Three Reads w/ David C. Hayes

Hello, Friday! The curtains are drawn, sun already trying to find its way into my swollen eyeballs. “Wait, sun,” I say, but it won’t listen, never does, forge on we must. Yesterday concluded our New Bizarro Author Series “Three Reads” contributions–six very talented authors, each touting three worthy reads apiece. If my math is correct, that’s eighteen books for you to cram down your gullet.

But, we’re not stopping there, folks. Eighteen is not a satisfactory number. Its shape is not harmonious to the ear. I spit on eighteen, need to squeeze more digits out of it, dear. Thus, I have decided to continue “three reading” with a handful (or mouthful) of willing authors from around the globe. Are you ready? You better be, because today’s author is in the business of delivering literary piledrivers to your earholes, son. Get used to it.

Yes, I present, the mad scientist renaissance man himself, Mr. David C. Hayes, author of, among other things, the Bizarro Pulp Press book, Cherub.

(David approaches, proceeds to bash Grefe’s head in with a cheese grater, leaves him in a puddle of yellow goop)

(Cue applause, maybe some applesauce, too)

(Grefe tries to continue his monologue through mushed-up face, but Hayes already has him by the hair, whips his puny body across the room–hear it splat, crash, crumble)

And a voice-over (*would love to get Brad Dourif for this one*) says:

David C. Hayes is an author, performer and filmmaker that also teaches these subjects at the university level. His films, like A Man Called Nereus, Dark Places and The Frankenstein Syndrome (and approximately 70 more) can be seen worldwide. He is the author of several novels, collections and graphic novels including Cherub, Pegged, American Guignol, Scorn and Muddled Mind: The Complete Works of Ed Wood, Jr. As a playwright, David’s full-length and one-act plays have been produced from coast to coast with a run Off-Broadway for the comedy Swamp Ho and sell-out performances in Phoenix for Dial P for Peanuts (winning a 2011 Ethingtony for Best Show). He is a voting member of The Dramatist’s Guild and the Horror Writers Association.

(But, Grefe can’t be stopped)

Moreover, yes, I just said “moreover,” here’s what some of our current taste-makers have to say about the work of the mighty David C. Hayes:

“Hayes is fast establishing himself as the new top drawer of hardcore horror.” – Edward Lee, author of Flesh Gothic, The Bighead and Goon.

“This book [Cannibal Fat Camp] is the twisted product of deranged minds. It’s sick, it’s evil and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever read.” – Jim Dodge, Zero Signal Magazine

“David C. Hayes will gross you out with American Guignol. And disgust you. And appall you. And maybe even make your skin crawl. And that would please him immensely.” – Jerome Ludwig, The Chicago Reader

Meanwhile, back at the abattoir…

(Grefe tries to pick himself up from the floor, seems to be dragging himself back to the computer. Hayes leaps, elbow smashes Grefe’s arms off in one inhuman blow. Snap! We zoom in on Grefe as he struggles to pull himself up)

Grefe: And now, I present *spleeeeccchhh* *bleeeep* *gurgle* today’s author, David C. Hayes. Take it away, David.

Luther Strode

1. The Strange Talents of Luther Strode
I’ve been avoiding prose fiction, lately, because it is what I do for the day job, the night job and the freelance jobs so… graphic novels, right? I find them to be the perfect medium. Working in film, stage and prose you have different limitations (budget, actors, no imagery, etc.). Not in the funny books. The Strange Talents of Luther Strode by Justin Jordan and Trad Moore is like an exploitation film on paper. It is hyper-violent, self referential and a product of forty years of pop culture. That speaks, uniquely, to my generation.
Oh, and it kicks ass. I wanted more the minute it was over.


2. Everyman
This is probably the only Medieval morality play on anyone’s three reads, but there is a method behind my madness. The early character archetypes and messaging we find in work from the Middle Ages (and this is, possibly, the earliest English-language play in existence) helps in refining our own messaging. Even in bizarro or hardcore horror or splatter punk or dark satire or whatever. Everyman by Anonymous still resonates and, language aside, has proven itself beneficial in shaping how I approach characters now.

Satans Mummy

3. Satan’s Mummy
I’m a fan of the garish. The lurid. The exploitative. Growing up in the 1970s and 80s with our minds filled with Corman and blaxploitation and all manners of sleaze made an impression. My work gravitates toward the lewd (if not outright awfulness) and this series by Henry Price is cool stuff. Mummies, Satanists, distressed damsels, free love… it has it all. I aspire to Mr. Price’s sense of bad taste.

(Grefe’s now been reduced to a soggy mess, just teeth and lips and cheeks, but forges on, regardless. To the end, folks, to the end)

There you have it, the ever-gracious David C. Hayes, ladies and gentle-dogs. Be sure to check out some of our past contributors, including: Bix Skahill, Dustin Reade, Amanda Billings, Daniel Vlasaty, Andy de Fonseca, and Tiffany Scandal.

Thank you for reading. Over and out.

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