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Way back when the CIA injected acid right into the eyeballs of mental patients in the name of science. They really didn’t know what the hell was going to happen, least of all that each of the patients would claim to see the same rainbow-coloured spectre known as IRA RAT.

“I’M HERE FOR THE PARTY!” the kaleidoscopic reality-bender announced, dancing to disco music that wasn’t there. “AND IF YOU’VE GOT ANY CHIPS… I’LL TAKE THOSE, TOO.”

Years went by and poor IRA got lots of chips… but no party.

Not until today, that is.

Prepare your funky-chicken ass because this interview… this IS the party!

WHO – Ira Ephraim Rat

WHAT – Amature Cult Leader, Professional Misanthrope, Song and Dance Man, CIA Mind-Control “Survivor” & Leader in the False Rebellion. 

WHERE – Ames, IA.

NOTABLE WORK – Pacifier (NihilismRevised), “To Cover Up The Smell” (MiseryTourism.com) Neon Lushell (Band), Filthy Loot (Press), Drug Arts (Record Label), more TBA. 

WHAT DO YOU WRITE WITH – Dixon Ticonderoga Black HB 2, Staedtler Noris 2B, Digit 0.5mm Mechanical (if you can find these, send them my way), Papermate Flair Medium, Field Notes notebooks, iPhone, iMac, allergy medication and despair. 

I’m willing to swap out any of these for a sponsorship deal.

ONE WORD THAT BEST DESCRIBES YOUR MIND – Contrarian

CAN WE SEE  A PICTURE OF WHERE YOU WRITE – 

WHAT WAS YOUR INTRODUCTION TO BIZARRO – This would have had to be around 2001 or so by the hype, I started seeing posts everywhere about the book The Kafka Effekt by D. Harlan Wilson. Being a big Kafka fan, I would sit there and daydream about what the book and this “Bizarro” thing could be about. Because I didn’t have any money to order anything, and the librarian just gave me disapproving looks when I would ask for any of the books through interlibrary loan, I did a lot of pondering before reading anything.

The first one I got my filthy mitts on was Piecemeal June by Jordan Krall, many years later. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BIZARRO-ADJACENT MOVIE OR BOOK – It feels cliché to say, but the two background noise movies that always go on while I’m writing are either Eraserhead or Gummo, though I used to have Un Chien Andalou playing on a loop for years while I worked. 

Books, too many to name. Anything by Sam Pink, Emma Johnson, Cody Goodfellow, Philip K Dick, I would even lump Books of Blood by Clive Barker in there. I do love all the hardcore Bizarro things like the whole Eraserhead Press canon, but my tastes run a little more “arty” than “Troma”. I’m probably going to have my Bizarro Card revoked for saying that. 

HOW DO YOU RECHARGE – I don’t. I just change gears for a while. If I’m not making music, I’m making “art”. If I’m not writing, I’m running the press. Etc. 

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS – You’ve already got a good chunk of people that I tend to go out of my way to get people to read… that I haven’t already name-dropped. 

Rocksteady? Cook? O’Brien? I could be selfish and say Katy Michelle Quinn, Sam Richard, Joe Quenell and Amy Vaughn, because I’m working on projects with them. (blows dust off Rolodex) Then there’s…  

I don’t know about you but my funky-chicken ass is cooked, my disco-finger needs a rest, and Ira just sucked out my innards and took them for a ride on his soul-train, back to his crystal dimension where apparently the party never stops but they can’t make noise after 10 p.m. 

Luckily for us, Ira left some dimensional-ectoplasm in the form of a website, Twitter, and a small press. Check out his stuff and then hit the showers. You really stink.

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How I Weird is a series of mini-interviews conducted by Luke Kondor, looking to celebrate the bizarro genre and the people who work in it. If you would like to be featured, then drop him (me) a line on Twitter at @Lukeofkondor

Check out more of his nonsense at www.lukekondor.com.

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