From the quirky, bestselling author of 'One Hundred Years of Vicissitude' comes this brilliant collection in which noir, surrealism, fantasy, comic book art and sci-fi/dystopian dread collide with snapshots of contemporary culture and purist pulp in Bergen's merry bag of tricks. Lobbed amidst the comix, you'll find previously limited-release yarns dating back to 1989, offbeat articles on Japan, images, ideas and reject matériel from his novels — and a glimpse into the horrors of subtitling Japanese anime.
If you've ever wanted to peek behind the curtain and get a glimpse of an author's life, THE CONDIMENTAL OP is for you. From the cover (drawn by Bergen's young daughter Cocoa) to short stories spun from scrapped scenes in TOBACCO-STAINED MOUNTAIN GOAT, ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF VICISSITUDE and WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CAPES OF HEROPA?, and non-fiction articles from his past life as a journalist, Bergen delivers a sort-of DVD Extras/Bonus Content/B-sides collection. And it's genuine fun.
The short stories republished from recent anthologies/e-zines (All Due Respect, Weird Noir, Off the Record 2, Big Pulp, Pulp Ink 2 and more) are great, but Bergen's commentary on editing (the process as well as cutting scenes and tweaking them for the collection) and his non-fiction articles really stuck out for me. I'm a huge fan of Satoshi Kon (R.I.P.) and it was a pleasant surprise to read a review of his film Paprika - made me grab it off the shelf along with Paranoia Agent to throw in the queue for a watch. AND, Bergen got to work with Production I.G. (count me jealous) - recounting his role in assisting the company achieve a natural English translation.
Overall, the book was a refreshing treat and a format I'd like to see other authors pursue.
THE CONDIMENTAL OP hits the stands on July 26, 2013.