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Swamp Thing Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

Committed: 8 of my favorite surrealist authors

Recently I’ve been revisiting the surrealist comic book authors who have successfully conveyed the kind of disruption of reality which I experience in dreams. I want to pinpoint the ways in which they have been able to successfully communicate and provoke a kind of emotional dissonance with their work.

051414_sandmanNeil Gaiman (and by extension, artist Dave McKean) immediately comes to mind, specifically on his long-running and groundbreaking series; The Sandman, but also in works like Black Orchid and The Books of Magic. In many ways this is the most linear representation of  truly surreal environments that I can think of. He provides us with entire universes of insane, nonsensical, mythical imagery and logic, but he presents each story in a very direct, linear manner. His way of telling a story in this context is very much like a fairytale, with one event leading inevitably to the next, it is deceptively comfortable, almost hiding the craziness inside. When he does move the storyline towards something more evocative of chaos (i.e. towards the end of the books) he still lays all of the elements out carefully so that by the end the reader can happily piece together a logical continuity (that is to say it is logical within the context of the universe he has created). Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 31: Bernie Wrightson, Part 1 – Swamp Thing #1

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Bernie Wrightson, and the issue is Swamp Thing #1, which was published by DC and is cover dated October/November 1972. This scan is from the trade paperback Roots of the Swamp Thing, part of DC Comics Classic Library, which was published in 2009. Enjoy!
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Committed: Halloween Interview with Steve Niles, Horror Writer

In case you hadn’t noticed, today is Halloween. It can be hard for me to understand how I can love some horror comic books, yet hold such an aversion to horror movies, so I asked acclaimed horror comic book writer – Steve Niles – if he would to talk about what it is that makes horror comic books so appealing, how he writes, and what we can look forward to from him in the future.

Sonia Harris: It is ironic that horror is probably my most hated genre, yet in comics it is often one I gravitate towards. Perhaps it is because elsewhere there is such a lack of grit.
Steve Niles: There really aren’t many other genres besides superhero in comics. Horror is a great genre. You’re automatically on edge simply because it called horror. The anticipation of being scared is a huge factor.

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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 297: Swamp Thing #151

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be showing pages that are either scary or are part of “scary” issues (as scary as a comic can be, of course), because it’s October! Today’s page is from Swamp Thing #151, which was published by DC/Vertigo and is cover dated February 1995. Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 296: The Saga of the Swamp Thing #29

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be showing pages that are either scary or are part of “scary” issues (as scary as a comic can be, of course), because it’s October! Today’s page is from The Saga of the Swamp Thing #29, which was published by DC and is cover dated October 1984. This scan is from Swamp Thing: Love and Death, the trade paperback that was published in 1990. This was suggested by our pal Third Man, but I figured it fit nicely in with Scary Comic Month, so I kept it in reserve! Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 275: The Saga of the Swamp Thing #21

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month (for a while) I will be showing pages chosen by you, the readers. Today’s page is from The Saga of the Swamp Thing #21, a page you may have read before, which was published by DC and is cover dated February 1984. This scan is from Saga of the Swamp Thing, the trade that was published in 1987 (yes, I own the original trade and have never upgraded). This page was suggested by noted commenter Third Man, the world’s biggest Joseph Cotten fan! Enjoy!
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What I bought – 22 August 2012

We have done as much with the matter of birth and parenting, dividing ourselves into different teams – pro-Thisers or pro-Thaters – with no middle ground, as there seldom is in matters of life and death. The debate is controlled by the extremes, each side shouting answers and accusations over the heads of the people in between, who are kept from formulating questions by the din of the argument all around them. Each paints the other with a broader brush. Each has an arsenal of names and adjectives to deploy against the other side. No one listens. Everyone screams. (Thomas Lynch, from The Undertaking)

It's Ramos-tastic! All you need is booze! Well, that's certainly something It's funny AND insulting to veterans! How did that dolphin write that? Jodhpurs! This is kind of a misleading cover, but whatever I can't stop staring at Logan's mismatched eyes! It really is too much awesome I'm not sure how this has gotten more disturbing, BUT IT HAS! Well, this looks cool I'm glad this LOOKS insane - let's hope it reads like that!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 68: Swamp Thing #127

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Swamp Thing #127, which was published by DC and is cover dated January 1993. Enjoy!
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Greg reviews every single new DC comic!

Oh, yes, it’s time once again for something crazy like this. Brace yourselves! You might want to get a glass of water and some provisions before you start reading. It’s a long one, in case you can’t guess.
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Committed: Different Issues with Back Issues, Pt 2

030310_ephemeraContinuing the epic forage through my childhood comic book collection, moving into the realm of comix. Once I’d browsed and reminisced through my superhero comics to my hearts content, I moved on to the darker, more mysterious contents of the remaining boxes. Continue Reading »

Committed: Introduction

There’s nothing cool or sexy about reading comics. I mean it, and I should know, I’ve been reading them all my life, since I could only understand the pictures and wonder what the hell the words meant (but when the comic books you’re reading are your dad’s stolen Fat Freddy’s Cat, not being able to read detracts nothing). Up until very recently, my comic book habit was only just tolerated by most of my friends, I’d try to get them into it, giving them graphic novels and saying “Oh, I bought too many copies of Violent Cases, you might like it…” they didn’t). Time moves on, and now at least a few of them see the value of the medium, and I’m lucky to say that some of my friends are even fellow zealots.

010610_violentcasesBut when I was the only little english girl in the playground who wanted to play X-Men, running around pretending to be Phoenix with my telekinetic powers, or the Hulk (I really enjoyed growling “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry”, and then roaring a whole bunch – who wouldn’t?), everyone else wanted to play Charlie’s Angels (and what were their superpowers? Long hair?) When people saw me reading Superman, or Love & Rockets, they balked. It quickly became pretty clear that comics weren’t socially acceptable. Even on my annual visits to America to visit my New York dwelling family, I only occasionally glimpsed a world of comic-influenced play, and that place was clearly reserved for the boys. I could ask to play with their Batman toys, coveting those batmobiles that actually shot little missiles (to this day I still fantasize about inheriting my dad’s), but owning my own superhero toys was a step too far into overt weirdo territory.

Nowadays, despite the growing popularity of comic books and the superhero medium, I haven’t really changed. Continue Reading »

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