Wow, it’s been a long time since I rolled into this little closet of a web room. Time to check all the light bulbs and scrape the cobwebs from the corners. For those of you that give a shit and have the time to drown in somebody else’s fairy tale, I’ll hit a few basics, catch you up on work, then hook you up with some cool media stuff. Into the mix I’ll throw some images from very current politics. After that I’ll leave you to your own devices and get back to my real job… spit shining the fiction machine.
I was asked to write a 300-word promotional blurb for SWAMP THING to be published in all the Vertigo books in their monthly “column” entitled ON THE LEDGE. The first thing I wrote (perhaps we actually ride words instead of write them, hmmm� oh sorry) the first thing I wrote was done in my voice, which is this sort of open road rambling you’re enduring right now. I was very proud of it. Then some ghost named doubt glided its icy fingers up the spine of my inspiration and I began second-guessing what I’d written. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to create from a place of no fear? Anyway, as I said, I started to second-guess myself and I rewrote a more acceptable, but slightly pappy, piece of pimp.
So here’s the original ON THE LEDGE, the cool one, in case you’re interested…
ON THE LEDGE
These are things we always knew. That the rivers of the world are the true clocks, drumming down the land, passing time not in ticks and tocks but plips and plops. That the weather still tumbles across woods and mountains and deserts and oceans and wetlands and ice more than it does hamlets and malls and suburbs and shanties and soda pop mansions and labyrinthine megalopolises. That beneath the lands we build are the lands we truly cross. These are things we always knew. But we forget. We fight resource wars, we eat cake, we watch NASCAR, we play online videogames. We forget. We drown out the hum of nature. We become absent minded of the engine that governs us… just as we forget our own heartbeat.
But there’s a place, a mythic, gothic bog located somewhere in the vegetation of our collective imagination. And in it lives a monster. A creature that, like you and I, is crafted from the very fabric of the earth that birthed him. A walking sentient eco-system. A slice of spirit trapped in matter. And though he has forgotten much, he hasn’t forgotten what we have. He’s on the other side of this encroaching expanse of concrete and digital porn. He’s a soldier and a savior, a friend and a foe, heartbroken and healing, reluctant and ready.
He is called Swamp Thing… and in these times of forgetting.. he is what’s needed most.
– Joshua Dysart
Yeah… so there you go… that’s not what will appear in the comic books, but that’s what I was feeling, thinking and dreaming at the time.
The Pentagon, under pressure from open-government advocates, released hundreds of images Thursday of flag-draped coffins of American soldiers. Of course the election is over now. From SFGATE.
MOLLS AND TROLLS, MOLLS AND TROLLS, WORK WORK WORK
Things happening all over the place. I’m about to start writing the Swamp Thing arc for issues #21 – #24, to be drawn by hard driving Enrique Breccia. It’s currently called THE BLEEDING RACONTEUR (though these things do tend to change), and, no bullshit, it will literally change the swamp forever (or at least until the next writer takes over and swings his/her wrecking ball pen up against the walls of all my little sandcastles).
More CAPTAIN GRAVITY work has been commissioned from PENNY FARTHING PRESS. Seems the book is going for a crazy spin around comicdom. It’s the number one seller in the history of PFP. Cool. Wizard Magazine just published a blurb stating that the original issue #1 is entirely impossible to get your hands on, fortunately the reprint #1, with a new cover, is on the menu… so bon appetite! I’ll be writing 20 to 25 extra pages of new story for the Trade.
I’m currently talking to Scott Allie, one of my favorite editors in the industry, over at Dark Horse about a mini-series. Can’t give any details right now, but it’s big and I’m really fucking jazzed about it. I’m going to start writing my proposal in about two-weeks. I’ll let you know more when there’s more to know.
The fantastic artist Dean Haspiel and I are working on a pitch together. He just finished working with Harvey Pekar on Vertigo’s THE QUITTER. When it’s ready we’ll hit VERTIGO first, then go from there. I look forward to sharing more of that with you when the time is right.
TOKYO POP is patiently waiting for a three-book breakdown (each book will be about 150 pages). My editor there…
and I have already settled on the project, now we just have to sell it to all the head-someones. Still, with so much other shit going on, it might be awhile before I get to it. On the plus side, this would be my first entirely original project ever. So hopefully I can give some love to it soon and it’ll get the green light.
There’s some other stuff too, but right now it’s all so gossamer that it’s not even worth mentioning.
Lots of work, but very little of it at that magic paycheck point yet. So I’m still struggling with money. Keeps me edgy, I say!
French artist Marc Molk carries a painted portrait of British weapons expert Dr David Kelly in protest on the day of the British general election outside Downing Street in London, May 5, 2005. The suicide of Kelly, a former Iraq weapons inspector, in July 2003, led to the Hutton inquiry, which lifted the lid on the inner workings of the government and presented a serious threat to the premiership of Britain’s Prime Minster Tony Blair. Although Labour’s Tony Blair looked set to become British prime minister for a third straight time today, he might well exit the political stage in the near future after a ‘bloody nose’ from voters over the Iraq war, experts said.
COMIC INDUSTRY NEWS…
The latest incarnation of the Wein/Infantino HUMAN TARGET has seen its last issue with #21. It didn’t even get two years. If that were to happen to SWAMP THING I’d already be halfway through my run. This time around HUMAN TARGET was written by Peter Milligan and drawn by various exceptional artists, but mostly Cliff Chang. It was a very solid comic book. Fantastic actually. And Vertigo let it ride for a while despite rough numbers. It’s frightening to be working in a market that doesn’t reward this level of intellect, character development and plotting. Meanwhile sales on manipulative, spandex, crossover wankfests by mediocre writers go through the roof. It makes me concerned for my own future. This getting the axe, along with the now defunct KINETIC and possibly the very well written BOOKS OF MAGIC: LIFE DURING WARTIME, well, it’s beginning to show a hard trend. Books that I like and respect, and that I think – quite honestly – are better than mine, are not liked and respected by others. What does that say about my own work and my future viability in the market place?
The U.S. can’t account for $100 million missing in Iraq. Government mismanagement of assets, from the lack of proper documentation on nearly $100 million in cash to millions of dollars worth of unaccounted-for equipment, are setting back efforts to fight corruption in the fledgling democracy, auditors and critics say. Meanwhile, while nameless war profiteers are getting rich… this picture released by the U.S. Army shows a U.S. soldier holding a child fatally wounded in a car bomb blast in Mosul, 360 km (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, May 2, 2005. 15 Iraqis were wounded in the combined suicide bomb attack.
HERE’S SOME COOL MEDIA STUFF
SEA OF RED – REMENDER, DWYER & SAM (Image): There are a couple of pirate books out right now, but this one is just cool-ass gorgeous. The writing is fantastic, ringing impressively true to the genre, and the art is stellar. It’s beautiful.
THE GOON – POWELL (Dark Horse): I will pimp this book till the zombie apocolypse comes. Hilarious, monster fighting action illustrated with extraordinary craftsmanship.
VIMANARAMA – MORRISON & BOND (Vertigo): What if Kirby had been Hindu and had an infatuation with Bollywood? King Morrison, once again, shows us how it’s done. This cat Morrison seems to be living ten minutes in the future at all times. And everything Bond touches turns to gold.
OR ELSE – HUIZENGA (Drawn & Quarterly): This is a B&W from 2004, but I only just now discovered it. Wonderful, quiet, poetic, moving and formally inventive.
HAPPY – SIMMONS (Top Shelf): Another old work I just stumbled on. Sick, glorious, and simultaneously fluffy and edgy. The “autobiographical” comic about a young boy witnessing an exposed ball sack is fucking genius. And it’s just a dollar/issue at the Top Shelf site!
ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM (Dir: Alex Gibney): I literally – and I’m using the word correctly, as in “actually” – had a panic attack listening to the phone conversations of these fucking assholes as they raped California citizens out of billions. An amazing exploration of the corporate culture of greed and a study on the dangers of deregulation. Far more engaging and infuriating than you could ever imagine.
ASSISTED LIVING (Dir: Elliot Greenebaum): Nice effort for the most part. It works far more often than it fails. First time director to watch.
PALINDROMES (Dir: Todd Solondz): The latest from the writer/director of HAPPINESS. Not perfect, but edgy as fuck. I like his more minimalist style here. An abortion fable where all the pro-choice people don’t give anyone a choice and all the pro-life people kill. The scene in which several handicapped children sing a song called “Jesus Doesn’t Make Mistakes!” is… well, wrong… and right.
The sea of sound I’m bobbing atop of as I write this week…
CORNERSHOP – WOMAN’S GOTTA HAVE IT (1995): Crazy lo-fi east/west fusion. From David Byrne’s label.
COTTONBELLY – X AMOUNTS OF NICENESS: NYC SESSIONS 1993/2004 (2004): fantastic dub-dance remix album.
ERYKAH BADU – MAMA’S GUN (2000): As a friend said, this is the best R&B album of 2000.
NICOLA CONTE – JET SOUNDS REVISITED (2002): groove ass nu-jazz remix of the lounge classic “Jet Sounds”.
THE POLITICS OF HEROIN: CIA COMPLICITY IN THE GLOBAL DRUG TRADE – McCoy: “The problem with America’s failed chance at essentially reducing if not eliminating drugs as a problem was a contradiction between the needs of domestic policy and the national security state.”
POSTSECRET: anonymous postcards, all sent in with secrets written on them. A gorgeous humanist site. Some of the cards are heartbreaking.
Alchemical Kubrick. 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Great Work – On Film: Stanley Kubrick as Hermes Trismegistus!
The Holy Consumption: Read more independent comics goddamn it!
Atom Films Online has several Raoul Servais animated films that can be watched free of charge. Servais founded Europe’s first department of animation. He’s best known for twelve animated films that won him world recognition at prominent international film festivals in the 1970s. In 1980 HARPYA was voted one of the fifteen greatest animated films of all time by a panel of international film critics. Watch ’em!
Operation X-70 (1971)
To Speak or Not to Speak
That should cover me for a while. I’ve got to go masturbate and get back to work now… shutoff the lights on your way out.
One last picture… from my personal collection.
Tone Rodriguez, larger than life penciler of VIOLENT MESSIAHS