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.
Continue reading “The Swamp Thing Issue!”

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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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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Continue reading “Garbage Mag 1”

DC Comics Presents Annual 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.
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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.
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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.

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“You’ll see the return of Swamp Thing” – Jenette Kahn 1978

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.
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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.
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“You’ll see the return of Swamp Thing”

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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.

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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!
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Continue reading ““You’ll see the return of Swamp Thing” – Jenette Kahn 1978″

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