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Courtesy PTOR, friend of this site and maintainer of the famed Sanctum Sanctorum weblog: a page from Crazy Super Special #88 (July 1982) by Larry Hama and Bob Camp, featuring…well, you’ll see:
I don’t recall Mad
or any of the Mad
-a-likes ever doing a full-length parody of the Swamp Thing
film at the time, since I’m sure the film wasn’t prominent enough to warrant the attempt. So, this may be as close as we ever got, unless someone out there can tell me something different.
Bob Camp’s Swamp Thing caricature is pretty great, but man, just imagine an actual Mad parody of the Swamp Thing movie drawn by Mort Drucker. Almost brings a tear to one’s eye.
Or a parody drawn by Don Martin! “A bomb! Got to defuse it before….” “BAAAROOOSHOOOMOOOMOOOM” “AGGG! AAAAAH! GARGH!” “KERSPLOOOOSH”
Some of you may remember my previous mentions of an early show on the Nickelodeon cable channel entitled Video Comics, in which various DC Comics stories starring the Flash, Green Lantern, Sugar and Spike, etc. would be presented panel by panel with narration. You may also remember my noting this show as one of the methods by which I was introduced to Swamp Thing, another character featured on the program.
Thanks to reader Patrick, who emailed me yesterday to let me know that an episode of Video Comics finally popped up on YouTube, starring guess who:
This episode lacks the intro Video Comics
usually had (I think, probably, just for the more superhero-y installments) of the kids riding their bikes to the local market to ransack the comic racks, while Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” played. Though, I suppose if you have
to have at least the music:
Anyway, thanks again to Patrick for letting me know that Video Comics
finally showed up on the Internet somewhere. This hit the ol’ nostalgia button!
Sorry for the extended outage…I’ve been ill, and have been trying to stay away from Internetting for a few days while I recovered. I even skipped out of most of a Saturday at the shop, which I never do, and apparently that was good planning on my part as a Cardfight Vanguard event we were apparently expecting a couple dozen people for ended up attracting, like, a hundred people, and as I was at home in bed that ended up having to be Someone Else’s Problem, for which I apologize.
A portion of the crown outside our shop – photo by long-suffering Employee Timmy
Anyway, since we last spoke, while flopped on my bed like a big ol’ lump of nothin’, I watched, via Netflix streaming, the entirety of the BBC sitcom Hyperdrive, a very funny spoof on Star Trek-ian type programming.
I also read all about the new Swamp Thing action figure due at the end of the year, or rather watched all about it since I’ve only really looked at the video at that link. I think everyone I know sent me some link or another about this figure…a figure which, by the way, is going to cost about fifty bones. Good gravy, thank goodness for buying things at wholesale. I remember saying something a while back that, on one hand, not having Swamp Thing around meant less tie-in merchandise I’d have to track down and buy (yes, “have to”), while on the other hand, having Swamp Thing comics around means more merchandise, which is great but, you know, I still have to pay for it. There’s been in the last couple of years, what, three t-shirts, a statue, a Squinkie, I don’t even remember what else. Oh, yeah, and a comic book series. Man, comics, did you know they still make those?
In addition, I read more about DC Comics’ latest plan to kill me. My guess is that throwing a Justice League logo onto a Shadow Thief comic isn’t going to increase sales that much, but I have, oh, another month and half to think about that before I send in my orders. I am totally down with a Mongul comic written by Jim Starlin, however.
Oh, and this week, Superman Unchained #1 is out, so I’ll be unboxing loads of those Tuesday afternoon at the shop and sorting out the dozen or so different variant covers. I’ll probably have something to say about that comic later in the week.
So…um…how are you?
I talked before about how I’m not really looking for any more old comics for my collection, outside of an issue of Dog Boy or two, or ’60s and ’70s fanzines. I mean, sure, if something cool comes along I might snap it up for myself, but by and large there’s not a whole lot of specific back issues I’m actively looking for. This comic I acquired a few months back, for example, was the big one, a comic I’d spent years trying to find.
But there is this one comic that I’d been half-interested in buying, one featuring the debut of a character that’s appeared on and off over the decades, that I’d never seen in the shop in all the time I’ve worked here. I’ve always liked its quite striking cover, however, since I first saw it in a long-ago issue of Amazing Heroes, and decided then I’d buy a copy should I ever get the opportunity.
And then, this weekend, there it was in a collection (the same collection where I found the comic with this page, in fact):
#79, December 1968, featuring the debut of Dolphin as written and illustrated by her creator, J. Scott Pike
Now I suppose I could have gone online and bought a copy from someone, but it’s not something I was absolutely going crazy from not owning…I just figured that sooner or later, a copy would come by the shop, and hopefully it would be in halfway decent shape (i.e. Dolphin didn’t have a mustache drawn on her). As it turns out, it was far more “later” than “sooner,” but, hey, good enough. And now I own a copy of this comic, and the cover looks just as great in real life as it did in that magazine article and on comic cover gallery websites.
Also in the comic is a reprint of the first appearance of Aqualad, and a one-page text piece explaining the idea of fanzines as well as promoting a couple…which is certainly an added bonus for me, given my appreciation for ‘zines.
In conclusion: just what I needed, another comic…but it is always nice to finally find that one elusive item you’ve been searching for, the long itch that finally gets scratched.
• • •
In other news:
- So some of the “WTF Certified” covers are getting put out there in advance of release, revealing the full fold-out “shocking” image (though the “WTF” logo itself won’t appear on the comics, cooler heads having prevailed). Well, at least one cover has made it out, anyway, since it’s the only one that’s popped up in my Google search alerts, for what should be obvious reasons.
It looks like the big shocking surprise is a big-name guest star making his second appearance in this series, revealing that his terrible costume hasn’t become less terrible in the year and a half since the last time he visited. Despite that, the issue looks like it could be fun…at the very least, it’s not yet another chapter in the Rotworld storyline, so there’s that.
- If you can bear going to Facebook for this, there’s an announcement that the first Swamp Thing movie is going to be released on Blu-Ray by Scream Factory (a division of Shout! Factory), so you can finally see the zippers on the costumes with all the clarity they deserve. You’ll see a lot of complaining in the comments about the fact this will be the 91-minute theatrical release, and not the 93-minute “international” version with the extra nekkidness from Adrienne Barbeau and others.
Some folks in the comments seem to believe that there is NO Topless Barbeau in the 91-minute version, which as far as I know (based on previous careful examination of the original VHS release) is not the case. It is possible that the second DVD release (replacing the initial DVD release, which did have all the “extras,” as it were) had all the salacious material removed, including the slightly briefer scenes of Ms. Barbeau’s bathing that had existed in previous home video and theatrical releases. I only own the first version of the DVD, not the replacement version, so perhaps some kind reader could verify if such surgery was in fact performed in the second release. Or I’ll just have to rent the stupid thing from Netflix myself. You know, for the public good.
I suspect I have spent a lot of time on this site discussing nudity in Swamp Thing movies. …I’m not proud.
Anyway, it’ll be nice to have any version of the movie on Blu-ray, since my original DVD is not anamorphic. But it is very, very naughty.
So Paul wrote in and asked if I had any comment on this week’s delayed arrival of Scarlet #6 from Marvel’s Icon imprint. And I said, “oh, was it late?” and I checked our cycle sheets at the store, and BEHOLD:
#1 – 7/8/10
#2 – 9/1/10
#3 – 11/4/10
#4 – 1/19/10
#5 – 3/28/11
#6 – 2/6/13
Wow, nearly two years between the last two issues. Not quite Ultimate Hulk Vs. Wolverine level, but pretty close. I probably just didn’t notice it because, unlike that Hulk/Wolverine thing, I didn’t have people asking me every day when it was coming out. Or any day, for that matter. Is anything really late if nobody’s waiting for it? …Ooh, okay, that’s a bit harsh. I’m sorry. But not too sorry, because I have to sell these things, and a two-year gap between issues is kind of bullshit, and certainly no way to keep a readership.
And of course there’s the other end of the spectrum, in which we got three issues of The Avengers over the last three weeks, which is also ridiculous. Or two issues of Superior Spider-Man over the last two weeks. Or seven issues of All-New X-Men since mid-November. I’d like to see comics released on a rational, responsible schedule, one where retailers and customers can plan out their spending, and one where the market isn’t flooded so quickly with consecutive issues of a series to the point of discouraging readership, but I suspect I’ll see “Steve Ditko Sings The Hits – Live On-Stage Revue” before that ever happens.
Mmm. Okay, now I’m angry. WHY MUST YOU POKE THE BULL, PAUL?
Let us go on to happier things:
- I am getting comments and multiple emails from folks telling me that the current Nancy comic strips are retelling the origin of Sluggo. Read ‘em yourself, starting here. …To think I’d ever see the word “reboot” in a Nancy strip, that wasn’t about, say, Sluggo putting on two pairs of boots.
- Big Rich Handley, creator of the Roots of the Swamp Thing website, recently interviewed former Swampy artist Steve Bissette and former Thingy writer Nancy Collins. Good readin’ all around…go check those out.
- This is interesting…John MacLeod, one of the contributors to this issue of Ultra Klutz I discussed a while back, popped up in the comments to that post with a couple of details about his contribution to the comic. And it turns out you can read his Dishman comics online (along with his commentary)…and be sure to take a look at his more recent project, Space Kid.
- Bully, the bulliest of all stuffed bulls, just wrapped up his 366 Days of Alfred Pennyworth project with this explanatory post, and kicked off 365 Days of DC House Ads with this post. How that little bull manages to put out so much good stuff when he has trouble even reaching the keyboard is beyond me.
- Sent to me by Many Folks: Gerhard (he of all-the-bits-of-Cerebus-not-by-Dave-Sim fame) puts down some lavish lines over a Bernie Wrightson-penciled Swamp Thing drawing.
- From pal JP: a penciled image of Swamp Thing and Mary Worth, as you’ve always wanted them.
- “OOH! OOOOOH! ME, ME, HE’S MINE, ME ME ME!“
- “What’s So Great About Swamp Thing?”
“He can easily regrow damaged or severed body parts, and can even transport himself across the globe by leaving his current form, transferring his consciousness to a new form grown from whatever vegetable matter is present in the location he wishes to reach”
“its a mystery and a good show”
“I dunno, you tell me”
So this is a thing that I thought was long gone, somehow accidentally lost or thrown out during one of my changing of domiciles over the last decade or so. However, it was recovered by my father just over this last weekend, found stashed away in my parents’ home where I apparently kept it for safekeeping during one of those moves. And thus, here it is, back in my possession, and I bid you cast your peepers upon this, and weep at its beauty:
This thick paper sign, dated 1990 and measuring about 22 by 30 inches, was intended for insertion in a metal standing frame that would sit out in front of the toy store, advertising to all the mall shoppers that located within that very business were such wonderful items as these
awaiting purchase. And presumably when it says “Collect Them All!” it’s referring to the toys themselves, and not commanding you to collect all the Official Toy Headquarters.
This was given to me by a toy store employee at the time…no, I didn’t fall at his feet and beg for it tearfully, he actually was a customer of mine and just dropped it off at the shop for me of his own free will and not, say, by hypnotic suggestion. But anyway, now that I have it in my hot little hands, will I follow through with my promise at the end of this post and nail it to the front door? Or perhaps I simply will let this post stand as a testament to the fact that I, Michael Ricardo Anatoly Sterling, am the owner of the Last Remaining Official Swamp Thing Toy Headquarters in the Universe. So let it be written, so let it be done.
So you may remember my brief lamentation regarding my girlfriend not spotting any copies of Swamp Thing during her most recent trip to Mexico. To assuage my despair, longtime reader, and resident of Spain, John P. informed me that he had an item or two that might be of interest. And one internationally-shipped package later, BEHOLD:
That is Super Powers
#6, a digest-sized comic published in Portugal in 1987. It reprints, in color, issues #29-#31 of Saga of the Swamp Thing
from 1984, comprising Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, John Totleben, and Rick Veitch’s Arcane trilogy. Leaves out the annual that wraps up the storyline, however.
That’s okay, though, as the comic does feature fan art:
That wasn’t bad, I thought. (And before you ask, no, it’s not autographed…that signature is printed on the page.
This next item is the newest of the bunch that John P. was good enough to send – this is the first issue of the New 52 Swamp Thing series, as issued in Spain:
It’s a squarebound book, presenting the first four issues (and cover images) of the Scott Snyder/Yanick Paquette/et al. series, on nice slick paper with no ads (except some house ads inside the covers).
Here’s an earlier La Cosa Del Pantano, dating from 1988:
It’s 48 pages, staplebound, also adless save for house ads and a couple of pages of editorial matter at the back. It reprints Saga of the Swamp Thing
#21 (1984), with Moore, Bissette and Totleben’s revision of Swampy’s origin, followed by the first chapter of the Nukeface story from issue #35 (1985).
The fourth and final item John P. sent me was another digest from Portugal, Batman Ano Um #1 (1987):
It reprints, as you might have guessed, or perhaps divined by looking at the scan above, the first chapter of “Batman: Year One” by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli, and has as its back-up story the Moore and Shawn McManus story from Saga of the Swamp Thing
There’s also a Marv Wolfman/Don Newton Vigilante
story in there, too. An interesting mix of material, I thought. Also of note, there’s a one-page of biography for Batman’s cocreator Bob Kane…and another biography on the facing page for the usually-overlooked Bill Finger.
The Portuguese comics also include this ad for the publisher’s Hulk comic:
…also featuring Sub-Mariner and Rom.
Since my Portuguese is a little rusty, I typed part of this ad into the ol’ Google translator to see what they were saying about our Incredible friend:
“The hate comes up – Hulk loses control
“With terrible nightmares that lead to irreversible abyss of madness, Hulk becomes a savage monster that brutally destroys everything in its path. Read this fantastic story. And much more!”
Also: “Rom the Space Knight” is okay, “Rom, o Cavaleiro do Espaço” is fantástico.
Anyway, a big thanks to John P. for sending these my way. They’re great, and I really appreciate them! The Swamp Thing Shrine grows ever larger.
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