Art Luman and Mark Gunk are Horrible Vacuum International, producers and distributors of the world’s greatest word-movies: stories of horror, action, sci-fi, drugs, sex, kids, family, gambling, racing and, uh magic friends.
GR: How did Horrible Vacuum come about exactly?
Art: I was being sued by LYING CHEAT former business partner and backstabber, Tile Moatbattle – Google him right now on your internet browser! He is a liar cheat swindler Rosicrucian drug-addict etc and he was trying to steal my old business, Diapers and Baseball Cards Unlimited, so I needed lawyer money to represent myself which I lost, by the way. So I called up Mark, who I had went to college with.
Mark: Ha yeah great, I got a phone call alright! Man I remember it, too.
Art: And I said, “Mark, let’s make a movie about some aliens!” Guaranteed profit, right? But neither of us had the capital to get a feature produced.
Mark: Art and I go way back, and working together on movies…
Art: And Wallace Shawn was already committed to a different picture so we decided to get into producing books and then had the genius idea to call ‘em “word-movies” because they are cheaper to produce than movies and are more popular anyway. And we can write Wallace Shawn into them even if he is under contract with Vid-Season Pictures, so fuckit.
GR: What’s your writing schedule like? Are you super regimented, butt-in chair every day, tip-tapping away for hours folks? Or airy-fairy ‘when the muse strikes’ sorts of a people?
Art: Yeah I guess I try and eat healthy. This is a weird interview.
Mark: Hey man, all I can say is I can’t believe I wrote anything. You get me near a type box and I’ll visit town and return, but when I’m not near one then I will stay home I guess. Let’s eat some salads!
GR: What inspires you to write?
Art: Legal fees are the best motivator I have found.
Mark: Haha good one Art! Just great! I always love to laugh, so why not laugh at your own hands, you know?
GR: So you’re the next Andy Weir and some big shot director is going to make an actual movie cinema film from one of your books, congrats! (Can we borrow some money?) So: Which book? And who’s going to star?! (We can pay you back, we’re good for it).
Mark: Wild stuff! A movie! Ha, ah, ha – what a thing! What an honor. Open my wallet because my two cents is that all the plot lines should make one big ole’ 18-wheeler of a movie! All those plots, interwoven! How much fun do you want to have this weekend, you know? As for actors, give me a shot! Ha ha I mean it!
Art: I don’t know who Andy Weir is. It took Academy Award Best-Picture Winning, Forrest Gump 14 years to get made, which I came up with the idea for that, by the way, except my story was called, The Running Man.
GR: Do you have a favourite flavour of genre fiction, and if so, what is it that draws you to it?
Mark: I was a detective, so detective writing is my best. Another “the best” is the spooky kooky world of horror and thrills. Fiction is fine, but being scared lasts forever! Lookout behind you! Gotcha! Haha, that’s us alright. Right behind you!
Art: And we try and stay real hep to what it is these young people or whatever are into these days, so yeah, whatever they’re into. Rap?
GR: What are some of your favourite books?
Mark: Who can read with all this time spent writing?
Art: There was this one book I liked where this crab with breasts bit off this man’s head. I liked that book.
Mark: But wait! I kept a smile throughout every dime store paperback I ever picked up! Action and thrills and spills on cheap paper – that’s for me!
Art: And Chaucer.
GR: What’s your next book about?
Mark: The next book I’m working up is a crazy tale of drugs… gone wrong! The title isn’t 100% yet, but some hippees start brewing some homemade drug, and selling it, and then it turns out the drug has a side effect you would have never guessed. Chaos will hit a home–run in this tale! That’s a sports term referring to a good thing in American baseball.
Art: Do you have American Baseball in Europe?
GR: Yes, we call it soccer. Next question: could you take Stephen King in a fight? Not modern day, old-guy Stephen King – Stephen King in his mid-eighties, drunken, coked-up prime.
Art: I did. Or would have had his security not stopped me when I saw him at a book signing in Lewiston, Maine. And I would now, but it’s not my problem the guy can afford a restraining order.
Mark: I saw Maximum Overdrive! It’s wild! The only fight I’ll get into is a hug, you dig?
GR: Anything else in the Horrible Vacuum pipeline?
Art: We’ve got t-shirts now and if you buy a t-shirt we’ll give you our brand new word-movie, T-Shirt of the Wearwolf for free! Also we’ve got stickers and subscriptions and are going to be working with lots of talented young directors in this coming season.
Mark: It’s just great! The shirts are a big hit, and definitely more of what Art said. More writing, and maybe even a word-movie tour, just to get our names – and faces! – out there!
Art: If you would like to invest in our business you can reach me on my landline at 1800-MMM-JELTH. My ex-wife said to me, “you’ll never amount to anything, Art.” But look at this, an interview! With the BBC!