Swamp Thing’s Brazilian Super Powers

Super Powers 6 (1987)
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Swamp Thing comes by way of Brazil, in this awesome pocketbook edition. The 80-page beauty collects issues 29-31 of Alan Moore’s run. The collected stories highlight the Anton/Abby Arcane resurrection story arc; Love and Death, A Halo of Flies and The Brimstone Ballet. The stories are collected under the Super Powers series, from Editora Abril.

Editora Abril is a Brazilian publisher and printing company. Most of the comics editions within my collection, from Brazil, were produced by Editora Abril.

It’s fun to read this style of reprint. Since the pocketbook style is a different size to the original release, some panels have been omitted and others, rearranged. Sometimes additional artwork is added, as seen on the “Brimstone Ballet” title spread (pictured later in this post).

Amor e Morte – for more info regarding the story, Love and Death, visit here.

Auréola de Moscas – for more info regarding the story, A Halo of Flies, visit here.

Balé Macabro – for more info regarding the story, The Brimstone Ballet, visit here.

The pocketbook edition includes a couple of the “Extra-special bonus pin-ups!!” that appeared in the original comics, at the time. Below is one of those pin-ups. The book also includes some really great Brazilian fan art pin-ups; two, of Swamp Thing (seen below) as well as various comic characters.


Back cover: Snoopy soap advertisement

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The Swamp Thing Issue!

Comics Journal 93 (1985)

While I’m reading through Moore’s run again, it’s fitting to share the mega, Swamp Thing focused Comics Journal 93. It features a whole lot of insight into the Swamp Thing title at the time. It’s fun to re-read the comics that are discussed in the following interviews, piecing together the creative process behind my favorite stories. The stunning cover was painted by Stephen Bissette and John Totleben, the team in charge of visuals for Swamp Thing at the time.
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The magazine kicks off with a short article, discussing DC’s decision to drop the Comics Authority Code. It was a big step for the title, and the hype may have helped increase intrigue for the muck monster.
The Code rejects Swamp Thing, Swamp Thing rejects the Code.
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“The first such book to be sold on newsstands without the Code’s seal of approval since the inception of the Code in 1954.”

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it’s exciting to read about Berger, Moore, Bissette and Totleben, blazing trails in the comics world; dedicated to telling great stories.

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and thus, a Sophisticated Suspense was born…

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The Swamp Thing section makes up the bulk of the magazine, featuring interviews with Moore, Bissette and Totleben. Mark Burbey presents a brief but passionate intro before launching into his lengthy discussion with Stephen Bissette.
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“What Alan, Steve and John are doing with Swamp Thing is like nothing else happening in comics today.” –Mark Burbey

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Burbey breaks down the interview formats, warns of spoilers, and The Bissette Interview begins
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“This is the place”, the prose by Alan Moore is featured within the Swampy section. It’s an eerie description, helping to set the tone of the series. The magazine is peppered with process drawings and concept sketches. They’re reprinted in black/white and are beautiful.
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the Bissette interview was made up of two separate conversations. Burbey interviewed Stephen prior to him starting on Swamp Thing, so they play catch-up a little toward the beginning. Below, Bissette discusses working on TSR figures with his artists friends in Vermont. You’ll no doubt recognize a few names.
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Bissette mentions that he and Totleben helped Tom Yeates during his time on the Swamp Thing title; Totleben since issue 2.

“October of 1982… we should take a shot at it, and that’s when we put the time in.”

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Below is the page with the “frog creature”, Bissette mentioned above.
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below, Bissette discusses his learning curve in getting used to drawing Swamp Thing.
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my favorite aspect of collecting and reading articles related to Swamp Thing is finding information, like the good stuff below. Reading how Moore, Bissette and Totleben hadn’t met, and exchanged ideas via mail is fantastic… and insightful. I wouldn’t mind reading some of those letters today.
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after the Swamp Thing title floundered under Martin Pasko, DC didn’t put much support behind the book. Below, Bissette mentions the shift in attitude toward the character, once their stories boosted readership.

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above, Bissette mentions the widely discussed DC Sampler that features Swamp Thing and company. The spread advertises the Swamp Thing series. For more info, see my DC Sampler post, here.

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Bissette mentions his Un-Women concepts in the above selection from the interview. A cool section within the book, “The Unseen Un-Men” features a series of Un-Men concept sketches. We now interrupt this Stephen Bissette interview to bring you…

back to the regularly scheduled Stephen Bissette interview…
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the Swamp Thing related portion of the interview winds down with Bissette discussing Wrightson’s Un-Men and how they went about reimagining them. Bissette also mentions how frantic it was, wrapping up Martin Pasko’s run, prior to Moore coming aboard.

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The Alan Moore Interview
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The interview gets a little clunky in areas, with Moore providing humble and brief answers to dippy questions regarding his personal life. But, he provides a great deal of insight into his work, early on in the series. Below, Moore discusses the enthusiasm and energy exchanged by the creative team
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Moore discusses his discontent toward fandom, from an early age
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Moore discusses his influences…
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“Each of these genres have gradually built up an arsenal of cliches that… smothered the original concepts”

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It’s fun to read Moore’s wholistic approach to writing; considering various entertainment mediums and writing formats when story telling.
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“we’re trying the best we can to construct stories that have some sort of real human resonance and some moments of genuine unease.”

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Moore discusses character development…
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How Moore got the Swamp Thing gig
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How Swamp Thing fits within the DC Universe
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Establishing what sets Swamp Thing apart from other DC characters
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The John Totleben Interview
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Totleben talks about Wrightson’s influence on him, when the first Swamp Thing series came out.
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Tight deadlines and working with Bissette’s pencils
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We can thank Tom Yeates for the Bissette and Totleben run
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Swamp Thing, issue 19 could have been the curtain call for our muck-encrusted mockery of a man, if not for Totleben’s hard work.
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Totleben discusses reworking Dan Day’s pencils in Swamp Thing 20
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Totleben on developing Swamp Thing
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Totleben touches upon something that always bothered me within the Martin Pasko run. swamp Thing and transportation…
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“We’ve probably enough for three or four years’ worth of stories”

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Totleben discusses taking over cover duties, now that he and Bissette are on the boo
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Totleben discusses making a new Swamp Thing logo
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Swamp Thing Merch Sign – 1990

Swamp Thing – Guardian Of The Earth merchandise promo sign (1990)

This awesome 22″ x 28”, heavy-stock poster/sign has been on my radar for a long time. I’ve been looking for it since the day I began collecting Swamp Thing collectibles. From the start, this sign and the plastic-headed slippers were my grail items, and up until last week I hadn’t seen one available. It’s extremely exciting to finally have it in the collection!
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Get Out The Vote

Standing up for what you believe in isn’t always easy, but voting is.
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Tuesday, November 6th is quickly approaching and it’s an important day to raise your voice. The United States Mid-Term Election gives you the power to decide who represents you, who affects your life. It’s an important time to improve upon the course and quality of your country. Those who are running for office are merely applying for a job, and you’re the one doing the hiring. Call “bullshit” when you see/hear it. Hold them accountable when they aren’t representing you, who put them in office. This Mid-Term Election is going to be extremely close, down to the wire in many instances and it’s more important than ever to make your vote count when it’s neck-and-neck.

what You Get
A powerful voice. By voting, you affect the balance of your government; how bills are passed, laws are established and the overall quality of your government. You’re able to directly affect the US Chambers of Congress (number of House and Senate Representative seats) as well as affecting those who represent you on a local level; You’re Governor, Attorney General, State Representatives, municipal leaders, mayors and more. This election holds the power to balance Congress, creating a more unified/thorough voice for your country.

What are the stakes? What’s up for grabs?
Federal offices up for election are members of the United States Congress, including all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33/34 of the 100 seats within the United States Senate.

Also, 34 of the 50 states elect their governors to four-year terms during midterm elections. Many states also elect officers to their state legislatures in midterm years. There are also elections held at the municipal level. On the ballot are many mayors, other local public offices, and numerous citizen initiatives.

In summation, this provides you numerous opportunities to see an impact based on your vote.

Tuesday, November 6th is a powerful day and a lot is at stake. Voter turnout determines the outcome; that’s you, me and everyone we know. Please join me in taking to the polls and voting for what you believe in. Progress and political movement doesn’t occur overnight but the more you show up to make your voice and vote count, progress is made much quicker.
Use this resource to find your local polling location and where you need to be.

The Comic Book Trivia Quiz

The Comic Book Trivia Quiz (1977)

This week I’m in Cleveland, and with every trip, a thorough exploration into the local comic shops is a must. Being the birthplace of Superman creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, as well as the great Harvey Pekar, my hopes are high for Cleveland’s comics scene.

While visiting Imaginary Worlds Comics in Cleveland Heights, I stumbled upon a great comics trivia book from ‘77. The giant, 192-page book is jam packed with comics trivia, representing various eras of comic book history. And, the best part of it all, it features Swamp Thing related trivia! I had a feeling it would since Michael Uslan co-created the book. For those unfamiliar, Uslan is a huge Swamp Thing fan and has produced the bulk of DC television and movies.

Prior to this book referencing Swamp Thing, the first instance of Swamp Thing  being incorporated in trivia/games was two years earlier in Limited Collectors’ Edition: Christmas with the Super-Heroes DC Treasury Edition (1975)

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Sure, it took 109 pages into the book to find our muck-encrusted friend but there he is, within the “We’re Looking for People Who Like to Draw!” match game. The objective of the game is to match artists with their notable characters. Berni Wrightson and Swampy made the cut, naturally.
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A few pages further into the book, Swamp Thing is seen again within, “Colorful Characters”; another word matching game. He’s described as, “Muddy brown with green highlights”.
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The third and final game, with mention of Swamp Thing, comes by way of “Who’s Putting Words in My Mouth”. The game pairs comic writers with the characters they’re best associated with. The great, Len Wein can be found toward the bottom of column one.
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Back cover
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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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