New Issue!


IN THIS ISSUE: Alphonse Allais and François Caradec get high; Doug Skinner translates and reports; Carla Wilson interviews a faux Warhol; David Macpherson’s detective reveals the clues; Jim McMenamin turns on some screen gems; Nile Southern travels back to the future; Tom Whalen serves up a love story; Opal Nations strips the flesh off Embryo World; Erik Belgum offers up some poisons; Farewell Debut blinks visual antiphonies; Larry Fondation explores Harold Jaffe’s Revolutionary Brain. Plus a portfolio of drawings by the late Peter Hanssen.


The Original How-To to End All is Back!

Doktor Bey's Suicide Guidebook

Long before Dr. Kevorkian was turning off the lights and the Hemlock Society was stocking up on helium—before jihadis were blowing themselves to smithereens—there was DOKTOR BEY’S SUICIDE GUIDEBOOK—the inspiration behind the worldwide assisted suicide movement. Indeed, the SUICIDE GUIDEBOOK (originally published by Dodd, Mead & Co. in 1977) is the world’s first, lavishly illustrated how-to to end all. Written by the notorious Doktor Bey, it has everything you need to know—including tips on composing the suicide note.

Black Scat Books is pleased to make this long out of print classic available to a new generation of the chronically depressed. With the world in chaos, DOKTOR BEY’S SUICIDE GUIDEBOOK is a welcome alternative to waiting around for Armageddon.

It’s a foolproof shortcut to god knows what.


NOIR is Born!

illustration by John Nickle Better not answer it, you never know who’s calling. Wait until the shadows pass. It’s safer in the light. John Nickle is a master of shadows. With colored pencils and acrylic paint he has created moody crime scenes for novels by the likes of Ross MacDonald, James Swain,  Sjöwall and Wahlöö, and many others. He’s well known for his distinctive, cinematic style—creepy and comic. A dark sense of humor lies just beneath the surface like a hastily buried corpse. illustration by John Nickle Even the artist’s popular children’s illustrations posses sinister overtones. Then again, it’s a dangerous world out there. illustration by John Nickle Black Scat Books proudly announces a limited edition collection of John Nickle’s best cover art and illustrations produced over the past 25 years—Nickle Noir: The Art of John Nickle—featuring a revealing introduction by the artist and full color reproductions. 144 pages to die for.

“Nickle is a conjurer of dread and remembrance. His works quickly bypass conscious examination and lodge themselves in the space between sleep and wakefulness. This is a book of dark joy. Welcome and beware.”

—p.g. sturges, author of Shortcut Man and Angel’s Gate




Strangelove Go Code


photo: Assaulty Cracker

Washington (CNN) — In an unprecedented action, an Air Force commander has stripped 17 of his officers of their authority to control and launch nuclear missiles.

The 17 are being sent to undergo 60 to 90 days of intensive refresher training on how to do their jobs. The action comes after their unit performed poorly on an inspection and one officer was investigated for potential compromise of nuclear launch codes, according to Lt. Col. John Dorrian, an Air Force spokesman.

The story was first reported by The Associated Press.

The action was taken by the deputy commander of the 91st Operations Group, Lt. Col. Jay Folds, whose officers run launch control centers for the Minuteman III nuclear missiles from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.



The Idiot Hath Arrived!

No, not that idiot, this idiot…

How I Became an Idiot

Esteemed French drama critic (and the butt of derision at the cabaret Le Chat Noir), Francisque Sarcey reviewed the premiere of Alfred Jarry‘s Ubu Roi with this visionary verdict: ”…a filthy fraud which deserves nothing but the silence of contempt.”

Writer and humorist Alphonse Allais transformed Sarcey into an Ubuesque piñata in a series of wicked columns published under Sarcey’s name in the newspaper Le Chat Noir. 

Never before in English, this rare collection is introduced and translated from the French by Doug Skinner. Edition limited to 60 printed copies. #00 in our Black Scat Classics sub-series.

How I Became an Idiot reminds me of Félix Fénéon’s excellent Novels in Three Lines… the unexpected is suddenly present, and there is rudeness, as well as a savagery of attack that we simply can’t imagine anyone doing to any well-known columnist of today and getting away with it.”
—Jeff Bursey, author of Verbatim: A Novel
Prepare yourself for some nasty laughs.


May Allais


Doug Skinner has shared some delicious Alphonse Allais tidbits—including a very rare photo of the master at his desk—over on the Ullage Group blog.

Meanwhile, volume three of Mr. Skinner’s translation of Allais’s Captain Cap is in the works.

For those interested in collecting the entire 4-volume set, copies of the first two are still available.

Captain Cap (Vol. I): Captain Cap Before the Electorate

Captain Cap (Vol. II): The Apparent Symbiosis Between the Boa and Giraffe