Vermont Monster Guide

Selected as one of the Top Ten Cryptozoology Books of 2009!

  • (Loren Coleman, on January 1st, 2010, “Top Ten Cryptozoology Books of 2009″)

  • Nominated for Best Art: Book category in the 2009 New England Art Awards!

  • (Thursday, January 7, 2010: “2009 New England Art Awards Nominees,” The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research website.)

  •  The Vermont Monster Guide is a book I most definitely recommend to everyone fascinated by the unknown creatures that dwell in the shadows. Best read after sunset and while a chill wind howls!” - Nick Redfern, “Lair of the Beasts: Monsters of Vermont,”


  • (Read the complete review here!)

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    ChampVMGcoverfinal313Buy your own signed copy of The Vermont Monster Guide directly from the illustrator!

    Now you can order your copy of The Vermont Monster Guide right here and now from SpiderBaby Grafix, personalized and signed to you (if you wish) and with a humble original sketch to accompany the frontispiece portrait of Champ (the Lake Champlain Monster).

    This makes for excellent bathroom reading; an ideal guide to where to go (or where to avoid) when in Vermont; and a one-of-a-kind birthday gift for the monster mavens and budding cryptozoologists in your life.

    Get your sketched-in, signed and personalized copy for just $20.00 plus shipping while you can — monsters are forever, but this offer won’t last that long. If you can’t make up your mind just now, read on below and sample the menagerie of monstrous artwork, teasers, tidbits, videos, reviews, photos and links… we’ll be waiting for you right here.




    The Vermont Monster Guide Guide!

     The Vermont Monster Guide is now in bookstores everywhere and via online sales venues — get your copy today, or plan to purchase your personalized signed copy at one of the many bookshops and tour events Joe Citro, Steve Bissette and Cayetano ‘Cat’ Garza Jr. will be at this fall and winter!

    Here’s your one-stop online venue for The Vermont Monster Guide, including behind-the-scenes looks at the book’s creation, process and the monster themselves; regularly updated links for book sales sites, venues, reviews, interviews and more!

    We have links to Monster Guide drawing demos (see below), photos from the recent tour events (scroll to the bottom of this page for the pix!), and plenty of eye and mind candy to share. This site is updated regularly, so visit often!



    The Vermont Monster Guide Zoo Entrance:

    Here Be Monsters!


    Joseph A. Citro Interview on Vermont Public Radio!

    VPRlogoJoe was on Vermont Public Radio on Thursday, October 29th — joined by Monster Guide illustrator Bissette — interviewed on Vermont Edition by VPR‘s Jane Lindholm. They covered a lot of ground, and a new Vermonster was added to the pantheon by one of the call-in listeners (‘The Cucumber Man’).

  • Joe Citro‘s interview can be heard here at the NPR website — give a listen, enjoy!
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     See How I Draw Monsters — Live Video by Tim Stout!

    * Just added: Heads Up, Monster Hunters! For those of you with high-speed internet access, you can access more secrets behind The Vermont Monster Guide with a click of your mouse (squeak!)

  • Care to see how the illustrations in The Vermont Monster Guide were drawn? Click this link to jump over to The Vermont Monster Guide Drawing Demo Videos!
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    The Vermont Monster Guide by Joseph A. Citro, illustrated by Stephen R. Bissette — now on sale in bookstores everywhere from University Press of New England!

  • Here’s the table of contents (posted on the UPNE website).
  • vmgbackcvrillocu1

    Lots of new material has been added to this site/page — read on!


  • Our fearless publisher, University Press of New England, has the current info here on their website.
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    Is the Northfield Pigman Vermont’s Feral Child?


    What lurks in the backwoods in and about Northfield, VT? Joe Citro uncovered reports of the Pigman dating back to the early 1970s, and he has brought those sightings back into the spotlight in The Vermont Monster Guide!

    “In 1971, citizens of Northfield knew something was wrong. A boy had vanished from a remote hill farm just as if he had blinked out of existence. Soon dogs, cats, and other animals began disappearing, too. A man on Turkey Hill heard something banging his trash cans around. What he saw paralyzed him with fear.

    SRBPigman1Days later, four terrified teenagers staggered into a high school dance – they said they had seen a monster!

    Each had had a good look at it. Their description matched the Turkey Hill witness’s: The creature was, big, tall as a man, stark naked, and covered head to foot with long, light-colored hair. Whatever it was raced away on two feet.

    But the scariest thing was its face. There was nothing human about it. Contrary to all experience and logic, it had the hideous face of a pig.

    More curious encounters followed. Many occurred between an old pig farm near Union Brook and a dark wet woodland known as “The Devil’s Washbowl”.

    Upon exploration, crude bedding was discovered at both locations… along with piles of bones and the half-devoured carcasses of cats, dogs, and other small animals. It appeared that something had made its home at a pig-barn, then relocated to the caves at “Devil’s Washbowl”.

    People passing the Washbowl at night reported unidentifiable howls and screams; many saw a white, oversized “animal” dart past their car and into the woods. Once the creature jumped onto a vehicle’s hood, scaring the poor driver half to death. Again, its most memorable feature was the hideous pig-like face….”

    Bringing the Pigman to pen-and-ink ‘life’ proved to be quite a challenge. For one thing, it was important that the Pigman be believable, and not look too cartoony. It was also vital not to demonize the Pigman too much; after all, humanoid pigs have appeared in artistic renditions of demons and hell since the Middle Ages.

    For Joe’s earlier book Weird New England, Steve completed a full-color illustration (shown above) that provided one take on what the feral fellow might look like. While preparing the Vermont Monster Guide book proposal in the spring and summer of 2008, Steve took another approach to the reconstruction of the pigman (above, right) — finally settling on the scavenger pictured below, which is how he appears in the pages of The Vermont Monster Guide.




  • Don’t forgot it all started with our first collaboration for UPNE, The Vermont Ghost Guide, which is still available here!
  • Published in 2000 and still a steady seller, this handy 115-page paperback Green Mountain State guide boasts a full-color cover painting, map and 40 illustrations by yours truly.

    Organized alphabetically by town, this pocket-sized travel guide will steer adventurous readers, drivers and riders to over 100 sites, spooks and ‘hants’ from every Vermont county.

    Here’s the scoop behind the poltergeist that showered stones on a hapless North Pownal farm, Northfield’s Phantom Gravedigger, the ghostly door of Ryegate, Brattleboro’s famed ‘ghost writer’ who dared to stand in for Charles Dickens, the Cavendish doppelganger, the world-renowned Eddy Brothers who made Vermont “The Spirit Capital of the Universe” back in the 19th Century, and many more.

    Joe and I even made up one ghost for The Vermont Ghost Guide — can you find which one? We’ve fooled a generation of writers who followed in Joe’s footsteps (yep, we’ve found our bogus bogey in more than one ‘true ghost book’ that’s seen print since!). Can we fool you?


    What Is The Connecticut River Sea Monster?


    Bissette’s early reconstruction of the Connecticut River ‘Sea Monster,’ which ultimately did not see print in The Vermont Monster Guide, rejected in favor of a more scientifically accurate rendition of the creature. The original art for the published version has been donated by the artist to the Main Street Museum’s permanent collection. ©2008 Stephen R. Bissette, all rights reserved.

    It was reportedly rescued (or hauled) from the turbulent waters where the Connecticut River meets the White River in the spring of 1995.

    It reportedly did not survive the transition from water to land, and its mortal remains were preserved, as best as possible, by Gulgo Vandershelz Bargain, a specialist in Oriental Taxidermy.”

  • ‘The Connecticut River Sea Monster’ was revealed to an unsuspecting populace in July 1995 (here’s the archived original press release and materials, and the same from its 1997 Lebanon NH exhibition),
  • and — now on permanent display at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction, VT — has been making friends and leaving indelible impressions ever since.


    Photo of the Connecticut River Sea Monster display; photo ©2009 Chuck Forsman, posted with permission. I don’t know about you, but I hear the sound effects from the opening sequence of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) when I look at this picture!
  • What is ‘The Connecticut River Sea Monster’? You’ll find all the facts on the official Main Street Museum Wiki page about their beloved critter, which is here.
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    Inside The Vermont Monster Guide

    How to Make a Monster:

    The Book Cover


    Working from author Joe Citro‘s original cover concept — which he’d been kicking around for well over 20 years, and vainly tried to apply to his earlier novel Dark Twilight (1991), originally titled (and eventually republished by UPNE’s Hardscrabble Books imprint as) Lake Monsters – artist Bissette cooked up and completed this black-and-white portrait of Champ on a moonlit Lake Champlain.

    Joe‘s concept — Champ’s neck, in combination with the moon’s reflection, making a perfect question mark – hinged on creating an optical illusion that eschewed a basic staple of representational art: in ‘reality,’ were such a scene to there to be seen, Champ’s reflection would have appeared over any reflection of the moon itself.

    This meant ‘fooling the eye’ by basically ignoring and bending the rules of reality. Besides, Champ is, arguably, a completely mythic creature — would he or she even cast a reflection, since he/she doesn’t exist?

    Still, this meant a lot of warm-up sketches, trial-and-error, and executing a final black-and-white illustration that simply didn’t work without the planned application of color.

    It would in fact take considerable addition of ‘realistic’ color texture and play with light — the moon reflecting on the water — to pull off the finished cover art and do justice to Joe‘s original cover concept.


    Enter veteran internet comics pioneer, digital colorist and fellow Center for Cartoon Studies community amigo Cayetano ‘Cat’ Garza, Jr., who had only recently moved to White River Junction, VT from his home in Texas. If Cat had never made that move, we would have never met -- and this cover likely would have never worked!

    paniccover_finalI had hoped Cat would take this on — we’d had fun and forged a fruitful creative collaborative chemistry on a couple of earlier book cover gigs, including the cover to Panic in Paris for Black Coat Press. I in fact showed that cover to the powers-that-be at UPNE to convince them Cat was indeed the right man for the job, and they approved.

    Cat was willing and eager to take on the digital color work for The Vermont Monster Guide cover art. By this time, I had worked out a tight rough of the complete planned cover design concept with both Joe Citro and our UPNE art director Eric Brooks and project editor Richard Pult. We all agreed that we wanted to emulate the look and flavor of a pre-Code horror comicbook; more on that in a moment.

    Point being, though, Cat‘s color version of my black-and-white Champ portrait had to work (a) as an illustration on its own stand-alone terms, and (b) as a component of a more expansive color cover design, with multiple additional elements (inset circular panels on the left, ample space for the book title on the top quarter-to-third of the illustration area, and author’s credit on the bottom, in the water portion of the art).

    This is always a tall order and requires considerable conceptual skills for all concerned.

    Furthermore, I had very specific color concepts for Champ itself — the moon being a ‘real’ moon was important, but Champ was the central issue. I am tired of the standard ‘green scaly monster’ archetype, and wanting Champ to sport something distinctively ‘Vermonty’ in the monster’s skin and color patterns, I asked Cat to play with skin and scale colors and textures lifted from rainbow and brook trout. I used to love fishing and there was nothing better than to reel in a brookie or rainbow trout — it was an essential part of my own growing up in my home state, and I thought this would ‘tag’ our version of Champ as a distinctively Green Mountain native (though, ironically, our native trout are long gone, supplanted by bred and/or import stock, or so I’ve read).

    As you can see, Cat came through with flying colors (literally!) — the moon, the sky, the mountains, the lake, and most of all Champ were brought to vivid illusory life thanks to Cat‘s amazing digital magic.


    Happy as Cat and I were with his color work on my Champ portrait, the cover wasn’t complete until we saw through the final design conceit: a 21st Century faux-Pre-Code 1950s horror comicbook cover! 

     Thankfully, again, both Richard and Eric at UPNE grokked this concept, and it was Richard who most heartily approved of a title banner that emulated the monster magazines of our 1960s youth. 

    But it still had to look and feel like a Pre-Code horror comicbook — albeit a more tasteful, all-ages incarnation.

    spiderbaby1It was a distinctive ‘look’ knowledgable comics fans instantly recognize, and one I’d earlier used for one of my self-publishing comics creations, SpiderBaby Comix #1 (1995).

    Here’s a peek at that cover art, which I completed and colored myself (working with Murphy Anderson Jr., who did the final digital color seperations for publication), working from illustrations in my files I’d jammed on with my old Saga of the Swamp Thing art partners John Totleben (John pencilled the comatose damsel-in-distress) and Rick Veitch (the rectal-riffic circular inset panel from the notorious “The Tell-Tale Fart” was drawn by Rick and I in our late-1970s ‘Creative Burnouts‘ phase).

    Cat and I looked at this cover and a number of genuine 1951-1954 Pre-Code horror comics covers from my collection.

    In the end, we settled on the basic concept and color scheme I’d used for SpiderBaby Comix #1, right down to the bright yellow circular inset panels, which worked well with the color scheme Cat had already completed for the Champ portrait.

    I hope you’ll agree that this cover came out quite nicely. The proof’s in the pudding, though: as my 30+ years working professionally in the comicbook and book industries has demonstrated time and time again, and my decade+ working in the video/DVD rental/retail market provided ample further evidence for week after week, the only covers that really work are the covers that prompt people to pick them up. Retailers know that 8 times out of 10, if a potential customer touches an item, they’re likely to purchase it!

    But in the new internet environment, book covers also have to work when reduced to tiny jpgs — as in a real bookstore brick-and-mortar store, a cover image has to ‘grab you’ from across the aisle as well as from a reduced image on your computer monitor.

    Will our cover jump out from the retail racks and bookshelves when The Vermont Monster Guide appears in bookstores? 

    Only you — and the book’s potential audience — can decide that. We gave it our all in hopes it will!


    The Vermont Monster Guide Links & Reviews

    champvmgcoverfinal3133Vermont Monster Guide Links:

  • Visit Joe Citro‘s own website — lots to explore, from the source!
  • Visit venerable vet cryptozoologist Loren Coleman‘s amazing website and blog CryptoMundo! Here’s Loren’s first mention of the VT Monster Guide.
  • For more ‘insider’ views of the process and project, visit our fellow creative partner Cayetano ‘Cat’ Garza, Jr.‘s website and blog,; Cat did all the cover color and digital production work, and he’s got his own insights to share!
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    Online Reviews & Chat about The Vermont Monster Guide and its creators:

  • Cryptozoologist Nick Redfern‘s Halloween 2009 review of The Vermont Monster Guide is posted here; check it out. Note that Nick is a well-heeled cryptozoologist who has scribed his share of similar books — – he’s the prolific author of Memoirs of a Monster Hunter, Man-Monkey: In Search of the British Bigfoot, Three Men Seeking Monsters, There’s Something in the Woods, etc., and hosts the There’s Something in the Woods blog/website — and he most definitely knows his monsters!
  • ***


    “…if like me, you’re fascinated by those unknown animals that are said to haunt the dark woods, the murky waters, and the night skies of our world, The Vermont Monster Guide is a book you most definitely won’t want to miss – at all.” - Nick Redfern, “Lair of the Beasts: Monsters of Vermont,”


  • For the record, the first online mention in the regional press was in The Times-Argus column “Between the Lines” (appropriately enough, as that was our ‘local paper’ growing up in the Duxbury/Waterbury area in northern VT).
  • First online article on the book: Reporter Daniel Barlow‘s article in The Rutland Herald and Times-Argus, Sunday, September 13th, in the ‘Magazine Section‘ of the newspaper (here’s the link to the online version).
  • Margot Harrison at Blurt – the Seven Days Staff Blog — talks about The Onion’s AV Club interview with Bissette (links provided) and the ‘monster man’s VT Monster Guide art! (Thanks, Margo!)
  • Joe Citro and I were interviewed for The Reminder Online — this article/interview is by our good pal G. Michael Dobbs (formerly editor of Animato!, editor/publisher Animation Planet, author of Escape!, Postcard History Series: Springfield, etc.)
  • ReminderOnlinelogo

  • The Brattleboro Reformer of Brattleboro, VT: The October 3rd, 2009 Weekend Reformer offered a front-page article on Joe and I and our latest book; here’s the link, folks, give it a read.
  • (A few factual/spelling errors in the Weekend Reformer article I’ll correct:


    Joe’s and my earliest project together was the cartoon map Vermont’s Haunts, and our earlier book is The Vermont Ghost Guide; I didn’t have anything to do with Mitch Casey’s brilliant Attack of the Giant Tse-Tse Flies, that was Mitch’s comic creation alone, and quite an inspiration it was, too: it was the wellspring from which all my future comics emerged; it was ‘Tim,’ not ‘Kim’ Viereck who financed my Johnson State College comic Abyss, which we printed 200 copies of (but definitely didn’t sell all those on campus); I co-wrote Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman, I am illustrating the Cemetery Dance signed-and-limited hardcover edition of the book only, not the mass-market edition.

    Still, kudos to Bob Audette for the article — hammering these pieces out via one phone conversation often results in these kinds of errors slipping into print.)

  • Nick Redfern — enigmatic host of the venerable “There’s Something in the Woods” cryptozoology blog — notes that Citro & Bissette both wear hats (true!), and provides links on cryptozoologists & hats (see the link to Nick‘s full review, above).
  • contributor Javier Ortega posted about the book here — “New Monster book: Vermont Monster Guide
  • Hey hey hey! The Southeast Sasquatch Association is on to us, too! A bit out of their geographic range, but they picked up Dan Barlow’s article and linked to it.
  • Alice Levitt‘s most excellent “Local Legends” was featured in the Halloween week (Oct. 28th) 2009 issue of Seven Days, one of the best articles yet on the book. The print issue also sported Bissette’s full-color Pigman portrait (from Citro’s book Weird New England) as its front cover; the online version doesn’t feature all the eye candy, but it’s well worth a read.
  • Alex Hanson‘s article “Mad About Monsters” was featured in the Halloween (Oct. 31st) 2009 issue of The Valley News (covering central NH and VT). The print version sported lots of sweet illos from the book; here’s the online version.
  • Alex made a couple of errors; the only one worth correcting is that I illustrated Joe‘s last novel to date, Deus-X, in its limited signed hardcover first edition — not Joe’s first novel (which was Shadow Child, 1987).



    “Saw the Monster Guide today at my local bookstore, and it looks amazing!!” – (first email comment about the book, compliments of John Rovnak, Sept. 7, 2009)


    The Vermont Monster Guide Fall 2009 Tour is Over! — Here’s an Archival Overview of What We Did & Where We Were:

    Debut Event:

    Friday, September 4th in White River Junction, VT. – It was a two-tier evening of art, comics, monsters and fun!

    ccsphoto5 PM to 7 PM:

    The Center for Cartoon Studies (hereafter CCS) Faculty Art Exhibition hosted the debut roll-out for the book, featuring a selection of instructor Stephen R. Bissette‘s brand-new Vermont Monster Guide original illustrations – and many came to meet and greet Vermont Monster Guide artists Steve Bissette and Cayetano ‘Cat’ Garza, Jr.!

    The good folks from the Norwich Bookstore were set up at CCS for this event, selling copies of The Vermont Monster Guide, The Vermont Ghost Guide and other Citro and Bissette titles from 5 PM to 7 PM. 

    logo-css(Note: The new freshmen class was also in town. A running video loop of a Steve Bissette inking demo — inking one of the illustrations that appears in the published Vermont Monster Guide! — was screened throughout the event. We had a terrific crowd!)

    But wait! That’s not all — there was more:


    7 PM to 9 PM:

    Then the festivities continued in another venue. We all headed over to the Main Street Museum (a short walk from CCS) for more Vermont Monster Guide original art — and to gander at the real Vermont Monsters that appear in the book on display!

    SEE & HEAR! Monster Hunter & Monster Maker Tell All — Live! Live!! Live!!!

    It was accompanied by a rare selection of select Joseph A. Citro video clips and interview excerpts and a live Bissette & Garza Vermont Monster Guide slide lecture 

    **** at 7:30 PM ****

    at the Main Street Museum, followed by Q&A –

    Note: The Main Street Museum Vermont Monster Guide art & artifacts display will remain in place and open to the public through to Halloween 2009. Be sure to check it out!


  • Here’s directions to White River Junction, the Center for Cartoon Studies and hotel and area information;
  • here’s directions and contact information for the Main Street Museum.
  • Here’s the Main Street Museum Wiki page ballyhoo for the event.
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    Saturday, September 12 – One-day event, 9 AM to 5 PM

    * Stephen Bissette & Cayetano ‘Cat’ Garza, Jr. in person as CCS & The Vermont Monster Guide Celebrates Glory Days Festival, White River Jct., VT

    The Center for Cartoon Studies opened up its Colodny Building classroom and gallery to all visitors, book lovers and comics enthusiasts, and we had a very successful day of it! Hundreds of new and used graphic novels were on sale at discount prices, CCS students and alumni were set up selling their own comic book creations. Special guests Stephen R. Bissette and Cayetano ‘Cat’ Garza, Jr. were ballyhooing, selling and signing (a sketch in every book sold!) the new Vermont Monster Guide along with their comics, books, t-shirts & original sketches. Cat sold a fair amount of original artwork from the Ignatz-Award-nominated online comic “Year of the Rat,” and a fine time was had by all.

    We also gave away a ton of free comics grab bags!


    * Also on Saturday, September 12th:

    Joseph A. Citro was in St. Albans, VT at the St. Albans Literary Guild booth in Taylor Park from 10 AM to 2 PM — folks met the author and bought copies of The Vermont Monster Guide! A fine time was had by all, despite the downpour.


    * Friday, September 18th, 7 PM:

    The Vermont Monster Guide Rutland VT Signing:

    Joe Citro & Steve Bissette at Annie’s Books, Rutland, VT!

    170 South Main St — Rutland, VT 05701

    Books, gifts and ice cream — and, for one evening, monsters, with Joe & Steve. Big fun was had by all!

    * Related Event: Friday, October 2nd, 7 PM to 9 PM:

    Joseph A. Citro reading & lecture at the Bishop Booth Conference Center, 20 Rock Point Road, Burlington, VT


    NEIBAlogo* Booksellers — I was at the University Press of New England table at the 36th Annual Trade Show of the NEIBA (New England Independent Booksellers Association) in the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT.

    I was signing and sketching in books from 10:00 – 10:30+ on Saturday, October 3rd. I met a lot of great people — booksellers, publishers, fellow writers and artists — and a highlight was reconnecting with Archer Mayor, who I hadn’t seen in some time. This was a real treat!

  • The NEIBA website is right here, with all the links and info you’ll need.
  • Here’s the NEIBA Newsletter online concerning the 36th Annual Trade Show — check it out.
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    Barnes&Noble* Saturday, October 3rd, 2 PM:

    Stephen R. Bissette was signing (a sketch in every book!) The Vermont Monster Guide, Saga of the Swamp Thing hardcover, Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman and more at the Holyoke MA Barnes & Noble (next to the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside) — 7 Holyoke Street, Holyoke, MA 01040; Phone: (413) 532-1786, FAX: (413) 532-1973.

    [Note: This went well, and I've been invited back down for another signing event at the same Barnes & Noble venue in December. More details, date and time to follow!]

  • Click this link for more info on the Holyoke MA Barnes & Noble events calendar, directions, etc.
  • ______

    * Related Event: Saturday, October 3rd, 10:30 AM:

    Joseph A. Citro spoke to the League of Vermont Writers at the Bishop Booth Conference Center, 20 Rock Point Road, Burlington, VT


    MysteryonMainstripJoin us at Mystery on Main Street in Brattleboro, VT

    MysteryMainSt* Sunday, October 4th, 1 PM:

    Bissette was speaking and signing books at the Mystery on Main Street Bookstore on 119 Main Street in Brattleboro, VT 05301. [Note: We had a packed house and this was a very successful event; I'll be doing more with Mystery on Main Street later in the year; details, date and time to follow!]

    For more info, phone (802) 258-2211 or email



    * Related Event: Wednesday, October 7th, 7 PM:

    Joseph A. Citro lecture “Spiritualism in Vermont” was presented at the Milton Historical Society in Milton, VT


    * Related Event: Thursday, October 8th, 7 PM:

    Joseph A. Citro‘s lecture “Weird Vermont” was presented at the Fairfield Library in Fairfield, VT


    * Saturday, October 10, 6:30 PM:

    Joe & I were at Phoenix Books in Essex, VT’s Essex Shoppes & Cinema Plaza — a great turnout, lots of happy customers!

    (I’m personally very happy about this venue — my early childhood was on Jackson Street in Essex Jct., VT, and I was hoping we’d be close to the old neighborhood at some point!)

  • The event was listed here, on the Vermont website,
  • and here’s the Phoenix Books website with directions, contact info and more; it’s a terrific little book shop!
  • phoenixbooks


    * Related Event: Monday, October 12th, 2 PM:

    Stephen R. Bissette‘s lecture “The Rise of the Graphic Novel” was presented as part of the EEE (Elder Education Enrichment) in the Faith United Methodist Church, 899 Dorset Street, South Burlington, VT


    * Related Event: Friday, October 16th, 10 AM:

    Joseph A. Citro spoke to classes at the Springfield School in Springfield, VT

    - (not open to the general public) -


    * Related Event: Thursday, October 22nd, 7 PM:

    Joseph A. Citro lectured about “Vermont: The Good, The Bad, and the Weird” at the Springfield Library in Springfield, VT

    Joe also rolled out his new self-publishing imprint Bat Books at this event with his brand-new book Not Yet Dead, collecting all of Joe‘s short fiction to date — never before collected, now in print at last and available only from Joe at these public events. The evening was a great success, among the best of Joe‘s October tour!

    Joe isn’t offering mail-order on Not Yet Dead as yet, but I’ll keep you posted on that as the season rolls on. Here’s the front and back cover (design and production by Cayetano ‘Cat’ Garza Jr.; front cover photo image ©2009 Joseph A. Citro), posted with permission:



    * Saturday, October 24th, 3 – 5 PM:


    Stephen Bissette was selling & signing The Vermont Monster Guide at Comic Boom in Keene NH!

    Bissette was joined by Vermont Monster Guide cover colorist/designer, Magic Inkwell creator and 2009 Ignatz Award winner Cayetano ‘Cat’ Garza Jr. and Center for Cartoon Studies alumni/classmates/cartoonists Denis St. John (Monsters & Girls), 2009 Ignatz Award winner Colleen Frakes (Woman King), William Volk, and Werewolf! creators/contributors Nick Patten, Joshn Rosen, Betsey Swardlick, Penina Gal, Jon Chad, and others — lots of Halloween horrors & comics for sale! 

    22 West Street, Keene, NH 03431-3356 * (603) 352-4261

  • Here’s directions to Comic Boom
  • – and the Comic Boom Facebook page(s).
  • ComicBoominterior

    This is where we were, inside Comic Boom, on Saturday Oct. 24th — a shop jam-packed with 21st Century cartoonists, including two of this year’s Ignatz Award winners!; Photo ©2009 Cory Milotte and Comic Boom, posted with permission.

    Bissette was selling and signing The Vermont Monster Guide (among other goodies) and everyone brought lots of their comics, prints and minicomics for all to see/sell/sketch/sign. A fine time was had by all!

  • Denis St. John posted promo for the Comic Boom event and pix from the recent Dark Corners tour on his website/blog
  • and on Facebook.
  • ComicBoomshopfront

    The Comic Boom event was followed by the Saturday Fright Special Spooktacular featuring the 35mm showing of Terence Fisher‘s The Brides of Dracula on the restored big screen at the fully-restored Colonial Theater right around the corner from Comic Boom in downtown Keene, NH at 7 PM –what a night it was!

    Note: A copy of The Vermont Monster Guide signed by Joe Citro, Steve Bissette and Cat Garza Jr. packaged with an original Bissette sketch of a Vermont vampire was offered in the Saturday Fright Special Spooktacular raffle — a lucky audience member won a copy of the Vermont Monster Guide and an original Bissette sketch!

    You had to be there to enter and win!

  • Here’s the Saturday Fright Special website
  • and the Facebook links, spread the word!
  • BridesofDraculalobby


    * Related Event: Saturday, October 24th, 7 PM:

    Joseph A. Citro lectured on “What’s So Scary About Vermont?” at the Green Mountain Festival in Chester, VT


    * Related Event: Friday, October 30th, 7 PM:

    Joseph A. Citro lectured (at 8:25 PM) at the 2nd Annual Vermont Horror Festival in Burlington, VT.

  • This was Joe‘s second appearance at the Vermont Horror Fest — he hasn’t missed one yet! –
  • –which debuted a couple of made-in-Vermont short horrors, including Owen Mulligan‘s Midnight Roadkill
  • (here’s the behind-the-scenes ‘making of’ article, FYI)
  • and more. Mike Turner (who did makeup effects on Zombie Town and earlier helmed the prehistoric short film Primeval) debuted his new short film Dead Creek; Mike emailed me this morning to note the festival “was literally a packed house and the crowd was lively. People actually shrieked and gasped during my film so I was feeling sky high.” Citro and Bissette hope to participate in next year’s Vermont Horror Fest!


    * Related Event: Halloween, Saturday, October 31st, 7 PM:

    Joseph A. Citro lectured about “Vermont Ghosts, Monsters and Madmen” at the Blake Memorial Library in East Corinth, VT – For more info, phone (802) 439-5338


    The Vermont Monster Guide exhibition at the Main Street Museum also spiced October:


    Ongoing Throughout the Month of October:

    Halloween Season Display of Monsters, Vermont Monster Guide original artwork and More at The Main Street Museum!


    SEE! Vermont Monster Guide original art — gander at the real Vermont Monsters that appear in the book — tangible, in the flesh, and in three dimensions, on display!

    SEE! The Connecticut River Monster’s Mortal Remains!!!

    SEE! The Fantastic Fur-Bearing Trout!!!

    SEE! The Miniature Replica of The Lake Champlain Monster ‘Champ’ in All Its Glory!!!!

    ALL at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction, VT!

    Note: The Main Street Museum Vermont Monster Guide art & artifacts display will remain in place and open to the public through to Halloween 2009. Be sure to check it out!


  • Here’s directions to White River Junction, the Center for Cartoon Studies and hotel and area information;
  • here’s directions and contact information for the Main Street Museum.
  • _________________________________

    November Events:


    VillageSquareBooks* Friday, November 20th, 7 PM:

    Joe & Steve were at Village Square Books in Bellows Falls, VT – 32 the Square, Bellows Falls, Vermont 05101; Phone: 802-463-9404

    Joe & Steve presented a 90-minute lecture, signed books, talked about the monsters, the book, and the creation of the illustrations and cover art.

    Note: Village Square Books is one of the few bookstores anywhere in the world to carry almost all of my books — not only The Vermont Ghost Guide and Vermont Monster Guide, but also the complete run of Swamp Thing collections, Blur, the Dark Horse Godzilla collection, Green Mountain Cinema and more! I signed all their copies, and will keep them stocked — so if you’re in Vermont, stop on by and pay them a visit!

  • For more on Village Square Books, directions, etc., visit their site (here).
  • More info to come!


    December Events:

    * Saturday, December 12th, 7 PM:

    Bartleby'sBooksThe Grand Finale of the Vermont 2009 Tour!

    Joe & Steve were at Bartleby Books in their new location (what used to be the beloved Klara Simpla, right on Main Street; Fay Hollander is no doubt smiling on this new life for the old building!) on 17 West Main Street, Route 9, in Wilmington, VT – we had a fine time and presented our slide lecture for the final time to a warm, appreciative group. Many old friends were there, too, so it was a sweet finale to the tour.

  • Here’s their website and information — we signed their complete backstock of books, so be sure to drop by and buy your signed copy this winter;
  • note that they moved in November 2009 from 6 Main Street to 17 West Main Street.
  • Call (802) 464-5425 for directions and/or more information.



    Barnes&Noble* Sunday, December 13th, 3 PM:

    As part of the December 13th WGBY and Barnes & Noble Children’s Day Book Fair fundraiser event, Stephen R. Bissette did a ‘How to Draw Monsters!’ demo for a gathering of attentive young artists and signed copies (a sketch in every book!) of The Vermont Monster Guide, Saga of the Swamp Thing hardcover, the just-published paperback edition of Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman and more. It all happened between 3-5 PM at the Holyoke MA Barnes & Noble (next to the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside) — 7 Holyoke Street, Holyoke, MA 01040; Phone: (413) 532-1786, FAX: (413) 532-1973.

    This annual fundraiser helps support WGBY while providing a great day of children’s activities and author signings to families throughout Western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Participating Barnes & Noble stores include those in Holyoke, Hadley, and Pittsfield, Massachusetts and Enfield, Connecticut. Participating authors/illustrators included Shelly Rotner, Diane deGroat, Jeff Mack, Ruth Sanderson, Kevin Markey, Laura Jacques, Coleen Paratore, Ralph Masiello, and John Gurney.

    In addition to a line-up of children’s authors, illustrators, and costume characters, both the Enfield and Holyoke stores hosted Polar Express Parties!

    Supporters of WGBY were invited to do their holiday shopping at Barnes & Noble: by presenting a special voucher at the cash registers, a percentage of their purchase was donated to support their local public television station.

    Special thanks to Mike Dobbs and Mary Cassidy for making sure we got to the event; to Douglas for pitching in and some kick-ass monster drawings; and to Tom Laurent for risking the drive to Holyoke to attend this event — great to see you there, Tom, hope you made it to a safe haven and didn’t risk the loooong drive home that night.

  • Here’s the WGBY PBS website.
  • Click this link for more info on the Holyoke MA Barnes & Noble events calendar, directions, etc.
  • ______


    * Special thanks to the Norwich Bookstore for their support of our Vermont Monster Guide New England debut event on September 4th. The Norwich Bookstore has supported almost every Center for Cartoon Studies public event, and we wish to extend our eternal and undying gratitude for their hard work — support your local independent bookseller!

  • Visit the Norwich Bookstore online — and stop in when you’re in central Vermont.
  • ____________________________

    Photo Gallery of Our Vermont Monster Guide Events Thus Far (Or, What You Missed If You Missed ‘Em):

    Here’s a selection of photos from The Vermont Monster Guide debut event; photos ©2009 Chuck Forsman, Colleen Frakes and Al Wesolowsky, all rights reserved, posted with permission.

  • More photos snapped by Al, Colleen and Chuck have been posted here, with a narrative detailing some of the evening’s highlights,
  • and a selection of photos by CCSer Jen Vaughn (Class of 2010) are showcased here (photos ©2009 Jen Vaughn, posted with permission).
  • New England comics collective Trees & Hill Group co-founder Dan Barlow also posted some photos from the event here (photos ©2009 Daniel Barlow, link posted with permission).
  •  img_5104















    Hats Off to Comic Boom & Saturday Fright Special Spooktacular!

    Here’s some photos from the Vermont Monster Guide tour’s successful October 24th Keene NH double-header: Steve Bissette was signing The Vermont Monster Guide and more from 3-5 PM with fellow Center for Cartoon Studies peers, alumni, stuents and cartoonists at Comic Boom, followed by dinner at Margarita’s and the 7 PM Saturday Fright Special Spooktacular at the Colonial Theater!

    Original Steve Bissette sketches (including an original sketch of the Vampire Vine from The Vermont Monster Guide) were donated to the Spooktacular raffle, along with signed copies of The Vermont Monster Guide and The Vermont Ghost Guide, making this a popular benchmark in the October tour.


    (Photo ©2009 Colleen Frakes, posted with permission.)



    Spooktacular raffle items included Colleen Frakes vampire sketch with signed copy of Jon Chad‘s The Ruby, Bissette sketch of Nosferatu with a signed copy of the Vermont Ghost Guide, Denis St. John‘s Monsters & Girls: Amelia comics with bonus eyeballs and a signed copy of the Living Dead & Killer Shrews Survival Guide, and signed copy of Bill Volk’s Whoa! with Bissette werewolf sketch; Saturday Fright Special‘s Scarewolf with Monsters & Girls mogul Denis St. John!

    (Photos ©2009 Denis St. John, posted with permission)


    Vermont Monster Guide cover art by Stephen R. Bissette, based on a design concept by Joseph A. Citro; Panic in Paris cover art, both covers color and final production by Cayetano ‘Cat’ Garza, Jr.; color cover art © 2009 Stephen R. Bissette and Cayetano Garza, Jr.; all rights reserved. Vermont Monster Guide interior artwork, SpiderBaby Comix #1 art ©1995, 2009 SR Bissette.

    Discussion (7) ¬

    1. Rick Corbo

      Dear Mr. Bissette
      I am the guy you talked today at NEIBA about Swamp Thing. You were nice enough to draw a little Swamp Thing in my Vermont MOnster Guide and sir, that(and getting a copy of Joe Hill’s new book Horns) was the coolest part of the day. I cane home and checked out my comics, I only had three of your Swamp Things but I did have a copy of what I believe is the first Taboo with the great wolf in a suit howling. It was great
      Thanks for taking the time to talk to me and nest of luck to you and Mr.Citro on the book
      Rick Corbo

    2. srbissette

      Thanks, Rick, it was great to meet you (and know someone at NEIBA knew my SWAMP THING work!). That’s TABOO 4 you have a copy of — my personal favorite of all ten TABOO issues — and I want to thank you for the kind words, yesterday morning in person and today via this blog comment. Much appreciated!

    3. srbissette

      PS: Damn, wish I’d known Joe’s new book was at the show! I certainly would have found a way to swap for a copy!

    4. Marek

      Holy COW, you’re gonna PACK Comic Book with ARTISTS… Will there be room for the customers? Yow… Might be able to swing by on Saturday. Grah!

    5. srbissette

      We missed ya, Marek! A fine time was had by all, and we sold a fair number of books (everyone did!), so it was a good maiden voyage with Comic Boom. Cory (the owner/manager) was terrific, and we plan on doing it again in the spring when the next Spooktacular is scheduled. Stay tuned!

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