Friday, January 15, 2016

Reader's Diary #1242- Scott Snyder (Writer), Yanick Paquette (Artist): Swamp Thing

It seems as if all of the whining about boringly drawn superhero comics last year paid off. Already this year I've discovered the brilliant work of David Mack (Daredevil), and now there's Yanick Paquette's— who's Canadian to boot!— work on Swamp Thing.

Paquette's work is wildly creative,  an homage to 1950s horror comics (like Tales From the Crypt) with a heavy dose of Lovecraftian monsters, yet somehow it works beautifully with Scott Snyder's mystical/naturalist-religion tale. Paquette keeps the pages lush and organic, like a swamp, with panels divided often by roots and branches rather than the traditional rectangles. When Francesco Francavilla, the brilliant colourist behind Afterlife with Archie, the creative team is just amazing.

I quite enjoyed Snyder's story as well, for the themes described above, but also for the tragic love story behind the reluctant heroes Swamp Thing and Abigail Arcane.

None of this is to say there aren't some bumps. Initially I was intrigued, for instance, as to how this plant-monster fit into the whole DC Comics superhero universe. However, it's when the other heroes show up that I felt Snyder slipped. It felt more forced and took away from the whole mystical nature side. Also, when the artists shift away from Paquette in later stories, it's nowhere near as great. Andrew Belanger's work on Rotworld: War of the Rot Part Two is a brutal misstep, too cartoony and making what was a serious series look silly.

Still, an engaging and unique collection overall and one not easily forgotten.

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