True Swamp: Choose Your Poison

Overview

"True Swamp is a true classic. Melancholy frogs, awkward cross-species relationships, thoughtful discussions on the meaning of life and love and the possibility of kindness, and of course the ever-present need to eat and not be eaten. Jon Lewis has created a world so rich in detail and personality that once you've dipped your toe in the warm larvae-filled water, you won't want to leave. And to tell the truth, you never will. It's been nearly twenty years since I first read these stories and still they simmer away...

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Overview

"True Swamp is a true classic. Melancholy frogs, awkward cross-species relationships, thoughtful discussions on the meaning of life and love and the possibility of kindness, and of course the ever-present need to eat and not be eaten. Jon Lewis has created a world so rich in detail and personality that once you've dipped your toe in the warm larvae-filled water, you won't want to leave. And to tell the truth, you never will. It's been nearly twenty years since I first read these stories and still they simmer away inside my brain, like a benevolent ink-borne parasite that burrows ever deeper, exposing strange new layers of wonder and insight in that crowded fertile swamp we call life."— Dylan Horrocks, Hicksville

True Swamp: Choose Your Poison collects the first storyline of this landmark series, telling the tale of Lenny the Frog—part coming-of-age story, part fantastic adventure, part gutter poetry. Unavailable for over a decade, this twentieth anniversary edition features meticulously restored art, never-reprinted material, an introduction by Charles Hatfield (The Hand Of Fire: The Comics Art Of Jack Kirby), and a foreword by Ed Brubaker (Criminal, Captain America, Incognito).

Jon Lewis began True Swamp in 1992. It continues today. Other comics include Ghost Ship, Spectacles, and scripts for DC, Dark Horse, and Kodansha Publishing. Lewis came to prominence as one of a tight-knit wave of early '90s Seattle cartoonists who brought new narrative ambition to alternative comics. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This 20th anniversary edition compiles the first story arc from the early days of Lewis’s indie comic and teems with foul-mouthed slimy creatures and dense emotional philosophy. Lenny the Frog is the focus of this swamp tale, an amphibian with a constant inner dialogue of self-doubt, brought on by his interaction with other swamp life. Lenny second-guesses himself at every turn, whether he’s facing the swamp fairies, battling for his life against a human, or visiting the creepy resident of a wayward human skull—it’s all a catalyst for self-examination, as well as investigation of the big picture. Lewis’s achievement—illustrated with a loose but expressive line—isn’t just that he has effectively grafted human personalities onto animals, but that he has mingled the actual traits of the animals onto those personalities. All the creatures, including bugs and fish, figure into the drama, creating not only tension over the dilemmas the animals face but building on themselves to make a sense of mystery surrounding whole ecosystem. Lewis has also taken great care with the swamp culture—monetary, religious, romantic—to create a believable and intricate society, and it all comes together brilliantly. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

"Lewis’s achievement—illustrated with a loose but expressive line—isn’t just that he has effectively grafted human personalities onto animals, but that he has mingled the actual traits of the animals onto those personalities. All the creatures, including bugs and fish, figure into the drama, creating not only tension over the dilemmas the animals face but building on themselves to make a sense of mystery surrounding whole ecosystem. Lewis has also taken great care with the swamp culture—monetary, religious, romantic—to create a believable and intricate society, and it all comes together brilliantly"—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"At its heart, True Swamp is an existential howl. […] It certainly stands the test of time."—The Comics Journal

"There are any number of clever ways of categorizing True Swamp, each of them more or less accurate; most recently, I’ve taken to referring to it as a profane post-punk Pogo. However, the single word that all of those descriptions must necessarily include is "brilliant."—ForeWord Magazine

True Swamp is a song of love.” — Jim Woodring

“Terrific! Lewis goes places no other cartoonists have gone.” — Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics

“Lewis’s swamp lies somewhere a short hop from Larry Marder’s life-affirming Beanworld, which preceded it, and, on the other hand, Anders Nilsen’s starkly existentialist animal fable Big Questions, which came after. ”
— Charles Hatfield from the Introduction

True Swamp still stands as one of the most interesting and original worlds created in all of comics.” — Ed Brubaker­ from the Foreword

"True Swamp is a true classic. Melancholy frogs, awkward cross-species relationships, thoughtful discussions on the meaning of life and love and the possibility of kindness, and of course the ever-present need to eat and not be eaten. Jon Lewis has created a world so rich in detail and personality that once you've dipped your toe in the warm larvae-filled water, you won't want to leave. And to tell the truth, you never will. It's been nearly twenty years since I first read these stories and still they simmer away inside my brain, like a benevolent ink-borne parasite that burrows ever deeper, exposing strange new layers of wonder and insight in that crowded fertile swamp we call life."— Dylan Horrocks, Hicksville

“Simply drawn but deeply imaginative, True Swamp swallows up all those other anthropomorphic animal comics and leaves them behind in a stinking pile…” — Andrew Arnold, time.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780984681426
  • Publisher: Uncivilized Books
  • Publication date: 12/11/2012
  • Series: True Swamp , #1
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Jon Lewis began True Swamp in 1992. It continues today. Other comics include Ghost Ship, Spectacles, and scripts for DC, Dark Horse and Kodansha Publishing. Lewis came to prominence as one of a tight-knit wave of early 90s Seattle cartoonists who brought new narrative ambition to alternative comics. He lives in Brooklyn.
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