Bernie Wrightson (1948-2017)

Hi all,

I recently received in the mail my copy of Holland Files No. 1: International Swamp Thing Fanzine. I haven’t had time to have a good look at it yet but I’ll read it cover-to-cover soon enough and add some interesting items to the Bibliography. I can already see that it contains some great art, and articles on a wide variety of subjects (well, wider than you might expect in a fanzine devoted to a single comic character).  Thanks to John Boylan for putting this all together – I hope this is only the first of many issues.

I’ve just finished the third series in my big Swamp Thing re-read.  Brian K. Vaughan focuses completely on Tefé, who I find to be a great character with a complicated relationship to her parents.  Her unusual conception and trials as ‘The Sprout’ took up much of Rick Veitch’s run, and Doug Wheeler brought her into the world in his third issue.  While she is still a toddler, she manages to wander into Hell, get attacked by Matango, kidnapped by pirates and a serial child murderer, and possessed by her evil great-uncle.  By the end of the second series, she has been used by the Parliament of Trees as a weapon against humanity and is betrayed, and nearly destroyed, by her own parents.  Vaughan’s run sees the teenage Tefé search for the true purpose of her life and learn to control her temper and frightening powers.

In sad news, Bernie Wrightson has died at aged 68. Bernie was a co-creator of our favourite muck-monster with Len Wein, illustrating Swampy’s first appearance in House of Secrets #92 and going on to illustrate the first 10 issues of Swamp Thing in the early 1970s. The quality of the art during that first series greatly contributed to the ongoing success of the character.  It also established a trend of great artistic talents being involved in the title, and set a high standard for comic illustration in general. While only illustrating 11 Swampy appearances, his name will be forever associated with the character and with the genre of horror comics, and his work will continue to be influential on other artists for many years to come.

If you’re looking for an illuminating interview with Wrightson, you can’t go too wrong with Jon B. Cooke’s ‘Bernie and the Bayou Beast’, which appears in Swampmen: The Muck-Monsters and their Makers, a special issue of Comic Book Creator (2014).

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Zac.

2017

Happy New Year everyone.

Over the Christmas holidays I kept busy re-reading old issues of Swamp Thing and have now finished summarising Series 2. The list of Series 3-era appearances are now available and I look forward to re-reading the adventures of Tefé Holland. Before this, however, I am going to try and add several new items to the Bibliography, which I have been neglecting lately. I will also probably have plenty to write about the first issue of the International Swamp Thing fanzine, which should be released very soon.

Now that I have seen the film, I have also updated the Justice League Dark film page. Please be aware there are spoilers.  I will add some further information to that page when I receive the Blu-ray, which contains a few bonus features.

In other news, Swampy has been appearing fairly regularly in The Hellblazer but I have not heard about any plans for a solo ongoing series.  The latest news on the Justice League Dark/Dark Universe live-action film is that Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, Bourne Identity) has signed on as director, but that was several months ago and there hasn’t been any news since.

Zac.

JLD Animated Film

Hello all,

I’ve added a new page in the Film & TV section for news and rumours related to the upcoming Justice League Dark animated feature film.  I’ll continue to update the page as more info comes to light.

Otherwise, no big changes to the website:

  • I’m still doing my big Swamp Thing re-read/summaries and am now well into the Nancy Collins run.  I’m actually looking forward to getting past the 1990s and re-reading some of the big DC crossovers again.
  • I’m still trying to add a couple of new references to the Bibliography every month.  The last major publication I added was Back Issue #92, which featured interviews with Tom Yeates and Marty Pasko about their issues of Swamp Thing.  I’ve also recently finished scouring online versions of 80s UK fanzine Arken Sword for Swampy-related info.
  • I’ve been meaning to transcribe some episodes of Parlipod but it was pretty slow-going and my free time has lately been taken up by other activities.  I would like to finish the Nancy Collins interview at some point in the next couple of months.

Otherwise, I’m eagerly awaiting the  International Swamp Thing fanzine and the final 2 issues of Providence and considering when I’ll make on start on Alan Moore’s epic Jerusalem.

Zac.

Update

Dear everyone,

I’ve now summarised up to the end of the Veitch/Wheeler time-travel arc and hope to finish the rest of the summaries on that webpage in the not-too-distant future.

I’ve also made some changes to the Bibliography page.  There is now a little icon underneath most references that will allow you to download a .ris file for importing into your reference management software.  Secondly, new additions to the page are now marked as *New*. There are several new references in the Bibliography, with more coming soon.

Zac.

Zine Preorder

Hello friends,

Again, it has been a while between posts, but I am now on a mission to finish off my summaries of Swamp Thing up to issue #100, and make the #101-150 appearance list visible.  There’s also a couple of references I’ve been meaning to add to the Bibliography for a long time so I will also try to do that soon too.

It is also not too late to contribute to John’s Kickstarter campaign and preorder the first issue of the International Swamp Thing Fanzine.  I’m extremely excited to get my copy in the mail in early 2017.  Before that, there is this issue of Back Issue to look forward to in September, featuring some articles about Bronze Age horror and our favourite muck-encrusted hero.

Zac.

Hello

Hello loyal readers,

Real life and other reading has gotten in the way of this website for a while, but I’m going to try to get back into it. I’ve finished rereading the Moore run, so my notes for #50-#64 are now up here. Many thanks to Greg Plantamura for his website, from which I am still leeching revelatory information.

I’ve also been stealthily adding entries into the bibliography from time to time, primarily working off of information from John’s website, and the Parliament of Trees Facebook group.

I’m also going to add a link to the Parliament Podcast in the relevant page. I haven’t actually listened to any episodes as I can’t seem to soak in information that way, but I’m sure it’s very insightful.

Hope you are all enjoying the new Swamp Thing miniseries by Len Wein and Kelley Jones. I’m very interested to see where it goes.

Zac.

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.