Swamp Thing sneaking into the covers Pt.2

Cracked Monster Party 12 (1991)

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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.
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Swamp Thing sneaking into the covers

Comics Journal 115 (1987)

Thanks to friend and fellow Swamp Thing fan Rene, I was able to track down this great Swamp Thing appearance.
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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.
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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.
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Abigail looks concerned and tired.
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Swamp Thing is in a heap of monsters

A.C.B.A. Sketchbook 1973

the A.C.B.A. Sketchbook is a 36 page art portfolio, published by the Academy of Comic Book Artists. It features prints by some of the greatest artists in comics.
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Cover interior
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The portfolio was edited by Neal Adams, Doug Murray, and the rest of the Academy to promote the work of Academy members.
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I’ve been looking for the 1973 A.C.B.A. Sketchbook for a number of years and finally stumbled upon the portfolio last week. I’d heard of a Swamp Thing sketch within but wasn’t certain. After finding the portfolio, I’m happy to report that Jim Starlin created an awesome Swamp Thing illustration… with room for a pig-pile of sorts.
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Within the monster pile is, Man-Thing, Swamp Thing, Beast, Thing and Hulk.

Along with this sketch, the ACBA Sketchbook is filled with art by premiere artists. I’ve selected some of my favorites (below) but my selections don’t do the portfolio justice. This 25 page collection is truly stunning. The portfolio includes work by, Neal Adams, Sergio Aragones, Bob Brown, Frank Brunner, Sal Buscema, Howard Chaykin, Dave Cockrum, Gene Colan, Reed Crandall, Frank Frazetta, Stan Goldberg, Billy Graham, Harper, Larry Ive, Michael Kaluta, Alan Kupperberg, S. Lentin, Al Milgrom, Gray Morrow, Don Perlin, John Romita, Mike Royer, Syd Shores, Joe Sinnott, Jim Starlin, Jim Steranko, Stillwell, Tony Tallarico, Herb Trimpe, Wallace Wood, and more.
Continue reading “Swamp Thing is in a heap of monsters”

DC and LCA Entertainment Style Guide

DC and LCA Entertainment Style Guide (August 1990)

This beautiful, original style guide arrived in the mail yesterday and I’m extremely excited to share this rare gem with you. For those unfamiliar, a style guide exists to assist in maintaining a consist aesthetic within a brand. It usually comes in the form of a multi-page booklet, filled with dos and don’ts relating to logo usage, color palette, how a character should be portrayed, tone, etc. Basically, it’s a rule book to help you stay within the lines while branding and producing merchandise.

This style guide is housed within the Swamp Thing binder that you may have seen me write about or up for auction on ebay. The binder is filled with marketing/promotional/branded material and examples. Many of the illustrations within the style guide have been featured on the various collectibles that spawned from the animated TV series. You’ll probably recognize a lot of the illustrations from the Swamp Thing action figure packaging, board game, slippers, chalk, and various other Swamp Thing collectibles from the early 1990’s. There is so much to see, so I’m going to dive right in. I’ve included every page within the style guide so you won’t miss out on all its glory.

Binder front cover:
1 Cover

Section One – Introduction
Each section divider features a pattern of Swamp Thing icons; below.
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1 Covera

Pattern detail:
the little icon within the divider page pattern can be found on the packaging of a few Swamp Thing collectibles and can be found as a puffy sticker.
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The Introduction kicks off with a Swamp Thing origin comic. I can’t say I’d ever seen this abridged origin until the binder arrived in the mail yesterday. It’s a departure from the origin we are accustomed to in comics, but very entertaining.
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Dr. Holland has just perfected his bio-restorative formula in his secret, government lab, deep in the Swamps of Louisiana. It seems safe to assume, this strip helps fill-in the origin story gaps of the Swamp Thing animated series. This strip would be fun to see, played-out, prior to the notable animated series intro/theme song. Here, Arcane is the one who plants the bomb in Holland’s lab and he’s come for the formula.
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After the explosion, Arcane salvages what little formula remains after the blast and turns his devoted, unruly henchmen into Un-Men. In typical fashion, Dr Holland’s fiery body crashes into the nearby swamp.
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In this strip, Arcane and the Un-Men are hot on Swamp Thing’s trail to obtain every drop of formula they can from Dr. Holland’s remains. They didn’t bargain on finding something much greater! …Swamp Thing
Continue reading “DC and LCA Entertainment Style Guide”

Mediascene ’75 Wrightson Interview

Mediascene 16 (November/December 1975)

Last week I shared Historia de los Comics 33 (1982) which featured an excerpt from an interview with Berni Wrightson in 1975. I looked back into my archive of Swamp Thing related articles and pulled Mediascene 16, the publication that originally featured the interview. I snapped a number pictures from the excellent interview by Don McGregor. I think you’ll love reading Bernie’s answers as much as I did. It’s terribly unfortunate that Bernie passed on last year but reading these interviews is a nice reminder of how special he was, and all that he left us.
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The second section of the newspaper format magazine/fanzine features a large b/w Wrightson illustration, below.
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The article is amazing and was touching to revisit. It features a few Swamp Thing mentions and Bernie talks about his feelings toward the character.
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He is looking quite dapper and dramatic in the interview spread.
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Continue reading “Mediascene ’75 Wrightson Interview”

Historia de los Comics 33

Historia de los Comics 33 (1982)

The Spanish magazine provides a glimpse into the history of comics, including profiles of some of comics greatest artists. This issue highlights Swamp Thing and features a portion of Swamp Thing 2, The Man Who Wanted Forever. The reprinted story is translated and recolored.
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Bernie Wrightson’s profile:
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Below, I attempted to translate the featured Wrightson interview:
“In the horror stories that I draw, the characters perish more to real people than Kirby characters, or that of much of the publications of Marvel. Many of the Marvel magazines present superheros, the local means that the type that hits is super strong and, what is equally important, the one that receives the blow is also super strong, is able to endure it. It is as if two brick walls hit each other. What I want to say is that there is a lot of action and fights and dazzling lights and vigorous lines. I prefer the cause and the effect. I prefer that each action has an equal and opposite reaction, which means that if someone hits your head, your brain falls to the ground. and you die bleeding.
Continue reading “Historia de los Comics 33”