Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Swamp Thing's the Thing.

A few months ago I finally finished reading Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing. At the time I was reading it the Darkest Night/Brightest Day event was taking place (or is it still going on?). Anyway, I found it slightly amusing that Alan Moore did a similar type of arc in Swamp Thing. Okay, not the emotional spectrum aspect, that’s a great idea, but having Swamp Thing travel through space an becoming different colours at each location seems fairly reminiscent. Related, probably, direct rip-off, not likely.

When I first started to read Swamp Thing I thought that the key metaphor was tree rings. That the series and stories were structured around a series of concentric rings that envelope one another. The series would hop from one layer to another and as the years passed a new layer would be added. As I finish up Alan Moore’s run on it, that metaphor feels more apt than ever.

These stories went from exploring the roots of the character to the depths of a recreated shared universe. They found Batman in Gotham and Adam Strange on Raan. They invented a mythos of their own while playing with the toys of a shared space. There were mysteries, horror comics, postmodern cut-ups, sci-fi stories, you name it – Swamp Thing managed to explore the aspects of creativity as much as the form of comic books.

I guess with the whole thing about Vertigo and DC getting the band back together, that’s what I’d hope for. I don’t really care if these characters interact or not so long as the stories being told are masterful. I’m a simple guy that way. Tell a good story and I’ll be happy.

Today I learned that Harvey Pekar died and I regret not ever reading any of his work. It’s been on my list of things to read for years now. I feel like I never found the time because I was too busy catching up on Alan Moore’s career. Now seems like the time to, at least, get something out of the library.