Part of no place completely

Rereading The Demon, from 1987, by Matt Wagner and Art Nichols.  So I decided, as a prelude to spending half-a-year at least blogging about Matt Wagner’s Grendel, that I’d write about Matt Wagner’s The Demon. A four-issue 1987 miniseries following the character’s appearance in Moore’s Swamp Thing, written and drawn by Wagner and released concurrently … Continue reading

What was Suggested for Mature Readers?

The accepted progression, historically, is that the Mature Readers label evolved out of Swamp Thing’s lack of Comics Code and Sophisticated Suspense cover line, and that the title’s success led to a mini-line of Mature Readers titles created by British writers, and that became Vertigo. That’s not inaccurate. But it doesn’t tell the whole story. … Continue reading

How to get sued

Evan Dorkin’s fantastic humour comic Dork, a collection of which I was flicking through the other day, was even funny on its contents page. One of the regular features there was a one-panel strip called How To Get Sued, which began with Mickey Mouse saying how much he hated kids, and also carried this fun … Continue reading

Just another dead bird

Rereading Swamp Thing #166-#171 by Mark Millar, Phillip Hester and Kim DeMulder.  The beginning of the Dark Age of comics, a phrase which refers to the adult comics stroke graphic novel revolution in the mainstream which I’m finding increasingly useful, was also the end of something. It was, approximately, the last time anyone joined the … Continue reading

I believed in a million things and none of them were right

Rereading Swamp Thing #159 and #165 by Mark Millar, Jill Thompson, Curt Swan, Kim DeMulder and Phillip Hester. Sincerity is a question that’s debated in few areas of the arts except superhero comics. Does the Ghost Rider artist believe in Ghost Rider? Do they mean it? Have they wanted to draw a man with a … Continue reading

A desire to retreat

Rereading Swamp Thing #160-#164 by Mark Millar, Phillip Hester and Kim DeMulder. We have to invent our terms, writing about comics, and revisionism is one of mine. If there’s another term that means the same then I apologise for not knowing it. What I mean when I talk about revisionism is the storytelling trick where … Continue reading

The parallel worlds you used to read about in comic books

Rereading Swamp Thing #151-#158 by Mark Millar, Phillip Hester, Kim DeMulder, Chris Weston and Phil Jiminez. “The superhero genre is like a big field,” Kurt Busiek once said, “and we’ve built this gigantic city in one tiny corner. Every now and then some visionary guy drives out of the city and goes off in a … Continue reading

Everything you once were

Rereading Swamp Thing #144 to #150 by Mark Millar, Phil Hester and Kim DeMulder.  We are in Vertigo now, in Mark Millar’s Swamp Thing. The formalisation of the Mature Readers stroke Karen Berger unofficial universe hit during the Nancy A Collins years. We’re still in the first phase of Vertigo as the Morrison/Millar revamp begins, … Continue reading

Home doesn’t feel like home anymore

Rereading Swamp Thing #141-#144 by Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, Phil Hester and Kim DeMulder. Everything I’ve ever written has been first draft, Alan Moore once said. It wasn’t a vainglorious remark meant to elicit awe at the master’s works. It’s a statement of fact: when working in a serialised medium, you don’t get to go … Continue reading

Your infectious life

Rereading Hellblazer Annual #1 and Hellblazer #39-#40 by Jamie Delano, Bryan Talbot, Dean Motter, Steve Pugh and Dave McKean. All the dodging around that Alan Moore had to do on Swamp Thing, working with crossovers, working with fill-in artists and the scheduling of Annuals, working with the artists to write stories they’d like to draw, … Continue reading