by Gabino Iglesias
I met Scott Cole online a few years ago and then had a chance to hang out with him at BizarroCon. He likes talking books and movies, so we got along splendidly. He’s an easy guy to get along with and one someone whose passion for weird films, horror, comics, and bizarro are hard to ignore. Needless to say, I was stoked when he become a fellow NBASer. Now, besides his bizarro chops, we get to check out the stuff he’s filled his shelves with. Dig it.
GI: Who are you and what role do books play in your life?
SC: I am Scott Cole – master illusionist, renowned chef, military strategist, humble philanthropist, and author of SuperGhost.
Books are big for me. I’m always reading something. They’re one of the few things I spend money on, beyond food-and-shelter-type necessities. I worked in an indie bookstore once upon a time, and was able to buy books at the store’s cost. That was a hungry year.
I’ve probably got enough books in my house to use as bricks to build another house. Maybe I’ll do that someday, just so I have somewhere nice and quiet to sit and read the ones I haven’t gotten to yet.
GI: You read horror, bizarro, and other genres. Give us your top ten for the last two years. Then, tell us about a book you loved that no one would’ve guessed you dug.
SC: I’m constantly behind when it comes to new stuff, and I’m always going back to read things I missed, or just recently discovered (for example, I’ve been reading a lot of 1930s “Weird Menace” stories the last several years). There’s just so much out there, and so many new books coming out all the time, it’s impossible to keep up. But I’m trying. So let’s say Top Ten Things I’ve Read in the Last Two Years (Or So), Which May Have Been Released in the Last Five or Six, Although I’ll Try to Keep it as Current as Possible. In no particular order:
I Am The New God by Nicole Cushing
The Atrocity Vendor by Nick Cato
Never Bet the Devil by Orrin Grey
Light Boxes by Shane Jones
Misery and Death and Everything Depressing by C.V. Hunt
Fantastic Orgy by Carlton Mellick III
We Live Inside You by Jeremy Robert Johnson
King of the Perverts by Steve Lowe
Clown Tear Junkies by Douglas Hackle
In the Fishbowl, We Bleed by Jeremy C. Shipp
People will look at this list and say “But what about _______?” And I’ll just have to say “It’s in my TBR pile. I’m getting to it. I swear.”
As for a book I loved that no one would guess? Hmmm. Would people be surprised to know I enjoy the hell out of some Dashiell Hammett? Or that I have a big collection of reference books on graphic design? Or that I generally don’t like superhero comics, but do have a couple dozen Batman collections? I have no idea.
How ’bout I change this question around too, and instead give you a movie that no one can seem to believe I hated. Easy. Cabin in the Woods. I saw a preview screening before the hype started, and I…disliked it. Actually, I could rant against it for hours, but maybe I’ll save that for an essay.
GI: Finish these sentences:
SC: Adam Cesare is: actually just a family of turtles living inside a canvas bag stitched to look like a human.
Philadelphia is: probably nicer than it gets credit for, and definitely far, far weirder than it’s known for.
Writing bizarro is: about the most fun one can have telling lies without getting into (too much) trouble.
My favorite sandwich is: the vegan cheesesteak at Blackbird in Philly. Seriously amazing, whether you eat meat or not.
You have to read Junji Ito because: he’s one of the most important voices in modern horror.
Your momma is so fat: making fun of her is only making things worse.
GI: Got any ghost stories from real life? What/who/where would you haunt if you were a ghost and why?
SC: When I was a kid, we would visit my grandparents’ house on Cape Cod a couple times a year. The stairs going up to the second floor were hidden behind a door in the living room. One day, while my parents and grandparents were outside, I was inside watching a Creature Double Feature, and that door suddenly popped open. I jumped up, ran to it, and saw some sort of dark shape at the top of the stairs. I closed that door real fast.
Now, the door opening could’ve had something to do with the house settling, and the shape I saw may have been conjured up by my monster-movie-obsessed mind, but I’m not going to say that’s what it was for sure. Who knows.
If I was a ghost, I’d probably just hang out in graveyards and spooky old houses and pretend I was “living” in an old movie.
5. What’s your NBAS book about and why should we all run and buy it?
SuperGhost is the story of a mad scientist who steals phantom limbs from amputees, and uses them to build a giant ghost-monster. The amputees, of course, then have to band together to defeat the SuperGhost, save the city, and take back what’s rightfully theirs. Oh, and there’s ice cream!
I sometimes describe it as being like Frankenstein meets Ghostbusters meets Godzilla. It’s probably the weirdest kaiju story around, at least for the next day or two.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of Gutmouth (Eraserhead Press), Hungry Darkness (Severed Press), and a few other things no one will ever read. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias