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 Steve R. (Steven) Bissette  (1955 - )

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Lived/Active: Vermont      Known for: comic book illustration-horror themes

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AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Swamp Thing #29 Cover Original Art
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
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.

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. 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).

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 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.

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

Bissette retired from the comics industry in 1999, alluding to what he termed a "generational shift." 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.

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


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