Joe Pulver is the closest thing to an avatar of The King in Yellow that we have in this realm. His work is experimental, sharp as a fucking knife, and longs to expose the true faces found beneath the many colored masks.
And this should be up by Necronomicon 2015, so hopefully I get to chat with the man in person, about stuff other than spirit gum, and beer.
Check out his variety of collections, Blood will have its Season, and A House of Hollow Wounds.
How would you feel if someone uses your likeness to create a comic book superhero called
If the villains have cool uniforms (and names) (and KILLER superpowers) and are skullduggerous bastards that spit NASTY and vile, and I get the action figures and a copy of the DVD (if they make a film – and Eva Green, or Serena Williams, is my girlfriend in it), KOOL! !!
In fact, a few years back a buddy of mine made a custom action figure of The Pulverizer. It’s pretty damn neat—looks like The “FF” Thing in a Deadhead t-shirt.
Skittles or Starburst?
No no—NO! Not a big candy fan, and when I do, it’s chocolate!!!!!!!!!!! Reese’s Pieces, yeah, I’d do that. Or, white chocolate… mmmm soft creamy—Yeah, white chocolate, yummy! !!
If you could ask Robert W. Chambers one question, what would it be?
Were there lost notes, sketches, outlines, drafts, plans for other King in Yellow works? And if allowed a second, do you think mine are of any merit?
I love night. I love birds. I was a nut for Archimedes in Disney’s The Sword in the Stone when I was a kid. For a hundred reasons, owl! Is there anything as beautiful as a Snowy Owl?
Ever used spirit gum?
Once. Was going to a Halloween party and we used it to glue a cheap fake beard on my girlfriend at the time.
How do you feel about The Spirit?
I’ve got it! Love Eisner and the character. The Octopus and Mister Carrion were great – wish I had come up w/ the name, Mister Carrion. Myabe i can still steal that? Dr. Carrion. Yeah, I just might.
Ever seen Spirited Away?
There was a bar, a hole-in-the-wall bikerjoint, it was next door to a used bookstore that closed at 9pm. Me, sitting there w/ my beer. A woman sat down. Bought me a beer. Looked in the bag of used books I had just purchased. She liked a bunch of them, told me about others she had that I would like. She had a scar on her knee and long legs, very nice legs, the voice of a seductress, and magical green eyes. She told me she had a bottle of whiskey w/ my name on it
in her apartment…
Wait, maybe it was swept away? ??
Whatever it was, I wrote about in it my tale, “And this is where I go down in darkness”.
Oops. Sorry, please forgive Mr. Stupid, I read that wrong. Thought it said “Been” spirited away.
No, I have not seen it. Just checked the trailer, looks kool.
Have you ever written a story and been utterly and completely surprised with it, both in where it went thematically, and in its characterization?
Yes, my novel, “The Orphan Palace.” Going in, I knew where and how it ended and next to nothing else but the main character’s name.
Who do you think would win in a fight, Shirley Jackson or Anne Rice?
Shirley! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She has everything you could ever want, power, vision, darkness! She has created plague and bloodshed and delirium stretching its strange over heart and soul, Shirley could win this with her eyes closed and without even getting up from her
Part 2 of my answer: Anne Rice is OK, but Shirley walks on water. ‘NUFF SAID!
What’s the shortest turn around you’ve ever had on a story, from idea to completion of first draft?
Not sure this really counts, but for a short short, 25:17. I put on John Zorn’s “Spillane” and wrote as it played, and the second it ended I was done (it helped that I knew Zorn’s composition well and knew what was coming). For a regular tale, say, 3000+ words, about 3 hours.
You’re stuck on a desert island, and you can only bring 5 books. The catch is you have to share your reading with ancient lizard creatures.
Anyway, which 5 books do you bring?
World Poetry: An Anthology of Verse from Antiquity to Our Time by Washburn, Major, and Fadiman
The Complete E. E. Cummings Complete Poems, 1904-1962 (Revised, Corrected, and Expanded Edition)
The Weird by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer/The Centipede Press Michael Cisco box set (Yes, I know that’s cheating, but you know, I’m not one for following the rules)
Flicker by Theodore Rozsak
The Complete Dramatic Works of Samuel Beckett
And then I cry, as 5 is not enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh wait, there’s a koolass bookstore here and they’re having a SALE on CISCO and Laird and ANNA TAMBOUR and Alice Fulton and Jack O’Connell—! I’m saved!!!!!!!!!
Like most, most used is Fuck! But “Go to Hell” carries the most venom to me.
You used to work in a record store? What are some of your favorite memories from that?
Robert Fripp sitting there on a chair in the store playing Frippertronics. Meeting Clapton and having a beer w/ him. Getting backstages and meeting Herbie Handcock—what a great generous cat he is. Getting tickets to a very-early-in-his-career Stevie Ray Vaughan show (during a New York flood) and hanging out in the bus w/ him after.
If trees could speak, what do you think they’d say?
Stop allowing assbags to burn books – we died once, that’s enough! !! And it’s just plain WRONG!
Do you think a horror writer could have a career if they didn’t write about anything supernatural in their stories?
Yup. I see folks like Laird Barron easily writing crime and noir. With the vast talent in the field right now—Livia Llewellyn, Molly Tanzer, S.P. Miskowski, Paul Tremblay, Brian Evenson, there are many who could write anything that catches their interest.
When I used to drink, Beck’s. In a frosted mug, of course. And when I was near broke, well, Genny Cream Ale.
Deep ones are crashing your party. One of them knows a lot about philosophy, does that make him a really deep Deep One?
Nah. Makes him gone if he can’t shut up. It’s a party, not a lecture on Heidegger, or an overwrought exploration of the periodic table.
Also, how do you deal with them if they try to steal the women to breed with?
Please don’t fool w/ mine… or you’ll be on the menu at the sushi bar around the corner in the morning.
What is it about crime mixed with horror that you like? What is it about the mix you don’t like (if there is any aspect of the commingling you don’t like)?
Mix crime/noir and horror and wham-bam, the moon is in the gutter, and you’re alone. Now that is a dark passage that’s irresistible. To me, they are natural bedfellows, birds of a feather, born to be partners in lowdown skullduggery. The criminal carries around darkness and pain
(schemes or fears or cravings, or a festering brew of them all) inside, look at Poe, or Caligari, or Jack the Ripper and Bloch’s Norman and Juliette, in them, we get the best of both worlds.
Mixing crime and horror is like pizza (or Mike Griffin’s chili), I can’t get enough. I mean Goodis and Ligotti, they’re brothers, right? Laird and Ellroy, don’t they drink together and swap yarns?
When it is done right, there’s nothing about mixing them I don’t admire.
You ever known anybody who went really off the reservation?
Sadly, yeah. Cat I knew (he was few years ahead of me in HS) came back from The Nam, part of
him came back, became a small time contract killer. Wound up shived in a prison shower. He was in for attempted murder.
Do you ever worry your mustache will gain sentience, and start feasting on the blood of the innocent?
Never on innocents, they need protecting. But so many nasties and viles and trolls need culling, that could take lifetimes for the stache to properly equalize things.
What projects you got coming out, Joe?
Cassilda’s Song. An all-women tributes to Robert W. Chambers’ King in Yellow
The Leaves of a Necronmonicon. A novel-length round robin that follows the travels of a Necronomicon for 120 years or so.
I just edited the Necronomicon Providence 2015 round robin, The Doom That Came To Providence.
I’m guest editing another all KIY issue of the “Lovecraft eZine”.
And I have three more anthologies I’m working on at present.
Also working on a new novel, and have 5 tales sold for upcoming anthologies next year. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things . . .