David James Keaton - Saw Keaton read no less than three times last year on his Fish Bites Cop! tour and I'm just about sick to death of the sight of him. Fortunately it's not near as painful just to listen to him, or read his stuff 'cause his novel The Last Projector is due this year and it's gonna be 'extra nutty' (I believe that's what the jacket blurb from Kirkus says, anyhow). Dude's either gonna be the biggest cult author (tallest midget) in America in a couple years, or be killed in a freak-accident during a 'random traffic stop' in his driveway, and posthumously attain jumbo shrimp status. Either way he deserves it.
Matt Kindt - Brought the house down at N@B last spring with a performance piece based on his latest graphic novel Red Handed, (true our houses are constructed with cereal boxes and toothpaste, but it was our sturdiest house), but it's his excellent and intricate Mind MGMT monthly that is blowing up the comics world. Every four weeks he picks an orifice to finger fuck our brains by and people seem to like it - it made multiple year end best lists, got optioned by friggin Ridley Scott and blazed a water-colored path to picture-words' valhalla. Looking forward to Matt's upcoming collaboration with Sixth Gun artist Brian Hurtt Poppy and the Lost Lagoon (a children's adventure graphic novel series).
Tim Lane - Because it's only been six years since Abandoned Cars, I'm not anticipating Tim's new book The Lonesome Go as much as say Blood's a Rover, but it's damn close. Is there anybody whose Americana obsession goes as deep and weird as Lane's? Is there anybody else who renders it as beautifully and majestically surreal and nightmarishly matter of fact simultaneously? Looking the fuck forward to holding this one in my mitts in 2014 aaaaand to 2015's bio-graphic Steve McQueen: Full Throttle Cool.
Chris La Tray - Missoula's metal man, N@B's fuckbeastiest member and modern pulp's most probable werewolf La Tray kept on rockin in the free world in 2013 and shows no signs of stopping (especially when the moon is full). Chris showed Johnny Shaw and Co. how it's done at the inaugural N@B-PDX and I'm looking the hell forward to the winds blowing the bloody boy back this way so's he can read us another rock-em sock-em story.
Clayton Lindemuth - Lindemuth's debut Cold Quiet Country was a punch in the gut brimming with creepy sex and righteous violence that came from a blind spot on my radar. But I've got my eyes wide fucking open as I prepare to dig in to his two brand new novels just released in December, Nothing Save the Bones Inside Her and My Brother's Destroyer (which I've started - dog fighting and shootin fuckers - yessss). Dunno what he can do to top himself in 2014, but another N@B appearance is definitely in order.
Erik Lundy - KCMo's resident badass and one man knuckle-sammich distribution hub Lundy wields other titles like writer, illustrator, graphic designer and stand up comedian, but most importantly - he keeps me amused. A-muz-ed. Scroll through his Knuckle Sammich site anytime you need to scratch an itch relating to food, crafts, boobies, mustaches or monkeys. Not always my first stop, but always my last.
Jason Makansi - Patriarch of the Makansi writing dynasty and super smart dude who frequently slums with the great unwashed at N@B. Gotta gotta gotta convince him to slum a bit more, 'cause his performance at N@B is still the best use of 'nipples' we've yet had. Looking for some nastkansi flavor to sprinkle on my new year.
Matthew McBride - Holy crap, I can hardly contain myself for A Swollen Red Sun, Matt's second novel due... 2014 or 15. He read a section of this at N@B a year or so back and it sounded wonderful and like another step forward in his upward and outward authorial trajectory. I know you love McBride's wild ass shit, but friends, if you haven't read his story The Tar Hole from Noir at the Bar Vol. 2 then you haven't quite seen what this guy is capable of. It's a helluva glimpse into the future of this writer and a sobering (Ha! 'sober' and 'McBride' appearing in the same paragraph) sample of the power of his full potential. Also, he's promised the most outrageous story he's yet written soon... where'd he say? Thuglit? Plots With Guns? Needle? Sorry, I forgot. Somewhere soon.You've been warned.
Cortright McMeel - All jesting aside, nothing broke my heart like the death of Cort McMeel last year. I'm honored to have known him and still inspired by his passion and vision and the fucking vitality of the words he wrote. Crushed that there won't be more. Really hoping that his novel Cagefighter will have a posthumous publication.