Alf 37 (1991)
Play Me or Trade Me!
I used to have a few Alf books kicking around the house. I don’t recall enjoying them as much as the goofy tv show but this issue in particular has a few treasures that I’m very excited to share with you.
This Swamp Thing parody was brought to my attention by Anthony of For Comics Sake. He stumbled upon the parody sighting while rooting around in a long box. Check out his Instagram feed when you have a moment.
The book is made up of a few different Alf stories. The awesome Swamp Thing bits are part of the, “Alf in, Play Me or Trade Me!”
The story starts with Alf recounting an experience to Brian and Kate regarding kids and trading/swapping. This is apparently where ALF learned that he is poor at bartering. It’s an odd premise.
Back on Melmac, ALf comes across a traveling flee market. Upon entering the wooden wagon, he is greeted by legendary salesman, “Swap Thing”. Swap Thing comes to life from pieces of junk and merchandise piled high within the wagon. Similar to how Swamp Thing harnesses the power of plants to regenerate himself, Swap Thing has his junk.
The story even features a pink Dalek. This strings together an awfully vast universe. But, it is ALF’s recollection afterall and his memory could be terrible.
ALF gets swindled and trades away his baby brother. Swamp Thing uses his “mine control” to get Alf to purchase a bunch of pop tops in return.
in a few panels, the barter patrol officer’s nose and cheeks culminate in phallic symbolism.
After the trade, Swap Thing flees town. Once Alf comes to his senses and calls the police. Alf and the Barter Patrol find Swap Thing. The officer jumps from a cliff to apprehend Swap Thing who is about to sell Alf’s little brother to an illegal orphanage.
Alf has a great line where he references Moore’s run on Swamp Thing.
“oh, the horror! The blood-curdling carnage! The sophisticated suspense! Of course, you come to expect that when Alan Mel-Moore writes the book!”
Swap Thing is apprehended and is escorted to prison. Alf’s story comes to a conclusion back in the kitchen where it started with Brian and Kate. This concludes another moment in Swamp Thing parody history.