Monday, September 4, 2017

Drag Queen Dino Fighters by MP Johnson (#drag #dinosaur #bizarro)

I am currently on vacation for a week as I recover from surgery (no, not that surgery - LOL), but I have scheduled a series of reviews and guest posts to keep you reading.

When your story opens with a baby triceratops being birthed from the ingrown chest hair of an otherwise depilated and exfoliated bingo-calling drag queen, you know you're in for a wild ride.

While I do not dabble in the bizarro genre very often, MP Johnson (Emma to her friends) is a writer I absolutely adore, and Drag Queen Dino Fighters is exactly what I was hoping for. It is a weird tale, well-told, that indulges in the surreal nature of the story, but never forces it to be strange simply for the sake of being strange.

Emma throws a lot into the mix here (drag queens, dinosaurs, aliens, firemen, skeletons, mad scientists, and more), but does it all within the context of a family drama, and that is what pulled me in. Family is at heart of the story, and it is their struggles that pull it all together, with Steven juggling a home life with his boyfriend, his son, his ex-wife, and her father. His baby triceratops may very well be his ticket to drag queen stardom, but it threatens to come at the cost of everyone who loves him.

There are so many little moments here that I loved, not the least of which is the way Ivanna's drag queen rivals continue to read each other, despite having the flesh dissolved from their bones, their heads removed from their bodies, or their eyes harvested. Yes, it is as weird as it sounds, but somehow not as gross. I thought Ivanna's crawl through a drag king's subterranean lair might be the height of absurdity, but the final dance-off between Ivanna and Dragosaurus Rex makes for a truly epic finale. I know, it sounds absurd - and it is - but it is also fabulous with a capital F!

Drag Queen Dino Fighters is far more than just another sci-fi flavored slice of bizarro - it is a story about love, family, and finding one's self. It's not a heavy-handed message, so please do not let that put you off, but that heart is what makes the weirdness work.

You want weird fiction? You want slime-spewing, flesh-melting, what-the-hell-just-happened stories? You want that primo, messed-up lunacy? MP Johnson delivers. Her campaign of crazy began in 1998 with the birth of Freak Tension, a zine devoted to punk rock and weird stories. Since then, she has published many books and many more short stories worldwide. She is the founder of Weirdpunk Books, a B-movie extra and a drag queen AKA Maddy Manslaughter.

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