It felt like a great day to pull out some of my Mexican, Mi Gran Adventura pocket books… so I did! These little beauties measure 14cm x 19.37cm, and were published by National Periodical Publications, Inc. The logo, EN can be seen in the corner of each book cover. It stands for Editorial Navaro, the imprint.
Above are issues #153, 155 and 158 of the Aguila series. “Aguila”, is an indicator of the size of the book. If I recall, Navaro released Mi Gran Aventura books in a couple different sizes.
This copy of #153 has seen better days but I’m thrilled just to have a copy in my collection. The book reprints, Swamp Thing #9 The Stalker From Beyond (April 1974) along with a backup story. The Stalker From Beyond was written by Len Wein. Bernie Wrightson handled the artwork.
This Swamp Thing sweatshirt is awesome. Sure I’ll never be able to fit into it, but a future model is in the works. The artwork featured on the front is seldom seen on Swampy apparel. A few different colors of the sweatshirt style exists and pop-up every so often on eBay or Etsy. It took me a little over 5 years to track this little shirt down. An example of the grey version of the sweatshirt can be seen here.
Unfortunately I won’t be writing about this Black Orchid story. Instead, I’m excited to share with you the fun promotional Swamp Thing trading card that was included within the book. It’s certainly not a Swamp Thing appearance but a fun promo collectible. I keep the book listed on my ads page so it’s often overlooked.
John Mueller was the artist in charge of depicting Alec Holland and Swampy for this card. You probably remember Mueller illustrating most of the covers in the 1994 Swamp Thing series. He created 9 Swampy covers in all. All of them were for the Morrison/Millar/Hester era of Swampy.
As part of a promotional campaign for the 1994 Vertigo trading cards by Skybox, this Swamp Thing card was featured as an insert in The Black Orchid #17. It’s a pretty fun addition to an already good comic (Black Orchid). The promo card number/identifier is SP1, which is indicated on the back of the card. John Constantine is featured on promo card SP2, and Sandman is on SP3. Continue reading “Black Orchid #17 Swamp Thing Promo Card”→
Two, one of a kind Swamp Thing items were given to me last week and I’m thrilled to share them with you. On the left is a 3 ring binder featuring artwork from the recent Swamp Thing series. The oversized Swamp Thing #1 cover on the right is printed on textured metal sheet stock. The Swamptastic items were the product of a test printing. Both were printed using the sublimation printing process (basically printing using a heat press and transfer paper). Since the test printing utilized unlicensed imagery, the fun items made their way into my collection, free of charge. The creator appreciated the results, how the inks worked with the materials and I’m thrilled they chose Swamp Thing as their subject matter.
The 11” x 15.5” metal sheet stock is coated with a cloth-like texture. The color is vibrant and the metal is thick. I’m excited to hang it on my wall. Below are some details.
In the photo above, you can see the texture that the image was printed on. It feels like heavily textured rice paper. I placed a couple quarters next to the sign to give you a sense of scale, below.
The 3 ring binder is made with black canvas and a white fabric that is able to be printed upon. It’s really cool and I’m looking forward to storing Swamp Thing collectibles in it.
Swamp Thing is looking pungent smelling, surrounded by some flies. Phantom Stranger doesn’t seem phased, but Martian Manhunter appears to be struggling.
The art jam was created in conjunction with a deluxe, hardcover-version of the History of the DC Universe book. It was included in the book as a gatefold. The eclectic crowd of DC characters were illustrated by some of the top artists and creators. The art was used to produce the 15″ x 30″ print that I’m holding in the photo above. DC distributed a postcard providing the opportunity to send away for the rolled poster. I was able to procure this limited, mail-away, 1 of 10,000 poster from my good friend John Nordstrom.
John Totleben and Stephen Bissette provided the Swamp Thing illustration.
I’ve been rearranging the Swamp Thing room this week. It’s a work in progress, and currently a mess, but I’m feeling better about how my books are being stored. For a while I had some books in spinner racks. I didn’t like how the metal left indentations on some of the books. Long story short, here’s a progress photo and a video of some plant monster comics. Along with collecting everything Swamp Thing, I have quite the collection of books that feature plant and swamp monsters.
I snapped photos of a stack of plant/swampy monster covers and made a slideshow, below. If you have some favorite plant monster covers let me know in the comments. Some of my favorites involve tree monsters. I also enjoy the many covers featuring Superman tangling with vines. Being one of the strongest aliens on the planet, he sure does get tripped-up by plant vines.
I held off on reading this new Swamp Thing series because I wanted to enjoy reading the first four issues in one sitting. I also expected the first few books to be light in content, stringing me along with one vague cliffhanger after another. I was absolutely wrong in having that opinion/preconception. I loved the first book so much that I paused reading so that I could jot down some initial thoughts regarding how great it is. Mike Perkins illustrates an amazing world for Swamp Thing.
Ram V’s writing feels much smarter and smoother than most stories being written today. I’m really enjoying his pacing. His story telling isn’t heavy with exposition. He drops you into an intense, mysterious scenario that you unravel along with the characters, Swamp Thing/Levi Kamei. Perhaps it’s how the characters are written, or Ram V’s timing, but the story feels like a classic episode of the Twilight Zone. I was effortlessly drawn into this new Swamp Thing world.
Ram V does a fantastic job of introducing various plot threads. Whether through dreams, flashbacks or while Swampy spontaneously regenerates, Ram V keeps the story moving by presenting multiple vignettes. This style of storytelling makes the reader feel as if they are getting a rich, multifaceted story within each single issue. Rich storytelling is why I enjoy the Alan Moore series so much. It feels like you’re getting more per issue, like Mike Perkins and Ram V’s series. Continue reading “The Swamp Thing 1-4 Review”→
Happy World Environment Day everyone! I hope you all are doing well. I’m excited to announce the winners of the rootsoftheswampthing.com 6,000 Followers Giveaway. Over 130 people participated in the Giveaway and I’m so thankful for your fun responses. I encourage you to read fellow Swamp Thing fans discussing their favorite Swampy books/appearances, here.
The entries were selected at random as you can see in the video above. 1st place Winner of a box of Swamp Thing collectibles is: Ryan Spahr 2nd Place Winner of 2 issues of Holland Files Fanzine is: capeversesam 3rd Place Winner of 2 issues of Holland Files Fanzine is: Alan (Doom Wizard)
As a thank you to all those who visit this site and its corresponding social media avenues, I’ll be giving one lucky person a great big care package of Swamp Thing goodness. The giveaway will include Swamp Thing comics, Holland Files fanzines, Swamp Thing collectibles, a Swamp Thing Fanclub mug and more! To spread the cheer, 2 other lucky people will be randomly selected to receive copies of the Holland Files Swamp Thing fanzine.
How do you enter to win all this Swamptastic stuff? All you need to do is comment on this post. Let me know your favorite story/book that Swamp Thing has appeared in. I’ll be picking the 3 winners Saturday, June 5th on World Environment Day. Be sure to visit this site next Saturday for the list of winners. Thank you so much for swinging by and I can’t wait to read your fun answers. Swamp Thing has a long history of fantastic appearances to draw from.
Thank you Len Wein & Bernie Wrightson. Last night was a birthday party for the history books! Christine Valada (Len Wein’s wife), Stephen R. Bissette, Phil Hester, Nancy Collins, Bernie Wrightson’s sons (John & Jeff), Joshua Dysart, Stuart Moore and many more expressed their gratitude and birthday wishes to Swamp Thing for his 50th birthday. It was so wonderful to spend time with fellow Swampy fans, celebrating the character. I can’t thank the Grail Keepers Podcast enough for helping to host the show. The idea to host a Swamp Thing birthday party started as a small concept but quickly blossomed into a virtual, community celebration. Like a ripple effect, It’s been exciting to see many Swamp Thing fans join in on the birthday wishes on various social media platforms. Even though Swamp Thing’s 50th birthday party was live last night, you can still catch all the excitement on YouTube, here!
In coordinating the birthday party, I contacted the various participants for Swamp Thing’s video birthday card. It was a thrill to speak with so many big names in comic book history. I’m fortunate to know most of them because of Holland Files, and naturally crossing paths being a Swampy fan. I’m extremely grateful that so many people took time out of their schedules to wish Swamp Thing a happy birthday. I owe a special thank you to Tom Kleve for arranging John Wrightson’s video. I edited the birthday video submissions and am honored to share the results with you, below.
The Swamp Thing birthday show was a wonderful reminder of how great Swamp Thing fans are. Hearing sentimental and fun stories regarding how the character changed peoples lives was really special. The birthday party inspired an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the wonderful experiences and the people I’ve met by being a fan of the character. It also reminded me to take time to say, “thank you” to everyone who visits my site, rootsoftheswampthing.com. I greatly appreciate your passion for Swamp Thing and am glad this site can be a place to love and learn about the character.
Join me and the Grail Keepers Podcast in celebrating Swampy’s 50th. We’re excited to chat live with fellow Swamp Thing. Fans, and hear from Swamp Thing’s family and old friends. Joshua Dysart, Nancy Collins, Stephen Bissette, Christine Valada, John Wrightson and more will be wishing Swamp Thing a happy birthday.
Swamp Thing’s birthday party is next Tuesday and it will be live on The Grail Keepers YouTube Show. Join me and the Grail Keepers in celebrating Swampy’s 50th with giveaways, stories and fun top 10 lists. I’m also extremely excited to present some of Swamp Thing’s oldest friends, wishing him a happy 50th. Stephen Bissette, Nancy Collins, Phil Hester and Stuart Moore are just a few of the familiar faces you’ll see. Join in the live celebration and conversation by tuning in Tuesday, May 25th at 9pm CST. Here is a link to the show site.
In preparing for Swampy’s birthday, I forgot to share a few fun collectibles that have come my way. I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve acquired a few Mark Jewelers Swamp Thing comics. Well, I found another. This Swamp Thing #5 “The Last of the Ravenwind Witches” from August 1973 has some wear on the cover but the interior looks terrific. I was really excited to find a Mark Jewelers book from so early on in the Swamp Thing series. I provided the cover and Mark Jewelers pages below.
You probably recall Dr Arcane’s custom action figures that I posted last month. If not, here’s a link to a boatload of fun. His amazing, custom Swamp Thing creations never cease to amaze. Earlier this month I received these two awesome Swampy busts in the mail. The one on the left is glow-in-the-dark resin. The one on the right is beautifully rendered using various colors. The photos below help to display the fantastic detail work.
A little over a month ago, Dallis (@ozark_comics) from The Grail Keepers Podcast let me know that Selecōs N° 213 was on eBay. I about fell out of my chair with excitement. I bought it immediately, thrilled to share it with all of you wonderful people. The Portuguese book features an original Swamp Thing cover and I’ve been looking for it for a number of years. After a month of waiting by the mailbox it arrived!
I’m always thrilled to find a cover where Swamp Thing is being reinterpreted. Usually a title page is used as a cover in place of the originally published DC Swamp Thing covers. Few and far between are the completely original covers, but they usually relate to the featured Swamp Thing story within its pages. Not long ago, I was able to track down a Hindi book that featured a fantastic cover and original story. The Australian Murray books are among my favorite reinterpreted covers 1, 2. These two Swedish edition covers are great 1, 2. As well as this German cover. This is turning into a covers gallery so I’ll get on with it.
The Selecōs N° 213 cover artist appears to be named Enetto. I love Enetto’s illustration depicting the action from Swamp Thing #4 “Monster on the Moors” (May 1973). As you can guess, this book reprints the story of Swamp Thing’s misadventures on the moors. The cover appears to be a reinterpretation of one of the panels from the story. Enneto proudly defines Swamp Thing’s butt. I’ve paired the two images below. Unfortunately I was not able to find information about the artist. The book measures 16.5 cm x 23.5 cm.
Below are a few of the interior pages. I always love seeing Bernie Wrightson’s artwork in black and white. The detail is fantastic.
I tried to capture a clear image of the publishing info below. This book was published in May, 1979.
The gentleman with the pencil thin mustache on the cover of this book doesn’t appear in Swamp Thing #4. But, he is the featured character in the backup story, “Fire Ball.” I haven’t translated the story but he seems like quite the action hero. I bet he and Matt Cable would be fast friends.