Comics Journal #48 – Summer 1979
Last week, artist and fellow Swamp Thing fanatic, Jeff Gauntt let me know of a Swamp Thing sighting within Comics Journal magazine. Swamp Thing and a thorough interview with Len Wein can be found within this Super Summer Special!
“Interview with Len Wein, DC’s newest editor and one of comics’ most prolific writers!”
The interview begins with a deep dive into how Len Wein got his foot in the door of the comics industry. As most of you know, Len had a close relationship with Marv Wolfman and the two finally broke through with the help of Joe Orlando in 1968. The first series that Len wrote was, Hot Wheels for Charlton Press. Alex Toth was the artist for the Hot Wheels series at the time. But, Neal Adams, Ric Estrada and Dick Giordano also contributed to the series.
Swamp Thing made his way into the background of the feature interview illustration. Newsome depicts Swampy looking exceptionally toothy and tired.
Wein worked on numerous titles in his early years in comics and was published by Charlton, Gold Key, Skywald, DC and other smaller publications. He worked on Star Trek for Gold Key and, with help from his friend Marv Wolfman, revived Phantom Stranger for DC.
Wein didn’t start writing Phantom Stranger, regularly, until about 10 issues in. And, Wolfman barely contributed to the series. But, Len mentions that he was eagerly waiting in the wings. Wein’s talent, hard work and making himself available, proved to pay off immensely for the writer and creator throughout his career.
On page 77 of the lengthy interview, Swamp Thing is finally brought up. I was surprised to read that Wolfman thought Wein was a better writer on Phantom Stranger
Swamp Thing appears again on page 78 of the book. The illustration is by Mitch O’Connell. The page also features insightful info regarding Wein & Wrightson’s creative process while making Swamp Thing.