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Stephen R. Bissette (born March 14, 1955, in Vermont) is an American comics artist, editor, and publisher with a focus on the horror genre. He is best known for working with writer Alan Moore and inker John Totleben on the DC comic Swamp Thing in the 1980s.

BiographyEdit

Early work and education Edit

Bissette was born and raised in Vermont, where he still lives.

Shortly after the publication of his first work, Abyss (1976), Bissette enrolled in the first class of The Kubert School.[1] Before his first year was completed, his work was being published professionally in the pages of Sojourn, Sgt. Rock, and Heavy Metal. In 1978, Bissette was among the Kubert School's very first graduating class, along with classmates Rick Veitch, Tom Yeates, and others.

His early work appeared in the pages of Heavy Metal, Epic Illustrated, Bizarre Adventures, Scholastic Magazines' Weird Worlds and Bananas (illustrating stories written by Goosebumps founder and author R. L. Stine), and he worked with Rick Veitch on the graphic novelization of Steven Spielberg's motion picture 1941 (Simon and Schuster, 1979).

Horror master Edit

Bissette is best known for his multiple award-winning collaboration with writer Alan Moore and inker John Totleben on DC Comics' Saga of the Swamp Thing (1983–87).

Under the company name of Spiderbaby Grafix, he later published the horror anthology Taboo, the original home of Moore and Eddie Campbell's From Hell and Tim Lucas' Throat Sprockets (illustrated by Mike Hoffman and David Lloyd). He created Tyrant, a comic book biography of a Tyrannosaurus rex, which lasted only four issues. During this period, he also edited the horror anthology Gore Shriek, published by FantaCo Enterprises.

Since 1991, Bissette has presented a lecture series on horror comics called "Journeys Into Fear." Having since grown in scope into a five-part series, Journeys Into Fear identifies 12th Century Japanese ghost scrolls[2][3] and the 16th Century Mixtec codices as early ancestors, and traces the genre from its roots in Winsor McCay's work, like Dream of the Rarebit Fiend.[4][5]

In 1996–1997, Bissette contributed five covers for a comic book series about another swamp monster, Hall of Heroes' Bog Swamp Demon.

Other work Edit

Bissette subsequently worked with Moore, Totleben, and Rick Veitch on the Image Comics' limited series 1963, their final creative collaborative effort.[6] From 1963, Bissette owns the characters Hypernaut, N-Man, and the Fury.[7]

Scott McCloud's 24-hour comic project began as a dare to Bissette in 1990. Each created a 24-page comic in 24 hours. The 24-Hour Comics Project evolved into a challenge taken up by hundreds of hopeful contributors, with several published collections, and inspired other time-limited creative projects.

In 1993, Bissette co-edited with Stanley Wiater Comic Book Rebels: Conversations with the Creators of the New Comics (Dutton, ISBN 1556113552), which featured interviews with such notable comics creators as Scott McCloud, Harvey Pekar, Dave Sim, Howard Cruse, Will Eisner, Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman, and R. Crumb.

Retirement and teaching Edit

Bissette retired from the comics industry in 1999, alluding to what he termed a "generational shift."[8] He teaches courses in Comic Art History, Drawing, and Film at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont, where he also co-curates, with Denis St. John the CCS/Main Street Museum ARTifacts Film Series.

Since the Spring of 2005, Bissette has also edited and published Green Mountain Cinema, a trade paperback journal devoted to the independent cinema scene in his home state of Vermont, as well as five volumes of Blur, collecting his film reviews and criticism.[9]

The Stephen R. Bissette Collection at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, houses Bissette's works and memorabilia.[10]

AwardsEdit

File:Steve Bissette lecturing.jpg

Bissette's work with Alan Moore and John Totleben earned the 1985 "Best Single Issue" Jack Kirby Award for Swamp Thing Annual #2,[11] and the 1985, 1986, and 1987 Jack Kirby Awards for "Best Continuing Series" for Swamp Thing.[11][12][13] His work with John Totleben earned them the 1985 "Best Art Team" Jack Kirby Award for Swamp Thing.[11] Taboo won the "Best Anthology" Eisner Award in 1993.[14]

His work with Alan Moore and John Totleben earned a nomination for the 1985 "Best Single Issue" Jack Kirby Award for Swamp Thing #34.[11] His work with John Totleben earned them nominations for the 1986 and 1987 Jack Kirby Awards for "Best Art Team" for their work on Swamp Thing.[12][13] His work with Alan Moore earned them a nomination for the 1986 Jack Kirby Award for "Best Writer/Artist (Single or Team)".[12] His work on Tabboo got him a nomination for the 1993 "Best Editor" Eisner Award.[14]

NotesEdit

  1. Dahlen, Chris (July 23, 2009). "Interview: Steve Bissette". The A.V. Club. http://www.avclub.com/articles/steve-bissette,30751/. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  2. "Scroll of hungry ghosts". Tokyo National Museum. http://www.tnm.go.jp/en/servlet/Con?&pageId=E16&processId=02&col_id=A10476&ref=2&Q1=&Q2=&Q3=&Q4=11______4171_&Q5=&F1=&F2=. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  3. "Gaki-zoshi (Scroll of the Hungry Ghosts)". Kyoto National Museum. 2009. http://www.kyohaku.go.jp/eng/syuzou/meihin/kaiga/emaki/item03.html. Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  4. A Horrific View of Comics: A chat with Stephen Bissette, Comic Book Resources, October 29, 2003
  5. Stephen R. Bissette’s Journeys Into Fear, FanTasia film festival
  6. Erik Larsen quoted in Johnston, Rich (September 29, 2008). "Lying In The Gutters Volume 2 Column 177". Lying in the Gutters. Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/5gWo8kCrl. Retrieved March 17, 2009. "Same thing happened in a sense — to 1963. I called Alan about that at one point after he and Steve Bissette had a falling out and its time had passed — Alan didn't want to have anything to do with it" 
  7. Bissette, Steve (April 7, 2010). "N-Man, Fury, Hypernaut at MoCCA!". Myrant. srbissette.com. http://srbissette.com/?p=8749. Retrieved April 8, 2010. 
  8. Woodley, Matthew. "Monster magnate: Stephen R. Bissette brings his harrowing yet educational comic lecture series to Fantasia," Montreal Mirror (July 14, 2005).
  9. Blur page, Black Coat Press website. ISBN 1-934543-24-1.
  10. Henderson State University's Bissette Collection
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 1985 Jack Kirby Awards, the Comic Book Awards Almanac
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 1986 Jack Kirby Awards, the Comic Book Awards Almanac
  13. 13.0 13.1 1987 Jack Kirby Awards, the Comic Book Awards Almanac
  14. 14.0 14.1 1993 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners, the Comic Book Awards Almanac

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

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