About Dean

Dean Pickles in Keimolanportti, Finland - a gas station town

An award-winning product manager, photographer, filmmaker, blogger, novelist and videogame creator, Dean is currently at work on his third novel, Stormglass 3: [Redacted].

He recently served as the Managing Editor and Creative Director for the Chinese government’s largest English-language propaganda magazine, The World of Chinese. His fast-food activist feature Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead was celebrated as (almost) “perfect” by The New York Times, “terrific” by Entertainment Weekly, and was a critic’s pick in both New York Magazine and Salon.com, while his autobiographical documentary Poultry in Motion: Truth is Stranger Than Chicken was hailed as “fearlessly honest” by MSN. His cult travel site AsiaObscura.com has been featured in the pages of The Daily Mail, The Weekly World News, and The China Daily, among countless others; his writings on film have been included in a series of books by Focal Press; and his recipes have been subjects of mocking disbelief in Bon Appétit and The Village Voice.


I currently live in Beijing Bangalore San Francisco Los Angeles, where I’m writing espionage novels for kids.

Many of the photos on the site were taken by my girlfriend Woo, who comes up with half of our project ideas.

You can contact me by emailing “asiaobscura” at Google’s “gmail.com” service.

The Stormglass Protocol, The Novel

In 2013, Hugo Award winner Tim Pratt and I released the first in a series of young adult espionage novels: The Stormglass Protocol. Pick up a copy today!

Fourteen-year-old Jake had ignored the letters marked “Highly Confidential” for too long, so they sent him a message he couldn’t miss.

“Don’t even think about screaming, new kid. Very bad things will happen if you scream.”

And that’s when Jake stopped pretending to be a spy. Because the others weren’t pretending at all.

The first heart-pounding installment in the Stormglass adventure series, written by the award-winning Tim Pratt and “Andy Deemer”.

The Stormglass Protocol: Room Escape!

I’m also helming a new iPad game, The Stormglass Protocol: Room Escape!, with all of the dark humor, cult movie references, and snark of AsiaObscura. Plus elements of 100 Floors, Myst, Lost, and even — oh, do prepare yourself — Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.

You wake up in a strange room, and a cold voice emerges from unseen speakers. “Welcome to Vindiqo Research Laboratories,” it says. Where are you? How did you get here? Who is holding you? All you know is you need to escape. Sixteen locked doors and portals — and the adventure of a lifetime — stand between you and freedom.

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead

I sometimes produce movies for Troma.

You know, the film company behind masterpieces like The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke ‘Em High, and Surf Nazis Must Die. Over the years, I co-wrote the first spec draft for Tromeo & Juliet, and later produced the shock-musical Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.

“Genuine sick fun!” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

“Disgusting, deranged and thoroughly brilliant.” – Salon.com

“It’s hilarious.” – Stephen King

“Fucking amazing.” – Eli Roth

“As perfect as a film predicated on the joys of projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea can be!” – Nathan Lee, The New York Times

“Genius satire!” – MSN Movies

“A merciless lampoon of the fast-food industry” – The Daily Mirror

“A vegetarian-manifesto masterpiece” – PETA

“Great” – Irvine Welsh

Watch the Poultrygeist Trailer, or my PechaKucha about the cursed making of the film.

Poultry in Motion: Truth is Stranger than Chicken

With my pal Jason Foulke, I then wrote and directed the documentary, Poultry in Motion: Truth is Stranger than Chicken.

“Hilarious and shocking.” – Hulu

“Among the best, funniest, and most subversive movies Troma has ever released.” – The Dissolve

“Fearlessly honest.” – MSN Entertainment

“A straight-up amazing documentary… Fascinating.” – DVD Talk

“A must-see.” – Blu-Ray.com

“By far one of the best feature length behind the scenes documentaries that I’ve ever seen!” – KillerFilm

Watch the teaser trailer or the film itself.

(You can also see me acting in Robert Altman’s Nashville, Lloyd Kaufman’s Tromeo and Juliet, and Rick Popko and Dan West’s wonderful double-feature Monsturd and RetarDEAD. As you’ll quickly see, I can’t act.)

Pyongyang Too Tribute

Remember Guy Delisle’s insanely good graphic novel Pyongyang? Michelle and I reshot it as a photo-novella in North Korea, and called it Pyongyang Too.

“C’est aussi un belle hommage,” – Télérama

“La surprise de sa vie!” – Casemate

“Qu’ils en soient remerciés autant que j’en fus surpris!” – Guy Delisle

Eko Nugroho’s Pink Man Tribute

After seeing Indonesian Eko Nugroho’s incredible solo show, Under the Shadow at Pekin Fine Arts, Michelle and I decided to spend a month recreating his pink flower man as a 2000-flower suit.

We got blisters.

“Very cool! i like it much! specialy you wear it to meet people, thats make something fantastic from imagination of my figure.” – Eko Nugroho

Philly CheeseSteak Ice Cream

On a whim, and driven by a screening of Rambocky X, I mixed meat and dairy for a delicious Philly CheeseSteak Ice Cream.

“We may be witnessing the birth of a new frozen treat genre!” – Village Voice food editor Robert Sietsema

“He certainly gets points for the high concept…. Don’t blame us when everyone stops wanting to come to your ice cream socials.” – Bon Appetit

“Did he go too far (like, to the Land of Cray-Cray)?” – IncredibleThings

“Amazingly, it didn’t make him vomit forever.” – That’s Nerdalicious

“Quite possibly the oddest ice cream flavor to ever be produced.” – Trendhunter

Mouse-mounted Vodka Bottles

In response to The End of History, who stuffed beer bottles into dead squirrels and sold them for thousands, Woo and I stuffed dead mice with airplane vodka bottles, and gave them away. Any takers?

Zombie Girl

My favorite project must be the music video Woo and I shot for Girls Are Waiting To Meet You’s gypsy-rock song Zombie Girl. It’s a Tromatic classic.


You may have read about this site in The Village Voice, Beijing City Weekend, The Beijinger, The Phnom Penh Insider, The China Daily, Weekly World News’ now-defunt The Sun tabloid, and The Daily Mail. Online, you’ve maybe seen it in BoingBoing, io9, BonAppetit, The Village Voice, IncredibleThings, Ain’t It Cool News, and plenty of other incredible sites.

“They seek the company of reindeer-herders at the age previous generations sought the company of Elks Lodgers.” – Mark Steyn, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon

“A totally amazing blog.” – City Weekend, Beijing

“I now have a cubbyhole full of Tiger Balm and I haven’t left the house in four months.” – WFMU General Manager Ken Freedman

I’m also a character in Lloyd Kaufman’s Direct Your Own Damn Movie! and All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger, and Mark Steyn’s bestseller After America: Get Ready for Armageddon.


You can contact me by emailing “asiaobscura” at Google’s “gmail.com” service.

Other Obscura

This site has nothing to do with the awesome AtlasObscura, or Mark Leong’s great book China Obscura, or the sweet band Camera Obscura, or San Francisco’s glorious Camera Obscura, although we love them all. Do check them out. They’re brilliant.

Do also check out Morbid Anatomy.

8 Responses to About Dean

  1. Mickey says:

    Lol this is so cracked, Ive bookmarked your space under ‘wtf’ and ‘cool quirky’ 😮

  2. Naresh says:

    Interesting foreigner eye in most of yr pictures..We guys just don’t see these vignettes..Do yu live in Shantinagar…I am an architect with an office below the really big trees …and have an off-off—EveryWay Film Club that meets every saturday at 4 on my roof terrace theatre…do come if yu are yu a are a movie fan..3 rd floor 10/2 O’Shaughnessy road ..above the canara Bank..langford town branch

    • Andy Deemer says:

      Sounds really interesting… live around the corner from you. Shoot me an email at asiaobscura -at- gmail! (What movie are you showing this weekend?)

  3. Fee says:

    This is an awesome blog, it’s absolutely hilarious. Will be revisiting often, I have a lot of posts to catch up on. Why isn’t this site a bigger thing?

  4. Pingback: Pecha Kucha Night Bangalore #11 – Trash Talk « MOD Institute

  5. Pingback: Blogpost 7 : An Evening at the Classic Red Restaurant | Close Encounters with the Chinese

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