Maybe someday Tarot Witch of the Black Rose will do one of these covers.

§ September 13th, 2019 § Filed under archie, swamp thing § 4 Comments

So this was pointed out on the Twitters and lo, I did search lo and high to find my own copy and now, here it is:


It is one of those Retailer Exclusive variant covers (not offered through Diamond) for Archie Vs. Predator II #1, Pretty neat, right? There’s also a “virgin” variant without the logos and text, but I passed since the mimicking of the original House of Secrets down to the trade dress is half the fun.

Anyway, only 300 of these made (plus another 300 for the virgin variants) so grab it while you can if you want it.

Another House of Secrets #92 tribute is coming later this month from Vault Comics, with Cover B of their new series The Plot:


So, look, I’m not only buying assorted reprints of House of Secrets #92, now I’m collecting comics that look like it. This seems perfectly rational to me.

4 Responses to “Maybe someday Tarot Witch of the Black Rose will do one of these covers.”

  • John Lancaster says:

    I totally just ordered both covers – didn’t even know they existed. I pre-orded the Plot at my LCS just for the cover. Hope the comic is good. You’re not alone out there Mike. My collection of just “Swamp Thing-Like” comics is up to about two long boxes. I’ve bought comics just because someone mentions his name in a word balloon. It’s a sickness.

  • Thom H. says:

    How many Swamp Thing completists are there or do you know of? I had never heard of that type of fandom until I started reading this blog. And I didn’t think to ask about it until I realized there were multiple people into collecting every appearance of ‘ol Swampy.

    I’m sincerely interested in knowing about the different degrees of completism and extensions of that completism to characters like Man-Thing and The Plot (I assume he’s swamp-based, as well?). Does it extend to other characters?

    And it sounds like it includes things like cameo appearances and mentions by other characters. I guess I’m wondering: what are the rules completists use to define the boundaries of their collections?

    No disrespect intended. I’m not a completist of any character, but I do buy multiples of comics I like so I can keep one “nice.” I think all comic collectors have their own ways of collecting, and I’d like to know more about yours.

  • John Lancaster says:

    Hey Thom – go grab a coffee, maybe take a nap to refresh first…this will be a readin’

    No disrespect taken, it’s always interesting to me when others are interested in what makes us tick. I’ve been collecting over 40 years now. For Swamp Thing, it all started for me in the summer of 1975 with Swamp Thing #19. Even as a kid I was always into monsters and such but tended to mostly get my fix with Charlton’s output and stuck with the superheroes for Marvel and DC. That changed when I saw the cover for #19, my local newsstand/drug store had never had an issue of it before to my knowledge and it really stuck out with Swampy lifting a bulldozer over his head. I read that thing until my fingers bled. I was hooked.

    Like a lot of collectors I was/am a bit over-organized, so even as a kid I kept index cards with titles and what week each one was at the racks. That way I knew what I was looking for each time I made the trek around town on my bike to stop at the various drug stores and whatnot. They didn’t all have the same selection so sometimes that was half a day just riding from one place to another marking them off on the cards.

    I continued getting swamp thing every month, then one glorious fall day in 1979 – there was Man-Thing #1 (second series) staring out from the rack at the newsstand. Another swamp monster? How could I be so lucky? Added to the list. And so it goes.

    Flash forward to the mid-1980’s and I’m in the mode of going to small local comic shows and we now had a couple of shops in my town with these things called back issues. I was in heaven. No more arcades for me, no more frivolous candy purchases, all of my allowance, all of my lawn mowing money, every penny I got my hands on went to seeking out and purchasing as many comics as humanly possible.

    I bought my first House of Secrets #92 in the summer of 1984 for about $12 if I remember correctly (I now own 5 in various conditions, along with Mike’s same obsession with the reprints). It was my first Chicago Comic Con. I also scooped up back issues of Man-Thing and Marvel’s Supernatural Thrillers #1, Skywald’s The Heap from 1971 and others. In the mid-80’s Eclipse started publishing Airboy, which eventually started having appearances by The Heap. As my collection became more complete, some of the thrill was waning and I needed something to keep the hunt fresh.

    By the end of the 80’s I had decided to start hunting down Swamp Thing and Man-Thing appearances in other books. I had a few here and there (like Howard the Duck), but that was mostly due to cover appearances, now I was looking for inside guest shots. Pre internet days meant lots of research, talking with friends that purchased titles I didn’t normally get (which were few, but there were some), poring over various publications like Amazing Heroes, etc. looking for any mention.

    Sometime in the early 1990’s this also extended to ancillary characters as well. Digging out old Silver Age Atom issues with the Floronic Man for example. In the late 90’s it was well known within the comic shop circles in my area that I was “That Swamp Thing Guy” (I’m like the Mid-West version of Mike without the presence or glory…and just a wee bit older) and what started out more as a good natured ribbing from others, turned into another facet of the collection. A few times I was told that so-and-so mentioned Swamp Thing in an issue of Justice League or something, I figured “why not?”. It’s something “fun” and challenging to do. Modern collecting consists mainly of walking into a building and someone hands you a prearranged stack of comics, where’s the thrill in that (other than getting a stack of sweet, sweet comics).

    Once I got to the point in my life that I had “disposable income”, I sought out the harder to find and more expensive stuff and as of 2010 have a complete set of The Heap’s Golden Age appearances in Air Fighter and Air Boy. My Swamp Thing comics keep growing as DC continues to toss him into any comic that isn’t nailed down, Man-Thing is a little more elusive and less used, but I had to get those recent Avengers issues with the tiny Boy-Thing during the vampire story and subsequent issues where he’s hanging out with Blade.

    It get’s more complicated since I’m also a “cross filer”. I only do this for Swamp Thing, and only if you can actually see him in a panel or on the cover. If it’s a title I would normally get I have to buy two of them. One to file with that title and one to file in the Swamp Thing Box(es). Most infamously, I had to purchase three copies of JLA: Incarnations #5 as I had to file it with JLA, Crisis, and in one panel on one page you could see Swamp Thing’s arm. Luckily there are guys like rootsoftheswampthing.com out there that are way more completist than me and provide a lot of good info.

    I don’t pretend to be nearly complete for all of these odd side appearances, I know there are things I miss and I don’t worry too much about it. I try not to stray from the comics too much, I get a few action figures here or there, maybe a poster, and the glorious Michael Zulli statue. I’ve got a few pages of original art. It’s just something fun to keep the collecting fresh and interesting. The shops I frequent are good about tossing something in my file if they think I need it. Recently had to buy Harley Quinn #64…and I HATE Harley Quinn. I read the Swamp Thing page and filed it away.

    I love comics in just about all forms. I worked in comics retail for a little over 30 years (mostly on the side, but a handful of years managing one). I’ve amassed a ridiculously huge collection. Sometimes collecting can become tedious and boring. The hunt, the research, the finding, all puts a little more vigor into it.

    …the sad part is, I also do all of this for Arnim Zola as well…and that’s a story for another time.

    Thus ends the incredibly long response about why I do what I do.

  • Thom H. says:

    What a great answer, John! Thank you for the time you took to lay all of that out. It brought back fond memories of my early days as a collector, too. Riding my bike from one convenience store to another…

    I never considered “cross-filing,” but that’s an interesting way to keep things organized. I agree that a lot of collectors tend to enjoy arranging their collections as much as they enjoy the things they’re arranging. I know that’s true for me. Nothing quite beats the feeling of everything being in its place.

    I hope collecting continues to present fun and unique challenges for you. I know how it gets when you’ve tapped out a back issue vein — so disappointing.

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