***This is Forlorn the Robot, a cropped inset from one of the illustrations in our latest book, “A Short Burst.” I guess if you want to see the rest of it (and read the story it goes with), you can just follow the links and buy the book!…or go to etsy.com and search EEWbooks. -Marsha
GODIVA (book excerpt, page 64)
Saggy Bottom, West Virginia. The most important thing about this image of Godiva the Clown is that she is not just your average tattooed chick on a raging purple horse…..what you see is all Godiva, horse and all. I was already impressed with her before I realized… well, just how dynamic her lady parts were. But WOW!!!
Back in the day, between the oil wars and the water wars – before crazy fascists started hunting clowns and anarchists and Indians (again) for their skins – it was hard to go half a block without running across another painted, naked wench on a hybrid psychedelic farm animal. It was high fashion for a while. It was even worse out west with winged warthogs and angry caterpillar chicks trophy hunting for penis. Aaaahh…..can’t wait ’till those were the good old days.
***The image above is the original red rough sketch for the illustration on page 65 of “Bludgeon the Clown.” I have never posted the final image. If you want to see it, you’ll have to buy the book. I reserve the BEST art for paying customers. Find it and buy it at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at etsy.com. -Marsha
BLUDGEON THE CLOWN
***These are the original rough sketches for the cover of our 3rd book, “Bludgeon the Clown,” a fully illustrated graphic field guide exposing the grizzly details of our current worldwide clown conspiracy. The material in this book could irrevocably alter life as we know it (for the better), unless we’re really careful. Written by Marsha Mellow (with over 100 illustrations by John Allemand), it is 100 pages of candy-coated, yummy, clown-infected goodness (with nuts). Find it and buy it at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at etsy.com. -Marsha
The room was not large, just a conference room in the library where ten of us sat around a table writing. It was a typical Saturday morning writing workshop and the prompt was: ‘the lyrics to the Star Wars theme.’ The music rattled around my brain easily enough but for some reason I couldn’t recall it ever having lyrics. I swear it NEVER did…did it? I was frustrated. I drew a blank while everyone else was scribbling away…and the music in my head became louder, incessant…persistent…..maddening!
It suddenly stopped when a new sound caught my attention. It was coming from Keith at the other end of the table. There was a tick, tick, ticking that quickly replaced my obsession – in perfect rhythm and beat – to those lyrics, whatever they were…tick, tick, ticka, ticka-ticka, tick, tick. I was tapping my toe on the carpet now…ticka-ticka, tick, tick. Louder and louder it got, tick, ticka, tick…Keith was writing intensely. Tick, tick-ticka. How could he not hear it? Tick-tick, ticka-tick. Was I the only one? Ticka-tick-ticka, tick. Was that smoke coming out of his ears? Tick-tick. Coooool! Ticka-tick-ticka. The ticking got faster as bright beams of light began to emerge from his skull. Tick-ticka-ticka-ticka-tick. It filled the room…blinding me…..ticka-ticka-ticka…BANG!!!!!
Like a mouse in a microwave, the walls, floor and ceiling were suddenly pasted with Keith juice and bits of sticky flesh and bone.
Still, nobody seemed to notice. Everyone just kept on writing even as a slippery chunk of bowel slid down Carl’s face and a bloody ear clung to the end of Joe’s pencil. Keith’s head and chest were gone and his fluids were squirting Susan’s cheek…but he kept on writing as well. Susan paused to open an umbrella and brush gore off her laptop, unmoved.
Everything was quiet for a few minutes as pens scribbled on wet paper and blood dribbled and pooled in my under shorts….then the ticking started again…but this time it sounded like it was coming from Nancy…..tick, tick, tick…coooool!
***This full color illustration was originally published as the cover for Analog Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2012 issue. It is featured now in our 4th book, “A Short Burst”. The story is based on true events that go on from 10am to 12pm every Saturday morning at the Montclair, NJ Library. All are welcome to write…to tick…and eventually explode. Buy our books at www.sallemander.com. -Marsha
The landscape was barren. Nothing but tusks and the shattered exoskeletons of the creatures that once populated these plains. Wherever an animal fell, there it rotted. There were still faint tread marks in the dirt. The ones who did this were systematic and efficient.
Men rolled out in heavy transports with ugly weapons, shooting the creatures for sport. With flame and chemical, they sterilized the surface. Nothing could survive it…not a blade of grass, not an insect, not even a germ…nothing was left to interfere.
There was a special mineral in the soil and they wanted it. It was dynamic, flexible and highly conductive…more valuable to them than life, obviously. It changed everything, replacing and expanding human technology over night, even MY brain was made of it. It made them rich, but to get it they stripped this land down to its bare bones like a swarm of locusts. And when they were done, they abandoned it and moved on.
I too was abandoned…damaged during the final round-up. One of those desperate creatures lunged at me, trying to escape while we slaughtered them… but I was not worth fixing. It was cheaper to replace me. I was left in a trash with all the other broken tools. By the time I managed to repair myself, they were long gone.
I don’t know where to go or what to do now. I’m a relic in the wasteland among the tusks. Hopeless… but for the tiny sprouts that emerge from wherever my footprints have broken the hard, scorched crust… end.
***The red sketch is the approved rough drawing for an illustration originally published in the May 2012 issue of Analog Magazine, the final image, along with it’s new short story can now be found on page 74 in our new book, “A Short Burst.” You can find and buy all our books at www.sallemander.com or go straight to etsy.com and search EEWbooks. -Marsha
The Issue was listing badly in a failing orbit around Jupiter. She was dead in the water and her distress signal cut out abruptly on our approach. She was a heavy freighter loaded with uranium ore, bound for the refineries on Mars and long overdue…something didn’t feel right.
We circled The Issue slowly about ten miles out – but with our engines hot in case it was a trap. There were raiders in this sector who often used derelicts to stage their attacks. There was no response to my hail, no wi-fi, no beams…no strobes. Sensors showed cold engines and no (human) life signs. I found a weird glitch in the data, something unrecognizable….but not enough to put the crew off their prize. The salvage on The Issue would make every man on board filthy rich. I was the only one still arguing for caution but none of the men wanted the opinion of someone like me. I was property and was not entitled to a share anyway.
When the Captain (despite my misgivings) gave the order to board, we moved in and docked with reckless abandon. A combat team stood at the ready as I popped the air lock. They made me go first. They always made the android go first. I was the most expendable…expensive but not valuable.
And…as I swung the hatch open, a sudden violent flood of spidery greenish critters swarmed through the airlock by the hundreds. I guess I didn’t taste good because they left me alone and flowed past me, devouring the crew as they went. I waited. It took them 19 minutes to scour the ship from bow to stern and I listened to each and every man screaming his last – the men who treated me like shit for two solid years – the men who sneered at my warnings.
I waited…to see what this NEW crew had to offer. It couldn’t be any worse than the last one…..this could be interesting!
***Above, we’ve posted the rough sketch sequence for an illustration originally commissioned by Analog Magazine for their May 2006 issue. Now it is a feature in our new book, “A Short Burst” along with it’s new flash-fiction short story (also posted here). It is one of our favorite robot stories. Find “A Short Burst” and all our books at www.sallemander.com. -Marsha
***A lot of friends have expressed an interest in the method we use to create our book illustrations, and frankly, often seem more impressed by the rougher sketches and designs. They seem to make a more human connection with people. This was the design process for the cover of our latest book, “A Short Burst”. A version of it, very similar to the blue image, was published for a story in Analog Magazine in September, 2006. The book is a clever collection of short, flash-fiction stories…illustrated. You can find it and buy it at our Etsy shop, just go to etsy.com and search EEWbooks. Thanks. -Marsha
Santa Claws ALWAYS loved children. He loved when they sat on his lap, and always invited his favorite to lunch with a snip and a snickety snap! He loved them with soup, loved them with rice and sautéed with wine was fun. He loved them roasted in gravy and yams or with mustard and cheese on a bun.
***Happy Christmas!!! I hope your silly capitalist buying frenzy went swell. When you’ve gotten your blood sugar back down and finished all your frivolous boxing and returns – and have some extra cash again – pop by our Etsy shop (go to etsy.com and search EEWbooks) for some gifts you’ll never WANT to return. -Marsha
I was in no particular hurry at 7:15 on a Saturday morning. I was driving north on Interstate 295 at about 70 mph. and there was hardly anyone on the roads.
I used the center lane. It kept me out of the way of the odd car entering or exiting the highway on the right, and there was no reason to be in the passing lane on the left. But even at that hour, the occasional knot of fancy, expensive cars came up like a swarm and flew past on either side as if I was standing still. No problem. It was no bother to me. There was plenty of room for everyone to do their thing. They could all crash and die, for all I cared, and I would simply steer around the mess and be on my way, unfazed. I just never seemed to be in a hurry any more, and I couldn’t imagine that kind of stress ruling over me…or the lack of self control.
I saw the black Mercedes approaching in my rear-view from two miles back. A minute later it was right behind me, center lane, barely a car length away. There was no one else on the highway. There was an empty lane on either side of us as I just explained…and there he stayed. This tailgating assmonkey with a bloated sense of entitlement, decided to try to bully me out of his lane rather than use his signal and steer around. He pulled right up to my bumper, flashing his high-beams and honking. I could see him shaking his fist and hollering something which looked like, “Let the fudge outta my brain!” Weird.
Oooooh, the seething madness that consumed his face and filled his luxury cockpit with vitriolic bile, the angry expletives bellowed, the spittle sprayed at the indignity I caused him to suffer by obstructing him, in HIS lane, at a measly five miles over the speed limit…and to watch it increase as I smiled and calmly took my foot off the gas petal, slowing down to 65…was priceless.
The sheer hugeness in the way his rage increased at that moment made me laugh out loud. By the time I’d slowed to 58, he literally seemed to expand, turn beat-red and blow white steam out of his ears, and just as I reached the minimum, at 40, he popped.
I saw his windows suddenly pasted with gooey chunks of reddish bits, teeth and slabs of fatty flesh (though, no brains). His car veered off, crossing the left lane and slammed into the concrete barrier dividing the north and southbound lanes, exploding in spectacular fiery carnage. Mangled pieces littered the grassy median and black smoke rose 400 feet into the sky…..which NOBODY actually saw. None of it inconvenienced anyone. No lanes were closed, no traffic jam formed, nobody was the least bit bothered…because there was nobody else on the friggin’ road! And no reason for that assmonkey to have tailgated me.
With a carefree smile, I slowly brought my speed back up to 70 and turned the volume up to eleven as “Dead and Lovely” by Tom Waits played on the radio.
*** Where I come from, Assmonkey is the name we use for tailgaters, people with no self control who drive their cars close enough to your rear bumper to smell your last meal. This red-rough sketch and short story draft are new for our 5th book, “Body-Oddies,” which we’re finishing up for publication early next year. They will surely be revised and finished beyond recognition, so you should try to enjoy them while you can. As it is, only a fraction (barely 13 percent) of the material from any of our books is ever released on social media, so you really should try to get the books. Find all our stuff at our Etsy shop (search EEWbooks), or follow the links to www.sallemander.com, which will take you to our Etsy shop. -Marsha
BAT CRAP CRAZY
Ancient Christian texts claim that when God removed one of man’s ribs to make “woman,” he also yanked out the other, just to even things up…but not needing it for anything, tossed it into a dung heap. This, according to Christians, is the key to the miracle of their existence. That single bit of rib bone and ragged flesh flourished in God’s blessed poop, reforming as a gangly, festering, embryonic growth. When it finally gained enough strength to scrape and scrabble into the light of the world (like a schloppity bubble of methane), it burst forth and immediately began juggling rancid chunks of excrement for God’s divine amusement “…and it was gooood…” Apparently, early Christians were as loopy as our modern, bat-crap-crazy kind.
Ancient Babylonians were quite certain that the first clown hatched like an egg from the severed nut sack of a pregnant goat, caressed by the triple tongue of Ama-Arhus, goddess of fertility. This theory has some merit, as I’ve observed and documented similar occurrences in this book.
Most American Natives agree that clowns came to the “New World” from Europe as a plague of sickly, pale ghouls in great smelly wooden canoes. They say they were invited here by the legendary trickster “Coyote” as a prank…which backfired when he became an alcoholic and died of smallpox.
In all, I unearthed about 407 clown origin myths from the records of dead religions across the globe, some of whose sheepish followers still blindly believe…and continue to provide a rich source of entertainment to American popular culture (bless them).
The U.S. University of Clown Knowledge (U.S.U.C.K.), in Waldo, Maine, are the government contractors who track and monitor clown activity throughout North America (they are also the esteemed fact-checkers for this book) and are the ones who ultimately revealed the truth. They discovered that early clowns (about 7 billion years ago) made a significant evolutionary choice which divided them forever; A majority of clowns decided to fully integrate with the most dynamic and intelligent race on Earth…and live out their lives in contented, peaceful bliss. The remaining minority chose to merge with primitive humans…..who by now, have managed to hunt their brethren, the whales, to the brink of extinction.
These days, there are clowns so integrated into our society, they no longer realize they’re clowns…and their subversive influence is incalculable. The fate of the world, it would seem, now rests in the hands of the sort of delightful fellows featured in this book.
After all my intense research on the history of clowns (an entire Saturday afternoon…wasted) a couple of things stand out. First, people think clowns are creepy (surprise!!), and second, nobody gives a squirt about history. As long as clowns distract the kids, folks will overlook just about anything. Not even the telltale stench of rancid armpits and boozy puke breath – or a police rap sheet of armed robbery and indecent exposure – will put people off these days. And here they remain, hidden in plain sight…waiting.
***This post is NOT from our latest book, “A Short Burst.” It is an excerpt from our third book, “Bludgeon the Clown.” While the image makes me want to puke (John loves it of course), it is the most exhaustively researched article on the true history of clowns ever written. True, it’s kinda short, but piss off! It’s all we REALLY know about the clown species. You can find “Bludgeon” and all our books and stuff by following the link above to www.sallemander.com. -Marsha