Hero Illustrated (a popular comics magazine from the ‘90s) released, “Comic Book Who’s Who” in August of 1994. The book was part of the magazine’s, Hero Special Edition releases. It features 50 profiles of the most popular heroes and villains in comics. Naturally, Swamp Thing made his way into the book and that’s why I’m sharing it with you.
The table of contents provides a list of all 50 characters. It’s great that characters outside of DC and Marvel are represented.
Swamp Thing’s profile is on page 74. I’ve enlarged the information so you can read it, below.
The bio indicates that Alec Holland’s first appearance was in House of Secrets #92. Alec Holland didn’t appear on the scene until 1972, within Swamp Thing #1. Alex Olsen appeared in House of Secrets #92 in 1971.
Swampy’s bio lists Len Wein as the creator of Swamp Thing. Len Wein, Bernie Wrightson and Joe Orlando created Swamp Thing in 1971.
Below, it’s mentioned that “Linda died in the blast.” Linda Holland was killed in Swamp Thing #1 (1972) but she did not die in an explosion. Swamp Thing finds her body on the floor of the reconstructed, secret laboratory barn. It’s not clear how Linda died but Ferrett is holding a gun on page 18 as he enters the lab to kill Linda. Continue reading “Comic Book Who’s Who – 1994”→
This “Special Double Issue” contains a giant-sized Swamp Thing (the feature film) article by Michael Kaplan. I recently bought a copy because the book was referenced in a 1982 Wooley’s Auction Gallery catalog. It’s nice to find another Swampy appearance in Cinefantastique. Articles featuring Swamp Thing can be found within issues, No 4 Vol 11, No 4 Vol 12, and I’m always on the lookout for more.
As you can imagine, this special double issue contains a ton of Conan film material. If you’re interested in the Conan content, I’m sorry. Below I’ve provide all the Swamp Thing goodness this book has to offer. I enlarged the images so you can hopefully read the article it in its entirety.
Special Effects artist (now Bigfoot researcher), Bill (William) Munns is the focus of much of the article and I was excited to dig into it. I interviewed Bill for Holland Files #1 and he expressed that he didn’t enjoy working on the film. But, he did have many memories to share. He dealt with budget cuts, unrealistic alteration requests and deadlines. These and other production troubles came to a crescendo with Munns standing in as lead villain, the Anton Arcane monster. We’ve all heard the rumors about how hard it was to work on the film. With this article, we get some insight!
I was excited to see Michael Uslan’s name in the beginning of the article. I don’t think a DC movie or tv show has been made without him being involved. I knew Uslan was a producer on the first Swamp Thing film but I didn’t know he led the second unit during filming. I’ve been trying to get an interview with him for a number of years. He’s a big Swamp Thing fan.
Wooley’s Auction Gallery used to produce paperback catalogs to accompany their auctions. The books were typically filled with original comic book art, film props, comic books, etc. This issue caught my eye because the back cover features a familiar looking Swamp Thing bust.
Below is the back cover. It features THE Swamp Thing bust by Bill Munns. I acquired the bust from a fellow Swamp Thing fan in 2016. I wrote all about it, here. It’s a thrill to find this auction magazine with even more details about the bust.
Below are some photos from the inside of the auction catalog.
Swamp Thing (Series 2) #36: “The Nuke-Face Papers, Part 2”
Swamp Thing 35 was part 1 of The Nuke-Face Papers storyline. The book introduced the effects the Lombard Coal Mine (in Pennsylvania) had on the environment by dumping toxic waste. A former mine employee named, Bob took to drinking the toxic waste as if it were alcohol. He was given the nickname Nuke-Face. He’s made his way down to Louisiana, destroying everyone he comes in contact with. Unfortunately Swamp Thing was one of the last to see Bob. At the beginning of Swamp Thing 36, we find Swamp Thing in rough shape.
Dreaming of Abby, Swamp Thing rots away the whole night and into the following day. The effects of Bob’s toxic waste has him struggling for his life.
Abby finds Swamp Thing and is terrified by the sight of him rotting away. He tells her that he plans to rebuild another body before dying but isn’t sure how long it will take, or if they’ll ever see each other again.
Wallace Monroe is being haunted by his past. The role he played in the Lombard Coal Mine dumping in Pennsylvania and elsewhere has caught up with him and it’s destroying his life and family. He hears children chanting the familiar name, Nuke Face. The kids back in Pennsylvania did the same thing. Continue reading “The Nuke-Face Papers, Part 2”→
DC Through the 80’s – The Experiments: A Storied Survey of the Decade that Changed Comics Forever
This installment of DC Through the 80’s was released last month and I was eager to get my hands on the 504 page hardcover. I love editions that collect various DC stories (see DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest circa 1980), and this book includes fun insight into the stories and what was happening at DC Comics at the time of their release. DC Through the 80’s sheds light on the creative choices, business decisions, and industry environment of the era. DC was allowing artists and writers to make bold choices in their craft/trade and the results provided some of the best comics ever created. From the cover alone, you know you are in for a treat. This book is the follow up to, DC Through the 80s: The End of Eras which was released in 2020. You can find a copy here.
Swamp Thing appears in two stories within this edition. He kicks off the Vertigo section of the book with, Swamp Thing #40 “The Curse” from 1985. The Moore, Bissette, Totleben story was part of the wildly engaging and inspired story arc, An American Gothic.
In his book, Writing for Comics (2003) Alan Moore discussed Swamp Thing issue #40: “This story was about the difficulties endured by women in masculine societies, using the common taboo of menstruation as the central motif. The plot concerned a young married woman moving into a new home built upon the site of an old Indian lodge and finding herself possessed by the dominating spirit that still resided there, turning her into a werewolf.” Even though issue #40 of Swamp Thing is overlooked/underrated by many, it’s an excellent example of the inspired level of thought going into the comics being made. These were not run of the mill stories involving caped crusaders, but rich tales with themes involving cultural history, relationships, and what it means to be human.
The second story within DC Through the 80’s – The Experiments to feature Swamp Thing is Wolfman & Perez’s, “History of the DC Universe – Book Two.” Swamp Thing is featured on the cover within the word, “the” as well as within the story.
This fantastic swipe/homage to Bernie Wrightson’s House of Secrets 92 was published in 1978 but was brought to my attention last week. It was like a hidden treasure within Swamp Thing’s history. Unlike House of Secrets 92 where Swamp Thing lurked behind Linda Ridge, this illustration features two Swamp Thing space men! I wonder if Louise Simonson knows about this tribute to her likeness.
The Swampy appearance can be found within Ancient Astronauts #7. I was fortunate enough to find a copy on EBay. I did have to purchase a lot of 8 issues of Ancient Astronauts to obtain the Swamp Thing sighting in #7 but it was well worth it.
The Swampy appearance comes by way of an article about aliens and skin complexion. It’s a random yet delightful sight. This magazine is full of bizarre and funny articles. I’m not sure if all of the content is meant to be funny. Below is the spread for, “Beware of Strange Skin Blemishes.” I believe the House of Secrets 92 homage was illustrated by either, Gene Day or Clifford Spencer. Gene Day illustrated a number of pieces of art throughout this magazine but he typically signed his work.
The above Swamp Thing astronauts sighting reminded me of another spacey scenario involving Swampy. If you were reading Batman in 2014, you may have come across this awesome Swamp Thing preview in the back of Batman #33.
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”→
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.
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.
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.