Drunk Hulk Unmasked

By Jason Boog Comment

regularhulk23.jpgWe’ve championed the capitalized literary criticism of Drunk Hulk for months. The pseudonymous reviewer would share opinions about books and culture on Twitter–earning 33,771 followers and producing gems like “DRUNK HULK NO BE THIS EXCITE ABOUT BOOK SINCE PIZZA HUT MAKE BOOK IT PROGRAM!”

Today GalleyCat Reviews is proud to reveal the secret identity of Drunk Hulk–we caught up with the writer behind the giant green critic for an exclusive interview.

SPOILER ALERT: If you wish to remain blissfully ignorant of the real identity of Drunk Hulk, simply stop reading this post now…

drunkhulk.jpgThe Drunk Hulk Twitter feed was written by author Christian A. Dumais. Dumais (pictured) was most recently published in Shock Totem and edited the Cover Stories collection. He currently lectures at universities in Poland, teaching American Literature and Pop Culture.

We caught up with this mysterious writer in an email interview. Dumais shared his experiences working as an intoxicated superhero: “The responses from readers have been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve gotten so many emails from people thanking me and then venting their own problems: ‘I wanted to totally Drunk Hulk the guy’ or ‘If I were Drunk Hulk, I wouldn’t have this problem.’ And then there are those who’ve offered me T-shirt and merchandise deals, the guy who offered to buy the Twitter feed, and various other people who had me wishing I’d chosen a public domain character instead. You know, something I could make money from without fear of pesky lawsuits.”

He continued: “Some of the jokes have offended people, which is something I find funny only because those same jokes were also aimed at me. For instance, months ago I made an Ayn Rand joke (‘DRUNK HULK FEEL PROUD! AND SELF RIGHTEOUS! LIKE TEENAGER WHO FINISH READING AYN RAND BOOK!’) that had quite a few people upset. As I was reading their reactions, I’m thinking, I was that teenager too! I’m confident if I re-read The Fountainhead today, I’d be walking around for a week with that Rand High, the one where you feel like you can take on the world. It’s what makes her books so great, whether you dig the philosophy or not. She writes the way Nigella cooks. You’re in the kitchen saying, ‘Yeah! I can cook like that! With ten pounds of butter! And I’m going to look sexy doing it too!.'”

Dumais also discussed the storytelling power of Twitter: “I’m fascinated by Twitter’s potential for storytelling. I’ve always been a big fan of nano-fiction and just how minimal the writing can be before it stops being a story. Raymond Carver talked about the iceberg approach to storytelling, where what’s not being said is as important as what’s said, and when you have 140 characters to work with, the challenge is getting readers to see what’s underneath the surface … Mostly, I created the Twitter feed to provide me with a break during three to four hour writing sessions, like the ginger between bites of sushi. In that sense, the writing is enormously liberating. What I didn’t count on was for it to take off and have a life of its own.”

Dumais concluded: “One of the things that make me laugh is the fact that even though I’ve been published before, the writing that has brought me the most attention is the project where I purposely use poor grammar and write in all caps. I publish long stories where the response is minimal, and then I post ‘DRUNK HULK JUST FIGURE OUT TWIST! M NIGHT SHYMALAN CAREER WAS DEAD WHOLE TIME!’ and the response is huge, and instantaneous. So here I am with this double life, one where my grammatically incorrect writing is a nice success with tens of thousands of readers, and another one where my carefully written books are read by a dozen people.”