Swamp Monsters – Classic Monsters of Pre-Code Horror Comics (2019)
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!
Swamp monster fan and alum/vet, Stephen R. Bissette provides a fantastic introduction for the book, examining his love and history with swamp monsters.
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.
Two big things happened in the world of Swamp Thing this week.
1) Production of the Swamp Thing series was cancelled
2) The series costume was revealed in a teaser
In a seemingly sudden change of direction, DC/Warner Bros. has decided to cancel the remaining production of the Swamp Thing series. The first season was intended to be 13 episodes long but, last night cast and crew members were notified that production will be cancelled except to finish the tenth episode (they are currently working on), along with re shoots they may need. Without a teaser, leaked photo from the set or much of anything at all to entice, eager fans woke up this morning to the unfortunate news. Although the season will not be the full 13 episodes, DC/Warner still plans to release the 10 episode series. The show debuts on May 31st on DC’s streaming service, DC Universe.
Last night (4/16) I was contacted by a crew member who’s working on the series. He relayed the following information.
“We just got told they’re stopping production on Swamp Thing… we had three episodes left and we’re finishing this one and some re shoots and it sounds like that’s it for now. DC streaming is apparently not doing well. Not sure if Warner Bros will try to find Swamp Thing a home elsewhere or what. We were all basically under the presumption this was gonna go five seasons minimum… not good. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.”
To make things even more confusing, less than 24 hours after the news broke that production cancelled, DC released the following teaser for the series.
Swamp Thing series teaser
It’s a shame Swamp Thing fans weren’t shown the teaser before hearing about the production cancellation. The suit looks great and I have no doubt it will be a fun series.
Continue reading “Rough start for the Swamp Thing TV series”
I took some time off from the site for the holidays and to finish Holland Files #3. I’m excited to get envelopes stuffed and the books in your hands. It’s another excellent collection of art and articles by Swamp Thing fans like you. Among the contributors, Stephen Bissette was kind enough to send me 18 sketches to use as I please. Writer, Joe Bongiorno caught-up with Nancy Collins for a very insightful/intriguing interview, and Holland Files regular, Rich Handley presents the history of John Constantine, pre-Swamp Thing. I’m honored to see Holland Files enter its third year. Thank you all again for your support and patience. I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to a new year. If you would like to order Holland Files 3, 2 and/or 1, contact me at HollandFilesZine@gmail.com.
Comics Journal 93 (1985)
While I’m reading through Moore’s run again, it’s fitting to share the mega, Swamp Thing focused Comics Journal 93. It features a whole lot of insight into the Swamp Thing title at the time. It’s fun to re-read the comics that are discussed in the following interviews, piecing together the creative process behind my favorite stories. The stunning cover was painted by Stephen Bissette and John Totleben, the team in charge of visuals for Swamp Thing at the time.
The magazine kicks off with a short article, discussing DC’s decision to drop the Comics Authority Code. It was a big step for the title, and the hype may have helped increase intrigue for the muck monster.
The Code rejects Swamp Thing, Swamp Thing rejects the Code.
“The first such book to be sold on newsstands without the Code’s seal of approval since the inception of the Code in 1954.”
it’s exciting to read about Berger, Moore, Bissette and Totleben, blazing trails in the comics world; dedicated to telling great stories.
Continue reading “The Swamp Thing Issue!”
The Comic Book Trivia Quiz (1977)
This week I’m in Cleveland, and with every trip, a thorough exploration into the local comic shops is a must. Being the birthplace of Superman creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, as well as the great Harvey Pekar, my hopes are high for Cleveland’s comics scene.
While visiting Imaginary Worlds Comics in Cleveland Heights, I stumbled upon a great comics trivia book from ‘77. The giant, 192-page book is jam packed with comics trivia, representing various eras of comic book history. And, the best part of it all, it features Swamp Thing related trivia! I had a feeling it would since Michael Uslan co-created the book. For those unfamiliar, Uslan is a huge Swamp Thing fan and has produced the bulk of DC television and movies.
Prior to this book referencing Swamp Thing, the first instance of Swamp Thing being incorporated in trivia/games was two years earlier in Limited Collectors’ Edition: Christmas with the Super-Heroes DC Treasury Edition (1975)
Sure, it took 109 pages into the book to find our muck-encrusted friend but there he is, within the “We’re Looking for People Who Like to Draw!” match game. The objective of the game is to match artists with their notable characters. Berni Wrightson and Swampy made the cut, naturally.
A few pages further into the book, Swamp Thing is seen again within, “Colorful Characters”; another word matching game. He’s described as, “Muddy brown with green highlights”.
The third and final game, with mention of Swamp Thing, comes by way of “Who’s Putting Words in My Mouth”. The game pairs comic writers with the characters they’re best associated with. The great, Len Wein can be found toward the bottom of column one.
Starlog 48 (1981)
As you know, I love Swamp Thing articles and ads, big and small alike. This instance being the latter, Starlog Magazine delivers another Swamp Thing mention. This time, a brief statement regarding the feature film from 1981.
Across the science-fiction universe and deep within the Star-Studded Notes portion of the magazine, Swamp Thing producers Avco Embassy make a key casting announcement.
There were a number of notable Swamp Thing moments at San Diego Comic Con this year and I’m excited to share my findings. Although I didn’t attend, I was in touch with various folks that did and there were some fun sightings!
DC Comics Swamp Thing Experience
At SDCC, DC comics created an off-site event to promote its upcoming online streaming service and by all accounts, it wasn’t very informative. A mini maze, decorated to look like a swamp that included lush vegetation, props and cast members, acted as a fun teaser for the upcoming live-action Swamp Thing series. Below are some images sent to me by fellow Swamp Thing fan, Erica who was on location for the event.
The DC Experience provided some hype and excitement going forward into the launch of DC’s streaming service. It also put Swamp Thing into the limelight at one of the largest comics related conventions in the world. Doom Patrol, Teen Titans and Harley Quinn were also part of the DC experience. I’ve not seen any images from those specific attractions but look forward to more as images from the convention emerge.
Note: Yesterday, the website Geeks World Wide posted the following information relating to the Swamp Thing series. “production start is expected to begin on September 10th in Wilmington… Casting is well underway and we expect to start hearing announcements very soon.” click here to read more.
Although news has been slow to be released for a show that will be shooting in September, it will be extremely exciting to see developments as September approaches.
Injustice Swamp Thing Figure
Along with the DC Experience, a Swamp Thing collectible was unveiled at SDCC. Hiya Toys announced and displayed an Injustice Swamp Thing figure. Slated to be relaeased in the winter/spring of 2018/2019, the figure comes with a wooden club and additional hands. The 4″ action figure looks beautifully sculpted, and is an exciting new direction for Swamp Thing figures.
Continue reading “Swamp Thing and the SDCC”
Twixt Two Worlds #3
Swamp Thing alum, Thomas Yeates released another installment of Twixt Two Worlds recently and I was excited to obtain a signed copy. The book features some of Yeates’ convention sketches commissioned by Dwayne Covey.
Swamp Thing kicks things off!
On the inside cover Swamp Thing does his best Clint’s Eastwood, looking contemplative and badass wearing this Spring’s freshest moss fashions.
Yeates and the convention sketch…
Yeates pays tribute to Bernie Wrightson, mentioning his great influence at an early stage in his artistic development. The image featured in the book inspired Thomas Yeates to work in a more bold/graphic manner in doing quick convention sketches.
Continue reading “Twixt Two Worlds 3”
DC Comics Presents Annual 3 (1984)
Dick Giodarno delivers the Meanwhile section in the back of the book, along with a Spotlight on Swamp Thing! That’s right, we’ll be fast-forwarding through this entire Annual… for Swamp Thing.
Fellow Swamp Thing fan, Joe tipped me off on this great Swampy feature. An excerpt of Alan Moore’s, “This is the Place” appears in all its glory, below. You’ll probably recognize the title of the piece, printed within DC Sampler #2.
“This is the Place” is a Swamp Thing related, promo poem written by Alan Moore. The poem ran in various publications in the mid 80’s and was paired with an illustration by Stephen Bissette and John Totleben.
The above excerpt differs from the final, more succinct, published version. The excerpt helps to reinforce the tone and paints a vivid picture for what’s to come within Moore’s Swamp Thing series. It also reminds me of Nancy Collins’ amazing series; similar visuals, tone and subject matter. To listen to an audio reading of “This is the Place”, visit the Swampcast PodThing.
Dynamic Classics 1 (1978)
This 44 page edition reprints, Batman “The Secret of the Waiting Graves” by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, and Dick Giordano along with, Manhunter “The Himalayan Incident” by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson. All that tantalizing goodness aside, I snagged this book for the articles.
Following the DC Explosion of ’78-and the subsequent implosion-Jenette Kahn discusses the benefits of DC’s new 50¢ (25-page, no ads, no reprints) comic format. At the time, DC was pulling damage control due to poor sales, questionable choices and various sales and marketing variables. But, out of the chaos and mess following the DC Implosion, Mrs Kahn provides a nugget of excitement, below.
“You’ll see the return of Swamp Thing”
Despite Kahn’s optimism, Swamp Thing would not return to an ongoing series for another four years, in 1982. But, she perhaps was referring to Swamp Thing’s appearance seven months later within, DC Comics Presents #8 “The Sixty Deaths of Solomon Grundy” (April 1979). Following this Publishorial (circa Sept 1978) Swamp Thing appeared in only five books prior to Swamp Thing series 2: the aforementioned DC Comics Presents #8 “The Sixty Deaths of Solomon Grundy” (April 1979), Super Friends #28 “The Spacemen Who Stole Atlantis” (January 1980), Brave and the Bold #176 “The Delta Connection” (July 1981), From Swords Of Cerebus Vol 3 (1981), and Cerebus #25 “This Woman, This Thing” (March 1981). For further info on chronology, reference the various Appearance lists in the website navigation menu at the top of the webpage.
Along with the hope of more Swamp Thing to come provided within the Publishorial, a fan wrote into The DC Feature Page requesting the muck-encrusted mockery of a man!
Continue reading ““You’ll see the return of Swamp Thing” – Jenette Kahn 1978″
Cracked Monster Party 12 (1991)
On a recent trip to Minneapolis, MN, I visited some of the comic shops looking for Swamp Thing appearances. I’m always on the look out for Cracked Monster Party books-and find them extremely difficult to find- as well as comic industry magazines that might feature an article related to Swamp Thing.
I found this issue of Monster Party within a short-box full of Starlog Magazines. Before purchasing the book, I skimmed through it the best I could and noticed it was chock-full-of famous monsters from film and literature. I was sure Swamp Thing was hidden within the pages somewhere.
Well, he wasn’t. He was hiding on the cover the entire time. King Kong sweeps the election and tramples Swamp Thing in the process. Swampy doesn’t know what hit him.
Comics Journal 115 (1987)
Thanks to friend and fellow Swamp Thing fan Rene, I was able to track down this great Swamp Thing appearance.
This issue of the Journal is stuffed with detailed info and insight into the infamous Fleisher v. Fantagraphics libel case, featuring Jim Shooter, Harlan Ellison, Gary Groth, Dean Mullaney and Joe Sacco.
I’m in it for the cover.
The jam-packed, star-studded, wraparound cover by the great Don Simpson includes Swamp Thing and Abigail! They’re apparently on scene for Shooter’s testimony.
Abigail looks concerned and tired.