Comic Books


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…

San Diego Comic-Con 2005 (Pictures)

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

I broke my exceptionally cool camera in San Francisco recently and am mightily bummed. So I borrowed a friend�s for San Diego (thanks Laine Poo! You are a very sweet cranberry!!).

I roomed, as I have this entire con season, with the RED STAR cats, whom I do hold close to my wee little heart.

So without further ado, I give you the majesty of�

Team Red Star

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Chris Gosset sketching at the new Red Star super-booth which, no doubt, played a factor in them having record sales at the con this year, despite no new product.

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Goss Passed out on the outdoor patio of the Hilton after a hard scrabble Video Game Industry meeting where he was forced to knife-fight to the death with ex-executives of the now defunct Activision to retain the rights to the “Red Star Interactive Experience”!! All hail the victor!

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awwww… de sleepy-time babies…

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The beautiful professional fashion designer and ex-CIA assassin who wrote the book on “seduction n’ slash” techniques, Adriann Helton, hocks Red Star crap to unsuspecting suckers. Her political cartoons can be found in TEX: GEORGE BUSH AND THE FINE ART OF CHARACTER ASSASSINATION!

I didn’t get very good shots of the rest of the team, so I’m dipping’ into my archives for images of the others. The following photos were not taken in San Diego this year…

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Dr. Jo Olson keeps the Red Star afloat. One of the most powerful women in the world!! BURN HER! She’s a witch!! That’s her sister Sam in the background.

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Jeff Henderson, walking the mean streets of San Francisco. He’s a complicated man and nobody understands him but his woman.

I don’t have any decent shots of Pauly or Snakebite, though they’re incredibly important to the team… sorry guys.

And now for the rest of the con!


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Sal Velluto and I are just part of the creative team that’s giving you you’re Golden Age WWII super hero fix, baby!

Sal is highly placed in the Italian arm of the Mormon mafia, so watch yourself.


Every convention the ultra-hip of the sub-mainstream (and, well, me. I’m not exactly sure how I got into this club, but I’m sleeping on their couch till they kick me off) gather in some posh-ass place and get merry on Warner Brothers’ dime!

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Dean Haspiel (THE QUITTER) and his amazing, Leftist mother. It is my very fond wish that Dean and I will be working together soon. I think he’s fucking great.

Glenn Fabry (NEVERWHERE, barely visible on the left), Dave Gibbons (WATCHMEN, center) and John Watkiss (TRIGGER). Three artists who should be shot for over-excelling at their craft.

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Karen Berger (VP-Executive Editor of Vertigo, and patron-saint of those of us desperate to do something different and still get paid) and her husband Richard – who’s a very cool guy.

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Karen and I. By publishing this photo of Karen I almost guarantee that I will never work at Vertigo again

And at the dinner were the cats behind SWAMP THING.

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El Maestro! The man who draws the world’s nightmares! Enrique Breccia, artist on the current run of SWAMP THING. I dare say, he looks harmless enough.

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Father and son. Enrique and Martin Breccia. Martin is the amazing colorist on SWAMP THING.

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The youngest of the Breccia art clan. Brother to Martin, son of Enrique. A writer, and no doubt headed for brilliance. Soon to be breaking American girls’ hearts in Brooklyn.


Anderson Gabrych (BATGIRL). Quite possibly the hottest man in comics.

That’s me with my arm around one of my absolute favorite artists working right now, J.H. Williams (PROMETHIA). His vignettes in WILDGIRL were worth the price of the whole book. That’s his wife on the left. Who’s name I can’t remember. Sorry, She completely deserves to be known as more than just somebody’s wife, but what can I say. Just after this photograph was taken I spilled her drink. Because I’m that cool.

The incomparable Glenn Fabry (NEVERWHERE) keeping his fans happy while…

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I sit next to him, having my own signing to which three people showed. Because I’m that cool. (Bob Wayne, VP of Sales at DC, took this photo)

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Glen Fabry and Martin Breccia back to being friends after a brief fist-to-cuffs in the parking lot.

And because he wouldn’t let me take a picture of him this year, I’m forced to dig into my archives and unearth this shot from last year’s Comic-con…

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Marc Andreyko (MANHUNTER) wears his sun glasses at night. I can’t imagine why.


I met Jeff years ago when he was working for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and took an immediate liking to him. He has since moved on to Dark Horse’s marketing department. Apparently this was his last con as an industry insider. He’s quitting to get a law degree so he can be a better soldier for the Left. “After the election,” he told me, “I just couldn’t sit back and keep selling STAR WARS books anymore.” Jeff receives my “Coolest Fucker at the Con” award for that sentiment alone. He will be missed on the circuit. To top it all off, his wife is about to have a baby!

The man, Macey, out of focus and moving on to nobler pursuits.

Scott Allie, a recent father himself, and one of my favorite editors in the industry, raps with some really nice Dark Horse employee that I met, yet can’t remember her name.


Luis Reyes, editor of original content… and rock n’ roll legend. He is most assuredly doomed to die early.

Lillian Diaz-Przybyl, an editor at TOKYOPOP, believes that when you take her picture you steal a piece of her soul. So I clicked quite a few.

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Christine Boylan and I. I’m the one with the cavernous nose and oddly shaped head. Christine had done some work for TOKYOPOP but has moved on to greener pastures. Actually the bitch has been in LA less than a year and has her first film script being shot. Now she’s a writing assistant on THE GILMORE GIRLS which they tell me is on TV. Apparently Adult Swim and The Daily Show isn’t all that’s transmitted into my cathode chaos box. Christine is an old friend, and if I’m not mistaken she has a SUPERMAN story coming out soon.

Felipe Smith (center, MBQ), me and some very cool stranger. Felipe’s book is truely tight and should be read by all.


Fletcher Chufong, Manager – Events and Retailer Services, fires off a sexy pose for the camera.

Eddie Berganza, editor of the Superman books, looks trapped and panicked as I beg for a job writing the Sun God Ra… uh, I mean Superman.

Paula Lowitt, Senior VP-Business & Legal Affairs, checks to see if the poor drunk fucker sprawled out on the floor of the Hyatt elevator is dead (he’s not). Just after this picture was taken Geoff Johns stole his hat, which is hilarious to me.


A very poor attempt, by more than one of us, to capture the beam of light that is Amanda Fisher, owner of MUSE COMICS, a store in Missoula, Montana.


Me, passed the fuck out on Sunday night. Finally done with the whole moveable feast. I have no idea who took this picture with my camera, but since there were five of us in the room… it could’vd been anybody.

Ahhh, and now, in a matter of days, I leave for WIZARD WORLD CHICAGO.

No rest for the wicked.


Peace, love and hippie shit…

Politics, Media, Cool Links and Work Updates

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Animation, Comic Books, Cool Stuff!, Film & TV, Journal, Music, News & Politics, Photos | Leave a comment

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…



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.


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…

Luis Reyes…
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!

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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.


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.



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!

Sirene (1968),
Goldframe (1969)
Operation X-70 (1971)
Harpya (1979)
Pegasus (1973)
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