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"All Flesh Is Grass"

(22 pages)
Writer: Alan Moore, from an idea by Steve Bissette
Artists: Rick Veitch and Alfredo Alcala
Colorist: Tatjana Wood
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Karen Berger
Swamp Thing Created by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson

Guest Commentary
sent by Hal Charles
Shurlo the artist stands for Moore himself to some extent: She despises the crowds which fawn on her work, yet relies on them for her fortune. (WATCHMEN was out by now and Moore's profile had gone through the roof, bringing all sorts of unwanted attention.) It's not quite as simple as that: she is not him and her feelings (at the beginning or near the end of the issue) are not necessarily his, but I think we can assume that he is telling us quite a lot here about the various things that have run through his mind over the previous year! At first Shurlo feels nothing but contempt for the crowds, who affect to love her work but fail to understand it in any depth, ask only fatuous questions about it and are easily fobbed off with glib answers; She herself is only concerned with art in a pure sense and has no desire to sully herself by contact with her public, yet by the end of the issue her experiences have changed her subtly: in remaining (spiritually) isolated when so many others were forced together for a time, she comes to envy them their togetherness and wishes she could share it, to the extent that she is suddenly prepared to risk all by trying to join them. Like I say, I don't think Moore is actually saying "this is me!" BUT I am sure he is (very self-consciously; nothing in his work ever appears by accident) revealing some truths about himself all the same, showing us some of the very complicated feelings which he has had to come to terms with in a pretty short space of time.

2:5 His oath parallels that of Earth's Green Lantern:

In Brightest Day, 
in Darkest Night, 
No Evil Shall Escape My Sight, 
Let Those Who Worship Evil's Might, 
Beware My Power, 

6:1 Isaiah 40:6-8

The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, 
and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: 
surely the people is grass.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: 
but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

6-7 You can see that ST's face is the center mass in this picture. The cloumns at each side are his fingers.

9 Panels 1 and 2 are his eyes. Panel 3 is the nose. Panels 4 and 5 show his teeth.

18:3 There is a mystical belief that demons can be contained within chalk circles. An old woman uses lines of salt to try to contain zombies in ST #42.

21:5 Adam promised to relay this message in issue #58.

22:4 Scotty was a character from the 1960's TV show Star Trek.

COMMENT: The Green Lantern of Earth, Hal Jordan, appeared in ST#24. Guy Gardner, another Earth Green Lantern, appears in #81.

COMMENT: Although DC Comics started printing this series in the "New Format" (with higher quality paper) as of last issue, starting as of this issue all advertisements are placed in the back of the book, so as not to interrupt the story. Great idea!

COMMENT: The concept of a planet of separate bodies forming a giant body previously was seen in the short story "In the Hills, the Cities" in Clive Barker's Books of Blood. Vol. 1. Years after this issue, Eclipse published a comic book adaptation of it painted by John Bolton in TAPPING THE VEIN, Vol. 2.

COMMENT: This issue contains two full page "pin-up" illustrations by Bill Sinkewicz(left) and Walt Simonson (right; note the ST faces in the treetops).

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