Stephen R. Bissette

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Stephen R. Bissette
Steve Bissette by Nick Langley.JPG
Steve Bissette. July 2007.
Born Stephen R. Bissette
(1955-03-14) March 14, 1955 (age 59)
Vermont
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Penciller, Artist, Editor, Publisher
Pseudonym(s) Sturdy Steve
Notable works
Swamp Thing
Taboo
Tyrant
Awards Jack Kirby Award, 1985, 1986, 1987
Eisner Award, 1993

http://www.srbissette.com

Stephen R. Bissette (born March 14, 1955)[1] 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.

Biography[edit]

Early work and education[edit]

Bissette was born and raised in Vermont, where he still lives. He was raised Catholic.[2]

Shortly after the publication of his first work, Abyss (1976),[3] Bissette enrolled in the first class of The Kubert School.[4] Before his first year was completed, his work was being published professionally in the pages of Sojourn, Sgt. Rock, and Heavy Metal.[3] In 1978, Bissette was among the Kubert School's very first graduating class, along with classmates Rick Veitch, Tom Yeates, and others.

While still enrolled at The Kubert School, Bissette executed the logo for early New Jersey synth-pop band WKGB and drew the cover for the band's 1979 single "Non-Stop/Ultramarine" on Fetish Records (UK Fetish 002).[5]

His early work appeared in the pages of Heavy Metal, Epic Illustrated, Bizarre Adventures, Scholastic Corporation's 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.[3]

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 (1983–1987).[6]

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,[7] which lasted four issues. During this period, he 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[8][9] and the 16th Century Mixtec codices as early ancestors, and traces the genre from its roots in Winsor McCay's work such as Dream of the Rarebit Fiend.[10][11] 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.[12] From 1963, Bissette owns the characters Hypernaut, N-Man, and the Fury.[13]

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 1-55611-355-2), which featured interviews with such notable comics creators as Scott McCloud, Harvey Pekar, Dave Sim, Howard Cruse, Will Eisner, Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman, and Robert Crumb.

Retirement and teaching[edit]

Bissette retired from the comics industry in 1999, alluding to what he termed a "generational shift."[14] He teaches courses in Comic Art History, Drawing, and Film at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont, where he co-curates with Denis St. John the CCS/Main Street Museum ARTifacts Film Series.

Since 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,[7] as well as five volumes of Blur, collecting his film reviews and criticism.[15]

The Stephen R. Bissette Collection at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, houses Bissette's works and memorabilia.[16][17]

Awards[edit]

Steven R. Bissette lecturing. 2005.

Bissette's work with Alan Moore and John Totleben earned the 1985 "Best Single Issue" Jack Kirby Award for Swamp Thing Annual #2,[18] and the 1985, 1986, and 1987 Jack Kirby Awards for "Best Continuing Series" for Swamp Thing.[18][19][20] His work with John Totleben earned them the 1985 "Best Art Team" Jack Kirby Award for Swamp Thing.[18] Taboo won the "Best Anthology" Eisner Award in 1993.[21]

His work with Alan Moore and John Totleben earned a nomination for the 1985 "Best Single Issue" Jack Kirby Award for Swamp Thing #34.[18] 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.[19][20] His work with Alan Moore earned them a nomination for the 1986 Jack Kirby Award for "Best Writer/Artist (Single or Team)".[19] His work on Taboo got him a nomination for the 1993 "Best Editor" Eisner Award.[21] He received an Inkpot Award in 1997.[22]

Bibliography[edit]

Aardvark-Vanaheim[edit]

  • Cerebus #116 (text article), 139, 159, 184 (1988–1994)

Comico Comics[edit]

Dark Horse Comics[edit]

DC Comics[edit]

Eclipse Comics[edit]

  • Bedlam #1–2 (1985)
  • Fearbook #1 (1986)
  • Real War Stories #1 (1987)

FantaCo Enterprises[edit]

  • Alien Encounters #1 (1981)
  • Gore Shriek #1, 4–6 (1986–1990)
  • Gore Shriek Delectus #1 (1989)

HM Communications[edit]

  • Heavy Metal #v2 #5–7, #v3 #6, 9–10, #v4 #2, #v5 #5, #v7 #3 (1978–1983)

Image Comics[edit]

  • 1963 #2–4 (1993)

Kitchen Sink Press[edit]

  • Taboo #8–9 (1995)

Marvel Comics[edit]

Spiderbaby Grafix[edit]

  • Taboo #1–7 (1988–1992)
  • Taboo Especial #1 (1991)
  • Tyrant #1–4 (1994–1996)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ http://www.avclub.com/article/steve-bissette-30751
  3. ^ a b c Stephen R. Bissette at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ Dahlen, Chris (July 23, 2009). "Steve Bissette". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on December 21, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  5. ^ "WKGB -Non-Stop". Hyped to Death. 2013. Archived from the original on July 30, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. [Alan] Moore, with help from artists Stephen R. Bissette and Rick Veitch had overhauled Swamp Thing's origin by issue #21. 
  7. ^ a b "Stephen R. Bissette". Lambiek Comiclopedia. August 14, 2009. Archived from the original on September 27, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Scroll of Hungry Ghosts". Tokyo National Museum. 2009. Archived from the original on September 27, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Gaki-zoshi (Scroll of the Hungry Ghosts)". Kyoto National Museum. 2009. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2009. 
  10. ^ Weiland, Jonah (October 29, 2003). "A Horrific View of Comics: A chat with Stephen Bissette". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Stephen R. Bissette's Journeys into Fear". FanTasia. July 2005. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. 
  12. ^ Erik Larsen quoted in Johnston, Rich (September 29, 2008). "Lying in the Gutters Volume 2 Column 177". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. 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 
  13. ^ Bissette, Stephen R. (April 7, 2010). "N-Man, Fury, Hypernaut at MoCCA!". srbissette.com. Archived from the original on October 5, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2010. 
  14. ^ Woodley, Matthew (July 14, 2005). "Monster magnate: Stephen R. Bissette brings his harrowing yet educational comic lecture series to Fantasia". Montreal Mirror. Archived from the original on May 19, 2006. 
  15. ^ "Blur by Stephen R. Bissette". BlackCoatPress.com. n.d. Archived from the original on December 10, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Huie Library's Stephen R. Bissette Collection". Henderson State University. n.d. Archived from the original on December 21, 2013. 
  17. ^ "The Stephen R. Bissette Collection Description". Henderson State University. n.d. Archived from the original on April 1, 2009. 
  18. ^ a b c d "1985 Jack Kirby Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c "1986 Jack Kirby Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b "1987 Jack Kirby Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. 
  21. ^ a b "1993 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on November 8, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bo Hampton
The Saga of the Swamp Thing/
Swamp Thing artist

1983–1986
Succeeded by
Rick Veitch