Oliver, Simon 1968(?)-
Oliver, Simon 1968(?)-
Born c. 1968; married; children: two sons.
Writer for comic books. Has worked in the television and film industries as a camera assistant.
"THE EXTERMINATORS" SERIES; COMIC BOOK COLLECTIONS
The Exterminators: Bug Brothers, Volume 1, illustrated by Tony Moore, Vertigo (New York, NY), 2006.
The Exterminators: Insurgency, Volume 2, illustrated by Tony Moore and Chris Samnee, Vertigo (New York, NY), 2007.
The Exterminators: Lies of Our Fathers, Volume 3, illustrated by Tony Moore and Mike Hawthorne, Vertigo (New York, NY), 2007.
Simon Oliver is the author of "The Exterminators," a comic book series that Keith Dallas of the Silver Bullet Comics Web site, described as "literature of the Apocalypse delivered through black humor and social class commentary." Ranging far and wide in terms of location and issues, The Exterminators: Bug Brothers, which collects issues one through five of the series, describes the second-century fall of Rome due to an infestation of rats that spawned an outbreak of plague. Extinction in the form of self-induced extermination is a primary theme of the series, whose central character is Henry James, a freshly-released-from-prison employee of Bug-Bee-Gone Exterminating. Other characters include Bug-Bee-Gone's Cambodian scientist, who discovers that a new pesticide designed the eliminate cockroaches has unforeseen consequences: people who use it as a drug tend to explode, and for some species of bugs it acts as a steroid, resulting in rampant and deadly new infestations. Meanwhile, one of Henry's coworkers has taken to murdering slumlords with poisonous rats, and Henry himself has problems outside of work; his wife is sleeping with another woman and he has become the caretaker of a displaced Guatemalan family. Dallas noted that the series "has many narrative and visual strengths…. Much of the humor of this book gets produced by the characters' statements and responses to each other," he wrote, concluding that he appreciated Oliver's "characters with mysterious pasts and uncertain futures." Tony Chester, reviewing The Exterminators: Bug Brothers on the Concatenation Web site, acknowledged the series' hefty dose of sex and violence, but praised the plot for being "weird, humorous and multi-layered." Ray Olson, a Booklist contributor, characterized Oliver's writing as a "slowly unfolding horror plot with revolting humor."
Oliver grew up in England, and as a young adult he lived in various third-world countries. As a result he remained unfamiliar with much American popular culture, including trends in comic books and graphic novels, until he moved to Los Angeles and began working in the film industry. Initially, Oliver intended "The Exterminators" to be a movie or television show, but ultimately he realized the complex plot lent itself to a serial-format comic.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 2006, Ray Olson, review of The Exterminators: Bug Brothers, p. 36; February 15, 2007, Ray Olson, review of The Exterminators: Insurgency, p. 47.
Concatenation,http://www.concatenation.org/ (July 17, 2007), Tony Chester, review of The Exterminators: Bug Brothers.
Scryptic Studios Web site,http://www.scrypticstudios.com/ (March 6, 2007), Caleb Monroe, interview with Simon Oliver.
Silver Bullet Comics Web site,http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/ (January 31, 2007), Keith Dallas, review of The Exterminators: Bug Brothers.