Mar 30, 2013

AM Portrait: The other Swamp Thing

Illustration © Chris McLoughlin
In the following you can read a short article written by Dylan Horrocks and included in Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman (2003, Abiogenesis Press, page 59). In the piece Horrocks remembered a "lost project" about comics creators and their creations and... Alan Moore. With illustration by artist Chris McLoughlin (page 58).

Posted on this blog with the authors' permission.  

The other Swamp Thing
© Dylan Horrocks

Not long ago I was developing a series for Vertigo, centered on the exploits of a comics company and its various employees. The twist was that all the comics they published were entirely true and their stars (Doctor Occult, Adam Strange, the Phantom Stranger, the Swamp Thing and other such DC-Vertigo characters) were all real people. There was a small team of cartoonists, each of whom was given the job of following around one of those heroes and recording their adventures and everyday lives accurately and truthfully in the form of a monthly comic book.

One of those cartoonists was going to be a thinly disguised version of Alan Moore (or at least the 1980s Alan Moore), who would shamble into the editorial office once a month, his legs caked with mud from the Louisiana swamp, his long hair and beard full of twigs and leaves and nesting insects, his breath sweet with whatever hallucinogenic fruit he’d recently chewed, to drop a pile of paper on the editor’s desk. Then with a grunt, this mysterious cartoonist would turn and go, heading back to his beloved swamp, leaving behind a trail of mud and strange aromas and, of course, the latest issue of Swamp Thing.  His comic, of course, would be beautiful – a magical, moving masterpiece, full of philosophical musings and profound insight into the human condition and our place in the natural world. It would also be trippy, sexy, pungent and disturbing.

When I described this project to the incredibly talented young cartoonist Chris McLoughlin (who’d drawn a guest-artist issue of  Hunter: the Age of Magic), he was so taken with it that he went home and drew this sketch, which summed my idea up perfectly. Needless to say, the project was eventually turned down, although I still intend to do it one day (stripped of its DC properties, of course). But here, for posterity, is Chris’s perfect sketch of the other Swamp Thing: the mystical magus of Louisiana…
Illustration © Chris McLoughlin

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