Kyle Hotz’s Crud Kid

Spook House 2 #1 (2018)

Halloween is quickly approaching and it’s nice to have great stories to heighten the season. With all the spooky books that have been coming out, it’s clear that Kyle Hotz has been taking the Swamp Thing flag and running with it. Earlier this month, Hotz teamed up with Tim Seeley to deliver “The Spread”, a terrifying short story within Cursed Comics Cavalcade #1. In this issue of the second volume of Spook House, Eric Powell & Kyle Hotz pay homage to Len Wein & Bernie Wrightson in the form of “The Crud Kid”!
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“Dedicated with respect and admiration to the memories of Bernie Wrightson and Len Wein”
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“The Crud Kid” is a short story exploring the origins of a Swamp Thing parody character. Tom always daydreams of his favorite place in the world and every second of the day, he wants to return to the swamp.
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Through a series of unfortunate events, Tom finds himself running through the swamp to save his hide. He comes upon an old cabin inhabited by a witch. Trying to find safety, Tom breaks through the witches door. The witch puts a curse on him.
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Like Alec Holland, Tom seeks to find relief from the pain, running to the waters of the murky swamp. And, much like Alec Holland, Tom emerges from the swamp…
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a muck encrusted mockery of a… child.
But unlike Alec, Tom couldn’t be happier.
I’d like to think he lives happily ever after.
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Doug Mahnke’s Winter Special

My local comic shop, Rainbow Comics, Cards and Collectibles had comics vet, Doug Mahnke stop in the store for a book signing. Unfortunately I was not able to attend but my friend-–and Rainbow Comics manager–John Nordstrom asked Doug to draw Swamp Thing for me. It was a huge surprise to see the sketch when I picked up my weekly books. I almost didn’t notice his sketch on the inside cover (Swamp Thing Winter Special), it blended in perfectly.

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Swampy Production Pages

Fellow collector, Robert Barbieri was kind enough to pass these pages along to me. The production pages were used for Swamp Thing 5 (1973) “The Last of the Ravenwind Witches”. Based on the coloring style, the acetate production transparencies were most likely used for a trade paperback. I’m unsure which tpb or the year they were created but am really excited to add them to the collection.

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Used during the print production process, the two transparent sheets house the text bubbles and final artwork. I photographed the sheets on a white comic backing-board for clarity sake. To see the sheets interacting, view this video.

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Swamp Thing Garbage Pail Kids

Last we saw Swamp Thing on a Garbage Pail Kids card was in 2014. Now he’s back, amongst the “Oh The Horror-ible 80s Sci-Fi” series of sticker trading cards. Swampy is represented by, Swamp Bing & Sammy Swamp. Sammy Swamp appears to be some sort of booger variant card. Look for the cards in stores.
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Card 1a: Swamp Bing
Card 1b: Sammy Swamp
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Starlog 48 – Casting ‘81 Swamp Thing

Starlog 48 (1981)

As you know, I love Swamp Thing articles and ads, big and small alike. This instance being the latter, Starlog Magazine delivers another Swamp Thing mention. This time, a brief statement regarding the feature film from 1981.
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Across the science-fiction universe and deep within the Star-Studded Notes portion of the magazine, Swamp Thing producers Avco Embassy make a key casting announcement.
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The Phil Hester Test Pages

This weekend I had the opportunity to catch-up with artist/writer, Phil Hester at the 3rd annual SiouxperCon. Last month, Phil mentioned finding some old Swamp Thing pages (circa 1994) that he’d created for DC Comics in trying to get the on-going Swamp Thing gig. I was chomping at the bit to see these DC test pages and perhaps purchase a few. I’m happy to say that I came home with four beautiful pages.
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Friday night kicked things off. The wonderful folks of the Wednesday Comics Podcast held a live recording from the convention. I was fortunate enough to take part in the show that was comprised of a series of comic-themed games. I was on Hester’s team and thrilled to hear that we would be playing Pictionary.
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The planets aligned; Phil was tasked with drawing Swamp Thing, I guessed it immediately for the point, and was lucky enough to take Phil’s Pictionary sketch home with me.

The following day, and excited beyond words, I met-up with Phil to get a look at his Swamp Thing test pages. I ended up purchasing 4 of the 7 pages. Below are the beautiful pieces that now hang on my walls. It’s an honor to have a piece of DC history as well as Phil’s artistic process from a time when he was still digging into the comic book industry. Thanks Phil!
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Swamp Thing ran off and joined the pirates

Harley Quinn 50
Harley Quinn Destroys DC Continuity

Swamp Thing has been popping up in various titles lately but Harley Quinn’s “Extra-Sized Anniversary Issue”, 50 has been the zaniest of them all. Swampy appears two separate times within the book, drawn by John Timms and John McRea, respectively.
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It’s all hands on deck as Harley’s mixed up in a continuity kerfuffle. The book, written by Sam Humphries, features 15 artists teamed-up to tell a topsy turvy tale rooted in fandom. Sam Humphries does a great job poking fun at the DC continuity issues of late. Oh, and Harley is out to find her mother as well.
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Swamp Thing appears in the title page spread along with a slew of other DC characters, emerging from a melting pot of Elseworlds. John Timms draws a great Swampy!
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Timms also does a killer Swamp Thing shoulder. Within one of the panels on the title page, Harley passes Swampy and I believe she may be calling him a “jerkweed”. We can only hope.
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Later in the issue, Harley angrily stomps across the deck of a pirate ship. She comes upon a melee at sea as she fights her way through a backdrop of ever-changing Elseworlds/continuity shifts. Swamp Thing arrives on the scene to do battle! John McRea creates some great features, blending Swamp Thing with the pirate ship.
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