The Sophisticated Moves Into Mature Territory in ’86, Letters From Kahn

A couple weeks ago, Stan Chu (a fellow collector from Toronto, Canada) contacted me to share some amazing letters that he’d found at his local comic shop. The first letter, intended for DC Comics freelancers, was written by-then President of DC-Jenette Kahn in1986. Amongst other things, her letter discusses the transition from the “Sophisticated Suspense” label on the Swamp Thing series to the introduction of the “For Mature Readers” label. Check it out below, and thanks again Stan!

DC Comics – Letter to Freelancers

Page 1 of Letter to Freelancers by Jenette Kahn – DC President and Publisher

Below, Kahn mentions Swamp Thing! After all, the wild success and craftsmanship put into the Swamp Thing series helped DC to distance themselves from the Comic Code. “Almost anything in a comic book is acceptable if appropriate to the characters, the storyline and the way the story is told.”

Page 2 of Letter to Freelancers by Jenette Kahn – DC President and Publisher
Continue reading “The Sophisticated Moves Into Mature Territory in ’86, Letters From Kahn”

Beautiful Brian Bolland Art Book

Cover Story: The DC Comics Art of Brian Bolland (2011)

I’ve had this book on my ‘want list’ for a while and I finally picked it up while traveling through Omaha, Nebraska last week. I took the family to the Omaha zoo, but not without a stop at Krypton Comics. The store is covered, wall-to-wall, with awesome books, collectibles and games. I bought a couple Swamp Thing series 1 books as well, to be sure our muck-encrusted friend was represented.

Front Cover – Dust Jacket

The title page is a Bolland illustration that features some the more notable characters he has worked on. Naturally, Swamp Thing made the cut.

Below is a detail from the title page.

If you pick up a copy of this beautiful hardcover book, be sure to take off the dust jacket for these two amazing black and white reproductions.

Front Cover
Back Cover
Continue reading “Beautiful Brian Bolland Art Book”

Summer of 79, A Comics Journal Interview with Len Wein

Comics Journal #48 – Summer 1979

Last week, artist and fellow Swamp Thing fanatic, Jeff Gauntt let me know of a Swamp Thing sighting within Comics Journal magazine. Swamp Thing and a thorough interview with Len Wein can be found within this Super Summer Special!

“Interview with Len Wein, DC’s newest editor and one of comics’ most prolific writers!”
The interview begins with a deep dive into how Len Wein got his foot in the door of the comics industry. As most of you know, Len had a close relationship with Marv Wolfman and the two finally broke through with the help of Joe Orlando in 1968. The first series that Len wrote was, Hot Wheels for Charlton Press. Alex Toth was the artist for the Hot Wheels series at the time. But, Neal Adams, Ric Estrada and Dick Giordano also contributed to the series.

Swamp Thing made his way into the background of the feature interview illustration. Newsome depicts Swampy looking exceptionally toothy and tired.

Wein worked on numerous titles in his early years in comics and was published by Charlton, Gold Key, Skywald, DC and other smaller publications. He worked on Star Trek for Gold Key and, with help from his friend Marv Wolfman, revived Phantom Stranger for DC.

Wein didn’t start writing Phantom Stranger, regularly, until about 10 issues in. And, Wolfman barely contributed to the series. But, Len mentions that he was eagerly waiting in the wings. Wein’s talent, hard work and making himself available, proved to pay off immensely for the writer and creator throughout his career.

On page 77 of the lengthy interview, Swamp Thing is finally brought up. I was surprised to read that Wolfman thought Wein was a better writer on Phantom Stranger

Swamp Thing appears again on page 78 of the book. The illustration is by Mitch O’Connell. The page also features insightful info regarding Wein & Wrightson’s creative process while making Swamp Thing.

Continue reading “Summer of 79, A Comics Journal Interview with Len Wein”

Swamp Thing’s Spring, So Far

This Spring has been fun for Swamp Thing fans. The current, The Swamp Thing series reintroduced Tefé Holland in this month’s issue. And-as Im sure you’ve already heard-Perkins and Ram V’s series was extended to 16 issues. I greatly anticipate the delayed Swamp Thing Green Hell #2 (rescheduled to release May 17th), but having Tefé back in the title is helping me forget all about it. The Swamp Thing #11 is beautifully drawn. Below is the cover to this month’s issue #11.

Above: The Swamp Thing #11 covers – 2 variants

Speaking of the recent Swampy series: I received this beautiful Mike Perkins page last week. It’s page #9 from The Swamp Thing #9 (2022). And it features numerous instances of Swamp Thing.

Some of the images on the various monitors look inspired by past Swamp Thing books.

Monitors – Image Detail 1
Monitors – Image Detail 2
Continue reading “Swamp Thing’s Spring, So Far”

Let’s give a hand to the brainchild of this Cranius pin

Two wonderful Swamp Thing things came my way this week and I’m excited to share them with you. First, I received this amazing Cranius pin in the mail. The enamel pin is a dream come true. I’ve always wanted more Cranius collectibles, and the leader of the Un-Men only has a handful to speak of.

Note: A Cranius figure was included with the 2011 Mattel DC Universe Swamp Thing – San Diego Comic Con Exclusive Action Figure. A Cranius figure was also included with DC Icons Swamp Thing Dark Genesis Figure, in 2017. Also in 2017, Mike Komoda sculpted a Cranius statue that was used as an exclusive piece for Sideshow Collectible’s Swamp Thing statue.
The latest Cranius action figure was produced by custom figure fabricator, Dr Anton Arcane. He produced a glow-in-the-dark Cranius figure! Now, more about this amazing pin!


This beautiful enamel pin was produced by Lords of Nostalgia, and is the brainchild of Casey McKenna. It was sculpted by Joe Sanchez. Brennan Freemantle inked the backing card and Emily McKenna handled the colors. The pin has a limited run of 50 and can be purchased at Lord of Nostalgia’s Etsy page.

Along with the Cranius pin arriving this week: actor, writer and director, Macon Blair posted this photo on Twitter today.

Continue reading “Let’s give a hand to the brainchild of this Cranius pin”

Swamp Thing Figures Giveaway Results!

Thank you to everyone who left a comment for the giveaway. I loved reading your responses and am excited to announce the winners of the McFarlane Swamp Thing figures.

The first comment chosen at random was from Brandon Jernigan. Brandon answered the following question, What character would you cast yourself as, in any film or tv show starring Swamp Thing?

The second comment chosen at random was from Bill Stewart. Bill stumbled upon the bonus entry page, and answered the question, Who is your favorite writer (other than Alan Moore) to work on the Swamp Thing comic book? 

Thank you for visiting rootsoftheswampthing.com and participating in the giveaway. Stay tuned for more fun giveaways in the near future.

Dossier Negro – Spanish Collected Edition

Dossier Negro was a Spanish comic magazine published between 1968 and 1988. The series featured original stories but for the most part, it collected and reprinted horror comics. Swamp Thing appeared in Dossier Negro issue #207 in 1987. I’ve been on the hunt for issue #207 for a number of years but this edition is the closest I’ve come to obtaining it. This book collects issues 204-207 and was published in 1988.

The last and best comic in this book, as you can see from the image below, features a painting by Bernie Wrightson. The cover of Dossier Negro Issue #207 may look familiar because it first appeared on the wrap-around cover of issue #1 of DC’s Roots of the Swamp Thing-a five-issue limited comic series that reprinted the first 10 issues of Len Wein & Berni Wrightson’s classic first Swampy series.

Oddly enough, Dossier Negro #207 does not reprint Wein & Wrightson’s work, but features the seminal sotry, ”Anatomy Lesson” by Moore, Totleben & Bissette. Below are photos from the interior.

Continue reading “Dossier Negro – Spanish Collected Edition”

Swamp Thing Figures Giveaway

Welcome back to another fun rootsoftheswampthing.com giveaway.

The What:

  • McFarlane Toys Megafig DC Collector Swamp Thing Action Figure
  • McFarlane Toys Megafig DC Collector Swamp Thing Variant Action Figure

The How:

  • In the comments section below, answer the following: What character would you cast yourself as, in any film or tv show starring Swamp Thing?

I was fortunate and obtained a couple extra McFarlane Swamp Thing figures and I’m excited to give them away. Two people will be chosen at random on March 31st. The first name that is drawn will get their choice of one of the figures. The second name that is drawn will receive the remaining figure. I wanted to pick two names on April 1st but April Fool’s Day might not seem like the most genuine of days to giveaway these two killer figures. Thank you so much for participating and visiting rootsoftheswampthing.com. I hope you are doing well. – John

American Cartoon Hero Trading Cards

American Cartoon Hero #093 – Swamp Thing
Collection Card, Series II, China

These fun cards jumped out at me while fumbling around ebay. All 3 depict the cover of Damage #6 (DC Comics, June 2008) which featured Swamp Thing. The cards came in 3 styles. For the most part, the 3 styles look very similar. Below is the normal/base card from the American Cartoon Hero set.

For reference, I’ve provided the original Damage cover below.

The second trading card in the lot is the hologram version of the base card. I’ve provide a couple photos below to depict how great the card looks with the spectrum of colors.

The third version of the trading card has a foil treatment. It was difficult to capture a good photo due to the texture and reflections but it does the trick.

Continue reading “American Cartoon Hero Trading Cards”

Grundy’s Voices Leaving Breadcrumbs

Swamp Thing and Solomon Grundy have a long history going back to April of 1979, within DC Comics Presents #8. Their paths have crossed in various comics since ‘79 but I was recently reminded of Grundy’s appearances during Rick Veitch’s Swamp Thing run. In Rick Veitch’s transformative “Infernal Triangles” story arc (Swamp Thing #77-#81) a new plant elemental was ushered into the world to replace Swamp Thing. The story arc featured numerous DC characters, involved crossover appearances, as well as various mentions/references. The covers/comics pictured below do not feature Grundy but they helped launch the ”Infernal Triangles” story arc.

Hellblazer #9, Swamp Thing #77 & Hellblazer #10

Recently, fellow Swamp Thing fan Alex Galer let me know that Veitch’s arc and Grundy provided more references than I was aware of. As I mentioned at the beginning, ”Infernal Triangles” involved ushering a new plant elemental into the world. Solomon Grundy was an intended host (albeit unwilling and unknowing) to receive the new plant elemental sporling. I’m sure you’re aware by now that the plan didn’t work out with Grundy and the new plant elemental. But, the failed attempt created repercussions that can be found within numerous comics including: Infinity Inc #39 (1987), Infinity Inc #46 (1988), Starman #48 (1998), Starman #49 (1999) and a handful of Swamp Thing books, primarily Swamp Thing #67 “The Wisdom of Solomon” (Series 2) from December 1987. Two books you can add to that list are below.

Infinity Inc #44 & #47

Alex was rereading the Infinity Inc. series when he discovered the references. They can be found within Infinity Inc. #44 “In the Midst of Death” (Nov 1987) and Infinity Inc. #47 “Outback and Back in Beverly Hills” (Feb 1988). Both references relate to Solomon Grundy’s connection to Rick Veitch’s ”Infernal Triangles” story arc. Within Infinity Inc. #44, Solomon Grundy turned green. He was also summoned by voices. The voices tried to guide him to the new Earth Elemental. Grundy was not happy being green. As we all know, it’s not easy…

Infinity Inc #44 – 1987
Infinity Inc #44 – 1987

In Infinity Inc #44, Grundy can be seen leaving town, in search of the voices in his head. Questions are answered within Swamp Thing #67 “The Wisdom of Solomon.” The cover, seen below, may give the impression that Swamp Thing battled the Hulk. But, its Grundy. In Infinity Inc. #44, Grundy’s skin turned green in preparation for his merger with the Green and the Earth Elemental sprout.

Grundy didn’t make for a good host for either of the Elementals. He delivered a large serving of suffering for our friend Swampy.

Continue reading “Grundy’s Voices Leaving Breadcrumbs”

A Swamp Thing Amongst Pin-Ups

Mediascene #8 – January/February 1974
Sure, this issue of Mediascene is focused on Pin-Ups but Swamp Thing made the cut as well!

Jim Steranko’s Mediascene newspaper-style publication always delivered amazing art and comics/media information. I acquired a hefty stack of back-issues a few years ago and I’m still digging through them for Swamp Thing sightings and posters I’d like framed. In 2018 I posted a Bernie Wrightson interview from Mediascene #16 (1975). It’s a fun and insightful read.

In this issue, Swamp Thing can be found buried behind all the Pin-Up information and art. But, I’m going to lead with it. As you can see, the awesome full-page image is a grayscale reproduction of Swamp Thing #11 ”The Conquerer Worms.” Matt Cable tries his best to be brave.

The large Swamp Thing image appears within the upcoming (in 1974) comics portion of Mediascene. It is the only place Swamp Thing appears in the paper.

Continue reading “A Swamp Thing Amongst Pin-Ups”

Holland Files 6

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when Holland Files makes its way into mailboxes around the world. I hope everyone is having a healthy and enjoyable holiday season. This year the Swamp Thing fanzine came in at 60-pages. It’s packed with fan fiction, articles, essays, poetry and more. Holland Files 6 features pages from, ”Daphne” the seldom seen, unpublished Swamp Thing and Poison Ivy story by David Sexton. Mike Perkins provided this years beautiful cover and you’ll recognize numerous contributing artists from swampy’s past, including John Totleben, Phil Hester, Yanick Paquette, Alvaro Martinez Bueno and Mike Rooth. Many thanks are due to all who contributed this year and those who’ve supported the book over the years. It’s hard to believe Holland Files is on it’s sixth year and that Swamp Thing turned 50 in 2021. Here’s to you and yours, and the new year to come.

If you would like to order a copy of Holland Files, please email hollandfileszine@gmail.com. Books are $10 each +shipping. Issues 1-6 are currently available. Thank you, John

Holland Files 6 Preorder

It’s that time of year again! Holland Files #6 (the international Swamp Thing fanzine) is now available to preorder. This year’s cover is by current Swamp Thing artist, Mike Perkins. His beautiful cover holds 50+ pages of Swamp Thing art & articles by Swamp Thing fans from around the world. Books are $10 and shipping is $2 within the US. Please contact me for international rates. Holland Files ships all over the world.

Email Hollandfileszine@gmail.com to preorder your book today.