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So this week, I made one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made in regards to my comic collecting hobby.
…I decided not to buy some comics that featured Swamp Thing cameos.
Yes, yes, I know, I was shocked, too. Somehow or another, my Swamp Thing Sense™ began tingling as I was unboxing the week’s comics shipment, causing me to glance through this week’s batch of DC’s “Convergence” event. And, sure enough, the majority of Convergence installments this week did feature a tiny spot drawing of Swampy and a lady friend (more on that in a moment). The gimmick was that as the Bad Guy of the event was explaining the crossover’s premise to the the folks involves, you saw little portals into the various multiversal cities drawn into the event. And in each issue that pictured this array of windows, one of the portals contained an image that looked a little something like this:
That was from the Supergirl: Matrix
issue, where it’s very clearly Abby standing there next to Swampy.
As opposed to this pic from the Aquaman installment:
…where that definitely isn’t
Abby, or this one from Superman: Man of Steel
…where that could
be Abby, maybe, in poor lighting.
Now, given the premise of the series, it could be that the portals are presenting various versions of Swampy and a lady-pal from multiple universes, but…well, the only issue from this week’s Convergence tie-ins I was planning on getting for myself was the Green Lantern: Parallax one, and I think that’s going to have to be the representative illustration of this particular sequence for me. I was tempted to grab one of each of the tie-ins that had Swampy in it, but realized that I was going to need those copies for the shelf for my customers, rather than just hoarding them all in my own collection. So, there we go, an actual grown-up decision made for the benefit of the business rather than my own fanboyish need for completeness.
That’s not to say I won’t be getting both covers of each issue of the forthcoming Convergence: Swamp Thing mini-series. I mean, c’mon, let’s be serious here.
Guys, just arrived in the mail today, from the hands of Robert Wilson IV, along with a signed copy of Bitch Planet #3, a signed copy of Like A Virus (now available on Comixology!), and a signed print, is this piece of original artwork:
…based on a long-running gag of mine that I’ve mentioned once or twice in recent years, though the earliest reference I can find is pal Dorian referring to it in 2004.
It was longtime reader Mike Z. who was the fella what first put together Mr. Wilson IV with my particular
obsession humorous one-off gag that in no way reflects any unhealthy fetishes, and, I just learned, is directly responsible for commissioning this illustration and having it sent to me. So thank you, Mike, for your kindness, and thank you, Robert, for probably not wondering out loud “you want me to draw what?”
So here’s a thing I finally got for myself this week…issue #6 from May 1975 of DC Comics’s official company ‘zine The Amazing World of DC Comics:
…featuring this centerspread image of an unused Nestor Redondo cover for Swamp Thing
#15 (March-April 1975):
Here is the final printed cover for that issue, with a slightly less demon-obscured shot of Swampy:
There are one or two other tidbits of Swamp Thing info throughout the mag, most notably in the interview with Joe Orlando, where he briefly discusses the transition on the series from creators Len Wein and Berni(e) Wrightson to other hands. (A possible replacement mentioned in the interview was Art Suydam
of “Cholly and Flytrap” and Marvel Zombies
fame. I don’t think I knew he was ever considered!)
Anyway, that’s one more piece of Swamp Thing stuff in the ol’ collection. Once I get everything, that officially means I won, right?
Speaking of Swamp Thing stuff, as I usually am, this Kenner Toys Twitter feed has been featuring some of the Swampy toys from that now-decades old cartoon…scroll down a bit to see what your pal Mike has sitting around his house.
So reader Rodney asked, in response to my post from Friday:
“I started my copy of the latest Showcase Presents Legion of Super-Heroes Vol 5 today and in the reprint of Superboy #198 Clark and Lana are about to enter a ‘Horror Haven’ tent and on either side of the entrance is Man-Thing and Swamp Thing.
And then my next thought was ‘Does Mike know about this?'”
Ah, a question in the grand old Progressive Ruin tradition of insinuating myself into your minds to the extent that you think of me whenever you encounter Swamp Thing. Or All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. Or Frank Miller’s The Spirit.
Rodney, thank you for asking. I’ve probably been aware of it, though I don’t have that actual comic in my collection. I do have the Legion of Super-Heroes Archive Edition hardcover volume #10, which reprints said story, recolored and on better paper:
…so at least I have a version of it, if not, as I’m suspecting, with the exact same colors as in the originals. Now, if I were still at my old job, I’d just check in one of the fourteen Superboy
back issue boxes on the shelves and pull out that #198 to see if our Man-Thing stand-in was colored in more copyright-stretching yet more character-accurate greenish hues. Alas, my new store is still in the process of backstock-building, so I don’t believe I have a local copy to check at the moment. Anyone out there able to confirm Man-Thing’s coloring in the original?
Anyway, as I said, I was sure I must have been aware of these particular cameos at one time even if just from reading these reprints. However, I probably haven’t looked inside this Archives hardcover since I originally read through it the first time (back in…hold on, lemme check the copyright date…eek, the far-flung future year of 2000) so it had slipped my mind. Thanks for the reminder, Rodney!
A couple of other questions from that comments section: Michael Grabowski asks
“…Exactly how vast is/was the vast Mikester Comic Archives? Anywhere close to WorldRecord-Man (the fellow in Mission Viejo Guinness recently named), or closer to ‘just vast enough to supply the better part of a newly-opened shop?'”
Well, it was pretty goodly sized…a couple dozen long boxes, a few dozen short, several magazine boxes. Approximately half of what I owned went in for sale at the shop. I’m still needing to sort through the rest of the boxes to decide what I want to take to the store and what I want to still keep. No rush at the moment, however, given that I’ve recently acquired several long boxes’ worth of collections and that should keep me swimmin’ in funnybooks for the immediate future.
And Bill D. asks about that Go-Go comic:
“Does this issue have a Blooperman story in it? I’ve heard those are kind of fun.”
Sadly, no Blooperman. I’m presuming that a Superman parody, or at least a more general parody of superheroes. It would have been interesting to see how this comic would’ve handled it, given the stories in the issue I have mostly emphasized more general-audience non-superhero shenanigans.
• • •
So long to Swamp Thing
and The Return of Swamp Thing
star Louis Jourdan, who passed away this weekend
. …Maybe he did more popular and more highly-regarded films, but those are the two most important to me.
Besides, few are the films that are better than Swamp Thing and The Return of Swamp Thing.
So Spider-Woman now has a new costume, discarding most of her yogawear in favor of a jacketed look, leading into some spirited superheroes-in-jackets discussion on the Twitterers. Of course, in my usual “not helping in the slightest” method of participating in the conversation, I decided to post this:
Proving that no annoying deed goes unrewarded, longtime blogging compatriot Chris Karath
responded with this Twitter post:
…accompanied by this illustration created specifically for the occasion:
Well, well, I do believe we have the next iteration of the New 52 Swamp Thing right before us. Ball’s in your court for the relaunch, DC, even if you feel the need to add the collar
Well, these things happen. Sorry, gang.
Let me remind you that I’m doing question time again, so toss your questions into that comments section (not the comments for this post, but that previous one I linked) and I’ll give you answers. Some of them possibly truthful! I’ll probably start taking a crack at them this coming Monday, so for God’s sake, clear your calendars.
In other news, this week saw the release of the greatest Wonder Woman comic of all time, in that it guest-starred Swamp Thing:
…or at least something that vaguely looked like Swamp Thing while still being called “Swamp Thing,” and I’ve bought worse things for worse reasons so, you know, don’t think you can shame me on this. Also, making thing worse, pictured there is the variant cover for the issue, with Swampy and Wondy posin’ pretty for the camera, and silly me, I thought that was the 1 in 25 variant. Nope, that’s the 1/100 variant, so only those elite retailers who bought 100 copies of the regular cover got a copy of this darned thing. Well, don’t look at me, since I just started a brand new shop, I ain’t ordering a hundred copies of anything yet.
And because it’s brand new, it’s currently going for stupid prices on the eBay, so I’ll have to wait a few weeks where, like most of its variant cover brethren and sisteren, the hotness eventually cools off and prices will be lowered to the “please for the love of all that’s holy take these off our hands” levels. Of course, with my luck, this will be the exception and will hold its collectible value, at which point I’ll have no choice but to sell my blood and the blood of a few “volunteers” in order to afford it.
Look, I own Swamp Thing slippers. I’ll stop at nothing to maintain the Swamp Thing collection.
So I received a letter at the shop yesterday from the possibly-pseudonymous “Sluggo Jr.” who, inspired by my most recent Swamp Thing/Sluggo mash-up post, sent along a page crammed on either side with pencil drawings, sometimes featuring best pals Swampy ‘n’ Sluggo teaming up, sometimes just Sluggo facing menaces on his own (like fighting a knife-wielding Charlie Brown and a bat-wielding Henry).
Here are a couple of samples:
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do the “Cranius middle-finger” joke before. Well done.
I was only going to scan those two for now, due to time constraints — I’ve been working long hours, as you might imagine — but I just glanced again at the paper and have to present this one, too:
I could read about the adventures of Sluggo and Swamp Thing all day. Thank you, Sluggo Jr., for your fine contribution to the arts.
…including this latest example from pal Casie:
…given to me as a going-away present, as I near the final hour of my lordship over Seth’s Games and Anime/Ralph’s Comic Corner
. This Sunday, October 19th, will be my last day of employment at the shop, so come see me steadfastly refuse, out of sheer cruelty, to assist Employee Aaron in his transition to the managerial position.
Ah, I’m just jokin’. Even after I leave I’ll still only a phone call away, willing to assist the guys for a meager per-minute charge.
Speaking of my own store, which I really wasn’t but it’s too late to go back and retype that transition now, its official website will be open this coming Monday, should things go as planned, and will feature my brand new, 100% swell logo created for me by The Rack‘s Benjamin Birdie! It’s great…I can’t wait to show it to you!
Thanks again to pal Casie for the great drawing, and thanks to all of you for your support and readership. I’ll see you all on the other side.
So what we have here is a Capacitance Electronic Disc, a thing I had to look up on Wikipedia via the Googlings since, while I remember seeing these in action at a neighbor’s house when I was but a young Mikester, I couldn’t for the life of you tell what it was called. Although, to be fair, it says “Capacitance Electronic Disc” right there on the packaging, so I guess I’m the dummy.
Anyway, it’s basically a big record with much finer grooves that you’d find on your typical a;Grumph LP, protected inside a big plastic container to keep your filthy, filthy fingers off the delicate disc within. You’d shove this contraption into a player, where the disc would emerge from its sleeve and a needle…yes, an actual needle…would play on the record and magically transform those bumps and grooves into moving images. I think the Devil is involved somehow, particularly since you’d have to flip the whole thing over to the other side at the hour mark.
Here’s what the contents of the package look like when some smart guy decides to circumvent the delicate locking mechanism that normally keeps the disc safe:
A big thanks to customer/Twitter pal Jason
for donating this to my
A bunch of you told me this was coming, and here it is, now in my possession, the 1:10 ratio variant cover for Super Secret Crisis Wars
#2, which was inspired by the cover for House of Secrets #92
(the first appearance of Swamp Thing, of course).
This cover is by Andy Suriano, who notes next to his signature that the image is “After (Bernie) Wrightson” and that it’s “For Weezie!!” — AKA Louise Simonson, the writer of Super Secret Crisis Wars, and, oh, by the way, was also the model for the woman on the cover of that original House of Secrets #92.
Suriano might as well have added “Buy This, Mike Sterling” next to his signature as well. This also makes the second Powerpuff Girls-related Swamp Thing parody that I own (the first being the first issue of their IDW series).
In other ridiculous comic news…well, I wasn’t going to buy Injustice: Gods Among Us for the Xbox 360 at $59.99 or whatever the price point was, but I noticed that it recently was available in the Xbox store as a $7.99 download, so, you know, what the heck, I can probably get eight bucks of entertainment out of it. And to be frank, I liked it a lot more playing the full game than I did when I played the demo way back when. Getting the actual “story,” such as it is, and the cut scenes setting up the battles actually does help quite a bit in fleshing this game out into more than just a punch-em-up. Not much more, granted, but I’m having some fun with it. Plus, I’m trying to actually use the special fighting moves each character has, rather than my usual “push every button on the controller in a panic” strategy in dealing with games like these. I’m mostly successful.
This last Wednesday was the rare Mike-less Wednesday at the shop, as I ended up being stuck at home all day waiting for a locksmith to come and repair the lock on my front door…well, not all day, but by the time everything was done, there wasn’t any point in making the drive to work. Hopefully I won’t return on Thursday to find smoking ruins and “MIKE MUST DIE” painted in blood on one of the remaining walls, because I wasn’t thrilled the last time that happened. Alas, the lock problems were a special morning surprise, and not anything I planned for, so I had precious little work to do at home whilst I waited for the Friendly Neighborhood Locksmith to make his way to me. A little eBaying, a little store website maintenance (i.e. getting the store website back up because someone screwed up somewhere…not saying it was me, but…um, it was me)…
…and a little catching up on reading this week’s new comics over lunch. My fifteen minutes are almost up here, so let me just throw out the fact that I really enjoyed the Red Lanterns Annual. In fact, the Red Lanterns title in general is a lot of fun. I was skeptical as anyone on the Tumbling-Twitter-Journals about this when it was announced, that the world surely didn’t need a comic about the Red Lanterns, of all things, and who are, well, kinda gross when you get right down to it. But there’s always something interesting going on in the title, and this recent annual was stuffed with all kinds of crazy events and twists and turns, and personality conflicts mixed with the occasional grudging friendships are entertaining to read. I certainly like this comic more than the Green Lantern titles, which aren’t bad as such…just seem a bit staid compared to their more crimson-hued cousin.
Sinestro is good, too. Must be something about Green Lantern villains/antagonists that make for compelling reading. …Where’s my Myrwhydden series?
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