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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ZOMBIES: Mainak Dhar - Amazing man, amazing zombie horror author

by Bowie Ibarra

Vital Stats
Full Name: Mainak Dhar
Nickname: They tried calling me Maniac in college, but it never stuck.
Primary Specialty: Making stuff up
Secondary Specialty: Blowing up or otherwise mangling stuff I make up
Favorite Quote(s): “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted. - Martin Luther King, Jr. - It’s great to have you here on the blog, Mainak.  I have to admit I’ve been looking forward to this interview for a long time.  Welcome. 

Mainak Dhar - Thanks- really glad to be here. - If your Facebook page is correct, you currently reside in Thailand.  Many of my readers enjoy combat sports.  Have you ever been to one of the big Thai kickboxing arenas like the Lumpinee Thai boxing facility?

MD - Yes, am in Thailand but in the process of moving to Singapore on July 1. This is my second stint in Thailand (I lived here between 1999-2001) and I really love the people and the culture. I have seen a couple of Muay Thai fights in areans, but most of my exposure to it has been courtesy Tony Jaa’s bonecrushing badness in Ong Bak. - What are your thoughts on combat sports?  Do you have any favorites, or would you rather be participating in something else.

MD -  learnt Karate for 7 years as a kid, ending up with a Brown Belt, callused hands and too many bruises to remember from sparring. So combat sports and self-defence was a part of my formative years. To be honest, I don’t like watching it much as a spectator sport, but someday I hope to learn Aikido- a sport that has always fascinated me. - Your Facebook page also talks about a project you are working on involving your father.  Tell us about that.

MD - My father, Maloy, passed away in May 2012. He was a prolific writer as well, and what made his story really cool was that he published his first book at the age of 59 and went on to be  the #1 bestselling non-fiction writer in India. He was an intelligence officer, and his blockbuster was a book called Open Secrets, the first time a retired intelligence officer in India wrote about the state of Indian intelligence agencies and how they are misused by politicans. Created a real controversy and earned him tons of admirers for his courage, and of course a few enemies. I want to keep his legacy alive- and the first phase is over. I have digitized Open Secrets and some more of his work, and put it up on the Kindle store to reach readers worldwide. Phase II is finishing an unfinished book he had letft on his computer. - When did you become interested in writing stories?

MD - Ever since I was a kid, my dream was to be a writer. My first `published’ work was in Grade 7 when we were living in Canada. I stapled together some of my poems with solutions to the next term’s Maths textbook and sold it to my classmates at 50 cents a pop. That was the first time I got the thrill of seeing my work `published’ and I remembered a quote by Stephen King that the moment someone pays you a cent for your work you are a professional writer. So at age 12, I decided I had become a professional writer, and there’s been no looking back. - What is your process when putting together a story?

MD - It all starts with the spark for an idea. That can come in different ways- for some books (Vimana, Zombiestan), the name stuck in my mind and I began creating the story. For the Alice in Deadland story, the idea came first and the story followed. But wherever the spark comes from, I jot down the broad flow and themes in a diary I have with me (for my next book, am planning to move to the digital equivalent on my Galaxy Note). Once the broad flow make sense, I start typing. Of course, as often happens, I revisit the flow and change things as I actually start writing it down, and it is an iterative process. - Tell us a little bit about your book with Zombiestan.

MD - Zombiestan was my first zombie novel, and my attempt was to inject something new and unique into a genre I enjoy tremendously as a reader. I believe a writer succeeds when he embraces what makes him unique v/s being another of a herd, so instead of yet another zombie apocalypse story set in the US, I set Zombiestan in the Indian subcontinent, where I am originally from. The connection to the War on Terror (the outbreak starts among Taliban exposed to bio-weapons) gives it a universal resonance, but setting it in India give the story a couple of unique areas to play with. Simple things like the higher population density and what that would mean for the speed with which the outbreak spread, the fact that personal gun ownership is almost non-existent in India, and what that would mean for those survivors trying to fight back. - Though the groundwork for zombie horror was set down with a western perspective on the fictional events of a zpoc, I believe it’s very important to get global perspectives on the event as well.  I’ve recently read many great zombie stories from European writers.  What cultural perspectives about the zombie apocalypse can readers expect from your book?

MD - There are several cultural themes I explore in Zombiestan which I hope readers take away along with enjoying the action. First, the outbreak is in a way a metaphor for religious fanaticism and how those blinded by it seek to spread their message, even if it means destroying innocent lives. The key protagonists were chosen deliberately- a Christian Navy SEAL, a Hindu boy and girl, and a Muslim writer- all banding together to protect a young child who may hold the key to stopping the outbreak. That was done to show that irrespective of our religion or background, inherent goodness can unite us all when faced with evil. - When you have time to read, who are some of your favorite authors, and some of your favorite books?

MD - My all time favorite is the Lord of the Rings trilogy because of the wonderful worlds and characters Tolkien created. I read a fair bit of sci-fi and fantasy (Larry Niven, Stephen Baxter) and of course, a healthy dose of horror (Stephen King being another favorite). - What do you look for in a good zombie horror story?

MD - Believable characters (every protagonist doesn’t have to be a `Rambo’ archetype), and a twist that injects something into the genre beyond just the blood and gore. Just read a book by Thomas Brookside called De Bello Lemures, which was about Roman soldiers encountering zombies in ancient Britain and how they would interpret it, retold as a translation from a scroll. That’s what I mean by original twists on an otherwise pretty crowded genre. - In a true zombie apocalypse, do you think humans from different cultures and belief systems could unite against a common goal, or will they not cooperate and, ultimately, join the zombie hordes?

MD - I hope they do, and in Zombiestan that’s what I try and portray. However, while common people will probably help each other, I hold out little hope for how our politicians and leaders will behave. - Any other projects we can look forward to?

MD - Just polishing off my Alice in Deadland trilogy, which I think zombie lovers will enjoy. Book II- Through The Looking Glass, was uploaded a couple of months ago, and Off With Their Heads, the prequel to Alice in Deadland, will be ready by early July. Including Zombiestan, that would make it four zombie books on the trot for me, and I may take a break from zombies and work on a dystopian novel I’ve been thinking of for some time. - Where can readers find out more about you?

MD - My personal piece of real estate on the web is at and I’m on Facebook and Twitter (@mainakdhar).  I occassionally write a blog at Always happy to meet new people and connect, and am just a click away. - Thanks, Mainak.  It was great to have you visit the blog.

MD - Thanks for giving me the opportunity, and loved visitng your blog. Good luck.


Bowie Ibarra is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuster.  His latest zombie book, "The Fall of Austin", was said to "...kick undead ass" by Johnathan Mayberry, New York Times bestselling author.  It is available in paperback, Kindle, and other e-reader versions.

Enjoy the blog?  Use the 'Facebook', 'Blog', or 'Twitter' button below to share with your friends.  Follow the blog as well.  I'm grateful for my fellow bloggers.

Please leave comments below with your thoughts.  I like hearing what others think.

Follow on Twitter @wingback26

Subscribe to the official YouTube page for book trailers and other mischief.

You can network with Bowie and learn about all of his Tex-Mexploitation books at his personal website,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

FIGHTS - Pacquiao/Bradley: or How I watched Boxing die at the worst titty bar in San Antonio

by Bowie Ibarra

One of the best places to watch a great pay-per-view fight is at a titty bar.  You can't throw a rock in San Antonio without hitting one of these places.  One of the strip clubs featuring the Pacquiao/Bradley Matchup was Sugars: San Antonio.

With that said, tonight I can confirm without the shadow of a doubt that Sugars: San Antonio is, in fact, one of the absolute worst titty bars to watch boxing.  And considering how tragically historic the night in boxing was, I think it was appropriate that I watched what boxing pundits and even Bob Arum himself proclaimed as 'the death knells of boxing' in one of the worst places to ever watch boxing in.  Ever.

I had arrived literally moments before the fight started, having seen on the Twitter  account for Top Rank Boxing that the fight had yet to start as I got out of work hocking lobsters and other seafood to the citizenry of San Antonio.

The place I wanted to go was All-Stars, where I had watched the other ridiculously historic Mayweather/Diaz bout.  I remember having a good time there.  But it was at least another 10 minutes away from where I started.

The fact was, Sugars was closer to my work.  So it was the best choice.  As I got to the club, I paid the $15 cover and went in.

I literally hit the floor as the bell rang for the first round.  Score.  It was 'Standing Room Only', and I found a spot in front of the mainstage with an HD TV just above it.

First thing I noticed as I walked in that indicated that this night was not going to go well was that the DJ continued to play music as the fight was starting.  All I remember is that at All-Stars, they turned the music off and turned the TV volume up, and the Slappers all got comfortable for the fight.  Even when I watched Pac/DeLaHoya at Palazio in Austin, they did the same thing.

That was not the case here.  Apparently, the DJ only had music from a CD that was apparently bought in a parking lot from the trunk of some dude's car off of Marbach in front of the Peter Piper's Pizza.  Don't get me wrong.  There's a place and time for tunes custom made for booty shaking and titty bouncing.  

But for the love of Pete, variety is the spice of life, Sugars SATX.  There's other genres of music out there that the sexy women who strut around Sugars: San Antonio can shake their money-maker's to, while earning my $1 tribute.

What I'm trying to say is its time for an 80s night, Sugar's style!

While I'm talking about music, I want to mention that the DJ from my last jaunt to this place a few years ago was still around.  This guy looked like the love child of Andy Dick with the voice of Barry White.  Basically, the perfect storm for crappy DJ.

I remember getting a dance from one of the tramps in the employ of Sugars about a year ago.  They were playing a club mix of The Doors 'The End' (which is a travesty in and of itself) and as I was talking metaphysics and existential philosophy with 'Fantasy' or 'Crystal' or whatever the chick's name was, this dude would not shut up during the song.

Believe me, I worked closely with douchebags who were like this guy, who enjoyed the sound of their own voice, thought they were masters and commanders of the entertainment realm they felt they held sway over, had nothing of value to say, and would not shut the f**k up.  This DJ was one of them.  And like the others I've know, I wish the zombie apocalypse would hit so I could punch these cunt DJs in the face find these DJs and provide some insight on how they are failures at their annoncing duties.

 They also look like this dude.

At any rate, the fight continued, with Pac smacking Bradley around round after round.  Bradley was game, though, and hung in there with the Filipino.  But he was getting the worst of it.

Meanwhile, some of Sugars: San Antonio's best took to the main stage in my peripheral vision.  I swear, I've never seen so many strippers with ugly toes in my life.  Perhaps some of the ugliest toes I've ever seen.

A message to the tarts chasing that paper for coke money at the end of the night:  If your toes are ugly, please do not buy open-toed shoes.  Be honest with yourself.  If your toes are ugly, there is a wide array of sexy CLOSED toed shoes you could wear to work for the hour/hour and a half you 'dance' and make enough money to feed a small homeless community.

Also, don't waste it all on blow.  Your child needs school clothes.

So, I can't watch a combat sport without beer.  You can't expect to get that full-Roman Empire feeling of 'Bread and Circus' without libations.  So I ordered a brew from a waitress and paid way too much 
for a 12 oz.Coors Light.  


Not worth the $6 bucks.
Neither is the beer.
It's hard to pay $3 for a Coors Light.  Don't get me wrong.  Coors is a good beer.  Especially Coors Original.  I've been to Golden, Colorado.  I've seen the brewery.  I've felt the hops.  It's quality.  But $6.50?  

Anyway, I gave the waitress/future dancer named Diamond or Platinum or whatever a $20 and as I should have imagined, she helped herself to the .50 cents due with the rest of the money.  And to think I was pulling out another .50 cents to give to her to make it a solid buck.  That's me.  Big spender.  

So, back to the fight.  Late round flurries from both fighters, which were great.  I thought it was a mistake for Bradley to do that, considering the wars Pac had with Marquez, who was 10x the fighter Bradley was.  And slow motion replays put that fact on display.

Since Tecate sponsored the fight, I asked the question I knew I would regret.  If 'The Silver Bullet' was just under $7, then an import must be just under $10.  It was the wrong question to ask, but the right answer was given.

"Do you have Tecate?"

"No.  We don't have Tecate"

Yes.  Little victories, people.  Little victories.

And speaking of victories, it was mere rounds later that the fight ended and the judges would reveal their scores, which seemed obvious at the time.  Naturally, I would have to read the body language on the HD TV, because music.  

And it was a surprise as I watched Bradley celebrate by jumping on the middle ropes in victory as Tyga was telling me with all the eloquence of Shakespeare or Marlowe about the glory of Rack City.  Or was it Circuit City.

But speaking of days gone by, Pacquiao's aura suffered a terrible blow.  When the entire world sees one fight and judges see another, you can't help but think about all the money floating around Las Vegas.

That damn money.  That same damn money I worked just over five hours to stuff in my pocket hocking seafood.  The same damn money the SATX bints humiliated themselves for.  The $15 bucks I paid to watch Pacquiao.  The .50 cents the future dancer named 'Sky' or 'Delight' or whatever hustled from me.  That's the only way I could explain what happened in Vegas.  That damn Money.

People are saying 'boxing died'.  #RIPBoxing.  MMA is so much better.  Pro-Wrestling FTW.


Let me make one thing clear:  Boxing will never die.  MMA will never die.  Pro-Wrestling and all other combat sports will never die.


Because the human impulse to participate in a fight, as a fighter or spectator, and whether it be a combat sport or on the street, will always be a part of our wiring.  It's a necessary component of human survival.  We need to participate in it, its ritual.  To participate as a fighter or to watch and vicariously experience the fight will always be a part of us.

Let's face it.  You'd watch a street fight for free as much as you'd watch a cage fight or some of the best prize fighters in the world duke it out.  My desire to punch a DJ or announcer in the face will always remain.  Your desire to do the same to your own personal bug-a-boos will be there as well.  Forever.

And as tonight showed us, when money is involved in any industry, sport or otherwise, there's also another part of our human nature that will always be there.  And its selfish heart will continue to beat and gain power from the halls of low-rate sports entertainment venues, to the workplace, to the highest offices of government:



Bowie Ibarra is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuster.  His latest upcoming book, "Pit Fighters: Baptism by Fire", is a combat-sports themed book featuring as one of the fighters a Mexican luchador who crosses over into MMA.  It will be available in paperback, Kindle, and other e-reader versions.

Enjoy the blog?  Use the 'Facebook', 'Blog', or 'Twitter' button below to share with your friends.

Please leave comments below with your thoughts.  I like hearing what others think.

Follow on Twitter @wingback26

Subscribe to the official YouTube page for book trailers and other mischief.

You can network with Bowie and learn about all of his Tex-Mexploitation books at his personal website,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

FIGHTS: Snaps from ACW Prom 2012

By Bowie Ibarra

ACW prom lived up to the fun it was hyped to be.  Here's some pictures from the event.

The braggart Jensen takes a seat.

Centerfold Matt Palmer focuses his chi and hits Jensen with an energy strike.

Angel Blue.

Athena hits the O-Face on Barbie Hayden.

She's such a prissy little brat.

Lady in Red (and white) 

More Blue.

And Red (and white).  Look at those yummy heels!

Barry Savant and Angel Blue share a moment.

Rachel, Machiko, some dude dressed like a girl, and Skyler Skelly make it to the ring.

Stan 'da sinna' Summers sticks up for his friend, Scot, but gets chokeslammed for his efforts.

Jerry Lynn has something to say about that.

And provides a distraction for Scot to get a measure of revenge.

This guy had one of the best prom outfits.

LaMotta vs. Chingo

Jensen getting sleazy, rubbing his avocado on Bravo.

It's battle of the Bravos (JC and JJ) in the ring.

Jensen was unkind to Lillie Mae, who threw beer on him when he kicked her cup on her.

Battle of the Bravos.

JC attacks JJ's genitals.

"Choo-choo" says Slim Sexy.

Davey Vega stretches Su Yung.

Takeover member Jaykus Plyskin attacks Electric Co. member Bolt Brady.

Lillie Mae makes a fan happy.

Chingo works science on LaMotta.

Bravos battle.

Centerfold Matt Palmer.

Athena works her magic wand all over the crowd.

The Centerfold is a real panty-puller, having seduced Lady Poison last year.  I imagine this evening worked out the same for him.

Mixed tag action.

Athena punishes Yung.  No free rides in ACW.

MoJo Bravado made a statement against Vega and Palmer.

Su Yung pulls the trunks for the win.

Rachel Summerlyn.

Pierre Abernathy vs. Robert Evans

The madness of Evans.

Evans locking on a Scorpion Deathlock.

Noted wrestling blogger and WWE pundit Brandon Stroud disputes the tainted result.

He was upset because Evans used a wrench before the match even started.

A highlight was the abrupt arrival of The Kings of the Underground (Summers and Genesis).  They have been running roughshod over the Texas indy scene, and have now made their way to ACW.  That's very bad news for all tag teams in ACW.

They fight who they want, when they want.

Portia Perez sports a Cookie Monster prom dress.

Not to be outdone, tag partner Rachel Summerlynn sports a Big Bird dress.

One of ACW's best SuperFan moments:  FanArchist Anna gives Angel Blue a piece of her mind as Blue enters to 'Queen', Anna's favorite band.  She wasn't happy the blue meanie used it, and showed her displeasure.

Lady Poison makes her way to the ring like the belle of the ball.

Once a great friendship.  Now a bizarre rivalry.

Robert Evans appears on the scene to make up to former GF (in his mind) Perez.  He presents her with flowers and a very creepy gift:  A pic of Portia with Portia's young family member.  Dubya-Tee-Eff?

More action was to come, featuring ACH, Gary Jay, Plyskin, and Vexx.  But I ran out of battery.

Go to SmartMark videos and get your copy of ACW Prom 'Nothing is as real as a Dream" 2012 today.


Bowie Ibarra is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuster.  His latest upcoming book, "Pit Fighters: Baptism by Fire", is a combat-sports themed book featuring as one of the fighters a Mexican luchador who crosses over into MMA.  It will be available in paperback, Kindle, and other e-reader versions.

Enjoy the blog?  Use the 'Facebook', 'Blog', or 'Twitter' button below to share with your friends.

Please leave comments below with your thoughts.  I like hearing what others think.

Follow on Twitter @wingback26

Subscribe to the official YouTube page for book trailers and other mischief.

You can network with Bowie and learn about all of his Tex-Mexploitation books at his personal website,