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OFFICIAL: I am Swamp Thing’s best friend. Hear Swamp Thing writer Scott Snyder himself declare it right here on the latest War Rocket Ajax podcast, starting at about 1:20:48.
A big thanks to Steve for asking the question that elicited that response from an almost certainly puzzled Mr. Snyder.
…Yeah, I know. Short entry. Hey, I had a long day at the shop, plus I was getting a head start on tomorrow’s “End of Civilization” post.
Oh, one more thing. Swamp Thing completists should note that this week’s Flashpoint #5 has a couple of brief shots of our favorite muck-encrusted mockery of a man. This will be the first issue of this mini that I plan on picking up…if I have to get one of these, at least there’s a Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez variant cover I can take.
I received an email a month or so ago from Lowell Francis, the cowriter of the Flashpoint tie-in mini-series Project Superman, cluing me in to a secret Swamp Thing reference plugged into the series.
He tells me that the plan was to use Medusa from the Creature Commandos as the lady scientist in this story, but she was already appearing in the Frankenstein Flashpoint book. So, instead, it’s Dr. Linda Ridge (“Ridge” being the maiden name of Linda Holland, the ill-fated wife of Alec “Swamp Thing” Holland).
When Dr. Ridge finally pops off her helmet in Project Superman #2, artist Gene Ha presents her with a Medusa-esque planthead:
…and she also has little Swampy-esque minions:
BONUS SWAMP THING REFERENCE: a certain General Sunderland
, a person of interest known to Swampy fans, is mentioned in dialogue in #2.
Thanks to Mr. Francis for pointing this, one of the more subtle Swamp Thing crossovers, out to me.
So I just finished reading Fantagraphics’ The Complete Peanuts 1981-1982, and again, like I explained last time, the vast majority of this book was new to me, having not read previous reprintings of the strips from this period (as opposed to the near-memorization of the reprint books from the late ’70s and earlier).
One of the great new features of this particular reprint series, aside from, y’know, the whole completeness of the strips reprints and all, is the index in each volume. Sometimes humorously exact (like the breakdown of which Beagle Scouts are mentioned by name on which page), sometimes helpful (the “psychiatric help” listing helped my research in writing this Content Farm gag), sometimes facilitating celebrity spotting (oh, hey, namecheck of Carl Sagan in this volume)…
…And sometimes it’s a useful tool in documenting character appearances in the strip. Like Violet…in this 1981-1982 volume, Violet only appears on one page, versus (pulling out an earlier volume at random) 1961-1962, where she appears on about 30 pages. Yes, I know it’s no secret that some characters fell by the wayside as time went on (alas, poor Shermy), but it’s still a little…sad, I suppose, to see once prominent inhabitants of the strip only pop up once in a blue moon in the latter part of its run, if at all.
By the way, in the earlier volume, Violet was listed in the index under “Violet,” but when I couldn’t find her in the 1981-1982 volume’s index, I realized that she was probably listed under her last name, which I could not remember for the life of me. A quick Googling took me to her Wikipedia page, revealing that her last name, appearing once in a strip in 1953, is “Gray.” Also, I learned that “her birthday is unofficially celebrated by Peanuts fans on June 17,” so only about 10 shopping months left, friends. Apparently, according to the Wiki entry, this contradicts previous information placing her birthday in other parts of the year. Hey, reader De, remember when you joked about Peanuts canon arguments?
By the way, the index to her Wiki entry reveals her to be a monster:
• • •
In other Peanuts-related news, Tom Spurgeon reports
on the possible loss of the Charles Schulz Library at the Center of Cartoon Studies due to storm damage.
Lucky for me that Marvel Two-in-One #78 (August 1981), by Tom DeFalco, David Michelinie, Ron Wilson and Chic Stone, exists then, isn’t it?
For more pics of the ever-lovin’, blue-eyed Thing in action, check out the 365 Days with Ben Grimm project assembled entirely by hoof by Bully the Little Stuffed Bull.
WATCH “SHARK WEEK” ON TELEVISION?
GO AHEAD, WIMP
from G.I. Joe #47 (May 1986) by Larry Hama, Rod Whigham & Andy Mushynsky
Since Swamp Thing is going to be palling around with superheroes in short order (or, at least, hanging out in the same world that they do), I thought I should go back and find that brief bit of business where he reveals what he thinks of the capes ‘n’ tights set. So, here you go, from Swamp Thing #75 (August 1988) by Rick Veitch and Alfredo Alcala:
The lettering in that second-to-last caption box looks…just the slightest bit off from the rest of the lettering on the page. Maybe added after the fact? Or the text was altered from whatever was there before? Or maybe I’m just imagining things?
EDIT: Chris K notes in the comments that a Rick Veitch interview in The Comics Journal revealed that the caption was added after the fact (and I’m sure I’ve read that interview, but obviously didn’t remember that), and Mr. Veitch himself pops in to confirm that caption was a later addition.
So I read the last issue of the Brightest Day: The Search for Swamp Thing mini-series, and…honestly, what was the point of this? I said before the plot of the series seemed to be about resolving the relationship between Swamp Thing and Alec Holland, which already seemed to be resolved at the climax of the Brightest Day mini. And (SPOILER) it’s still not resolved, or rather it’s been unresolved, with Swampy and Alec still split up for some reason, leaving it for the new ongoing series to take care of, I guess.
Ultimately, it’s as I suspected previously…the point of the series was to show the two of Vertigo’s flagship characters tooling around in the regular superheroic DC Universe. And that’s it. As far as character or plot progression goes, it was just a whole lot of running in place. There’s novelty in Constantine encountering Superman and Batman, and was that a Cranius cameo I spotted in there? But that’s about all I can say for this series. Oh, and the variant covers were nice, too.
Speaking of that upcoming Swamp Thing series…the logo for the new book can be seen here. I was kinda hoping for this logo, if Swampy is going to be all superhero-y an’ all.
from Ideal All Stars #2 – Super Star Heroes (December 1978)
In other news:
ad from May 1984 DC Comics
…I presented incorrect information about Swamp Thing in a previous post. Yes, it’s true, and I hang my golden-maned head in shame.
In this post (since corrected), I noted that a caption missing in the paperback edition reprinting Moore’s earliest issues was included in the more-or-less equivalent Saga of the Swamp Thing hardcover. Well, that was bad info, friends.
So let’s get this straight:
Swamp Thing Vol. 1: Saga of the Swamp Thing trade paperback, reprinting issues #21 through #27, has the final caption from issue #24.
Saga of the Swamp Thing Vol. 1 hardcover, reprinting #20 along with #21-#27, is missing that caption.
Now, this is from checking the copies that are on our store shelves at this very moment. If there has been a newer edition of the hardcover that corrects this issue, I don’t know about it. (And I believe I reordered this copy of the hardcover on our shelf about a month ago, I think, so I’m pretty sure it’s the current printing.)
Let me revise my advice: buy the trade paperback, but also buy issues #16-#20 to…complete the experience, I guess.
Or, buy the hardcover, and paste this into the upper right hand corner of the last page of issue #24:
You may need to resize it and perhaps adjust the brightness/contrast.
Or you can just buy all the original issues from my shop, and I’ll give you a swell deal. Well, a deal. At the very least, I will charge you money for them.
In other Swamp Thing-related news:
- Oh, gosh darn it, I know someone sent this link along to me, but I forgot who it was and I can’t track it down. But, thanks to that someone for pointing out this post about former Swamp artist Steve Bissette’s visit to the International Cryptozoology Museum, which includes some small samples of Bissette’s art from The Vermont Monster Guide.
- “If Swamp Thing is killed does that mean all life in the universe dies? “
Lots of questions from someone who seems to think the whole Brightest Day/White Lantern thing is going to continue having a major impact on the ongoing Swamp Thing title. My guess: will either never be mentioned again, or will be noted briefly and forgotten about as the storylines move forward.
- This week: Brightest Day: The Search for Swamp Thing #3 is coming out this week, and I’ve shown the regular cover previously. Here is the variant cover by David Mack:
In case you missed it, here’s my review of issue #2 where I kind of wonder what the point of this series was. Other than to get me to buy two copies of each issue for the covers, of course.
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