Review of Swamp Thing #23

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Comic Books, Home, Press & Appearances | Leave a comment

Bill Baker, the noted comics journalist who has written a book based on his three hour, definitive interview with grand master storyteller Alan Moore (Alan Moore Spells It Out: On Comics, Creativity, Magic and much, much more) has mentioned Swamp Thing #23 in his blog. Here’s what he had to say…

“Joshua Dysart continues to crack open his psyche, pour it into his word processor and through some alchemical process, aided and ably abetted by regular artist Enrique Breccia, to explore the nature of the beast, the nature of Man, Nature and Man versus Nature, and — particularly in this arc — the nature of Story and what its role is in, and to, today’s world. Sound deep and maybe a bit confusing? Well, it is, a bit, but that’s also the nature of things. And of the journey that Alan Moore began twenty-plus years ago, and Dysart, Breccia and co. are now charting. At worst, this is startling and utterly original work, while at its best it is deeply disturbing, daring, darkly humorous and utterly devastating. Not for everyone, true, but well worth investigating for the obvious amount of time and quality of craftsmanship evident upon each page.”

Here’s Bill’s most recent interview.

Here’s his regular column on the BOOKSLUT website.

Eric Powell’s awesome cover to Swamp Thing #23.


Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Comic Books, Home, Press & Appearances | Leave a comment

Full review by the obviously brilliant Olivia Woodward at Silver Bullet Comic Books

“This is an amazing set of stories. Dysart’s writing is among the best in contemporary comics. He balances old-fashioned, EC style monster stories with the intense conceptual explorations for which the Vertigo imprint is known. It is both a thrilling read and a moving reflection on some of the core elements of human existence, loneliness and love, delusion and faith. Moreover, it isn’t a awkwardly crafted see-saw narrative, with alternating scenes of action and contemplation. Both the horror and exploration are unified in the story. In fact, the greatest horror doesn’t come from the revulsion of monstrous sexual intercourse or vicious violence; it comes from the realization that love and faith may fail, leaving us abandoned and forlorn in loneliness.”

Ahhh… ego stroke… mmmmm…

Meanwhile… back at the Hall of Justice…
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“This wall is mine!!”


Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Comic Books, Home | Leave a comment

STTRADE.jpg A major landmark in my career as a raconteur has happened. SWAMP THING: LOVE IN VAIN Written by me (Joshua Dysart), with art and covers by Enrique Breccia, Timothy Green II and John Totleben, has hit the shelves of comic book stores and major book chains all over the world. I couldn’t be more proud. It collects the first two story arcs – “Love in Vain” and “A Measure of Faith” – from my current run. Expect demons in love, bounty hunters from Hell, Louisiana juju, metaphysical ponderance, preachers from other dimensions and a spaceship made entirely of living human bodies. It’s a beautiful thing: gory, philosophical, tender and violent. Low pulp in a high-minded fashion.

No matter what happens now, even if tomorrow every publisher in the industry decides, collectively, that I’m a no talent hack, they can’t take this away. It’s in print, and available for order… FOREVER! I have, undeservedly, joined the ranks of Len Wein, Alan Moore, and Rick Veitch, all fantastic writers who have had their Swamp Thing runs collected, and it can never, ever, ever be taken away from me! EVER!! Even if I climb a clock tower outside of a mall and start popping off hollow points at soft, undereducated, overconfident, sexually repressed shoppers with a high-powered mail order rifle… Josh 2 (2).jpg This book will still be in print!! Hell, sales would go through the roof! However, if there’s to be future collections of my work then this needs to sell well. So, I’m asking for your help. There are three ways in which you can support my humble endeavors… 1. BUY THE BOOK!! If you’re a fan of intelligent horror stories, a fan of comic books, if you know a fan of comic books or if you’re just a fan of the lazy carbuncle-on-life known as Joshua Dysart, please, find it in your heart to go to a store and drop $14.95 into the well in exchange for this book. If you can pick it up in a comic book store that’s cool. It might up the orders on the monthly if retailers sell a lot of trades. Plus, comic book stores desperately need your business… they’re not like porn shops, I promise. Some of them are very nice inside. Here’s the link to The Comic Shop Locator Service. They can help you find a store near you. You can also access the Comic Shop Locator Service by calling toll free: 1-888-COMIC BOOK (1-888-266-4226). But if you must buy it in a major bookstore chain that’s cool too, it’s still a sale. Want to buy it online? Awesome, go for it. But if you can find it in your heart, please, please, buy it. 2. PERFORM COVERT COMMUNICATIONS OPERATIONS TO SPREAD THE MEME! If you can’t buy it, then at least call one comic book store in your hood and ask for it! Ping ’em. Make sure they know it’s out there. Keep it on their radar. 3. REVIEW IT ONLINE!! If you’re a professional writer in the industry or a comic book reviewer, please take the time to lavish ridiculous praise on the book! Or, I guess the truth will do too. If you’re not in the “professional” reviewing game then you can still go to AMAZON and spew on and on about how it changed your life to other potential buyers! WARNING A) This book is not for kids. It’s heady and violent and has an experimental narrative structure that they probably won’t dig on anyway. B) This is a complicated character with a great deal of back story, so while it is a self contained read, it also does rely on past “occurrences” for much of it’s emotional resonance. It’s sort of like tuning into a soap opera mid-season, except that this soap opera has monsters fucking in it!! And remember, you don’t have to read it, you just have to buy it. That’s it for me. Thanks for listening! Here are some fun links regarding this momentous occasion: Here’s a review of issue #11 (included in the collected trade), in which we received the highest rating this respectable website had to offer. Here’s a further breakdown of the two stories as well as some of the interior art. And here’s the solicitation for my first trade ever published, collecting my co-creator-owned series from 2001, VIOLENT MESSIAHS BOOK OF JOB. Thanks!!


Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Art, Comic Books, Home | Leave a comment

“I think personally I want to convey the more horrific elements of the character. I want to take full advantage of the environment. Swamps, forests can be really creepy. Visually give a little nod to the [Berni] Wrightson days. I think that would be a nice complement to the more intellectual stories they’re doing now.” – Eric Powell on Newsarama

So it goes, that in the continuing tradition of charging exceptional artists with the weighty task of covering up my vast inadequacies as a writer, Vertigo has signed Eric Powell to do the covers for SWAMP THING , starting with issue #21. Powell is ridiculously amazing. I�m very fortunate to have him as the new barker hocking my humble efforts. His creator-owned series, THE GOON, is a comedic masterwork. Witness…

�Why?! Why?! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy�s genetically enhanced cream corn is superior to the leading brand on the market?!!! Ahhhh!! I�ll destroy you all!!� – THE GOON, issue 12, page 12.

See, and that was taken out of context and without the accompanying image. No, really… it’s funny… and should be read by all.

Life is complicated. I lament the passing of Enrique Breccia�s darkly textured, nightmare imagery, while eagerly anticipating the future visions of Powell.

Fear not, though. Enrique is still the craftsman behind the interior of the book. Now, if only we can get Powell to do a fill in. Mmmmmm…

Welcome aboard, Eric!

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Eric Powell with his first painting of Swamp Thing. The cover to the upcoming issue #21. Taken at Wizard World Chicago, 2005.

And here’s a scan of the cover, before it gets wrecked with all that text and barcode crap…


Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Comic Books, Home | Leave a comment

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I wrote this on the day of my 30th birthday. Allen Gladfelter did the art while at some music festival somewhere, watching stoned women dance nude. Both the weight and the buoyancy of life permeate the piece. All praise this dual natured construct called Universe.


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