at FASTSIGNS of Salem, Oregon. I'm super picky (ask anyone who works at the Salem FASTSIGNS) and yet I NEVER find a single issue with the signage I've purchased from them. The quality is phenomenal. The color is superbly rich, the contrast is maximum, and it ALWAYS matches what I see on my monitor.

I'm genuinely stunned that the guys at the Salem FASTSIGNS have their printer tuned up as well as they do. They are truly artists. If you have worked in or with the print business, you know how temperamental and unpredictable print output can be, and how difficult it is to get consistently high quality prints. Not with FASTSIGNS of Salem, Oregon. The work they do for me is always perfect. I'm not exaggerating here. 

These guys do the best work I've ever seen.

If you are anywhere even remotely close to Salem, Oregon and need the best signage money can buy, get in touch with the crew over at the Salem FASTSIGNS

You will not be disappointed.

And tell Mark that David Hudnut sent you.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Donut Re-Does It

The new cover for Donut Does It
I've been thinking about doughnuts a ton lately. I've also been thinking about tons of doughnuts.

I mean TONS.

As in thousands of pounds of doughnuts. All stacked together in a giant mountainous mass of glazey frosting and chocolate icing and mapley ecstasy.

Of the many cool things that may await all of us in Heaven, one will hopefully be the ability to eat as many doughnuts as we want.

There may even be a Doughnut Room in heaven that contains an infinite ocean of doughnuts, where any of us will be able to dive right in and eat as many doughnuts as we want without guilt or consequence.

Wouldn't that be awesome?

Doughnut Heaven.

Yeah, that sounds yummy, or scrumdiddlyumptious even.

I can't wait.

Unfortunately, we all know that in life, doughnuts must be eaten in moderation. If we don't, we'll have Hell to pay. And Hell does not accept credit cards.

Or doughnuts.

If you disagree, I encourage you to read my story Donut Does It  and find out what happens when poor Randy McArdle (pictured above on the new cover of Donut Does It) chooses to disregard the common sense wisdom of "All things in moderation."

Donut Does It is available now on for only 99 cents on the Kindle.

Buy DONUT DOES IT for Kindle 
only $0.99
Available on

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Meet my Zombie Army

Heavy Metal Hair
I was at the 2nd annual Florence Festival of Books last weekend selling my horror novel Night Walk and my new short story collection The Nose Knows & Other Stories and I had a great time.  Books were sold and drawings were drawn.

I think for any of you who know me, you all know the real reason I attend so many book festivals is to show off my heavy metal hair. Yeah, I'm metal. Deal with it.

But more importantly, I've been building my very own zombie army. Now before you all get up in arms and waving pitchforks around while shouting "David Hudnut is a necromancer!" calm down. When I say I'm building a zombie army, I don't mean I'm actually going to graveyards and morgues in the middle of the night to steal bodies and later resurrect them in my evil wizard's tower. Because we all know, I would never steal bodies. But I do have my very own wizard's tower, and I may or may not have resurrected dead bodies in it now and then.

At any rate, what I WAS doing at the Florence Festival of Books was drawing a picture of each person who bought a copy of my novel Night Walk or my short story collection The Nose Knows & Other Stories in the book they purchased. In some cases, it was a gift for someone not in attendance, so I worked from a photo.

The zombie army

I did all of the sketches using a Pentel 0.5 mechanical pencil, inked with COPIC 0.35 Multiliner SP, and colored with Tombow Dual Brush pens while I chatted with the customers about eating brains and the end of the world. No surprise that zombies LOVE to talk about brains.

The Brain Lovers Society

As usual, The HUDNUT IMP was trying to steal my thunder by crowding me out and getting in the way the whole time. You can see one of his unnecessarily gigantic comic strips right there in front of my booth! What a scene-stealer and attention whore that guy is!

The HUDNUT IMP trying to steal my thunder

But I love the little green guy, so I let him get away with it every time.

Now that the show is over, don't fret. You can still buy my novel Night Walk and my short story collection The Nose Knows & Other Stories on

And if you want me to turn you into a zombie, I will be at Wordstock this coming weekend, October 13 & 14, in Portland, Oregon selling books and drawing people as zombies.

Until next time,


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Night Walk reviewed by SeattleBangBang

SeattleBangBang is one killer chic.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my horror novel Night Walk has been reviewed online. The review is by SeattleBangBang, a seasoned zombie hunter and aficionado of zombie body parts. She runs a blog on Tumblr called SeattleBangBang, and you can find her blog and the review for Night Walk here:

I met her at the Jet City Comic Show, and she demanded I give her a copy of Night Walk at gun point. I think the lesson here is that anyone who waves firearms in your face while demanding a review copy of your book is likely the right audience for horror.

If you see SeattleBangBang at large, she is armed and extremely dangerous. I'm not 100% sure she only hunts zombies...

Don't say I didn't warn you...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Night Walk is a helluva good read

Demon Super Model Lilith loves Night Walk 
Word in the Netherworld these days is that debut horror novel Night Walk by author David Hudnut is the talk of the terrible town!

That's right! Demons and devils everywhere are raving over Night Walk. Read what they have to say:

"NIGHT WALK scared the poop out of me, which is a good thing, because I eat too much cheese and not enough fiber."

"I read a chapter of NIGHT WALK out loud to my minions every morning before they go to work. It gives them great ideas on how to torture all of my tortured souls. Thank you David Hudnut, you make my job easy."

"Being a demon is a thankless job. After a long day cracking whips, roaring with evil laughter, and throwing people in flaming cauldrons, all I want to do is go home alone to my creepy cavern apartment, curl up with a hot mug of human misery, and read NIGHT WALK. It's so much more enjoyable when someone else does the torturing for you, and the villains in NIGHT WALK are truly inspired. I wish I could hire them to take over my job so I could stay home and read more books by David Hudnut."

"I liked NIGHT WALK so much, I started reading it a second time as soon as I finished it the first time. I think I've read it 666 times so far, and I re-read it religiously once a week. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!"

"NIGHT WALK by new horror novelist David Hudnut is a helluva good read and is required reading where I teach at Demon Super Model University. I also tell the contestants on my hit reality TV show Project Hellway to take more ideas from Mr. Hudnut. He knows how to chill your bones and melt your brain with soul-scorching terror."
—Demon Super Model Lilith, pictured at left