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from Nancy Dreams & Schemes (1990)
Well, my plan was to talk a little more about the whole Swamp Thing hoohar on Monday, after folks have had more of a chance to read and process the character’s reemergence in this week’s Brightest Day #24. But, as many of you have emailed, commented, and Tweeted at me about in the last 12 or so hours, there’s some other big Swamp Thing news this week: MATTEL SWAMP THING ACTION FIGURE WITH EXCLUSIVE PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES available only at this year’s San Diego Comic Con!
OH MAN. And he comes with a case shaped like his head that apparently doubles as a mask:
It seems as if the figure may be available beyond SDCC, but the accessory Un-Men figures are exclusive to this release, such as (what appears to be) Ophidian:
…and of course, the incredible Cranius:
I mean, c’mon, who deserves a Cranius figure more than me? …Well, okay, Wein and Wrightson, but I’m a close third, dammit!
So, since it’s about as likely I’ll be able to travel to Mars as to the San Diego Comic Con, I’m gonna have to plan a way to get my mitts on this thing. Plans probably won’t involve murder and mayhem, but I guarantee nothing.
You can see the whole video presenting this beautiful thing right below:
…or if that doesn’t work, you can look at the video right here.
In other news:
- So apparently there’s going to be an ongoing subplot in the Superman comics about Supes renouncing his U.S. citizenship, causing people who’ve never read Superman comics to threaten to never read Superman comics. Or something. I guess this is really, really important, somehow.
Hey, remember that time Superman died and he totally was never going to come back? …Yeah.
- Andrew has a new Nobody’s Favorites entry featuring one of those characters that everyone’s heard of, but doesn’t make it any less peculiar that the character even existed in the first place.
- So Kevin Church and Max Riffner contributed a swell four-page story to the Panels for Primates online anthology.
- When making your Deadpool fan film, be careful with your live ammunition. REMINDER: Deadpool is a professional comic book character and his firearm frivolity should not be attempted at home. (via pal Dorian)
- Bully, the little bull whom, it seems, is quite stuffed, presents: TALES OF THE SPOILER. Good spoilin’ fun for everyone!
- Hey, pals Randy and Denise have a new book out: Sketch Card Mania, all about the process in producing those collectible insert cards you find in trading card sets, from two veterans of that industry! Randy and Denise are good people and fun, talented artists, and having seen the book at our shop, I can verify that it looks great. SPECIAL DEAL: if you order from Randy’s site, you will get your copies with original sketches from Randy and Denise.
Congrats to those two on the release of their book!
- Oh, I totally forgot to link to this…my latest article for The Content Farm site: How to Sell Your Soul to the Devil. You know, in case you were wondering how to go about that an’ all.
Another month, another Diamond Previews catalog (May 2011 edition), another handful of nerdworld-centric gags I’ll have to explain to my dad when I visit the folks this weekend. Also, I do the same thing every time I have to crack wise about Monopoly games, so I apologize.
Pop open your Previews and follow along!
p. 154 – Transformers #21 & #22:
It felt like the Transformers comics were already bi-weekly. Hell, they almost felt daily.
p. 184 – Bomb Queen Gang Bang TP:
You know, just the other day I was wondering what the exact opposite of “subtle” was.
p. 227 – The Original Shakespeare Shirt:
It’s a throwaway gag from a 20-year-old Star Trek movie and it’s a mash-up of two different things! ALL HAIL THE GREATEST PIECE OF GEEK MERCHANDISE EVER.
p. 228 – Strawberry Shortcake Berry Fun #1:
This has a scratch and sniff cover, which is one of those cover enhancements that, luckily or unluckily, never quite caught on in the comics marketplace. “Don’t smell the Lobo comic, NOOOOOOO!”
p. 323 – Totsugami Foreign Gods Volume 1:
No, I’m pretty sure that’s the final art.
p. 352 – Conan Mass Market Paperback:
I mean, it’s not just me that thinks it’s weird to see a live-action Conan that isn’t Arnold Schwarzenegger, right? (In other news, Firefox’s spell checker recognizes “Schwarzenegger.” But not “Chewbacca.” What a world.)
p. 352 – The Brain Eater’s Bible: Sound Advice for the Newly Reanimated Zombie:
Hopefully this won’t curtail plans for our new book Write More Zombie, the senses-shattering sequel to Write More Good – Write More Good currently available in stores and online! Ask for it by name!
p. 354 – Dilbert: Your Accomplishments Are Suspiciously Hard to Verify TP:
I hear PlannedChaos is available to write an exceptionally laudatory introduction for this book.
p. 354 – Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture:
Rule #1: Never ever ever criticize any aspect of it, or God help you.
p. 383 – Mr. Potato Head – Spudbob Squarepants:
You know, just in case you never wanted to sleep again.
p. 384 – Barbie Farrah Fawcett Doll:
I hope the Farrah Fawcett line lasts long enough for us to get Saturn 3 Farrah Fawcett (with Ken as “Hector”).
p. 388 – Make Your Own Zombie Action Figure Customizing Kit:
For use in making up your own zombie stories, in the very unlikely case there’s ever a shortage of new zombie media to entertain you.
p. 397 – Smurfs Movie Jumbo Plush Wave 1 Asst:
Smurf/Keane Painting Amalgamation Technology is nearly perfected! The cuteness singularity approaches! Let all men fear the future that awaits!
p. 397 – Star Wars Kenner Death Squad Commander 12-Inch Action Figure:
I never really got the appeal of the original version of this figure when I was a kid. Making that figure larger only makes me wonder more.
p. 424 – Tiger Blood Energy Drink:
A great conversation starter, as your friends will ask in a couple months’ time “Tiger blood? ‘Winning?’ What’s that about?”
p. 425 – Bacon t-shirts:
Oh, thank goodness, I thought we as a nerd-nation had forgotten how much we all love bacon. Bacon bacon bacon.
p. 433 – Lynyrd Skynyrd Tailwind Folding Knifes:
For all the fun I make of things in these End of Civilization posts, I can understand pretty much why each item makes it into the catalog, no matter how ridiculous it may seem.
I really don’t get why these are in the catalog.
p. 434 – World of Warcraft Tankard o’Terror Stein:
Ah, this will go well with my Dish o’Dread filled with the Cheetos o’Consternation.
p. 443 – Monopoly Three Stooges Special Edition Board Game:
Do not pass GO, do not slap Curly repeatedly in the forehead.
p. 443 – Monopoly AC/DC Collector’s Edition Board Game:
Do not perform dirty deeds, do not do them dirt cheap.
p. 444 – Doctor Who The 11th Doctor Edition Board Game:
Do not pass GO, do not use your Sonic Screwdriver to Get out of Jail Free.
Marvel Previews p. 16 – Fear Itself Deadpool #2:
Finally, a Fear Itself tie-in comic that actually looks scary.
So here’s the regular cover for this week’s Brightest Day #24, featuring Swamp Thing as drawn by Gary Frank:
I like the detail of the scarlet snake (I think it’s supposed to be, anyway…I don’t see any red-on-yellow-kill-a-fellow of the coral snake) entwined in Swampy’s shoulder:
And yes, the variant cover, available to retailers in a 1/10 ratio to the regular cover, also featured Swamp Thing (as drawn by Ivan Reis):
Yes, I’m picking up this cover too. I’m buying two copies of the same comic just for the covers, you bastards. Also, is Swamp Thing coughing up the White Lantern rings, or opening his plant-hole wide to receive them? Or maybe they’re just hovering around his face and he’s agape in astonishment. Who knows.
And then there’s the 1/10 variant for the final issue of the Justice League: Generation Lost series, which I swear is mocking me personally:
I mean, just look at this:
Yes, I’m getting this cover too. Jerks.
- Since I’m probably never going to get that official Swamp Thing/Man-Thing crossover (though we’ve had some unofficial ones), I’ll have to settle for things like this awesome drawing by Paul Wee.
- Hey, here’s a fantastic William Stout rendition of Swampy.
- Can’t help but think I’ve linked this before, but it’s Swamp Thing and MODOK, hangin’ out in the swamp together. (Not to be confused with SWAMPDOK, of course.)
- Speaking of pal Tom Foxmarnick, who drew that SWAMPDOK image for me, here is another drawing of his presenting yet another Man-Thing/Swamp Thing team-up:
Click on that image for a much better look. And yes, I know Man-Thing has no mouth, but that little tongue is so cute.
Tom will be selling prints of artwork just like this at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, so drop on by his table and give him a howdy-do. And some money. For art.
- So apparently at one time there was a vote for which series was most deserving of being presented in a DC Archives hardcover edition, and coming in at a close second was Swamp Thing. So clearly there’s need of a recount. Anyway, there’s a mock-up on that site of what a Swamp Thing Archives might look like.
- It’s tough not to love a review of the Swamp Thing movie that includes this line:
“There’s one naked swamp bathing scene, but you just barely catch a glimpse of anything important.”
However, sir, I must disagree. That’s naked Adrienne Barbeau you’re speaking of…every bit is important.
Also, the cartoon at the end of the review is something else.
- Behold: RETIRED SWAMP THING, courtesy Awesome Hospital‘s Matt Digges.
- “Swamp Thing could fit 20 riders in its single train.” …You don’t say!
- …And Tony Isabella tells me this comic strip made him think of me when he saw it, so I shall add him to the list of people that I’ve infected with my particular obsession. And soon, I will call upon all these people to rise up as my personal army to…well, perhaps I’ve said too much.
- So it’s a good thing DC Comics has knocked the majority of their funnybooks down to the $2.99 price point, because you’re gonna need that money you’ve saved to buy their books this week. We have one $5.99 book being released (Action Comics #900), and for $4.99 each, the last issues of DC’s two year-long mini-series (Justice League: Generation Lost #24 and Brightest Day #24) and issue #50 of Justice Society of America. I gave up on JSA a while back, but I read the rest of these, and I may be double-tapped on Brightest Day #24 if the variant cover also features that big green swampy fella. Because, you know, I’m a sad completist.
- So Secret Avengers #12 and Secret Defenders #12.1 in the same week? Seriously?
- Here’s something I get asked for at the shop a lot: a trade paperback collection of Secret Wars. Oh, sure, there’s a hundred buck hardcover omnibus edition, but that’s bit of a harder sell than a theoretical $24.99 paperback containing the 12-issue series. But I bet we could sell a bunch if such a trade paperback were to be brought back into print.
Funny, I have a lot of Civil War trades here.
- Speaking of Secret Wars, I was speaking of Secret Wars the other day on the Twitter, and I had someone ask me if it was any good. My response was that it read like a transcript of a kid playing with his action figures (fitting, considering the Secret Wars toy tie-in line), and that it was, in a way, a form of naïve art. Like, all the basics of superhero comics distilled down to its very essence, without concern for subtlety or style.
I’m not saying this to be critical…I like the Secret Wars series just for what it is. It’s…well, I was going to say it’s “not pretentious” but of course it is, at least in conception, if not in execution. But it’s a dumb superhero comic and sometimes you just want to read a dumb superhero comic where superheroes fight supervillains and Secret Wars fits that bill and it’s just fine.
Anyway, Secret Wars: let’s have a trade of that, Marvel. I mean, c’mon.
- And a trade for Infinity Gauntlet, too, for God’s sake. I get asked for that all the time. EDIT: Forgot there’s a hardcover edition coming out soon. Well, that won’t be as easy to sell as a paperback, but at least it’s something.
- Also, it would be nice if Batman: The Dark Knight Returns were available for reorder, which it hasn’t been for the last couple of weeks. I know, I know, it happens, but still, this is one book that I hate to be without for the shop. This is, like, one of the very basic foundations for a graphic novel selection at a comic shop. You’d think everyone would have a copy by now, but no, I’m still selling plenty of them.
- So we opened the store for Easter, which we never do, but I had to be at the shop anyway to get some work done, and, you know, what was I going to do with my Easter, anyway? Yardwork? Clean house? Hang out with family? Pfffft.
Anyway, it’s a good thing I did, because a couple of regulars dropped by to pick up a lot of books they’d special-ordered, to the tune of several hundred dollars…okay, they were going to buy the books eventually anyway, even if they had to come on a day other than Easter, but still, better to get that money sooner than later. And I had another customer I hadn’t seen in about a decade pop in and drop some mad cash on back issues. And we were just generally busy the entire day, ultimately doing better business than we usually do on Sundays. (Also, Awesome Hospital‘s Matt Digges stopped by, because he took pity on me.)
So, for future Easters I suspect we may remain open. I’m still closing on Christmas Day, though. And on Lefthanders Day, because I can only take the cruel oppression from you fascist righthanders for so long.
Under normal circumstances, admitting that you’ve held onto, but not looked at, a magazine for thirty years could be considered a problem.
So a Swamp Thing fan did a bit of an info dump regarding the character in my comments section from a couple of days ago, which…you know, you can probably just email those to me, that’d be fine, honest! If I act on any of your suggestions, I’ll give you credit, I promise! But he did remind me of a Swamp Thing appearance I’d totally forgotten about…one I did buy off the stands when it came out, so I have it in my collection, but I probably haven’t cracked open the cover of the thing since originally reading it around 30 years ago.
It’s DC Comics Presents #38 (October 1981), and, like issue #50 of the series, featured a two-page pin-up (by George Perez) of all the characters Superman had teamed up with in the previous issues. Including, of course, our favorite swamp creature:
Yeah, I know it looks like the Flash is hanging on Swampy’s arm like a prom date, or that he’s on the verge of plowing through Swamp Thing’s body at superspeed. Also, I’m reasonably certain this is the only time Swamp Thing and Hoppy the Marvel Bunny ever appeared in the same image together. Unless Hoppy’s in that two-page crowd scene in Crisis on Infinite Earths #5, and I’m too lazy to go check.
Speaking of which, I think Swampy’s appearances in those couple of issues of Crisis are, along with this pin-up, the only times George Perez drew Swamp Thing. Well, that were published, anyway…for all I know, at conventions, when he isn’t being asked to draw topless Starfire, maybe he’s doing dozens of Swamp Thing commissions. Or maybe commissions of Swamp Thing with topless Starfire.
I would like to apologize in advance to Mr. Perez for the commission requests he’s about to receive.
FOR YOUR BRIS
from How Sluggo Survives (1989)
From the letters column in Challengers of the Unknown #86 (April-May 1978):
The editorial reply:
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’d totally be in favor of an “Adventures of Alec Holland” series. In fact, in a way it looks like we might be getting a little bit of that in next week’s final issue of that one series I don’t want to spoil by mentioning that Swamp Thing may or may not have made an appearance in the previous issue.
We’ve had the occasional Alec Holland adventure in the various Swamp Thing titles, usually when he reverts (or imagines he reverts) to human form, like in the last issue of his original series and the couple of Challengers of the Unknown issues which followed up on those plot threads.
And then there was this, Alec Holland’s one and (I think) only appearance in the DC Animated Universe comics, from Batman Adventures Vol. 2 #16 by Ty Templeton, Rick Burchett and Terry Beatty:
Alas, at no time was there an animated universe Swamp Thing to go with our animated universe Alec Holland, aside from some sneaky cameos in the Justice League cartoons.
As an aside…there sure were a lot of typos in that Challengers letters column. In the scans you can see “there” used in place of “their,” and “permanently” spelled “perminately.” Not shown: “November” spelled “Nobember.” By the way, I was going back through some of my older posts as I was writing this and quickly spotted several typos of my own, so I’m not taking the high road, here.
And if I may quibble a bit with the original letter writer’s point…Holland didn’t spend “his whole life looking like that.” Even in real world time, as opposed to however much time allegedly passed in the comics, Holland had only been Swamp Thing for about six years at that point. So let’s not exaggerate, Guy Who Wrote in to Challengers of the Unknown 30-Plus Years Ago!
DC Comics Presents #50 (October 1982) had a two-page pin-up by Alex Saviuk and Frank Giacoia featuring all of Superman’s guest-stars thus far in the series’ run, and shown here is a detail from that image with Swamp Thing and some of his super-pals:
Speaking of Swamp Thing and his super-pals, one of my readers directed me to this bit of business over at the DC Comics site presenting a Certain Mr. Swamp Creature of Some Renown popping up on the cover of a Certain Year-Long Superhero Event Maxi-Series of Some Notoriety.