Joshua Dysart (June 21, 1971) is an American comic book writer known for dark themes, humanist horror and a fascination with the roots of violence. He co-created and wrote the cult hit series Violent Messiahs in 1997. The first eight issues were collected in the graphic novel, Violent Messiahs Vol. I: Book of Job in 2002. Since then he has done work for virtually every major comic book publisher, including DC Comics, Vertigo Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, IDW Publishing and Penny-Farthing Press. He did a two-year stint as the monthly writer of the legendary Swamp Thing, writing issues #9 – #29 of the fourth series. He collaborated with industry luminaries like Richard Corben and John Totleben on interriors and Eric Powell on covers. He has also worked on Conan and Hellboy and has co-written with Mike Mignola on a series of projects in the same setting as Hellboy.
Recently he has begun to commercialize his work through multi-media crossovers. He authored the one-shot Van Helsing: From Beneath the Rue Morgue (an original story featuring the character from the Universal film) and penned Skull & Bones: A Monster House Story, which was tied into the Sony animated children’s Monster House. He’s also had his comic books included in the packaging for both Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures MMO computer game from Funcom and the Hellboy video game from Konami. He has written a two-volume, 270-page graphic novel for Avril Lavigne entitled Make 5 Wishes published by Del Rey Manga/Random House, which has been printed in over seven languages as well as digitally distributed throughout Asia.
From 2008 to 2010 he wrote a revamp of The Unknown Soldier for Vertigo. The storyline took place in Acholiland Uganda in 2002 during the war between the Lord’s Resistance Armyand Ugandan People’s Defence Force. Dysart spent a month in Northern Uganda for research. Issue #1 of Unknown Soldier was released in October 2008. The book was a monthly. It was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best New Series in 2009 and won a Glyph Comics Awards for Best Cover. In 2010 Unknown Soldier won the Glyph for STORY OF THE YEAR. Unknown Soldier was featured on the front page of the art section of the New York Times and Dysart was interviewed by the BBC, who also published some of his research photos on their website. In December 2009 Dysart gave an exhaustive interview to World Vision Report about his experiences in the conflict zone and attempts to adapt them into a mainstream, commercial work.
In June 2010, Vertigo Comics published Dysart’s graphic novel based on Neil Young’s 2003 album Greendale. Cliff Chiang drew the book. It spent two weeks at #3 on the New York Times graphic novel best-seller list.