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"...A Time of Running..."

(23 pages)
Writer: Alan Moore
Co-Plotters: Alan Moore, Steve Bissette & John Totleben
Co-Pencillers: Steve Bissette & Rick Veitch
Inker: John Totleben
Colorist: Tatjana Wood
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Karen Berger
Swamp Thing Created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson

Cover: Steve Bissette and John Totleben (signed)
Notice the Demon's silhouette against the moon.


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22:3 The bottle on page 22 reads "Mark Weber", whose name also appears in issue #24, 9:2. Inker John Totleben tells me: Mark Weber is one of my ol" best friends from high school, best man at our wedding, and a fellow artist who on one or two occassions pitched in to help ink some background struff back in the day. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and family, and we still get together once or twice a year when he pops in for visits.

Original cover sketch by Bissette. He's being attacked by the DC emblem! Maybe that's why it wasn't used?

1:2 The text on this page is from James Agee's screenplay to NIGHT OF THE HUNTER.

6:1 The check in the puddle of catsup resembles the business card in the puddle of blood on page 4.
Page 13

10:4 Paul has a toy monkey. Or is it the Monkey King in disguise?

12:1 "Meslar's Milky Way" is probably a reference to someone.

13:5 Note the name on the keychain. (Pictured at left by Bissette/Veitch/Totleben.) Special Effects Make-Up Artist John Bisson is a old friend of Bissette. The name Bisson also appears on a sign in issue 38 6:2.

13:6 The bottle reads "Old Veitch". Actress Bette Davis often had sharp-witted lines to say when she exited a scene.

18:3 The monster says "Mommy needn't know", like a typical child molester.

19:3 ST was created from the fiery death of Alec Holland.

22:4 "Our insect allies" - Matt's insect motif will become prominent by issue issue #29.
SANDMAN #71, art by
Michael Zulli

23:1 The text of this page is quoted by Lucien, a servant of Dream, in Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN #71, page 19, panel 4, as he reflects on the earthly fate of Matt Cable. (See art at right by Michael Zulli.)

23:3 "Burma Shave" signs advertising shaving cream were commonly seen along the sides of highways in the mid-20th century. In addition, "Burma Shave" is also a song by Tom Waits (who recently starred in "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus"). A fan named Gary McKernan sent me this bit of info:

The song was first released in 1977 on the Foreign Affairs album and tells the story of two drifters on the road whose wreckless spirit and frustration with the inertia of small town American life, tragically, becomes their undoing. The final moments of the lyric relates a car-wreck; "The spider-web crack and the Mustang scream". More precisely poigniant, to my mind, however, is the very last line of the lyric; "They say the dreams are growing wild, just this side of Burma Shave." This line, I think nutshells Matt Cables' predicament perfectly. After all, Cable's nausiating contortiions of his power were founded in his fantasies.

The Kamara (Monkey King) first appeared
in Jack Kirby's THE DEMON #4

COMMENT: In 1987, DC Comics collected/reprinted issues 21-27 in a trade book titled "Saga of the Swamp Thing".
In 2009, DC Comics collected/reprinted issues 20-27 in a hardcover titled (again) "Saga of the Swamp Thing". This was the first time that issue issue #20 was reprinted in the United States, but the caption on the final page of issue #24 was left out!

COMMENT: While this issue and the previous one experimented with altering the logo on the cover, DC Comics soon after discouraged this.

COMMENT: This issue was reprinted in black & white as ESSENTIAL VERTIGO: SWAMP THING #6 April 1997.

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