Underappreciated comics: Nancy A. Collins' Swamp Thing

News Craig Lines 9/4/2007 at 5:29AM

Some writers are better than others. Craig reckons Nancy A. Collins's run on Swamp Thing needed its praises sung...

When DC unceremoniously removed Rick Veitch from his writer/artist duties on Swamp Thing (for being too subversive – pah!), they were at a loose end for what to do with the title. I wouldn't like to speculate where they found his successor Doug Wheeler, but words like "canteen worker", "latrine cleaner" and "office janitor" spring to mind. Possibly the most unappreciated labour of all time, Wheeler was maligned constantly in the letters page and book sales dropped faster than dead aphids from one of Swampy's vines.

No, this article isn't going to be a belated love letter to an underrated genius. I haven't been lobotomized. Wheeler sucked ass. It was when DC finally got their act together and roped in splatterpunk vamp Nancy A. Collins, that Swamp Thing got his groove back. In fact, I think Collins's time on the title (issues #110 to #138) is probably my favourite run on any comic ever.

Alan Moore and Rick Veitch set the scene. They provided a dark, intelligent and original mythos; a canvas on which Collins painted genuine, human characters. Her run on the title was compassionate, funny, moving and – as is only right for a horror title - quite frightening at times. Whereas her predecessors had concentrated on his origins and the various supernatural energies surrounding Swamp Thing, Collins zoomed in on his personality and his heart. Now, I know what you're thinking. Usually, when superhero comics concentrate on the character and their family - their 'normal' life - rather than villain-pounding adventures across the cosmos, it's a death knell for my interest too. Cue the emo whining and the trite, self-indulgent angst. But not here. Weirdly the 'at home with the Swamp Things' (Alec, Abby and baby Téfé) motif that Collins based her run around is nothing short of captivating.

Of course, it helps that Swamp Thing's home life is populated by elemental Gods, ghost pirates, spectral zydeco players, buried treasure, masquerade balls, snake-toting homicidal evangelists and even a brief try-out for governor of New Orleans! Collins makes the book's geographical setting a significant part of the story. In doing this, she also vividly captures the city and how it was in the early 90s. She exploits local legend and folklore to create formidable bad guys; she has many of the characters speak in patois and doesn't exclude the gay/lesbian population (something barely heard of in comics at the time); she takes swipes at Southern politics and media; she sets stories around local pursuits like crawdadding; she writes from the heart with a deep love for all things Orleansian and, for once, Swamp Thing's locale feels like a real, authentic one that's as important to him as any normal person's home should be.

As the run progressed, it became evermore enchanting, tense, witty and imaginative (not to mention the fact that it produced the first ever comic to be released under DC's mature Vertigo imprint). Criminally, it has still never been collected in trade paperback format, but I can't tell you how much it's worth tracking down in the back issue
boxes.

The scant few other comic titles Nancy Collin worked on tended to be novelty tie-in crap like Predator, Jason, Leatherface, etc and, to be honest, even her vampire novels (damn fine in themselves) aren't in the same league as the magic she created with Swamp Thing. Like I say, it's some of the finest comic work I've seen and the fictional world created within it is by far the most believable and absorbing I can think of. A perfect combination of reality and fantasy; humour, horror, human drama and social commentary.

Petition to bring her back to the franchise, anyone?

Nancy A. Collins's blog can be found at www.livejournal.com/heart8/

Disqus - noscript

Marvel's Swamp Thing knock-off was Man Thing.

I never had the money as a kid to follow all the comics I wanted to (if you could even find them in the newsagents), but the original Swamp Thing (when it was plug-ugly and mute)was a daring and fascinating venture by Marvel. Maybe I'll get to catch up someday...

... a fascinating venture by DC, surely?

Someone just lost his Geek Street Cred. Turn in your pocket protector, take the tape off your glasses, and leave!

Whoops.

It's worse yet, Ron, for I've realised that Man-Thing was actually the one I liked and that I thought Swamp Thing was pants by comparison. MT had a tactile version of the 'penant stare' in that he could burn you with a kind of acid if you were afraid. Plus MT was totally mute and rather dark and ambiguous as well as being barely human. He was more in line with the darkness of the Vampirella/Creepy output.

PS Man Thing was out about 2 weeks before Swamp Thing :P

I never had the money as a kid to follow all the comics I wanted to (if you could even find them in the newsagents), but the original Swamp Thing (when it was plug-ugly and mute)was a daring and fascinating venture by Marvel. Maybe I'll get to catch up someday...

... a fascinating venture by DC, surely?

Marvel's Swamp Thing knock-off was Man Thing.

Whoops.

Someone just lost his Geek Street Cred. Turn in your pocket protector, take the tape off your glasses, and leave!

It's worse yet, Ron, for I've realised that Man-Thing was actually the one I liked and that I thought Swamp Thing was pants by comparison. MT had a tactile version of the 'penant stare' in that he could burn you with a kind of acid if you were afraid. Plus MT was totally mute and rather dark and ambiguous as well as being barely human. He was more in line with the darkness of the Vampirella/Creepy output.

PS Man Thing was out about 2 weeks before Swamp Thing :P

<font face="Akhbar MT" size="4">شات بيبسي | شات بنت جازان | شات بحر الكويت | شات قلبي |
شاتات
سعوديه
| شات ابن اليمن | شات جبر الخواطر | شات علي البال | شات ياعمري | شات كيوكات | شات بنات الكويت | شات دوت كوم |
صرقعه | شات لجين | دردشة قلوب الكتابية | شات همس الحب | شات لمسة حب | شات لذة غرام | شات ندى الورد | شات كويت عسل | شات نادي العرب | شات سارق القلوب | شات سحر الدلع | شات سواح | شات اميرة الكون | شات مملكة دلع | شات رومنسية | شات عبير | شات عاشق القلوب | شبيك لبيك | شات قطر الحب | شات حبيب قلبي | شلة بنات | شات التنسيم | شات الخليج | شات غزل | شات دلع | شات مزوح | شات قطر روز | شات علي بابا | شات شمعة حياتي | شات خفايا الشوق | شات فتافيت سكر | شات بحور الحب | شات مشاعل نجد | شات مزاجيات | شات حلو | شات فوز | شات عطر المحبة | شات الكوت | شات شموع نجد | شات ضوء القمر | شات عمان | شات الفجر | شات ورودي | شات القمرا | شات الجوارح | شات جروح | شات مزيكتك | شات لبيه | شات بنت السعوديه | شات كويت 500 | شات نجديات | شات الجوهرة | شات الحور | شات الحلم العربي | شات قمر العرب | شات ناعم العود | شات ليالينا | شات المشتاق | شات ترحال العرب | شات دلوع | شات خجل | شات روح الوفاء | شات المها | شات بنات نجد | شات بنات نت | شات مساهير الغلا | شات البدر | شات الوسام | شات شجون | شات الفنان | شات انين | شات مملكة حبي | شات بنات العرب | شات مملكة الحب | شات الجبيل | شات حبايب | شات بحريني ون | شات كواسر | شات كازنوافا | شات عروبة | شات مدار الروح | شات مياس القلوب | شات دنيا الوله | شات شلة مجنونة | شات العين | شات الشله | شات حلا | شات بنوته | شات حبي | شات كرستال | شات الحيران | شات الحنين | شات لهفة | شات بنات السعوديه | شات وعد | شات العشاق | شات المزيون | شات رماد الحب | شات غلاي | شات تغاريد | شات الدمعة | شات بنت الجامعة | شات المملكة | شات كويت 35 | شات الديوان | شات النهر | شات دانة الكويت | شات الغلا | شات الدلع | شات الحب | شات تعب قلبي | شات دلع | شات السحر | شات بنات الكلية | شات الساهر | شات رجة | شات حمودي |
شات كتابي | شات حبيبتي | شات الود | شات انت عمري | شات الحب | شات قلوب | منتديات | دليل | مركز تحميل | عالم الرومانسيه</font>

شات قلوب السعوديه

شات الخليج
شات الحب
شات السعودية
شات
دردشه
دردشة
دردشة بنات
دردشة السعودية
دردشة عربية
شات صوتي
مكياج 2009
أزياء سهرة 2009
شات جده
شات الاحساء
شات الدمام
شات الرياض

دردشة صوتية
دردشة الكويت
دردشة الامارات
دردشة عمان
دردشة قطر
دردشة البحرين
دردشة العراق
دردشة اليمن
دردشة سعودية
دردشة كتابية
شات كتابي
عروس 2009

بنات
ترافيان
الرياض
فيديو
حواء
الخليج
افلام
وزارة التربية والتعليم
ماسنجر
قصص
ترجمة
الود
الشله
video
اليوتيوب
راشد الماجد

عكاظ
بلياردو
العربية
توبيكات ملونه
توبيكات 2009
توبكات
توبيكات 2009
توبيكات للبنات
توبيكات بنات
توبيكات رمضان
كورة
الوطن
قوقل
جريدة الرياض
اليوم
اغاني
سعودي

شات سعودي
سعودي
خليجي
عربي
منتديات السعودية
منتديات الكويت
منتديات الامارات
منتديات عمان
منتديات قطر
منتديات البحرين
منتديات العراق
منتديات اليمن
منتدى بنات
خدمات
مسجات
منتديات
منتدى
عالم حواء

العاب بنات
العاب فلاش
العاب
دليل
موقع
يوتيوب
جوال
الجامعات
YouTube
Business
online
Roro 44
برامج
حب
قصات شعر 2009

الحياة الزوجية
ياسر القحطاني
Mobile
university
Tourism
Travel
صور
ستار اكاديمي 6
online games
Internet
Directory
Free Download
Games