Batman Official Annual 1981

Batman Official Annual 1981 – UK

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Brought to you by Egmont Publishing, this UK edition collects a few fun Batman stories. I had to have this well-used, 62-page, hardcover because it features Swamp Thing #7 “Night of the Bat” by Bernie Wrightson & Len Wein AND it was 99¢.
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The book includes a game, Batman trivia, as well as panels and covers from past Batman comics (“Vintage Views”, pictured below).
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The three stories featured in the Annual are, “The Threat of the Two-Headed Coin” originally printed in Batman 258 (1974), “Night of the Bat” (1973), and “The Riddle of the Man Who Walked Backwards”, originally printed in Batman 277 (1976).
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2019 Fan Expo Comic Con Promo Poster

2019 Fan Expo Comic Con Promo Poster

Another wonderful package arrived yesterday from Canada. This 13″ x 17″ promo poster advertises the Swamp Thing television show for Canadian viewers. If not already, Swamp Thing will be available through the Showcase Network. Numerous Canadian Swamp Thing fans that I’ve been in contact with have been chomping at the bit to watch the show and I’m extremely excited that it will finally come to fruition.
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Since the show previously wasn’t available in Canada, I was extremely excited to obtain the collectible.
Back of poster
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Archie & Predator in the House of Secrets

Two fantastic books were released recently and I’ve been waiting on the Archie book to arrive in the mail before sharing them. House of Secrets 92, the book that started it all for our favorite character, Swamp Thing is represented through parody and reproduction!
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House of Secrets Facsimile Edition – 2019
It’s wonderful to see House of Secrets 92 (1971) reprinted once again. The book is excellent exposure for Swamp Thing and for fans to finally get their hands on a copy… without the hefty price tag of an original. Len Wein & Bernie Wrightson’s masterpiece lives on in this fresh release. The book was in stores August, 28 and I’d guess they’re readily available at most local comic shops.
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The reproduction includes ads and all. I suppose it should be noted that the five stories within (“Snipe Hunt”, “Swamp Thing”, “After I Die”, “It’s Better to Give” and “Trick or Treat”) have been recolored.
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The back cover
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Archie vs Predator II – 2019 (Marco D’Alfonso cover)
As soon as I saw this book last month, I had to have it. Although limited to a print run of 300 copies, it was easy to obtain on-where else but-eBay. There’s also a virgin version of this variant cover, also limited to 300 copies.
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Marco D’Alfonso crafted this amazing homage to the cover of Swampy’s first appearance. This whimsical take on HOS 92 includes the same subtle textures Bernie Wrightson used on the original; note the items in the foreground, on the vanity.
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I’ve not read an Archie comic since Afterlife with Archie began (2013) so I’ve got some catching up to do but the setup of this first issue is fun and dark.
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A fella named Dilton purchased a mask off of eBay. What he’d hoped to be a costume for dance night becomes a beacon… for Predators.
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I got a kick out of seeing Predators messing with Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rover.
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And with the original
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DC Computer Mat With a Little Bit of Swampy

DC Year of the Villain “Who are the infected?” Promotional Computer Mat (2019)

Good friend and purveyor/guru of comics, John Nordstrom stopped by the house last night with this wonderful surprise! The promotional mat was included in comic shop orders this week. I’m not sure if all retailers received this cool promo mat but I’m thrilled to share it with you. Oh, and it features Swamp Thing!
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The mouse pad-like mat measures 11×17, while Swamp Thing’s appearances on the mat is the size of a penny. Regardless of how big or small, it’s always a thrill to come across a Swamp Thing sighting.
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Harley Quinn 64

Harley Quinn 64 (2019)

Even though Swamp Thing and the Justice League Dark are busy battling forces of evil in their own title, they’ve found time to make an appearance in the new Harley Quinn 64.
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The quirky and beautifully written story focuses on Harley Quinn reading to her mother who is in intensive care, battling cancer. In the imaginative story, Harley eludes Lex Luthor as he tries to convince her to join his villainous cause. Unfortunately, Lex has an offer Harley can’t refuse.
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Lex is wrapped up in his Year of the Villain mission. In keeping her distance, Harley jumps from story to story, trying to focus on reading to her sick mother. While story jumping, Harley pops-in on The Justice League Dark who are in the midst of their own adventure.
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While visiting Rocky Point Beach, Swamp Thing and the JLD investigate the case of Captain Cutler’s Ghost! The team is depicted as various members of the Scooby-Doo crew. This parody provides a fun connection to when we found out that Shaggy was Chester Williams’ nephew.
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It’s a brief, zany, one-page cameo for the JLD.
Zatanna plays the part of Daphne, Wonder Woman is Velma, Man-Bat is Fred, Detective Chimp plays the part of Scooby, and Swamp Thing is Shaggy.
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I’m excited to see how this plot turns out for Harley in future issues. The subject matter and what’s at stake for Harley and her mother is quite intriguing.
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Poison Ivy fans will be excited to hear that Ivy make an appearance in this issue as well!
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SDCC Exclusive Swamp Thing Poster

2019 SDCC Exclusive Swamp Thing Poster

Fellow Swamp Thing fanatic, Erica attended San Diego Comic Con last week and sent me one of the treasures she acquired! I’m so grateful for Erica’s generosity and to add the poster to my collection! Artwork by Cliff Cramp
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The poster measures 18” x 24” and is printed on thick, quality paper. Along with the SDCC Swamp Thing bag, the poster promotes the current Swamp Thing show available on the DC Universe streaming platform.

Pixel Elixir‘s Return of Swamp Thing Collection

Pixel Elixir‘s Return of Swamp Thing Collection is out now and if you’re one of the first 50 customers, you get this limited print signed by TROST director, Jim Wynorski!
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A few months ago, Pixel Elixir asked me to send them ideas for pins relating to The Return of Swamp Thing film. I provided a laundry list of fun scenes and characters from the film that I thought would make for fun enamel pins. They decided upon the classic Swamp Thing scene where he gives the kids a thumbs-up. I’m extremely proud that they asked for my thoughts and am even more excited to have received the pin and print last week.
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Back of card
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Visit Pixel Elixir to get the goods!

2019 SDCC Swamp Thing Tote

2019 SDCC Exclusive Swamp Thing Tote/Backpack

San Diego Comic Con was last week and and I was fortunate enough to obtain a couple exclusive Swamp Thing items. This large bag measures 19″ x 23″ x 4.5″. I can only imagine the amount of awesome loot you could fill this with. The front of the bag features Swamp Thing, promoting the current tv series on the DC Universe streaming service.

Front of tote/backpack
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Detail
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The back of the tote/backpack features a 2019 SDCC graphic with Warner Bros straps.  Next week, I’ll be posting the 2019 SDCC Swamp Thing poster.
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Wild Animals 1 (1982)

Wild Animals 1 (1982)
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I stumbled upon this book a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised to find a Swamp Thing parody within it. It’s also interesting that the illustration that features the Swamp Thing parody was originally printed in The Buyer’s Guide for Comic Fandom #184 in May, 27 1977.

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Clark the Collector is celebrating the popularity of Funny Animal books when he hears a No-Luck Duck sobbing. When asked why he is crying, the duck goes on to tell them about his failed career in comics. One of those failed attempts was Barnyard Bog!
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Based on No-Luck Duck’s account, “Barnyard Bog lasted 5 issues before cancellation” and it is not spoken of again within the Clark the Collector and the No-Luck Duck comic strip.
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Normalman 7

Normalman 7 (1985)
Who Killed Sgt. Fluffy This Time?

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Jim Valentino‘s creator-owned super-hero parody chronicles the trials and tribulations of, normalman, a normal man living in a wacky world of superheroes.

“Meanwhile, in the toidy-toid century…” role is being called.
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This series is full of parody superhero and comic strip characters from all over (DC, Marvel, Vertigo, Aardvark, your local newspaper, etc.). Of the 12 issues in the normalman series, Swamp Thing made the roster in only one. If you read quickly you might even miss him.
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This comic is ideal for those moments when you’re pondering, “did Swamp Thing ever appear in/with your favorite character here?”
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…Charlie Brown, Kermit the Frog, Popeye, Beatle Bailey, Alfred E Neuman, Spider-Man, Darth… the list of characters in this book is endless. It’s an honor to see our favorite muck-monster.

Classic Swamp Monsters

Swamp Monsters – Classic Monsters of Pre-Code Horror Comics (2019)
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The much anticipated, Swamp Monsters came out last week and it’s full of stuff you love! I can only assume, as you’re on a swamp monster website. The book reprints a whole bunch of classic, pre-code swamp monster stories-the type of monsters that paved the way for creatures like Swamp Thing and Man-Thing. The book also includes Swamp Thing sketches!

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Swamp monster fan and alum/vet, Stephen R. Bissette provides a fantastic introduction for the book, examining his love and history with swamp monsters.
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I can’t recommend this book enough. For those in love with cryptids and swamp monsters, it’s a fun, inspired history lesson of sorts. The book collects the following swamp monster stories.

Swamp Monster from, Weird Mysteries #5 – June 1953
The Frogman from, Forbidden Worlds #29 – May 1954
Beast of the Bayous from, The Hand of Fate #24 – August 1954
The Swamp Horror from, Beware #3 – May 1953
It Won’t Come Back Until Midnight from, Web of Mystery #16 – December 1952
Demons of the Swamp from, Mysteries #3 – September 1953
The Evil Eye from, Adventures into the Unknown #39 – January 1953
Bayou Vengeance from, The Unseen #6 – September 1952
The Winged Spectres of Dismal Swamp from, The Beyond #8 – January 1952
Creatures of the Swamp from, Chamber of Chills Magazine #22 – August 1951
Nightmare Flight from, Baffling Mysteries #10 – September 1952
I Am A Thing from, Out of the Night #12 – October 1953
Dead Woman’s Swamp from, Crime Mysteries #12 – March 1954
Bride of the Swamp from, Forbidden Worlds #33 – September 1954
Swamp Terror! from, Strange Mysteries #2 – November 1951

Below are some of my favorite pages.
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Swamp Thing – Episode Two

If you’ve not seen episode 2 of the new Swamp Thing series, you may be disappointed to find that the following contains various spoilers.

DC Universe’s Swamp Thing, episode 2 was released last Friday (6/7) and it was even more fun than episode 1. Although the episodes were cut from 13 to 10 and recently held to just 1 season, it’s ramping up to be one of the most exciting comic related shows at the moment. It doesn’t adhere to the continuity of the comics but it has involved exciting choices in how the characters are portrayed.

There’s quite a bit of eye candy throughout the episode but three scenes captivated me the most: the first being Swamp Thing’s connection to Susie Coyle.
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The writers establish a strong connection between the newly created Swamp Thing and Marias native, Susie (one of the townspeople infected by the bio accelerant formula). As if psychically linked, young Susie feels Swamp Thing’s emotions. She senses Alec’s fear and confusion as he helplessly trudges through the swamp. Later in the episode, Swamp Thing is also able to sense the danger Suzie encounters while in the swamp. He’s able to quickly find the child through their connection and their bond to nature.

The powerful link they share aids in establishing Swamp Thing’s powers. Most importantly, their bond introduces the symbiosis between plant and human.
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The second moment in the episode that brought me great joy was seeing Jason Woodrue!
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Feeling the heat from the CDC, Marais townspeople and local authorities, Avery Sunderland calls upon his science mastermind. At 29:21, Jason & Caroline Woodrue enter the scene. The two are doctors and appear to be professional partners. They’ve arrived in Marias to address the outbreak caused by Jason’s bio accelerant.

Before meeting Sunderland, Jason diverts his attention to tend to a Japanese elm suffering from transplant shock. He’s captivated by nature and his surroundings more than the problems that plague humanity. At one point, Woodrue grits his teeth in disdain, creating an intensity that shines off the screen. It got me in the mood to pickup some old Floronic Man appearances!
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While talking to Avery, Woodrue displays contempt for his simple/one-track mind, and tone. Actor, Kevin Durand delivers a fantastic portrayal. Durand puts Woodrue’s brilliance, intensity and attitude on exhibit. This character appearance alone endears me to the series. Jason Woodrue was my highlight of the episode and is one of my favorite characters from Swamp Thing’s world.

During the brief meeting between Sunderland and the Woodrues, Avery admits to having hired Woodrue to develop a growth accelerant in order to profit from the swamp’s lucrative, natural resources. As Avery put it, “more trees to drain the water, more land to develop, more plants to develop into drugs and cosmetics and things to monetize.” Woodrue denies that his accelerant could have anything to do with the outbreak of sickness in Marais.

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During his 3:56 appearance we also learn that Woodrue is a professor, taking leave time to address Sunderland’s concerns. Caroline Woodrue mentions that he is only using Avery’s money to fund his personal projects/research. I hope we learn more about Woodrue’s other projects.

The third and final scene that captured my attention occurred during an epic encounter, when Swamp Thing makes his first kill.
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In typical comic fashion, Swampy comes to the rescue. Susie has ventured from the Marais hospital to look for Swamp Thing, who she’s been psychically connected to. In getting to the swamp, Suzie encounters one of Sunderland’s thugs who’s been tasked with retrieving the bio accelerant drop boxes. The thug chases Suzie, looking to kill the child for what she has witnessed.

While Swamp Thing faces off against the Sunderland thug, we learn of his regenerative powers. The thug stabs Swamp Thing repeatedly. Swampy recoils in shock and pain. Within seconds the stab wounds heal, his mossy exterior grows back together.

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Swamp Thing controls the surrounding trees and swamp vines to ensnare the thug. The vines grab hold of his extremities and violently pull. The thug is drawn and quartered. Swamp Thing’s expression and mood shift from vengeful to disturbed after seeing the death and destruction he’s capable of. With his mossy, furrowed brow, Swampy looks almost disappointed with himself. It’s an insightful glimpse into the character and a key scene, depicting his internal struggle. Is Alec Holland coming to terms with being a monster? Does saving a life require the destruction of another?
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The magic of the gore is captured in his expression, reacting to the results of his brutal powers.

Swamp Thing Series to be Cancelled After Season 1

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…and in other news, it’s being reported that the Swamp Thing series has been cancelled. From what I’ve heard and read, a second season has been scrapped and the remainder of season 1 will continue to be available on the DC Universe streaming service. This doesn’t come as a shock after the clumsy roll-out of the teaser a couple weeks back. I’ll be sure to share more as news develops.
Unfortunate news aside, go read and enjoy a classic Swamp Thing story. That’s where the real fun is at.

Regards,
John