I started reading Swamp Thing from the very beginning... sort of. When I was a kid, I liked superhero comics and not much else (no western, no war, etc.). I also gravitated toward Marvel, so Swamp Thing had two strikes against it right out of the gate (to mix a metaphor or two). I remember seeing titles such as Swamp Thing and Kamandi on the spinner racks but not giving them a second look (or even a first). Even when I walked into a comic book shop for the first time in my life several years later, it took some time for me to overcome my preconceived notions regarding such titles as Daredevil (Frank Miller's) and Swamp Thing (Alan Moore's). Then, in 1986, DC released the Roots of the Swamp Thing reprint series and i started at the very beginning (#1) if not exactly from the very beginning (1972). 

Skip ahead 15 years. I'm now married. My new bride is not wholly unfamiliar with comic books and is willing to read more. I recommended a list of 8 or 10 of my favorites (including the Wein/Wrightson and the Moore/Bisette/Totleben runs of Swamp Thing), most of which she read. I had tens of thousands of comics in my collection at that time, enough to keep us busy reading and discussing for years. But she became interested in comics I didn't have, such as the post-Moore Swamp Thing as well as the complete run of Fables (which I myself still have not read). We spent the next however-many-it-was months collecting backissues of Swamp Thing plus I added those two titles to my pull & hold. 

At this point Tracy has read literally hundreds more issues of Swamp Thing than I have. We don't have every issue (she finally lost interest after the "New 52"), but we have quite a few. Ironically,  it was "Brightest Day" which reignited my own interest, so some of the more recent issues she has not read. I like to "prorate" the cost of my comics by a) reading them multiple times, or b) giving them to my wife to read. We get the best value from those comic we both read multiple times. To that end, we have decided to work our way through every issue we own from 1972 to 2018.

We recently led a discussion through every issue/series in Terry Moore's "SiP-verse" but, if we complete it, this project is more than twice as long. We invite you along for the ride. 

Wein/Wrightson - p1

Nestor Redondo - p2

The "Mopee Thing" - p3

Miscellaneous - p4

Martin Pasko - p5

Alan Moore - p8

Rick Veitch - p25

Doug Wheeler - p31

Nancy Collins - p33

Grant Morrison & Mark Millar - p37

Mark Millar - p38

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"It wasn’t mentioned in the Code, but according to things I’ve read this word wasn’t allowed because the block lettering might look like a certain other word."

Exactly. Constantine lighted cigarettes five times in this issue. "Flick" was used twice when sexual innuendo was implied; other onomatopoeic words ("snik!" or "snak!") were used the other times. In addition, "snik" was used when Alden Hollandaise lighted a cigarette when he thought he was in control, but "flick! flick!" at a time when he was well and truly "f*cked."

"Seven days? Did they address the lack of bathroom facilities along with the starvation and thirst?"

In addition to Tracy's answer, Raymond's assistant pointed out (in an internal monologue) that "the bar is well stocked. It's been our only nourishment. three more days and it'll be gone." Also, "[Wild Thing's] smart and crafty, like when he figured out how to lock all the doors and windows, and took our credit cards. He only buys gas at night, when the attendants can't see inside through the tinted glass. Then he turns up the stereo full blast so no one can hear us scream." It's an implausible situation (especially a full-service gas station in 1987), but Veitch at least tries to account for it. 

"Still following the discussion."

I appreciate that. Please continue to ask for clarification of points I may have glossed over in my summaries. 



Richard Willis said:

Jeff of Earth-J said:

ISSUE #72:

I'm pretty sure the use of the sound effect "flick" used suggestively throughout this issue is intentional.

It wasn’t mentioned in the Code, but according to things I’ve read this word wasn’t allowed because the block lettering might look like a certain other word.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Exactly. Constantine lighted cigarettes five times in this issue. "Flick" was used twice when sexual innuendo was implied; other onomatopoeic words ("snik!" or "snak!") were used the other times. In addition, "snik" was used when Alden Hollandaise lighted a cigarette when he thought he was in control, but "flick! flick!" at a time when he was well and truly "f*cked."

From what I've read, the fear/concern/risk to be avoided was that the ink on the cheap newsprint comics used to be printed on could bleed so that the block letters "L" and "I" in the word "FLICK" might merge into a single letter, rendering that five-letter word as a four-letter one, literally and figuratively.

I have observed that phenomenon twice, both in Golden Age Timely comics which I read on microfiche. In one, the Sub-Mariner had jumped to the deck of a surfaced submarine and started firing the mounted machine gun at the Human Torch saying, "Come and get it, you little flicker of a matchstick!" In the other, Toro had been wounded and the Torch was visiting him in the hospital, "How are you doing, little flicker?" 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

It's an implausible situation (especially a full-service gas station in 1987), but Veitch at least tries to account for it. 

I can't speak for the rest of the country, but in California each station would have pumps for self-service* and pumps for full service, priced separately of course. Some time later (I think after 1987) the full service** gradually went away. Today the only price variation in the same station will be cash or credit card.

* When I started driving in 1970 I don't think anyone was allowed to pump their own gas, Not sure when they started allowing it.

** Of course, "full service" just meant gas-pumping. I'm always reminded of the wonderful scene in the first Back to the Future, when at least 5 or 6 immaculately uniformed attendants pounced on a single car to service it.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

It's an implausible situation (especially a full-service gas station in 1987), but Veitch at least tries to account for it.

Richard Willis said:

I can't speak for the rest of the country, but in California each station would have pumps for self-service* and pumps for full service, priced separately of course. Some time later (I think after 1987) the full service** gradually went away. Today the only price variation in the same station will be cash or credit card.

* When I started driving in 1970 I don't think anyone was allowed to pump their own gas, Not sure when they started allowing it.

** Of course, "full service" just meant gas-pumping. I'm always reminded of the wonderful scene in the first Back to the Future, when at least 5 or 6 immaculately uniformed attendants pounced on a single car to service it.

The state of New Jersey legally forbids people from pumping their own gas. Oregon did up until 2018.

Jim Steranko comments on that in the first volume of his excellent History of Comics.  When the CCA was established, one of the results was apparently to avoid the use of the word "Flick" so that the wording would not run together.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I have observed that phenomenon twice, both in Golden Age Timely comics which I read on microfiche. In one, the Sub-Mariner had jumped to the deck of a surfaced submarine and started firing the mounted machine gun at the Human Torch saying, "Come and get it, you little flicker of a matchstick!" In the other, Toro had been wounded and the Torch was visiting him in the hospital, "How are you doing, little flicker?" 

"Not sure when they started allowing it."

My recollection is self service islands started to creep in next to the full service ones circa 1973.

"Of course, 'full service' just meant gas-pumping."

I remember them "checking under the hood" (oil and water levels), bringing the dipstick to the window for the driver to inspect, and adding a quart of oil if low. the attendants always cleaned the windshield when the gas was pumping. (I do that myself today, if the station maintains a clean water supply.) And remember when a "free car wash" was an incentive? 

"The state of New Jersey legally forbids people from pumping their own gas"

Oh, yeah, I've heard that. It's a good chance they were driving in Jersey, then. They're constantly on the move, and I'm sure that limo they're in i s a real gas hog.

"When the CCA was established, one of the results was apparently to avoid the use of the word 'Flick' so that the wording would not run together."

...and "Clint."

ISSUE #73:

This is another issue that utilizes experimental layouts to tell the story. The first nine pages are composed of six panels each, two tiers of three. The panels on the left side of the page tell the stories of the supporting characters (Constantine, Chester and Abby), one panel on each page dedicated to each. The panels of the right tier tell the Swamp Thing's story, wordlessly. Swamp Thing and Sprout are travelling through the Green in their astral forms when they come under attack by a dinosaur skeleton animated by one of the Parliament of Trees. All four of the stories are converging on Houma. Notably, Chester avoids dying by fire on three occasions. 

After that, the scene shifts to the limo's cross-country trek, also on its way to Houma. Chester decides, at last, to try eating one of Swamp thing's tubers but is interrupted. Constantine's investigation leads him to conclude that Chester is destined to become the next Earth Elemental. Constantine, Chester, Abby and Swamp Thing's stories all come together in the park. Swamp Thing turns Sprout over to Abby, then leaves to deal with the crazed member of the Parliament. They rest go their separate ways. Chester contemplates eating the tuber again, sees the limo drive by, changes his mind. 

At one point, Chester refers to John as "Constanteen," and he corrects, "Tine. Constantine." I have always pronounced it "Constanteen" in my head (and will continue to do so), but how do you pronounce it? 

"Fronkensteen"

Jeff of Earth-J said:

At one point, Chester refers to John as "Constanteen," and he corrects, "Tine. Constantine." I have always pronounced it "Constanteen" in my head (and will continue to do so), but how do you pronounce it? 

The only correct way to say anyone's name is to defer to the person who has that name. "Constantine" it is. 

(That said, the Constantine TV series and the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" Arrowverse crossover got it backward.

"The only correct way to say anyone's name is to defer to the person who has that name."

Yes, but does Rick Veitch "have" it?

I remember that once the Headhunter referred to Prince Namor as the "Sub-MarEENer" and he corrected: "Sub-Mariner." 

Although I was familiar with the word "mariner" early on (thanks to Mad magazine), I always thought "SubmarEENer" (as in "submarine") made more sense than "sub-sailor"... that is until I learned that Bill Everett himself, early on, established it as Sub-Mariner" and I've been pronouncing it correctly every since. Bill Everett "has" it.

You can't always go with TV/movie pronunciations (which one would think would be correct) as they are often contradictory: Jameson, Rao, Lana, Ra's al Ghul, etc. Also, Legion of Three Worlds gave three alternate ways of pronouncing "Winath" which I don't buy either (that is, I agree with one of them, but not the one attributed to that particular reality).  

It was hard to miss in one of the TV shows when several different characters in the same episode pronounced Ra's al Ghul two different ways.

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