|Intro||American humor writer and editor|
|Is||Writer Novelist Science fiction writer Journalist|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||10 January 1975, Lawrenceville, USA|
Jason Pargin (born January 10, 1975), known by his pen name David Wong, is an American humor writer. He is the former executive editor of humor website Cracked.com, a recurring guest in the Cracked Podcast, and has written four novels: John Dies at the End (2007), This Book Is Full of Spiders (2012), Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits (2015), and What the Hell Did I Just Read (2017). John Dies at the End was adapted into a film of the same name in 2012.
Wong was born in Lawrenceville, Illinois. He and fellow Internet writer John Cheese (real name Mack Leighty) attended high school together and met during an art class they shared. Wong then attended the Southern Illinois University (SIU) radio-television program, graduating in 1997. While at SIU, he was part of a TV show on Alt.news cable TV called Consumer Advocate. A number of episodes were produced. He lived in Marion, Illinois until 2014, when he moved to Nashville.
PWOT and Cracked
In 1999, Wong started his own humor site, Pointless Waste of Time (PWOT), which would eventually be absorbed into Cracked.com.
While working as a copy editor at a law firm, he would spend his days copy editing insurance claims and nights posting humor articles on PWOT. Every Halloween on the site he wrote a new chapter of an online story that he published as a webserial. An estimated 70,000 people read the free online versions before they were removed in September 2008. Wong used the feedback from people reading each episode of the webserial to tweak what would eventually become the book, John Dies at the End.
Demand Media hired Wong to be the head editor for their revamped online magazine, Cracked.com, although Demand was not aware of Wong's book deal. As part of the deal, he merged PWOT into the Cracked forums. Wong has described a disconnection between the old Cracked print magazine and the humor site Cracked.com due to multiple relaunches and almost entirely new staff. As a child, he read Cracked magazine's biggest competitor, Mad magazine.
In a popular article published at Cracked.com, Wong coined the neologism "monkeysphere" which introduces the concept of Dunbar's number in a humorous manner. Wong referred to Dunbar's number again in his novel, This Book Is Full of Spiders.
When Pargin started PWOT, he took on the pseudonym of David Wong to keep his real and online lives separate. Since much of his writing involved situations similar to his real life, he did not want co-workers and his employers to think that his rants about fictional characters were inspired by real people. The origin of the name was a character from one of his first short stories. He writes:
"It's not a very interesting story, 'David Wong' was the villain in a story I had written way back in the day, so when I was signing up for my first online accounts in 1998 I started using it. Then when hate mail started coming in with a bunch of racist anti-Chinese insults, I realized I had either gone badly wrong or badly right."
After his book and movie deal, his real name became common knowledge, but Wong accepted it, saying "It's not like I'm under the Witness Protection program or anything. I was just trying to keep things simple in my personal life."
His first novel John Dies at the End was at first rejected by publishers, and Wong considered taking it down until indie horror publisher Permuted Press agreed to publish the novel in 2007. A second edition by Thomas Dunne Books was published with additional material as a hardcover on September 29, 2009. After enjoying some success, it came to the attention of Don Coscarelli who decided to adapt it as a film. In 2007, Coscarelli optioned the film rights to John Dies at the End. Filming took place from late 2010 until January 2011 at locations in Southern California.
The film, starring Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Clancy Brown, and Paul Giamatti, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2012. It also played on March 12, 2012, at South by Southwest, in Austin, Texas.
The author stated in January 2018 that Zoey Punches The Future In The Dick (working title), the sequel to Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, was nearing completion and scheduled for release in late 2020. The fourth book in the John Dies at the End series is currently under development as well.