Steve Bissette is one of the nicest, most interesting and, let's not forget, talented comics professionals I've had the pleasure of meeting. Recalling our all-too-brief conversations about comics, all things horror and the industry during the post-Swamp Thing era of shepherding his adult horror anthology Taboo too many years ago to count (my oldest son loved horror movies, LOVED the Taboo covers and begged to read them but didn't until he was 17), let's say I'm really envious of the students he now teaches at The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Jct., Vt.

Arguably, the Swamp Thing reboot by Bissette, John Totleben and Alan Moore in 1984 was probably the most important American comic book produced in the past quarter-century. The book launched, not only a British Invasion of talent, the likes of Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Dave McKean, Garth Ennis and Jaime Delano, it began a gradual galvanization of the way people regarded comics that continues to this day.

Touching base with Bissette's blog MYRANT -- affectionately named for his late dinosaur series Tyrant -- I discovered an interesting memorial of those halcyon days: A conceptual pencil sketch of a proposed cover for Swamp Thing #26, now for sale on eBay (take a look at the finished product here).

For more looks at this master craftsman's work on a throwaway character that eventually ushered in a new way of looking at comics and his later projects, check out Bissette's old watering hole at Comicon.com.

Unfinished Swamp Thing cover