|icon_uk (icon_uk) wrote in scans_daily,|
@ 2011-10-29 07:36 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||creator: alan moore, creator: john totleben, creator: ron randall, creator: steve bissette, title: swamp thing|
He also did some truly awesome horror stories... This is one that lingers with me, partly because of the hook for the main character, and partly because of the amazing art from Steve Bissette and John Totleben (And Ron Randall too, according to Mr Bisssette himself)
Say hello to the nice people Swamp Thing!
"Hi nice people!"
I was never able to take American's referring to "the Boogeyman" seriously. As a kid in the 1970's it was a dance, and how could a monster be named after a fun, if silly-looking, dance? In the UK there is another name for such monsters, a much less pleasant sounding word, so from Swamp Thing 44, I present...
Luckily for me, the part of the story I'm wanting to tell is distinct from the bulk of the issue, which deals with Abbie and Swamp Thing having a heart to.. well, heart shaped legume chat about their future, and John Constantine arranging matters prior to Crisis on Infinite Earths (It's a scene featuring John, Steve "Mento" Dayton and Batman which I hate to omit, because it's rather fun but it's not essential to this story and the 1/3 rule trumps all, and I'm probably already pushing the definition of 7 2/3 or 23 pages here)
We open in a bar, as our never actually seen protagonist (through whose eyes we see this part of the story through) is having a drink with a new friend...
This is not going to end well is it?
After some Swampy related folderol, we return to this storyline a while later...
His companion asks him if he's ever heard of... the Bogeyman, because HE has, he's even met him...
Okay, as a hook for a killer this is pretty damned awesome. It's simple, it's memorable, in a certain frightening way it's plausible, and it's immediately horrible (We already know his kills aren't limited to a particular group we can be grateful we're not a part of, from a bag lady, to a young girl and go back and look at number one thirty two again, the relative size of the eyes suggest that that is a very young boy)
But I digress...
Yeah, think what you like, but I suspect that swamps are not about to be your friend tonight Mr Bogeyman. (Again I like the little touch here, closing a dead person's eyes is a very human thing to do, it's respectful. All the Bogeyman's memories are of open eyes, and one suspects that he never closes the eyes of his victims)
This is very cinematic isn't it? The mention of any relevant number making images of eyes appear would work very nicely in a movie version too.
The Bogeyman makes mention of OTHER people who have his.. particular tastes..
That's a great line! The Bogeyman makes a break for it, thinking it must be a random stranger, some local Cajun from the surrounding area.
Tell me those eyes won't haunt you for the rest of the night, and I won't believe you.
They meet again, and Bogeyman hacks the hand off of Swamp Thing, which has about as much effect as you imagine it would. In fact the hand instantly regrows into a full Swamp Thing and Bogeyman believes he's met a monster equal to himself, could it be that this is his... REPLACEMENT?
Oh, how much do I love that last line, it's pitch-perfect retributive horror, simple, and satisfying and distrubing in it's implications. I personally hold it right up there with "and then some fool turned the lights out" AND "and then some fool turned the lights on" as the perfect cap to a horror story.
The Bogeyman was referred to once more, years later, in the "Serial Killers Convention" story in Sandman, when the Corinthian (another eye-obsessive killer, though in a different league) informs the organiser than the Bogeyman (Who had been expected to attend) drowned in a swamp in Lousiana years ago (though given his abilities, he is perhaps the only person to know, or care, about that)
Oddly, it's the sheer mundaneness of the Bogeyman which makes him memorable to me. He's not a superbeing, he's not supernatural, he's just a sick bastard who got away with mass murder pretty much because he WAS so ordinary.
Sleep well, and be careful who gives you a lift home tonight if you've had a little too much to drink. :)