Paul McComas is a fiction writer with a history in performance art, punk rock, film, poetry, and even sign language. His performance poetry credits go back to the early days of readings at the Green Mill, where he co-featured with Paula Killen.
He's also been featured at N.A.M.E. Gallery (Chicago). The creation of his own performance works tends to defy the critical segregration he has confronted between performance artists and performance poets. McComas continues to follow his muse where it may take him.
His collection of short stories called Twenty Questions (1998, Daniel & Daniel, Santa Barbara) set the tone of his work to come. Meanwhile, sidetours in his writing practice addressed some of his other interests. McComas's interdisciplinary nature lends him to immersive projects. So his novel Unplugged (2002, John Daniel and Co., McKinleyville CA) is a mock biography of a young rock star named Dayna Clay. The novel was accompanied by a CD with original music by the mythical Dayna Clay, which McComas produced. The author also created a website that supported the book, and featured fan mail to Clay, along with her replies.
McComas's comprehensive visual and performative skills came to bear on his poetry video, "H.O.D. - House of Dogs", which earned him and director Kurt Heintz an American Film Institute - Sony Visions of US Award in 1993. The clip took second place nationally in the highly competitive music video category, even though it was composed as a poetry video. The music in the video was composed and performed by McComas. He has since produced Planet of the Dates (2008, The Permanent Press, NYC), a comedic coming-of-age novel optioned for a Hollywood feature; and two anthologies of his students' work, First Person Imperfect (iUniverse, 2003) and Further Persons Imperfect (iUniverse, 2007). He enjoys a creative dialogue with his mentor, William F. Nolan, author of Logan's Run, through which McComas has explored his interests in science-fiction and horror. The dialogue culminated in the publication of McComas' collection Unforgettable Harrowing Futures, Horrors & (Dark) Humor (2011, Walkabout Publishing, Kansasville WI), a Silver Prize winner at the 2012 Midwest Book Awards. 2014 should see the publication of the sequel-novel Logan's Journey, co-authored by McComas and Nolan.
McComas's website is paulmccomas.com, which includes a filmography and extensive notes on his lectures and teaching.
- Kurt Heintz, 2012