The Swamp Thing Issue!

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.
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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.
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“The first such book to be sold on newsstands without the Code’s seal of approval since the inception of the Code in 1954.”

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it’s exciting to read about Berger, Moore, Bissette and Totleben, blazing trails in the comics world; dedicated to telling great stories.

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and thus, a Sophisticated Suspense was born…

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The Swamp Thing section makes up the bulk of the magazine, featuring interviews with Moore, Bissette and Totleben. Mark Burbey presents a brief but passionate intro before launching into his lengthy discussion with Stephen Bissette.
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“What Alan, Steve and John are doing with Swamp Thing is like nothing else happening in comics today.” –Mark Burbey

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Burbey breaks down the interview formats, warns of spoilers, and The Bissette Interview begins
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“This is the place”, the prose by Alan Moore is featured within the Swampy section. It’s an eerie description, helping to set the tone of the series. The magazine is peppered with process drawings and concept sketches. They’re reprinted in black/white and are beautiful.
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the Bissette interview was made up of two separate conversations. Burbey interviewed Stephen prior to him starting on Swamp Thing, so they play catch-up a little toward the beginning. Below, Bissette discusses working on TSR figures with his artists friends in Vermont. You’ll no doubt recognize a few names.
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Bissette mentions that he and Totleben helped Tom Yeates during his time on the Swamp Thing title; Totleben since issue 2.

“October of 1982… we should take a shot at it, and that’s when we put the time in.”

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Below is the page with the “frog creature”, Bissette mentioned above.
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below, Bissette discusses his learning curve in getting used to drawing Swamp Thing.
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my favorite aspect of collecting and reading articles related to Swamp Thing is finding information, like the good stuff below. Reading how Moore, Bissette and Totleben hadn’t met, and exchanged ideas via mail is fantastic… and insightful. I wouldn’t mind reading some of those letters today.
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after the Swamp Thing title floundered under Martin Pasko, DC didn’t put much support behind the book. Below, Bissette mentions the shift in attitude toward the character, once their stories boosted readership.

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above, Bissette mentions the widely discussed DC Sampler that features Swamp Thing and company. The spread advertises the Swamp Thing series. For more info, see my DC Sampler post, here.

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Bissette mentions his Un-Women concepts in the above selection from the interview. A cool section within the book, “The Unseen Un-Men” features a series of Un-Men concept sketches. We now interrupt this Stephen Bissette interview to bring you…

back to the regularly scheduled Stephen Bissette interview…
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the Swamp Thing related portion of the interview winds down with Bissette discussing Wrightson’s Un-Men and how they went about reimagining them. Bissette also mentions how frantic it was, wrapping up Martin Pasko’s run, prior to Moore coming aboard.

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The Alan Moore Interview
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The interview gets a little clunky in areas, with Moore providing humble and brief answers to dippy questions regarding his personal life. But, he provides a great deal of insight into his work, early on in the series. Below, Moore discusses the enthusiasm and energy exchanged by the creative team
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Moore discusses his discontent toward fandom, from an early age
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Moore discusses his influences…
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“Each of these genres have gradually built up an arsenal of cliches that… smothered the original concepts”

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It’s fun to read Moore’s wholistic approach to writing; considering various entertainment mediums and writing formats when story telling.
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“we’re trying the best we can to construct stories that have some sort of real human resonance and some moments of genuine unease.”

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Moore discusses character development…
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How Moore got the Swamp Thing gig
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How Swamp Thing fits within the DC Universe
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Establishing what sets Swamp Thing apart from other DC characters
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The John Totleben Interview
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Totleben talks about Wrightson’s influence on him, when the first Swamp Thing series came out.
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Tight deadlines and working with Bissette’s pencils
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We can thank Tom Yeates for the Bissette and Totleben run
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Swamp Thing, issue 19 could have been the curtain call for our muck-encrusted mockery of a man, if not for Totleben’s hard work.
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Totleben discusses reworking Dan Day’s pencils in Swamp Thing 20
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Totleben on developing Swamp Thing
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Totleben touches upon something that always bothered me within the Martin Pasko run. swamp Thing and transportation…
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“We’ve probably enough for three or four years’ worth of stories”

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Totleben discusses taking over cover duties, now that he and Bissette are on the boo
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Totleben discusses making a new Swamp Thing logo
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Get Out The Vote

Standing up for what you believe in isn’t always easy, but voting is.
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Tuesday, November 6th is quickly approaching and it’s an important day to raise your voice. The United States Mid-Term Election gives you the power to decide who represents you, who affects your life. It’s an important time to improve upon the course and quality of your country. Those who are running for office are merely applying for a job, and you’re the one doing the hiring. Call “bullshit” when you see/hear it. Hold them accountable when they aren’t representing you, who put them in office. This Mid-Term Election is going to be extremely close, down to the wire in many instances and it’s more important than ever to make your vote count when it’s neck-and-neck.

what You Get
A powerful voice. By voting, you affect the balance of your government; how bills are passed, laws are established and the overall quality of your government. You’re able to directly affect the US Chambers of Congress (number of House and Senate Representative seats) as well as affecting those who represent you on a local level; You’re Governor, Attorney General, State Representatives, municipal leaders, mayors and more. This election holds the power to balance Congress, creating a more unified/thorough voice for your country.

What are the stakes? What’s up for grabs?
Federal offices up for election are members of the United States Congress, including all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33/34 of the 100 seats within the United States Senate.

Also, 34 of the 50 states elect their governors to four-year terms during midterm elections. Many states also elect officers to their state legislatures in midterm years. There are also elections held at the municipal level. On the ballot are many mayors, other local public offices, and numerous citizen initiatives.

In summation, this provides you numerous opportunities to see an impact based on your vote.

Tuesday, November 6th is a powerful day and a lot is at stake. Voter turnout determines the outcome; that’s you, me and everyone we know. Please join me in taking to the polls and voting for what you believe in. Progress and political movement doesn’t occur overnight but the more you show up to make your voice and vote count, progress is made much quicker.
Use this resource to find your local polling location and where you need to be.

The Comic Book Trivia Quiz

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)

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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.
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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”.
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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.
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Back cover
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Starlog 48 – Casting ‘81 Swamp Thing

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.
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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.
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Swamp Thing and the SDCC

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.
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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.
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Continue reading “Swamp Thing and the SDCC”

Twixt Two Worlds 3

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.
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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.
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Yeates and the convention sketch…
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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.
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Continue reading “Twixt Two Worlds 3”

Garbage Mag 1

Garbage Mag 1 (1985)

I found this French entertainment magazine/fanzine a little over a year ago and am excited to finally share it with you. As you can see from the cover, the book is packed with awesome interviews and articles. I’m extremely pleased with the killer content. The book had a limited run of 1,500 copies.
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The table of contents features an awesome Dave Stevens (The Rocketeer) Batman sketch.
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The magazine houses a couple awesome Swamp Thing features, the first being “The Swamp Thing Report”. I’m as dismayed as you are, I’m still in the process of translating (from French to English) all of the content.
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“The Swamp Thing Report” features some amazing sketches by Stephen Bissette and John Totleben.
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