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From the recent Fantagraphics release The Complete Peanuts: 1979-1980:
Yes, I know that this sort of thing has been a concern for a very long time, but there was still that very brief moment of “the past, and the future…COLLIDING
” reading this, given the current nearly-constant media presence regarding the dangers of home taping. Or whatever it is you kids do nowadays, what with your cassette players and your patch cords and your kinescopes.
Charles Schulz, topical humorist across the decades! (Someday, Daniel Boone-style coonskin caps will come back into style, and all the Peanuts strips about those will become relevant again…just you watch!)
Related: the Schulz Museum has an exhibit last year focusing on the various pop culture references found in the strip. No online version of the exhibit appears to exist (though maybe I’m just not finding it), but I’ve briefly discussed before the odd feeling of encountering real-world pop culture mentions in the strip.
MAKE US READ FIVE ISSUES BEFORE ADMITTING IT
from Speedball #5 (Jan 1989) by Roger Stern, Steve Ditko & Bruce Patterson
BULLY IS SIX!
Rather, his wonderful and fun and absolutely essential weblog has turned six, which means Bully’s site is now the exact same age as Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull Who Is Also Six Years Old. Bully has been writing his site since birth, which makes all the rest of us look like the slackers we are.
Congratulations to Bully for six incredibly entertaining years! Here’s to six more, at the end of which, Bully will be…six years old still, somehow. Weird.
In other news:
- In response to yesterday’s post someone took issue with my assertion that Green Arrow #12 didn’t really count as a post-Brightest Day appearance, as it was mostly rehashing events from #24 of the Brightest Day series. Well, there are appearances of Swamp Thing in this issue outside of the Brightest Day recap, but he doesn’t really do anything other than stand there and look at Green Arrow wander around and think about, you know, stuff. In fact, my first impression was that Swampy’s appearances were more symbolic than literal, though rereading the issue, it’s…well, hard to tell, really. Regardless, it doesn’t push Swamp Thing’s particular story any further, and doesn’t reflect the character’s apparent status at the end of Brightest Day #24.
In conclusion, nobody cares except me, Rich, and that commentator who asked the question and also wants me to post the forthcoming Swamp Thing variants, etc. (NOTE: I’ll post those covers eventually…what, you thought there was a danger that I wouldn’t?)
- Pal Dorian gets his hands on a Bud K catalog, which reminds us that Diamond Previews has no monopoly on bizarre genre merchandise.
- Speaking of bizarre genre merchandise, Andrew shows us this thing that actually exists and there shall be no forgiveness for him.
image of Bully and, you know, that other guy, whassisname, © John D. and used with permission, hopefully
Well, Green Arrow #12 is out, and its year-long kinda-sorta ties to the Swamp Thing milieu are at an end, it appears. And thankfully, at least this time the variant cover didn’t also feature Swamp Thing, because good gravy they’ve got me double-dipping on enough books as it is. I’m already buying two copies each of the Search for Swamp Thing mini-series because I’m, you know, stupid. But as I am occasionally reminded by friends and / or coworkers who think they’re helping, at least DC doesn’t do “[Character] Appreciation Months,” where every variant cover for every title features, like, Wolverine or Thor or whoever else has a movie coming out soon, even if that character doesn’t appear in said comic. That’d be fantastic, trying to track down some 1/200 Swamp Thing Appreciation Month Sketch Variant Retailer Incentive Cover for Gotham City Sirens or something.
But perhaps I digress.
Anyway, I was wrong and yet, sorta right, when someone asked if Green Arrow #12 would be Swamp Thing’s third funnybook appearance this year. I said “no,” since it was my thought they didn’t want to mess with the character between the cliffhanger ending of Brightest Day #24 and the resolution of same in the forthcoming Search for Swamp Thing mini. And they way I’m sorta right is that [ahem...SPOILER ALERT, I guess] this isn’t really “the next appearance of Swamp Thing after the events of Brightest Day” as much as “here is what Green Arrow was up to while the events of Brightest Day #24 were goin’ down,” and we get to see that White Lantern Swampy Versus Black Lantern Swampy battle from a different angle. In case you missed any important details the first time around.
By the way, this issue of Green Arrow has already sold a lot better than other recent issues, and in my own entirely unbiased opinion, it’s because they put Swamp Thing on the cover. So, you know, maybe the possibility of a sales-boosting Swamp Thing Just on The Variant Cover And Not Inside The Book Appreciation Month isn’t that farfetched.*
* Yes, it is that farfetched. I’m not entirely delusional.
And now, from Swamp Thing #8 (Jan-Feb 1974), my favorite letter of comment from a Swamp Thing letters page:
Steve Lafler’s Dog Boy is back in all-new stories over at CO2 Comics, and you can read more about it here, or just jump straight to the new stuff. (And be sure to clicky-clicky in the sidebar there for some Lafler classics, including more Dog Boy!)
Hey, I love Dog Boy…what can I say?
So there’s this plot point in Swamp Thing #13 (Nov-Dec 1974), by Len Wein and Nestor Redondo, that I’ve been pondering for years. Briefly: Matt Cable is trying to smuggle Swamp Thing out of Washington D.C., and if you’re wondering why I have this sequence from a funeral for a professional colleague of Cable’s presented below:
…it’s because Cable’s cunning plan is to sneak Swampy out by — well, I’ll let Mr. S. Thing relate the details to you:
And…well, I’ve never been a pallbearer, but I suspect an extra — hold on, lemme check the Swamp Thing entry in my looseleaf Who’s Who in the DC Universe
— 350 pounds might have been noticed. I suppose it’s possible that perhaps the pallbearers in question thought it may have been somewhat rude to note how heavy the coffin was, given that the deceased in question, Professor Degrez, was shown to be a bit on the stout side. Or maybe they had a dozen or so pallbearers squeezed around the coffin, dividing up the load and making it a little more manageable. Or maybe they assumed that was some heavy damn wood used to make the coffin. Who knows.
And then there’s the question of Swamp Thing fitting into the “false bottom.” That looks like a relatively normal-sized coffin, maybe just slightly taller than usual. But even so, Swamp Thing is a pretty big dude. Assuming they had an open-coffin funeral (and there’s no reason to suppose not, as Degrez’s death came from being shot in the torso, not in the face), the deceased’s body would probably be, um, riding awfully high inside the box, there, with his nose scraping the inside of the lid once they closed it.
But perhaps there’s an out here, too, giving that Swamp Thing is, after all, a big ol’ mossy plant creature. He’s usually depicted as being pretty solid, but maybe he’s got some measure of give. In other words, maybe Cable an’ pals were able to kinda squish Swampy down a bit to make him a little flatter and take up less room beneath the false bottom.
And then there’s the whole “digging himself out of the grave” business. Swamp Thing could have dug downwards, I suppose, through the bottom of the coffin, then up and around the side to freedom, somehow pushing dirt up behind him to keep Degrez’s body from falling into the hole with him (unless, of course, the false bottom was secure enough to hold the body’s weight without Swamp Thing’s support beneath it).
That seems like a lot of extra work for Swamp Thing, but I’d rather think he did this than simply going straight up, digging past and pushing aside Degrez’s corpse to make his way to the surface. And let’s face it…it’s dark down there, and with dirt and rocks and whatnot falling down into his face, and probably given that Swamp Thing’s body doesn’t seem like it’d be the most tactile-sensitive, and would have difficulty discerning in all the confusion what’s a root, or a slat of wood, or, um, an arm. What I’m saying is that there might not have been much left intact of Degrez if Swamp Thing had opted for the straight-up approach to his escape.
He does say that he dug through “six feet of dirt,” which sort of implies a straight shot from the bottom of the grave to the surface. However, it could simply be a generalization referring to the traditional “six feet under” depth at which people are buried, and not an exact measurement of distance, since the down-and-around escape would add extra footage he’d have to traverse to reach the surface, and oh dear God I’m stopping this post right now.
…but in my discussion about those Search for Swamp Thing preview pages, I somehow overlooked a big alteration to the previously-run cover image for the first issue. Pal Dorian pointed out to me yesterday that where the image had previously shown Zatanna before:
…the image accompanying the preview now shows Hawkman:
In my post about Brightest Day #24
, I said I was all for any Hawkman vs. Swamp Thing action, if only to follow up on the mostly unrealized promise of this next issue blurb from Swamp Thing
#24 (1976), the last issue of that series:
Actually, I hope they keep changing the ad. Maybe one of the Blackhawks can be in Hawkman’s place next time.
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