Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Wrightson Completionist: Part 8.

The eighth in a series of posts highlighting oddball Bernie Wrightson items in my collection.

Swamp Thing is likely Bernie Wrightson's most famous creation. Along with writer Len Wein, Wrightson chronicled the adventures of the muck monster over the course of one short story and ten issues of the Swamp Thing comic book. The creature first appeared in House of Secrets #92 (June-July 1971). The first incarnation was more of gothic romance/monster story with the setting and character's dress seeming more in place in the 19th century.

For the debut issue (October 1972), the origin story was retold and updated. Bernie's run on the series lasted until issue #10 (May 1974). Along the way, Swamp Thing encountered many of the tropes of horror movies and literature: a werewolf, aliens, a Lovecraftian horror from the depths, zombies, and Frankenstein's monster in the character of The Patchwork Man. Oh, and he had a run-in with Batman too.

Wrightson's run on Swamp Thing has been reprinted numerous times over the years. One of the more unusual reprints (at least in this American's view) is a series of Danish graphic novels reprinting the first five issues of the comic and the House of Secrets origin story. The stories are reprinted in glorious black and white on heavy white stock, and the reproduction is superb. The linework stands out better than any of the other reprints.

A panel from Swamp Thing #4, "Monster on the Moors."

Volume #1, Alex Hollands Saere Skaebne reprints Swamp Thing #1 and the origin story from House of Secrets #92. It was published in 1979. Printed the same year was Patchwork Manden reprinting Swamp Thing #2 & 3. Patient Danish readers had to wait until 1981 to read the next installment: Varulvens Nat. This volume reprinted Swamp Thing #4 (the issue with the greatest werewolf drawing in the world) and the Ravenwind Witch story from #5.

Swamp Thing is assaulted by Arcane's Un-Men in Swamp Thing #2.

I don't know if there were any more of the graphic albums published. I got a hold of a Danish comic book store catalog in the mid-1980's and these were all they had for sale. I've seen references to these three volumes, but never any others. They were all published by a company called Rune Press. Below are the covers. Keep your eyes open for these, you are in for a treat to see all this art in black and white.

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