Saturday, July 31, 2004

This is the first of the seven Castlerigg paintings I recently completed. I really like the abstract feeling to this, like teeth in a spitting fog. They're acrylic on canvas, but I used a stone spray for the backgrounds. Stones, stone spray, geddit?


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Yeah, I know it means nothing to you. But it means everything to me.

It started last night, just after midnight. I'd just received the IP (that's intellectual property; games ideas, art style, new technology thoughts) from a past employer, so I can go ahead and include any or all of those innovative and sexy ideas in anything creative I wanna do with 3D in the future. I have been artistically released. It was sorta 12 o'clock midnight when I finally received confirmation that my IP was mine, again.

Maybe it was the annoyance that IP is the company's until such time as agreement is made between the parties that what I think is in fact my own, when I started to scratch. I reached up and felt something. A small white milk spot on my left eyelid. Don't touch it! that would be the advise elders would shriek in horror. Your eye will fall out. Your eyelid will swell up and crust over. You foot will fall off! All these and more, I guess. But what the hell. It was really beginning to bug me, and from the pain, it seemed to be near a vast network of nerves but to hell with that, I plundered on.

When scratching it with a finger nail didn't do much, I started trying to squeeze it like a spot, but it was dug in deep and painful as hell when any pressure was applied. This carried on until this afternoon, it is sore by now and I had the answer. Razor blade. I would slice off the skin that was covering the ball of white goo and then squeeze it out like an orange from a granny's fist.

Of course, there's a little bit of tissue damage there where I was scratching at it all night. A bit of blood from this afternoon's effort, I guess. And I know that when the scab starts to form, I'm gonna be picking at that too...

the devil makes work for idle hands, huh?

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Yes, the follow up to the "Chimera + eight female collaborators" 29-story collection CHIM+HER has just been released. Called CHIM+HIM, it is another collaborative project but this time Chimera battles it out with 7 male writers. Here's the spiel:

What is a three-lobed brain?

Chimera, Korn and Lewis invented one back in the 1990's and dubbed it a Tricephallic brain. The term refers to a story constructed by three writing brains in intimate collaboration.

In Chim+Him, Hertzan Chimera collaborates with seven of the most creative authors writing today: Simon Logan, Mark McLaughlin, Vincent W Sakowski, Greg Wharton, John Edward Lawson, MF Korn and DF Lewis. There are 25 collaborative stories in this book, plus a bumper batch of 9 of the infamous Tricephallics collaborations of Chimera, Korn and Lewis.

no other book brings their Tricephallic collection together.
Twelve years avoiding dust accretion and light bleaching in an A1-sized art folder, these 18 lost paintings from the early 1990's have finally surfaced from the carnage of the GREAT AXE ATTACK which claimed thirty of the larger oil-on-hardboard paintings. Gouache on white paper and A1-sized, these surrealistic remnants of a younger, angrier Chimera have never before been exhibited in public.

each painting is for sale at £500

Saturday, July 24, 2004

When I found out I'd won the Tombstone Award (with Alex Severin for our co-written story Modificatum Eli-X, part seven of the fuck star mini-series running on Weird Space e-zine), I thought,'yeah, thanks, won an award.'

But it arrived this morning!

It's a LOVELY looking award. Aluminium tombstone, 8" * 5" or so, engraved with the name and details of the award. Very happy, skippy-on-the-toes moment for me this.

My first award!

Friday, July 23, 2004

It has been confirmed, the eight female horror writers who collaborated with Hertzan Chimera (that's me) to produce the stunning erotic-horror book CHIM + HER are due for a feature interview in Pretty Scary ezine when it goes live later this month. Elizabeth Blue is gonna first be writing a review of the book and from what I can tell from her initial reaction (when she was half way through it) it's gonna be a good review and then she'll take time out to interview all eight girls with respect to their life, aims, career and writing with Chim.

god bless them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Last night, while listening to the delightfully raucous melodies of Fear Factory's OBSOLETE (yeah, I've still got it, AJ) I experienced a fugue state of cowboy horror madness. Overtly gay overtones, oodles of gun-slinging action and 400,000 head of cattle to push across the border - what could go wrong? 2,500 words in one repeat playing of the CD - that's the way, ahuh ahuh, I like it. Just like Kerouac. Here's the opening few bars of the new cunt-tree and western song:
by Hertzan Chimera
It was the first proper job I’d had since the landlords took our home away. I was 16 and as fresh as they come. And lots of shit was on its way, word of God.
400,000 head of cattle to push across state borders, beating off bandits in random gunfights and physically dissuading the arse rapers around the campfire nightly. Protecting one’s own hole became a real fucking chore and I got very little sleep until I had shown one or two of those stinking lecherous varmints my handiwork close in with a .38 Colt Python.
Everything was the law of the gun. It was homo-erotic to begin with. Something a man might point at a man that could ejaculate ‘justice’ out of the end of it. Now what did that sound like if it weren’t a load of gay cowboy nonsense. I was in a dusty rotting saloon in someplace in between. I stank of horse shit, cattle shit, my own shit. The boss had arranged for us all to take a bath (we had to pay for our own whores, which few of us could afford as well he knew) and one by one, this perfume reeking tart would frogmarch us into the bathroom where our grimy backs were scrubbed with a wire brush.
“Man, that was fine.” Clarke said as he slumped down in his chair at our poker table, back in his reeking leathers and spurs, his face all freshly scraped with a blade, his wrinkled neck sorta reddened but fresh looking. You could count his freckles – he had pure Welsh blood stretching way back across the Atlantic like a cheap dog leash...
I'll post where it found a home so you can read the rest.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Two recent reviews of books by the amazing author Whitley Strieber have just gone online - these two books mark a clear return to sex-horror form for the man who gave the world Wolfen, The Hunger and Unholy Fire. THE LAST VAMPIRE has just gone live at Feo Amante dot Com. LILITH'S DREAM has just gone live at Horror Quarterly dot Com.
hit the book-title links 

Thursday, July 15, 2004

HINO HORROR graphic novel SERIES
I have just uploaded two new reviews of Japaneses horror-comic guru Hideshi Hino to Terror Tales Reviews in anticipation of the change over from Terror Tales to Horror Quarterly.

Hino has alleged brought out 150 odd such 'manga' books in his native Japan. He is one of their greatest superstars and DH Publishing is intent on brniging out the entire series. They're already up to #16. Sheesh! That's gonna be some marathon publishing spell. Anyway, it was my great honour to receive actual Hino Horror titles (in American translation - nice one DHP) and the promise of further volumes arriving on the Chimdoorstep is great news.

This brace of reviews is also gonna be syndicated on the Really Scary dot Com site too in a week or so.

ain't life sweet?

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I now have an almost full Blood Horror issue. The change over from Terror Tales for HORROR QUARTERLY went very smoothly, when I deleted the remaining author message boards, the community simply moved over to the new area I had set aside for that sort of horror discussion and personal announcements and I expect that communal forum to be as successful as the individual author areas used to be, but now with a gerater feeling of community and considered debate. The cream of the UK (and American) horror crop are on there, day and night giving their opinions and sharing their publishing news. The stories (boy do I have some really bloody stories from some great contributors, Nancy A Collins aming them). I have a wealth of informative and just plain weird blood-related articles. Interviews galore. And informative pieces on Japanese horror (third part of three), 3D games (gore issue) and the always extreme Horror Metal magazine of Destiny West (she's a fucking human dynamo - and she writes a lot, too).

I'll try to get the BLOOD HORROR ISSUE of HORROR QUARTERLY up within the month, something chilly to welcome the Indian Summer we're bound to get in UK.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Here's a choice selection of some of the abusive (and, yes, thuggish) ways a certain recent Stoker Award winner handles his fame, and treats other writers in public. This one I found on his 'blog':

"Hertzan Chimera, aka Mike Philbin, aka Obnoxious Windbag, aka Chim-ney Sweep says that I'm a thug. Me! Mr. Personality. The reader's friend. The guy who does volunteer social work and loves children and animals. I'm a thug. Heh. I do love a good compliment. He also says that I've threatened his life because I suggested he and I strap on the gloves and do a charity boxing match. He thinks that's a "death threat". Let me clarify for you, Chim-ney Sweep. A death threat is when I say that I want to cut off your head, hollow it out like a pumpkin, put a candle inside it, and then stump-fuck your neck. That is a death threat. Trust me, you poncy never-was and never-will-be, the absolute last thing you want right now is my complete and undivded attention. Thug? You have no concept of the word. Hertzan Chimera, the man whose crowning achievement is a short story about a caveman fornicating with a dinosaur egg (and I am not making that up). Why do I even waste typing time on pond scum like this? Luckily, I don't have to. Go take a look at THIS. Cheers to Jon for that insightful article. Thug. Hee hee hee... One of these days I'm gonna take a baseball bat to this entire frigging genre..."

and a while later on a public writer forum:

"You Fronting Phony Mother F*&%er What--suddenly I'm not a thug anymore, Chimney Sweep? You mean you're no longer going to tell Bantam and Leisure what a thug they have on their payrolls? You're pretty good with PhotoShop. Perhaps you can cook up an image of a sentinel (that's what the silver balls were called) drilling a hole in your head... *That* is something with your name on it that I would actually buy."

no, that's not harrassment - and, hey, it's not thuggish behaviour, either. 

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Since I became editor of Terror Tales Online at the end of 2003, I have turned the horror website around from a stagnant English small press clique into a fresh and lively professionally stylish web portal dealing with themed aspects of the gruesome horror pie each quarterly issue. I was always under the impression that I'd been handed Terror Tales to take it to the next league as the old editor John B Ford had neither the time nor the inclination to continue with the franchise.

In a bid to distance the website from John B Ford's continued paperback anthologies entitled Terror Tales (which frankly demean our website by association), I have decided to rename Terror Tales Online to HORROR QUARTERLY. We now have a superb team of writers and journalists dealing with all sorts of contentious non-mainstream horror topics and I wouldn't want to spoil that by continued connection to what used to be. It is time to move on, lads. The change to HORROR QUARTERLY will become effective as soon as the domain change goes through and the current issue and the archived issue are relevantly amended.

this has been a creative improvement announcement.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I have come to the conclusion that I will never break through to the writing mainstream. I have books, collections and editorial duty coming out of my arse. The fact though (and it's a hard fact to face but here I go) is I will probably never break through to those million fans I know are out there. It's not a case of being negative, it's a case of just waking up from a 15 year dream. Yes, I have been writing Hertzan Chimera fiction for FIFTEEN FUCKING YEARS. It's unbelievable that the whole Hertzan Chimera thing started out as a play on words. You know, something for a laugh. I felt like a surfer who has been convincing himself he has been riding a superb curler of a wave... when in fact he has merely been masturbating rather furiously in his bath at home and splashing all over his floor.

I can only write books that are true to my soul. There is no other reason to write. But (like Philip K Dick before me) those sorts of books aren't the books the marketing guys know how to sell, there's no pigeonhole for them. The agents panic, seeing no easy return. Some "future historian" (like Ridley Scott did for Philip K Dick) might come along and raise the results of my mortality to some relevance but I will be a pauper long before that, and why? Because I NEVER compromised my vision (not for anyone) and I NEVER sucked ass so that I could get the contracts. In an ideal competitive world, I'd be out there wasting thousands of pounds doing signings and readings and inviting the publishers over for parties and threatening to take out the competition with knives and guns and bombs but fuck all of that idiocy.

I don't play the political game very well, hence my obscurity.

Monday, July 05, 2004

In homage to that great Venice theatrical featurette before Monty Python's THE LIFE OF BRIAN, let it be known that I am once again back to the Castlerigg paintings. Today, I'll pick up three more canvases and some more cans and tubes of paint. There are some aspects of the Castlerigg Stone Circle that I'd like to explore visually. A change of style here and there and the great cataloguing of this ancient (neolithic) site continues.

if they're good enough, I'll arrange an exhibition of them up in a gallery in Keswick that I was quite taken by when last I was up there.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

As most of you out there might consider HERTZAN CHIMERA fiction a guilty secret to be kept from your family, friends or work colleagues, I thought it about time to launch the GUILTY SECRETS part of the official HC website where those with guilty secrets burning a hole in their hearts can air their souls to the world (in strictest confidence).

let it all out, readers, purge your pain, share your sin.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Not true, as evidenced this morning by the Oxford Public Library who graciously accepted my American-import titles ANIMAL INSTINCTS (the oversized illustrated collection of my short stories from Canadian publisher DOUBLE DRAGON PRESS) and SZMONHFU (my 2001 novel from the American publisher ERASERHEAD PRESS - now out of print + one of the last 15 copies ever). I thought she was gonna ask for money at one point but no she took them off me for nought pence, proving that you can actually give away Hertzan Chimera fiction quite easily.

end of message.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

This afternooon, I put the finishing touches to FOUR semi-abstract paintings based on the NEOLITHIC STONE CIRCLE at Castlerigg in the Lake District, Cumbria where we recently spent a very fine week's walking holiday. As a former figurative painter, I never suspected I'd one day end up painting stones out in the hills, well up on a plateau just south of Keswick in the rolling Cumbrian hills. But there's something truly haunting about stone circles and something equally fascinating about the people who made them and worshipped within and around them. I have four paintings, but I aim to do lots more in this sequence, different sizes, different treatment of the icons, different format of image - I have a plan to to a massive 3 metre * .3 metre wraparound painting of the whole stone circle when I can get the canvas. I also want to do a series of LANDSCAPES with the stones of the circle ERASED from the image - that'll be very exciting.

really worth a visit if ever you're in England.
Hmm, interesting, here was I about to fire off into a massive, heated polemic on the diligent ab-user of the Oxford Public Library scanner machine...

Here's the word from our sponsor as it was gonne be for this bright-fresh morning:

Yeah, jerk, I'm here again. In front of you in the queue again. Yeah, ha-haaaaa! First in line. Yeah. With my funky guitar case and my funky brown leather jacket and my funky blue lumberjack shirt and my funky grey nylon slacks and my funky balding greyness. And my funky-ass bag of shreddedness, my stolen youth. Yeah, you were too slow, jerk. The early bird catches the scanner worm. Yeah, gobble gobble. There's no way you'll ever appreciate my queueing skill, my waiting technique, my pazzazz. I will always win you to the finishing line and this machine, the lover of my life, this perfect box inked to the perfect digital world will always be mine...

What? wait a minute? This scanner is BOOKED? Stay calm, stay calm. Don't show your weapons yet, keep them concealed. Ha-ha, yessss, I saw it was booked only after I sat down, say that. Tell them anything so you can remain close to your beloved scanner machine Mister I've Got Nothing At All To Scan.

Now, I'll bore the jerk-ess who ordered the scanner for 9:15 and onwards. "I only saw it was booked after I sat down. Sit down, it's fine. Yeah, you gotta wait for it to Sign Out (I have so many things to hide). That's it, it's a really wonderful machine is this, plays mp3s downloads like that (cicks his fingers threateningly close to her face)." Yeah, right, I knew all along that this was my machine and she had no right to it. Nobody did. It was my scanner machine made only for me. ME, do you hear. If I had the guts I would rale against you all in full view of the reading public. Those no-hopers checking their email and their agents and their websites, uploading, downloading, clicking on the dodgiest adverts in history.

Oooh, then he was gone - how refreshing.