TRUE SWAMP by Jon Lewis

June 1, 2011

PACEMAKER 1993 (for Marc Weidenbaum)

Filed under: Comics (click to enlarge) — joncroaker @ 12:49 am

In 1993, I wrote and Jason Lutes drew & colored this comic for Pulse, the in-house music magazine of Tower Records.  Every issue, editor Marc Weidenbaum ran a single-page comic on the last page of the mag, by whatever talent his sharp eye had alighted upon.  Jason was the target for this commission, and when he asked me to collaborate I was incredibly excited.  TRUE SWAMP had not come out yet, so this was the very first time I was cut a check for comics work and printed in a mass market venue.

Jason and I were part of a tight group of Seattle cartoonists at the time, also including Megan Kelso, Tom Hart, Ed Brubaker, David Lasky and James Sturm.  It really was an amazing few years, something of which I feel intensely fortunate to have been part.

Reconnecting with Marc Weidenbaum recently on Twitter reminded me of this comic, and luckily my single tear-sheet of it is not in terrible shape (dig the colors bleeding through from the other side– an ad announcing a new series of deluxe Elvis Costello reissues).


  1. Thanks for having posted this, Jon. Great to see it pop up in my Twitter feed, and reproduced here in time-weathered color.

    Such a great piece. As you know, my interest in sound-as-music is really fulfilled by this narrative. The page design — especially the subdivision of panels around the character with the beer bottle — is so strong, and I love matching up the tiny characters in the final panel with their partial depiction in the opening panel.

    I could go on and on, like how the red lines in the opening panel and the “erratic spiral of sound” in the bottom left match up with the volume knob. Just excellent, all around.

    Comment by Marc Weidenbaum — June 3, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  2. Thanks for posting this lost classic, Jon! It was one of my favorite pages of the Alternative Comics era, and looking at it now, I realize how influential it has been on me. I am also surprised by how much the art and coloring is reminiscent of P. Craig Russell.

    Marc Weidenbaum’s tenure at PULSE! was so important to those of us starting out in comics. Thank you, Marc!

    And your mention of the early to mid-90’s in Seattle makes me want to agree with you – that I feel fortunate to have been a part of it. It was sort of like an informal “grad school for comics” for me. I just wish I’d paid more attention to what everyone was talking about. I was under the impression that it would all go on for years there, but (as much as I enjoy living there) it’s never really been quite the same in the NW.

    Comment by David Lasky — June 5, 2011 @ 1:59 am

  3. […] The image up top is one of my favorites from the Pulse! run, It’s a 1993 collaboration between Jon Lewis (True Swamp) and Jason Lutes (Berlin). More on the piece at Lewis’ website. […]

    Pingback by at HeroesCon — June 3, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

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