Maggie Gray
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A Gothic politics
Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and radical ecology
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Alan Moore had personally become engaged in green politics as his partners were involved in the local Northampton Green Party group, for which he illustrated posters. In the introduction to the first trade-paperback collection of Swamp Thing, Moore poses the question of 'why an entire society should stand around engrossed, reading Dracula while up to our jugulars in blood'. As a horror comic, Swamp Thing employed many other stock Gothic features, including graveyards, haunted houses, black magic, madness and hallucinations, metamorphic bodies, reanimated corpses, dramatic meteorological conditions such as dense fog and raging storms and shady cyberpunk corporations. However, the comic's most extensive and self-reflexive engagement with the Gothic reveals a more explicit affinity with social ecology. As Michael Bradshaw discusses at length, the narrative arc known as 'American Gothic' opposes Swamp Thing to many of the cliched horrors of the Gothic tradition.

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