I Love You All, You Rotten Sons-of-Bitches

Editor here.

Today I may have had a relapse. It’s Valentine’s Day. The first one for eight years in which I’ve been single. And sometimes a man does things he could regret when he is single and desperate on February 14th. Like breaking a personal ban. Following a moment in late December where I experienced genuine affection and tenderness from a young lady, though in a completely nonsexual context, I felt…Christ, it’s crazy…LOVED. And from experiencing this strange warm, safe, probably- not -going- to-die kind of sensation, I decided to put the kibosh on online dating, which had allowed me to see little more than two pairs of breasts and no hope for the future. I kept my profile up but was adamant that I would not ask out another of these potentially deadly strangers. Not in a boat, not with a goat. Because I figured maybe there was an offchance one of these strangers would message me and she’d be young and attractive and cool. 

Well, this morning I got a message that someone had rated my profile highly. And brothers and sisters, I fucking sinned against my vow of permanent sexual nonaggression toward strangers. I looked at the profile of the girl who had rated me highly and…I asked her out. Maybe she’ll say yes and I’ll have a nice night. But that’s beside the point, I started the day off being untrue to myself and got angry. Then on my way home from my dayjob, I had one of those cliche movie moments where some asshole in a luxury car drives by, splashing the mopey sadsack with a puddle. Yeah, I got the sad loser walking home puddle splash today. 

Damn. I hate Valentine’s Day. It makes you do stupid things, say stupid things and get angry when you’re single and staring down the barrel of a shotgun full of lonely. But this last post on here and a message from one of my favorite contributors who I wish would be more prolific got me realizing how we’ve got something great going on and how I love my job as an editor and writer. And how I love the people that made this shit possible. 

I love Chris Kelso, the young, ambitious Scotsman who wanted to create a magazine and decided that maybe I was the guy who could help him make this shit happen. And we worked together and we came up with an idea and we got our shit together and we didn’t let it float down the drain. It was Chris who came up with the idea of doing a magazine and Chris who’s taken the most hits and sometimes the most responsibility. A lot of my job is keeping up morale and showing up to wag my cock around. Chris does a great deal of what we could call the work. I love you, Chris Kelso.

I love Adam Beyonce Lowe. I am sometimes terse with him because he has the authority and the purse strings and Chris and I have a giant vision. He has a thankless position in this organization, that of publisher. He’s the guy who has to say no. But he’s also the one who said yes to this in the first place and allowed Chris and I to create the magazine. He was the first person to pay me for fiction and now he’s allowing me to make art happen. So thanks, Adam for starting Dog Horn and putting up with my shit. 

I love Afshan Lodhi. I do not know her well, but she is young, an impeccable dresser and a hard worker. Her willingness to take on extra responsibility and go the extra mile is always admirable. She kicks ass and I wish her all the best. 

I love Tom Bradley. Tom is not just a great writer and an uncannily weird journalist, he lends us a combination of confidence, experience and streetwise. He approaches this project with curiosity, diligence and selflessness. He’s the only man with the courage to put John Lennon’s ass in its rightful place.

I love Jess Gulbranson. Sometimes you have friends with whom you share cultural context that nobody else on the planet can understand, or sensibilities that four feet outside the situation look positively schizoid. Jess is a cool and giving guy. He’s a take no prisoners critic and he’s that sort of friend.  Jess’ book Antipaladin Blues is the first book I ever edited. He was on the docket at Evil Nerd Empire, the sadly lost publisher that put out my first book Murderland Part 1:h8. He understands what I’m doing. I understand what he’s doing. We believe in that shit and just have a good time bullshitting. He’s a dear friend and I love him.

I love Nikki Guerlain. Nikki has been indispensable. Nikki is the knife you don’t see when you shake my right hand. She’s charismatic, cool and a great worker. And when I’m low, she has a tendency to be there one way or the other to bring me back up. This mag would be dead without her and  I might not be much better than dead without her. Nikki is a talented author and full of a beautiful infectious exuberance that makes you feel like going back out to kick ass and take names. 

I love Lydia “Miss Ginger” Fascia. I met her at a time when my life had fallen apart. So every person I met at the point was either salting the Earth or planting seeds. Lydia made me feel like helping and caring for people again. Lydia is not just the most elegant and macabre dancer I have ever seen, nor  simply an edgy choreographic prodigy, but a skilled writer, an intense in your face columnist and a beautiful, ferocious human being. As this began, at a time when I was raw and confused and sad, she was always there with a stiff drink, soft, caring eyes to look into and a raw honesty that demystified the suffering. 

I love Edward Morris. Ed is a great writer. Every artist involved in IYR  is a great artist first and foremost, but every one of them also has an extra something special that makes them something I believe in beyond their work. Ed is like me in that he is concerned about the future and he wants it to be smooth and he wants the talented, the  kind and the just to take their shit in hand and move on. I submitted a piece to Phantasmagorium, the great weird fiction magazine him and Joe Pulver edit together. I had submitted it to Phantasmagorium’s free series, which is meant to be a showcase for new writers in the weird fiction community. He chewed me out. Told me I was a seasoned professional and a respected member of the community. Ed made me think my expectations were too low and that I should start acting like I was somebody. If it weren’t for this, I might not have taken up Chris’ offer and you wouldn’t be reading this.

I love Nick Mamatas. Nick is a pillar of weird fiction. I’m sad to hear he’s retired from it, but excited about what he’ll do for the crime genre. Nick’s essay in On Writing Horror changed how I looked at the genre forever. He introduced me to a more expansive view of horror fiction and its potential. Which in turn allowed me to let loose certain weirder proclivities in my work.  Nick validated my urge to experiment and test limits. His book Move Underground and its spiritual successor The Damned  Highway which he wrote with Brian Keene blew me away too. So, I was honored when he was willing to contribute a story. But Nick also did something else: he got excited. When people like  Nick get excited, I get excited. It validates that I’m not crazy or just jerking off. It makes me want even more to come out swinging for the infinite potential of something that’s a magazine and more. He’s given us clout, support and energy and that’s fucking fantastic.

I love Alan M. Clark. He’s an artistic dynamo the likes of which I seldom see. He gave us some old drawings of his, he gave us some blog entries and he gave us his enthusiasm and guidance. Alan is a powerful, great man and very giving. His support these past couple years has been incredible. He’s a genius and there’s not an ounce of ego on him. He just wants to make art and help everybody else do it right. He’s just plain amazing.

I love Matthew Revert. Matt published my book Archelon Ranch. He liked my short stories enough that he read the manuscript without my sending him a synopsis. Which  is good because, well…you try synopsizing that book. He put faith in the weirdest thing I’d ever written and allowed me to take my fiction places I couldn’t before. But he’s also a book designer. And he’s the best. One day all books will be designed by Matthew Revert. And it won’t be a problem. They won’t even look alike. Just like Poseidon controls the sea, Matthew Revert will control book design. He found us a cover. A great public domain french protest poster. And he messed around with it, got the image just so. But without his help, Issue 1 wouldn’t have a lot of its attitude and street cred. 

I love Nick Gucker. Nick was one of the artists who came into this willing to give work. Nick has designed the cover of my first album, he’s designed the Jimmy Plush t shirt and whatever else I need designed he’ll be the first guy I go to. Nick is smart, generous and talented. I say that a lot about the people in IYR, but it’s true. They’re all great. Nick’s a good friend and I look forward to working with him for a very long time.

I love Laramore Black. This blog is connected to Imperial Youth Review, but it’s a different entity. It needed a similar but different look, it needed a new attitude and it needed somebody to pick up a lot of technical slack. And he did. Laramore basically showed up our Facebook one day added by Chris and he started working. Like a dog. And he gave me a renewed enthusiasm toward the blog and Imperial Youth Review as an organization and family of artists. He’s made me think bigger and he’ll be around to keep me thinking bigger. 

I love Alex S. Johnson. When the blog needs content, Alex steps up like a pro. People say professional writers prove themselves by not putting their work out for free. Alex gives people a chance to see what he’s doing and delight in it as he’s doing it, watch him  build his ideas and aesthetic and see him jam. We’ll be seeing a lot of him in print. He’s prolific, he’s good and his attitude is amazing. If you ever get bored of writing, talk to Alex. Read his stuff. The guy’s excitement is infectious and his future’s bright.

I love Imperial Youth Review. I love my work. Even when I’m unhappy, I’m happy. Even when I’m stressed, I’m stressed because I love this magazine and its contributors. Maybe it was stupid of me to walk around hating life because of the offchance I might risk taking a cute blonde from Allston to coffee and starting to like her. Happy what remains of Valentine’s Day. Have fun. Do something you love with someone you love. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s