Born in Vermont
A comic book
artist, 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). He also worked briefly on Mirage Studios' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
. The character Tokka that appeared in the second TMNT feature film, Secret of the Ooze, was based upon his drawings. Bissette co-founded, edited, and co-published the controversial Eisner Award-winning
adult horror comics’ anthology Taboo
(1988-95). Through his own imprint SpiderBaby Grafix, Bissette self-published
collections of his earlier comics and comix work. Work continues on his ambitious serialized graphic novel, S.R. Bissette's Tyrant® (1994-present, four issues to date), a rigorously researched portrait of the birth, life, and death of a Tyrannosaurus Rex
in late Cretaceous North America
. Anyone interested in seeing some of the finest art ever published in comic book format should hunt this work down. He subsequently worked again with Moore, Veitch, and Totleben on the Image Comics
' series 1963, their final creative collaborative effort.
Shortly after the publication of his first work, Abyss (1976), Bissette enrolled in the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in Dover, New Jersey
. 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, 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).
His two teenagers, Maia and Daniel, also write and draw their own comics and stories. Maia's stories and art have already been published in the pages of VMag, and Daniel is currently working on his first mini-comic.
I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Mr. Bissette in 1994 in Manchester, Vermont, while attending the A.C.E. (Alternative Comix Expo) convention. The book Tyrant had been recently released, and he was busy representing that. I will never forget impression he made on me as I entered the convention room floor. Everyone looked too solemn and serious
about their books with the exception of two people: Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch
. Bissette was not standing behind his table (as anyone who's been to conventions will tell you is the usual placement of the talent), but was rather out in the traffic of the aisle shouting and throwing his arms in the air. "Have you seen my comic?" he shouted at me as I walked past. I had never seen a picture of him, but knew the man's work. As soon as I saw the Tyrant poster, and realized who stood before me, I grabbed his hand smiled vigorously. I think I damn near tore his arm off. It's not every day you get to meet one of your idols.
Steve Bissette retired, quietly, from comic books in 1999, and spends most of his time between writing, film, and New England oriented illustration work. He is working with friend and Vermont folklorist Joe Citro, in which he completed a full-color map (VERMONT'S HAUNTS), illustrated and painted a color cover for his VERMONT GHOST GUIDE (University Press of New England, 2000), painted a new cover for the paperback edition of Joe's GREEN MOUNTAINS, DARK TALES (2001, UPNE), and is currently working with Joe on a video production adapted from the VERMONT GHOST GUIDE (for Eye First Media).
As a writer, Bissette's articles, interviews, and reviews have appeared in Rutherford, Gadfly, The Video Watchdog, Deep Red, Film Threat
, Animation Planet, Fangoria
, GoreZone, Gauntlet, Ecco, Animato, VMag, Euro-Trash Cinema, and others. His work has also appeared in books such as Clive Barker
, Illustrator (1990), Cut! Horror Writers on Horror Films (Berkley, 1992), The BFI Companion to Horror (Cassell/The British Film Institute, 1996), and others. His short fiction appeared in Words Without Pictures (1990), and his original novella Aliens
: Tribes won a Bram Stoker
Award in 1993 and has been published in foreign hardcover editions in Britain and Germany. He also co-authored Comic Book Rebels (Donald I. Fine, 1993).
I would like to thank Mr. Bissette for sending me the info needed for this node. I lucked upon his email address, told him of my undying love of his work, and asked for some facts. He replied, "...It means a great deal to me that my work made any difference whatsoever in this world, and continues to resonate enough in the hearts and imaginations of folks like yourself. Guess my 24+ years in comics weren't a misappropriation of energy after all... appreciate the kind thoughts, and your efforts.
No, Mr. Steve Bissette, thank you.