Sunday 2 November 2008

i've been thinking of another Hallowe'en, nineteen years ago. I had been working on getting Dark Horse interested in collecting the Bacchus issues previously published by the now defunct Harrier comics. While we were talking it over they invited me to do a short Bacchus story for Dark Horse Presents, which appeared in issue #32 August 1989. I somewhat insecurely reckoned that to get them to take a second story I'd have to give an added incentive. I was due to be staying a few days with Steve Bissette in Vermont (his second issue of Taboo containing the prologue and first chapter of From Hell had been delayed due to the printer backing away from it fearfully (Bissette interview here tells the story)). So I proposed we work on a story together. My idea was to boil down Robert Burns' great narrative poem Tam o'Shanter to a manageable length and simply illustrate it as a Bacchus story. A poem is less linear than prose, so this gave us plenty of room to improvise. Here's the witch with the short skirt, who looks like Steve's work (the other witches are more obviously his of course)

I cast my old pal Mike Docherty as the titular character, and Steve cast Alan Moore as one of the numerous demons with which he populated the pages.

"I need not mention the universally known fact, that no diabolical power can pursue you beyond the middle of a running stream."

Five years later I was working with Dave Sim in a similar situation. This time I picked an old time song, 'The Face on the Barroom Floor' as our subject, and turned up with it all lettered on five art boards, awaiting our improvisations. Dave modelled the sentimental wailing artist on our dear pal Steve Bissette. I don't think Steve has ever commented on this. (I expect he'll be long in a minute.)



Blogger spacedlaw said...

These are great, Eddie. Will they also appear in the Bacchus omnibus?

3 November 2008 at 01:45:00 GMT-5  
Blogger SRBissette said...

And will I get a comp copy and royalties? I've been so polite on this matter for so long; I always saw the comps of your self-published comics as my 'payment' for this and the Procrustes story idea.

My friends found your and Dave's casting me as the suicidal wreck amusing, most of all due to the fact I don't drink. To me, though, the cruelest and most perversely hilarious blow of FACE ON THE BARROOM FLOOR was that the bemoaned partner was named "Nancy" -- just as in my real life my first wife, formerly named "Nancy," was at that very moment in time (a) changing her name legally to Marlene and (b) our marriage ended.

You guys were just TOO funny.

4 November 2008 at 08:19:00 GMT-5  

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