Starburst 47 (UK)

Starburst 47 (1982)

British fantasy magazine, Starburst covered the production process of Wes Craven’s Swamp Thing. A hand full of those articles can be found on Articles page.

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This issue features a two-page spread, with Alan Jones reviewing the film. Jones rips the Swamp Thing film apart. He was expecting greatness, and conducts the review in an intense manor. He’s not a fan of the film and I gave his review the stink eye a few times while reading it. I’ve included the review below. I don’t disagree with everything he says but more in the way he went about it.

This review was released in July of 1982. At this time, Pasko and Yeates were in charge of the Swamp Thing title, and issue 3 would have hit newsstands the same time as this issue of Starburst.
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Along with the crummy Swamp Thing review, Starburst 47 also includes a feature on The Thing, in production.

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Holland Files 2 is here!

Holland Files 2 is fresh from the printer and for the past 48 hours, I’ve been stuffing envelopes like a mad man. I can’t wait to get all of the books in the mail and in your hands! Holland Files is an international Swamp Thing fanzine; 72 pages, filled with articles, illustrations and fan features from around the world.
Here’s a peek into the chaos.
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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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Cauldron of Fear 1 UK Fanzine

Cauldron of Fear 1 (1975)
This little U.K. Fanzine came my way a couple months back and it features an article about bayou monsters. It’s in amazing condition and is more of a square format. The size and number of pages allows for a single staple for saddle stitch binding. With all the craziness involved in putting together the Holland Files zine, it’s fun to see different methods and a smart use of resources.
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“Something from the Bayou (an’it shore ain’t blue.)” discusses EC’s role in horror comic, helping to usher in and uphold the monster from the swamps trope.
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Continue reading “Cauldron of Fear 1 UK Fanzine”

Guinness Book of World Records 2018

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A friend excitedly messaged me earlier today saying he was at his son’s school book fair. He sent the following image, tipping me off that I should go pick up the new 2018 Guinness Book of a World Records!
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Swampy made the cut! Doesn’t hurt that I got in on the action as well.

The folks at Guinness let you know—during the record setting process—that you’re not guaranteed to be in, or mentioned in any of their publications. Makes sense, seeing that their are hundreds of thousands of wacky records out there. But, they also don’t let you know if you did make it in the book. So when and if you do make it in the book, it comes as a complete shock. A small blurb about my collection was in the 2017 Guinness book but this year one of my photos was included. I’m extremely proud to help put Swamp Thing out their for folks to see and get to know.

The Swamp Thing feature is part of the “Superheroes” section of the book. It’s so cool! Check out this guy’s Batman collection!
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A Two-page Superheroes Timeline features notable comic characters throughout history. And look who pops up in 1971…
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SWAMP THING!
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I need to go back and give the book a thorough read. I wouldn’t be surprised if Swampy is mentioned again. The book is full of awesome comics stuff!