Fifteen years ago I would have had my rake and torch out.

§ September 17th, 2021 § Filed under swamp thing § 5 Comments

I almost don’t even want to talk about this now, after tweeting about it the other day and then doing an audio post about it on my Patreon. But someone’s seemingly silly assertion that “men only read Swamp Thing to feel smart by getting the literary references” is…quite the reach, to be honest.

I’ve never heard that particular observation before. I’ve never encountered that sort of behavior in regards to Swamp Thing comics in the wild. And I’m pretty sure the “literary references” were not the main focus of the comics and not what the readers glommed onto. For all I know, this person (who is also a comics writer) was just deliberately trolling Twitter users.

My initial fear — given the phrasing of “why do men…” — was that some unsavory comics “fan” online collective latched onto Swamp Thing and began singing its praises, tainting the character and comics for other, somewhat more socialized, folks.

But no, it was just a tossed-off question, with a boatload of responses coming to the defense of Swamp Thing comics. I did my own small defense in my Twitter thread linked above, and…well, honestly, it’s not something I really need to get all worked up about, says the guy writing a blog post about it. And who knows…I’ve never encountered anything like this, but maybe that person who wrote the tweet encountered some folks being all hoity-toity about Swamp Thing and caused that particular reaction?

I used to get really bent out of shape when it came to “someone is wrong on the internet!” type stuff, and in more recent years I’m trying to take it a little easier in regards to that sort of thing. Even this response is more out of “well, I’m a Swamp Thing fan, better say something about it” than “LET SWING THE FLAMING SWORD OF VENGEANCE” or anything like that. I just thought it was a weird comment for someone to say. But, eh, not like I haven’t spent nearly 18 years making weird comments on my own site here.

Anyway, I’m really just glad it wasn’t because internet weirdos decided Swamp Thing was “theirs” and ruined it for everybody. Look, I’m the internet weirdo in charge of Swamp Thing around here, and I’ll brook no challengers.

5 Responses to “Fifteen years ago I would have had my rake and torch out.”

  • Chris V says:

    Guffaw. I love to read a Swamp Thing comic while sipping my champagne and telling my butler to fetch me more caviar.
    There’s nothing like returning to my mansion, after a hard day of playing polo with the other snobs, and settling in my plush easychair to point out all the literary references in my Swamp Thing collection.
    I get such a chuckle out of doing this while all the lowbrow hoi polloi spend their time reading Grant Morrison comics. Guffaw.

    It is a very weird phrasing. It sounds as if Swamp Thing is a comic written solely to appeal to females and the only reason a man would read a Swamp Thing comic is to make themselves feel smart by recognizing literary references.

  • CalvinPitt says:

    Those kinds of assertions are always strange to me. Like, what experiences have they had that taught them that? There was another comics blogger once, who stated in the comments of someone’s post about trying to figure why they liked anime but not manga, ‘No Westerner truly likes manga. They only say they do to appear worldly and different.’

    Which was just bizarre to me, as a Westerner who very much enjoyed reading Hellsing for all the pretty pictures of Nazi Vampires being wiped out with large guns. I don’t know what people would conclude about me from my manga preferences, but “worldly and different” probably aren’t it.

  • John Lancaster says:

    At the comic shop I was working for (forever), it was all dudes buying Swamp Thing. We had a pretty healthy list of female customers, but they just weren’t into it – with the only exception being the Nancy Collins run and I’m pretty sure that was just because of her prose work leading them there. Swamp Thing has always been a sausage party. Now I’m off to my wingback chair to peruse the latest tome of Things in the Swamp while smoking my meerschaum pipe and harumphing during the appropriate passages. Good day, Sir.

  • Voord 99 says:

    Pshaw. References, you say? I am a man who only read Swamp Thing for the metrics of Etrigan’s rhyming verse.

  • Andrew Davison says:

    The poster was wrong. Real men only look at Man Thing, preferably a “Giant Size Man Thing”