Arken Sword 19

Arken Sword 19 (1986)

I’ve not posted or shared any new items in about a month and am looking forward to getting back to my normal routine. All sorts of fun stuff has been going on. Holland Files 2 successfully shipped around the world and it was more in demand this year than last, if you can believe it. I certainly didn’t. It’s a surprise and a thrill to have the opportunity to share such fun material by so many talented people. I can’t thank you all enough. Other Swampy news, but more of a personal item, I’ve made great progress on the Swamp Thing museum. I’ve turned the second floor of my house into a Swamp Thing museum and it will eventually be open to the public (by appointment only). One of the best parts of loving Swamp Thing is being able to share info with fellow ST fans. It’s the greatest feeling and the museum has been something I’ve been wanting to share for a while now. I’ll be posting pictures soon along with more info. Now, on to Arken Sword 19…
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Swamp Thing is getting fresh within the British comics magazine, Arken Sword.
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Like many issues of Arken Sword, this book is filled with interesting/insightful interviews, articles and great artwork. Take this Alan Davis collaboration for instance…
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I tracked this issue down for the ads. Swampy pops up in two separate advertisements that play off of each other. Mike Higgs drew both of the ads, for Nostalgia & Comics and The Place. I love Higgs take on Swampy as well as the other classic comic characters.
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Speakeasy 91

Speakeasy 91 (1988)

This issue of Speakeasy (the UK Comics Magazine) was brought to my attention by Ilke Hincer, the research guru behind George Perez’s website george-perez.net. When he comes across an obscure Swamp Thing related item he sends the info my way and I try to track it down. It’s an amazing back-n-forth and I always appreciate his leads.
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The book features a Swamp Thing ad and he’s mentioned in a great Black Orchid interview, with Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean.

The ad appears toward the front of the book and highlights Swamp Thing – volume 8 of Titan’s Swamp Thing tpb set. The Titan set is made up of 11 books, collecting Swamp Thing #21-64 and includes Annual #2. The black and white, softcover trades can be found online easily and look amazing. I’m always thankful for non-US editions that are printed in black and white. The artwork tends to pop much more and it’s easier to appreciate the detailed inks.

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I got Speakeasy 91 for the ad but equally thrilled to read the Black Orchid interview with Neil Gaiman. He mentions Swamp Thing a couple times!

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Below, Gaiman discusses pitching characters to Karen Berger and Dick Giordano.

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Gaiman mentions that Orchid’s travels take her down to Louisiana to see Swamp Thing. As you know, this is just the tip of the iceberg for the cool interactions and appearances Swampy has within the series.

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Gaiman mentions Veitch’s plans to incorporate his plant mythology into the Swampy continuity. We later saw Gaiman’s plant mythology develop within, Midnight Days: “Jack-in-the-Green”, Books of Magic, and The Children’s Crusade. I spoke with fellow Swamp fanatic and friend, Rich Handley about this interview and he provided the following insight, “he (Gaiman) and Jamie Delano were going to use it as the template for their tenure on Swamp Thing before they decided not to become the next writers. This is the first I’m hearing of Veitch being involved. Given that Veitch had only been scheduled to be on the title until issue 90 anyway, my guess is that Gaiman said Veitch but meant to say Delano.” Rich always comes through with the thorough ST info.

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“He looked for what made the character interesting for him and went on from there” Neil Gaiman talking about Alan Moore’s advice on revamping heroes.

Neil Gaiman recounts his need to establish a strong origin story for Black Orchid: “I had to… come up with an origin… I didn’t want her to be bitten by a radioactive orchid.”

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The icing on the cake in this Speakeasy 91 is the Dave Stevens interview. I’ve been a Rocketeer fan since I was a kid. I love the costume and pulp-like adventures. I usually stumble upon Stevens/Rocketeer articles/art because Stevens was getting a lot of attention around the time Alan Moore was working on Swamp Thing. Most comics magazines, where you’d find interviews or articles relating to Swamp Thing around this time, would typically have some blurb about the Rocketeer as well.

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DC Explodes in ’73 – March

The House of Mystery 212 (1973)

Another great comic with a Swamp Thing ad!
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The ad, DC explodes in ’73 features the cover of Swamp Thing 4, Monster on the Moors. This issue was released in March of 1973.

The same ad was featured within various DC titles the month prior, in April.

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With Kirby on Kamandi and Wrightson on Swamp Thing, ’73 was a good year for comics.
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Some of the stories within
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Man or Monster? You Decide

From Beyond the Unknown 20 (1972)

My local comic shop obtained a decent sized collection of Bronze Age DC books and I scoured through a bunch of them, looking for Swampy ads.
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This issue of, From Beyond the Unknown features an early series one Swamp Thing ad!

From what I’ve found-long box digging alone-ads for Swamp Thing 1 can be found as early as August 1972 and ran through November 1972. In this book from August of ’72, Swamp Thing 2 is being advertised. I love the copy in the ad, “Man or Monster? You decide…” I’d like to eventually track down an ad for each series one book but so far it’s been slow going. To reference my Swamp Thing ad database, visit the Ads page.
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Some of the stories within…
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This great Shazam ad couldn’t be more fitting, in light of recent news of Zachary Levi taking on the role in the upcoming series.
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The Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest Ads

The Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest 26 & 27 (1982)

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These two pocket-sized digests feature the same ad on their last page. The ad ran in some DC Books leading up to Pasko & Yeates’ series two launch.

The art is amazing. If I had seen this ad when originally released, I would have been so excited.
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the books had been on my want list for a few years because I wasn’t entirely sure which ads-relating to Swamp Thing-they housed. I’m glad I finally got them because the ad is printed in black and white (which I hadn’t previously seen) and the books feature some great, classic stories!
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Back covers:

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The Forever People 11 House Ad

The Forever People 11 (1972)

An instagram friend tipped me off to this great Swamp Thing house ad and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Luckily my local comic shop has a huge supply of back issues.
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I’m always on the look out for early, series one ads and this one is perfect! This issue of The Forever People has the same cover date, of November of 1972, as Swamp Thing #1. As for the actual in-store release, I’m not certain. I believe it was closer to November than what the ad reads; August.

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I knew there was a Swampy ad within the book but was pleasantly surprised to see this Demon ad! Demon 1 was released in September of ’72.

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side note: Another great house ad for the debut, Swamp Thing #1 can be found in Forever People 10! This ad features custom type and layout from the legend, Gaspar Saladino. Saladino designed the Swamp Thing logo, along with a seemingly infinite amount of other title/character logos, house ads, and everything under the sun.
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DC exploded in ’73, Alec Holland in ’72

Justice League of America 105 (1973)
Specter in the Shadows!

While looking through a stack of silver age comics I was thrilled to come across this DC house ad toward the back of JLA 105. I had never seen this style of “DC explodes in 73” ad and was happy to see it featured Swamp Thing 4, Monster on the Moors.
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Spectre in the Shadows was written by none other than Swamp Thing co-creator, Len Wein. In 2015, the JLA 105 cover was featured on the cover of the Len Wein issue of Alter Ego 135.
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