Update

Hi all,
Just a brief update today.

I have finished my summaries of issues #1-50 of the second series and I am going to move on to #51-100 soon, which includes some of my favourite issues.  I’m looking forward to rereading the Greening of Gotham arc, and Swampy’s adventures through space, and trying again to understand Rick Veitch’s run.

Other pages are always being updated: there are a few more Collected Editions out now, and I’m still whittling down the backlog of items I need to add to the Bibliography.  I’m about to move house so, when that’s out of the way, I might have some more time to add content.  Spring has now sprung in Australia and the extra sunshine is a good motivator too.

I should also mention the passing of film director Wes Craven, who directed the first Swamp Thing feature film.  I’ve listed a few Swampy/Craven-related resources on the relevant webpage, which include interviews with Craven and some analyses of the film.  I would recommend a WorldCat search for details on how to obtain these materials in your area.

Thanks for reading,
Zac.

Some News

Hi again,
I’ve been having a bit of a break from the site while I try and get through some other books and generally slow down at the half-way mark of our Southern hemisphere winter.

Some things I think I did get done since my last post:

  • Summarised Book 3 of the Alan Moore run, which takes me through to around the ‘Crisis On Infinite Earths’ of mid-1986.
  • Added more references into the Bibliography.  I haven’t quite captured all of the Swampmen book yet, but I think I’m finally going to get my hands on an elusive Swampy-related book chapter when I visit my hometown of Adelaide next weekend.
  • Added a list of creator websites/fansites into the Links page. I wasn’t able to find any good links for some of the important writers/artists who have been involved in Swamp Thing over the years, so if you see something that I have missed please let me know.

Briefly, in other Swampy news:

  • Swamp Thing has started guesting in the Justice League United series. The rest of that 2-parter should be out mid-next month.
  • It has been reported that Guillermo del Toro is no longer involved with the Dark Universe film.
  • The first issue of the Dark Universe comic, which is possibly a retitling of the Justice League Dark series, has been delayed following the departure of the creative team.
  • Swamp Thing will appear in a 6-issue mini-series in early 2015, possibly featuring the same creative team (Len Wein and Kelley Jones) who were involved in the ‘Convergence’ issues.

Bye for now,

Zac.

Overdue Update

Hi everyone,

I’ve finally completed an update that I’ve been working on for a while. There are now basic pages of summaries up for Swamp Thing’s appearances since the launch of the ‘New 52’ and up until the current ‘Convergence’ event. I have split these appearances up into two sections: the regular Swamp Thing series, and the appearances more closely related to Swampy’s membership in Justice League Dark. I may need to revise this division again in the future as the team might be changing its name to Dark Universe, and Swampy will also be appearing with the Justice League United when their title resumes in July and it’s unclear at this stage if he will be guesting or joining that team ongoing. Anyway, the summaries for the ‘New 52’ appearances are not yet complete, and probably won’t be for quite a while (I’m still slowly rereading Alan Moore’s run). Please let me know if you think I’ve missed any appearances though.

My next plans for the site include: summarising Book 3 of the Alan Moore run; adding several more entries for the Twomorrows Swampmen book into the bibliography; and adding some links to the websites of some of the writers and artists who have contributed to Swamp Thing over the years. If more information about the Del Toro Dark Universe film begins to surface, I may create a page devoted to news and rumours.

Hopefully my next update won’t take as long. Thanks for reading,

Zac.

News

Hi everyone,

I must start with a big congratulations to John over at the Roots of the Swamp Thing blog for his recent Guinness World Records event for largest Swamp Thing collection. It sounds as if the day was a big success and a great promo for the character in his many incarnations (including a brief appearance as chalk). I really wish that I could’ve attended but I was thousands of kilometres away. John has an amazing collection of comics, obscure reprints, toys, and film and TV memorabilia and has always been happy to share his knowledge and resources. So, thanks, and congrats again!

Despite being still quite busy, I’ve been plugging away at this website in my spare moments. I’ve now successfully added summaries for the 2nd book of the Alan Moore run. I’ve also been quietly adding more references into the bibliography, including one for a new publication titled ‘Children’s and YA Books in the College Classroom’. This book includes a chapter by Davey Rumsey, who makes a case for Moore’s Swamp Thing as being a work of fiction worthy of study by young adult audiences.

I still have many more updates planned for throughout the site. Something I would like to do soon is to make available a detailed list of New 52/pre-Convergence Swampy appearances, as this may have been a starting point for many readers.

Also, I just thought I’d mention that if anyone is looking at writing about any Swamp Thing issues or series and comes across my site, but finds the Bibliography unwieldy, please get in touch via the contact form at the bottom of the page and I might be able to point you in the direction articles or resources relevant to your research, including some that may not yet be in the Bibliography.

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to the Convergence titles next month, where it looks like a pre-New 52 Swamp Thing meets the vampiric Batman from Red Rain. Post-Convergence, it looks like the Justice League Dark series is going to be replaced by one titled Dark Universe, I assume so that it will tie in better to the slated film of the same name. Regarding that film, details are still pretty sketchy but famed director Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy etc.) has been connected to the project for some time. For a preview of what we might hope to see regarding Swamp Thing, check out Hellboy 2 and the awesome battle with the Forest God.

Please keep checking back as new content is added regularly.

Zac.

Overdue Update

Hello again friends,

I’ve been extremely busy with work and neglecting the website a bit lately, but have finally completed an update that I was procrastinating about so I can hopefully start adding some more info to the site soon.  I’ve moved all of my references over from EndNote to Mendeley, which makes them slightly more accessible to everyone else.  Please see my Mendeley Guide for details (a link to this page can also now be found from the Bibliography).  I still have plenty of articles to read and references to add (lots from Comic Book Creator #6 – the Swamp Men issue), and annotations for the first book of the Alan Moore run are ready to go so I’ll put them up soon.

Also, for those who haven’t heard, actor Louis Jourdan (perhaps better known as Arcane from the two Swamp Thing films) has passed away aged 93 after a successful career and adventure filled life.  There is a nice obituary in The Guardian that mentions the Swampy films (though not in a very positive light).

Zac.

Many Updates

Hi again,

Hope you had a nice New Year and are feeling positive about 2015,

I’m almost to the end of my holidays so I have been working pretty hard on the site.  I visited the State Library and added a bunch of new references to the Bibliography, and also on some of the film pages.  There’s still more to sort through and add, and some articles that are still evading me, such as:

Bushnell, Jack. “Transsexing Technological Man: (Re)Writing the Comic Book Male/Scientist in Swamp Thing.” Popular Culture Review 11 (2000): 31-42. Print.

If anyone can help out with this, or any other references that you think would be relevant and I haven’t already added, it would be hugely appreciated.

I’ve also made some minor additions/corrections to the Collected Editions page and to my summaries of Vol. 1 of the comics.  The main update, however, is that I’ve started adding in references and summaries for the Vol. 2 books.  So far I only have summaries for the first 20 issues, and notes up to the end of #50, but I will keep working on them in the coming weeks.

It’s been really interesting to reread these old issues again.  I remember the first time I read the series from the beginning and noticed a dramatic shift in tone from the superhero antics of Swampy in the late ’70s (towards the end of the first series, and also from his time with the Challengers of the Unknown) to #1 of the second series, where the entire Clancy family almost end up murdered under an old pier.  This time through, I really noticed a shift towards the end of Pasko’s run, around the time Bissette and Totleben get on board.  The first 13 issues make up a really long arc, with a lot of exposition and messy plot points, especially towards the end (as evidenced by my ‘short’ summaries getting necessarily longer).  The two Dan Mishkin issues then seem to give Pasko a bit of time to gather his thoughts again, and #16 (while still heavy with events and a couple of ad-hoc plot elements) is much more successful, even including a little twist at the end.  Also, Bissette and Totleben immediately begin introducing a bit more animal life to the settings, and Swampy finally stops travelling around everywhere in cars.

The final few issues of the Pasko run are a great lead in for the horror that is to come when Moore takes over.  Pasko reintroduces Abby and Cable, now paranoid and miserable, and then the horrifically transformed Arcane.  The pace builds with the heroes seemingly assaulted from all directions (Arcane, the D.D.I and Sunderland, and Cable’s monstrous visions) culminating in a grotesque battle with Arcane in #19.  Moore takes over in #20 and the atmosphere is no less tense – the government has secured the perimeter of a forest is sweeping through with flamethrowers trying to finish off any survivors – but the change in writer is immediately felt.  There are some great, emotional exchanges between Dennis and Liz, and Abby and Matt, as they all try and piece their lives back together after all of the horror they have been through.  And then we have Swamp Thing’s frantic escape attempt and eventual ‘death’ on the last page.  I’m really looking forward to getting through the next batch of stories, though I might take a break from the site for a week while I get settled back into my full time job.

Thanks,

Zac.

News

 Hi all,

As promised, I added some more references to the Bibliography and Film & TV pages last week.  The next step will be adding in some references from the Alan Moore biographies on my bookshelf, and also visiting the State Library during my holidays to track down some more articles.  While searching through the Twomorrows website, I see that Comic Book Creator #6 focuses on ‘Swampmen’ and will be released in the next couple of days.  It looks like it will include a lot of information on the first couple of Swamp Thing series.  You can view a preview on ISSUU.

In sadder news, the newest DC solicits reveal that the current series of Swamp Thing will be wrapping up with issue #40, when Charles Soule finishes at DC.  The series had been running since 2011, making it the second longest run in the character’s history.  In my opinion, this fifth series included some of the most exciting issues and best artwork since the 1980s.  Once Soule’s run ends, there will be a Len Wein (!!) written Swamp Thing miniseries as part of the April/May Convergence crossover.  I’m not sure of the details of that yet, but it looks like the series will focus on a pre-Flashpoint (if not pre-Crisis) version of Swampy.

Also, I finally received my result from my online course about comics, finishing with a Distinction, which was my goal.   Here’s the proof! I learned a lot about reading comics, discovered a few new titles, got to do some peer-reviewed critical writing, and even made my first comic, so it was definitely worth the time and effort.  I’m sure the course will run again, so keep an eye on the course page and sign up when it’s available.

Thanks,
Zac.

Bits and Pieces

Hello friends,

I’ve been updating pages a little bit here and there and will continue doing so over the next few days, with hopefully several more of the simpler bibliographic references being added within the next week.  I have some Swampy-related theses and some denser articles to read and summarise, so they might take a bit longer.

I’ve just come across another fan page that is fairly regularly updated: Blog From The Bog.  It looks like it’s been around for a while but I hadn’t seen it until now.  I also received an electronic ‘hello’ from Marco, who is helping to keep the Swamp Thing information at Comic Vine updated.  It’s great to hear from other fans.  Keep the muck-encrusted messages coming!

The main thing I’ve been working on is the appearance list with synopses.  So far I only have the first series up, but am confident that I’ll have the Pasko run online before Christmas.  It’s been fun reading all of the issues again, but ‘The Anatomy Lesson‘ is where it really starts to get interesting so I can’t wait!

Until next time,
Zac.

A Few Changes

Hi again,

I’ve finished my online comic course and have started getting back into the site by adding a few more references to the Bibliography.  I am also about to embark on rereading and annotating the 2nd series. I’ve also changed the menu around a little to make the Collected Editions page a bit easier to find and to give the Bibliography more prominence. I’ve also created a page titled (for the moment) Encyclopedia Entries which (for now) contains details about Swamp Thing-related entries in various DC/Vertigo reference books, as I had collected some of this information and wasn’t sure where to put it.

In other news, I’ve been splurging a bit on comics and Swamp Thing related material as of late. Amongst other things, I’ve managed to collect most of the Moore run as individual issues, ordered the Ray Winninger RPG sourcebook, the novelisations of the two films, as well as a couple of other appearances I was missing.

Even less muck-related but exciting: just today I also received two enormous volumes of Little Nemo In Slumberland from Sunday Press.  These are some beautiful comics from almost 100 years ago, and can also be viewed online.  So enjoy!

Again, please feel free to comment with suggestions/corrections.
Thanks for visiting,
Zac.

Break Continued

Hello loyal readers,
I’m back from my European vacation but still will not have time to really work on the site for another week at least, but there are many more references that I am excited to add, and some more readings I am keen to track down. The holiday was great. Aside from all of the usual adventuring, sightseeing and eating, I think I got a good sense of how respected comics are in Europe (particularly evidenced by the number of stores in central Paris); I managed to see copies of the newest series of Swamp Thing translated into German, Czech and French; plus I picked up a couple of old issues of Spectral that included Swamp Thing reprints in French from the helpful people at Aaapoum Bapoum.I leave you with a photo of the only piece of Green Man architecture I came across. Some more information about it here.

More updates as soon as I have a couple of days free.

Zac.