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Saga of the Swamp Thing # 25, 26 27 - Moore, Bissette Totleben


Saga of the Swamp Thing # 25, 26 27 - Moore, Bissette Totleben
Stephen R. Bissette & John Totleben
Too often we overlook how extraordinary some of DC’s characters could be. In order for us to surmise the formidable features of someone like Jason Blood, we must first understand him as a human. Because demons cannot exist in a world deprived of humanity, like symbiotic creatures, without human souls the devil would die of starvation. 

Jason Blood has been portrayed before as a mere man who dabbles with occultism, but here he’s so much more. Alan Moore gives us a glimpse of Blood’s attitude and that’s more than enough to fear him almost as much as we would fear a demon such as Etrigan -Blood’s alter ego.

Abigail has just started working in an institution specialized in autistic children. She’s excited about her new job, she longs for at least a resemblance of her old, normal life. And then Blood appears and she knows that for her normality has forever been forfeit.

“The Sleep of Reason” (June 1984) is a beautifully crafted tale that encompasses a rich and complex cast of characters; in its polyphonic approach lies its greatest narrative strength. We have Jason Blood admiring Goya’s famous painting and remembering how he met the artist centuries ago, we have Abby and her compassion towards children, we have Paul, the autistic child that dreams of the Monkey King, a white creature of fear, we have Matt Cable, Abby’s unapologetically alcoholic husband and, of course, we have Alec Holland too.

“Yes, for every child, rich or poor… there’s a time of running through a dark place; and there’s no word for a child’s fear”; in “A Time of Running” (July 1984) Alan Moore quotes “Night of the Hunter” by James Agee, and we understand that, indeed, infantile fears are unnamed; they’re dark things that can barely be comprehended.

As we had seen before, Paul had witnessed the arrival of the Monkey King, a creature capable of awakening people’s deepest fears, and so long as fear prevails, this nightmarish monster will become stronger. When a naked teenager named Vince attacks Abby, she understands that something wrong is going on in Elysium Lawns. As Abigail concludes: “I used to think I knew from fear… I didn’t. All I knew were the suburbs of fear… and now here I am, in the big city”. 



Saga of the Swamp Thing # 25, 26 27 - Moore, Bissette Totleben
The Sleep of Reason / El sueño de la razón


Saga of the Swamp Thing # 25, 26 27 - Moore, Bissette Totleben
Matt Cable
“By Demons Driven” (August 1984) takes us right into the heart of the conflict, as both the Swamp Thing and the Demon Etrigan battle against the Monkey King. The devil’s herald is no match against a monster that is nurtured by fear, and the Swamp Thing, although immune to the powers of the white beast, can’t do anything to deter him. In the end, only Paul’s childish innocence can defeat the Monkey King. 

In every page, we have Moore’s poetry. He’s a master of both, content and style. His complex vocabulary complements the rhythm of his phrases; his unusual synecdoches and his incredibly creative metaphors, add meaning and depth to an already fascinating saga. Therefore, only a creative team as talented as the one formed by Stephen R. Bissette and John Totleben could do any justice to Moore’s script. Their technique is akin to Francisco de Goya’s style and other Romanticism artists as well. Whenever the characters run for their lives, we have a ragged surface, without smooth finishes, and at the same time we also have exquisitely painted details. 

Tatjana Wood’s coloring also helps Bissette and Totleben, the red in the victims’ blood is like a dark alizarin crimson smeared on thick inks, it looks crusty and scratchy, just like real blood would. With a few gestures of the brush, Totleben transforms Bissette’s pencils into the most sublime expression of art. Time and time again, both artists provide us with moments of unassuageable pathos.
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Saga of the Swamp Thing # 25, 26 27 - Moore, Bissette Totleben
Monkey King / Rey Mono

A menudo olvidamos lo formidables que pueden ser algunos de los personajes de DC. Para conjeturar las misteriosas razones de alguien como Jason Blood, primero debemos entenderlo como humano. Porque los demonios no podrían existir en un mundo desprovisto de humanidad. Como criaturas simbióticas, sin almas humanas, los demonios morirían de hambre.

Jason Blood ha sido retratado antes como un simple sujeto que experimentaba con el ocultismo, pero aquí es mucho más que eso. Alan Moore nos permite ver la actitud de Blood, y eso es más que suficiente para temerle casi tanto como al demonio Etrigan -el otro yo de Blood.



Saga of the Swamp Thing # 25, 26 27 - Moore, Bissette Totleben
from man to monster / de hombre a monstruo
Abigail ha empezado a trabajar en una institución especializada en niños autistas. Está emocionada con su nuevo trabajo, busca algo que al menos se parezca un poco a su antigua vida normal. Y entonces Blood aparece y ella comprende que ya no podrá alcanzar esa normalidad. 

“El sueño de la razón” (junio de 1984) es un relato hermosamente diseñado que engloba un rico y complejo elenco de personajes; en su enfoque polifónico yace su mayor fortaleza narrativa. Tenemos a Jason Blood admirando la famosa pintura de Goya y recordando cómo conoció al artista hace siglos, tenemos a Abby y su compasión por los niños, tenemos a Paul, el niño autista que sueña con el Rey Mono, una criatura blanca del miedo, tenemos a Matt Cable, el inexcusablemente alcohólico esposo de Abby y, por supuesto, también tenemos a Alec Holland.


Saga of the Swamp Thing # 25, 26 27 - Moore, Bissette Totleben
the Demon Etrigan / el demonio Etrigan
"Sí, para cada niño, rico o pobre... llega la hora de correr a través de un lugar oscuro; y no existen palabras para el miedo de un niño"; en "La hora de correr" (julio de 1984) Alan Moore cita "La noche del cazador" de James Agee, y entendemos que, de hecho, los miedos infantiles son innombrables, son cosas oscuras que apenas pueden ser entendidas.

Como habíamos visto antes, Paul había sido testigo de la llegada del Rey Mono, una criatura capaz de despertar los miedos más profundos de la gente, mientras el miedo prevalezca, este monstruo de pesadilla se hará más fuerte. Cuando Vince, un adolescente desnudo, ataca a Abby, ella entiende que algo terrible está sucediendo en los Jardines Elíseos. Tal como concluye Abigail: "Solía pensar que conocía el miedo... No era así. Todo lo que conocía eran los suburbios del miedo... y ahora aquí estoy, en la gran ciudad". 

"Conducido por demonios" (agosto de 1984) nos lleva directamente al corazón del conflicto, mientras Swamp Thing y el demonio Etrigan batallan contra el Rey Mono. El heraldo del diablo no es rival contra un monstruo que se nutre del miedo, y Swamp Thing, aunque inmune a los poderes de la bestia blanca, no puede hacer nada para detenerlo. Al final, sólo la inocencia infantil de Paul podrá derrotar al Rey Mono.
Saga of the Swamp Thing # 25, 26 27 - Moore, Bissette Totleben
By Demons Driven / Conducido por demonios

La poesía de Moore está en cada página. Es un maestro tanto del contenido como del estilo. Su vocabulario complejo complementa el ritmo de sus frases; sus inusuales sinécdoques y sus metáforas increíblemente creativas agregan significado y profundidad a una saga ya de por sí fascinante. Por lo tanto, solamente un equipo creativo tan talentoso como el formado por Stephen R. Bissette y John Totleben podía hacerle justicia al guión de Moore. Sus técnicas son similares al estilo de Francisco de Goya y otros artistas del romanticismo. Cuando los personajes corren por sus vidas, tenemos una superficie ajada, sin acabados suaves, y al mismo tiempo tenemos detalles exquisitamente pintados.

Los colores de Tatjana Wood también ayudan a Bissette y Totleben, el rojo en la sangre de las víctimas es como púrpura oscura, escarlata embarrada en tinta espesa, se ve quebradiza y con relieves, tal como se vería la sangre de verdad. Con unos cuantos gestos del pincel, Totleben transforma los lápices de Bissette en la más sublime expresión de arte. Una y otra vez, ambos artistas nos regalan momentos de inconsolable pathos.

Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/08/saga-of-swamp-thing-25-26-27-moore.html


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About the Author - Arion


Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog -  http://artbyarion.blogspot.com – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.

 


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