Friday, November 25, 2011

'Feeding Ground' Hardback Out with Foreword from Luis Urrea

Posted By on Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM

The last time we wrote about Swifty Lang, Chris Mangun and Michael Lapinsky's graphic horror series, Feeding Ground — a project that delves into border politics with werewolves instead of Sheriff Joe and tea baggers — we mentioned a great interview with Lang in which he referenced novelist and scholar Luis Urrea as an influence on the series:

According to writer Swifty Lang, the genesis of his border crossing turned werewolf horror comic, Feeding Ground were the real life harrowing tales of the men, women, and children who daily attempt to cross over into the United States from both the documentary of his friend Thomas Peyton, 3 Men From 3 Valleys as well as Luis Urea's book, The Devil's Highway, and certainly the frequent newspaper headlines about the issue. The concept was also born, obviously enough, from conversations about werewolves. Not only was Lang interested in moving the classic monster away from the old tropes and limitations of silver and full moons, but he was interested in the metaphorical aspects of the creatures.

The series was recently released in hardcover in Spanish and English with a foreword from Urrea you can read on Lapinski's blog here. Here's a tidbit of the kindness Urrea bestows on Feeding Ground:

As huge as the craft has become, comic books retain enough outsider, underground cachet to tackle subjects many of us wouldn’t dare touch — not in polite company, not at Tea Party rallies. One shouldn’t approach such vile, filthy subject matter as the worth of a human life, the dignity of a human soul, or the value of, as Bob Dylan once sang, “these children that you spit on.” I’m talkin’ to you, Mr. Politician.

And, here is a series of books that leaps deep into the brilliant heart of darkness: the damned (in every sense) and glorious border. The place I write about. The place where I was born.

Swifty Lang and I share an interest in the exquisite horror and beauty of the wastelands through which the undocumented wanderers must struggle. It is a formidable region of unforgiving landscape and gods who rule with little mercy. In my book, THE DEVIL’S HIGHWAY, I stated that we are all aliens in this landscape, what I call “Desolation.” For fans of the occult, this comes from The Book of Enoch. Yeah, the lands wherein the fallen Watchers and their earth spawn, The Nephilim, are chained beneath the burning desert mountains. They wait to return for their revenge.

How stunned and delighted was I when these amazing comics arrived in my mailbox. As all great graphic novels do, these books create a literary work of searing poetry and awe. The art allows us to see things we might not be able to—or want to—imagine for ourselves. That my work has had even a little to do with the genesis of this epic is as cool as it gets. I laugh out loud in appreciation when I see the smugglers (Coyotes) and The Devil’s Highway itself, the sly gangsters come alive, as if they had jumped out of my book. But I don’t laugh because it’s funny. No. I’m whistling past the graveyard, amigos. This shit’s scary.

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