Robert Brockway’s fusion of angels, demons, and 1970s punk rockers, The Unnoticeables, was described by Publishers Weekly as “like Hunter S. Thompson went drinking with Stephen King,” which is a pretty punk rock compliment! Now the sequel, The Empty Ones, is slouching out of an alley and looking for trouble. In celebration, Brockway took to reddit to talk about Hunter S. Thompson, punk rock publishing, and his day job, writing and editing for a little site called Cracked.com.
On the most punk thing, and the least punk thing, he’s ever done:
…the most punk thing I ever did was back in 5th grade. I got into a fight with the popular kid. Think every ’90s stereotype of that term: Chin length hair, immaculate white everything — new T-shirt, shorts, spotless white Reeboks. He popped me in the nose. It started bleeding like crazy, making it pretty clear that I lost the fight. The yard duty came over to separate us, and while she was standing there between us he started making faces at me. I sucked all the blood into mouth and spat it all over him. Just head to toe, pristine white everything covered in blood spray. He started bawling uncontrollably and didn’t stop for hours.
The least punk rock thing I ever did was probably losing that fight with the popular kid, and badly!
His desert island punk albums include, but are not limited to:
- Gang of Four’s Entertainment!
- Stiff Little Fingers’ Inflammable Material.
- The Clash’s The Clash.
- Agent Orange’s Living In Darkness.
- Rocket From The Tombs’ Redux.
And finally, his writing advice riffs on Hemingway’s classic tip to “stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next” and becomes a bit more fine-grained:
I took it a step further, and stop not in the middle of a sentence, but the middle of a word. It helps defeat that initial blank page, blinking cursor, ‘what the hell am I gonna do?’ phase. Now I just have to finish that word, then close out the sentence, then I’m writing! I need to trick myself. Like a goldfish.