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"Still Waters"

(23 pages)
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist(s): Stan Woch, John Totleben
Colorist: Tatjana Wood
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Len Wein
Swamp Thing Created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson

Cover: Steve Bissette (unsigned)


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John Constantine appeared in the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS mini-series issue #4 (by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez) in the month that this ST issue was originally published. Constantine appears for about half of a page, talking with Steve Dayton, whose help he enlists in SWAMP THING #44 and 50.

3 There appears to be the punchline of a joke here. Fellow fan Paul Evans conjectures:

I think I've found the joke and it goes like this: "There was this girl called ****herharder. Her and her boyfriend were in the room. Then suddenly ****herharder's mum comes home. She calls her daughter's name, ****herharder! The boyfriend thought that her mum was talking to him, so he says to the mum ... I'm doing it as fast as i can!" A poor joke, but it does fit Moore's dialogue here.

6:2 Note the store named "Bisson & Bilby". John Bisson was a classmate of artist Steve Bissette at the Joe Kubert School of Art. He is a makeup effects creator who has worked on Army of Darkness and From Dusk Till Dawn. Nobody knows who Bilby is. (I had previously believed that it referred to Robert Bilby and Peter Bisson, who have documented various studies of river ecology, until reading Bissette's June 2, 2010 blog.) The name Bisson also appeared on the keychain in issue #26 ("A Time of Running") 13:5. The sign that says Baron is a reference to the creator of the comic series NEXUS, Mike Baron.

7-8:4 The blonde girl Swampy is thinking of was Casey who travelled with him through Rosewood in a freight train boxcar in issue #3.

7-8:7 A number of teenage "punk rock" vampires slept inside the pinball machines in issue #3.

9:4 Abby is thinking of ST as her husband by this point, although Matt Cable is still alive in a coma.

11:1 First appearance of Frank North.

11:4 The back of guy's jacket says "Death Dealers"

12:3 Blood on their "hands" and on Constantine's.

14:4 In the pile of trash is a paper that says "Kieth Lives". Possibly a reference to Keith Moon of the rock group The Who but most likely to Keith Morris of Black Flag, a popular punk rock group.

??:?? The punk vampire with the mohawk may or may not be Stiv Slashers who appeared when ST visited Rosewood in SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #2 and #3, written by Martin Pasko in 1982. At the end of that story, though, when many of the vampires are destroyed, a skeleton was shown resembling Stiv (with his mohawk and safety pin earring.) Also, in that original story, Stiv did not have a cross tattoo on his head. Stiv was probably named after Stiv Bators of the 1970's punk band The Dead Boys. In the 1980's, Stiv did a song with his new band the Lords of the New Church entitled "V for Vendetta", which was apparently named after Alan Moore's acclaimed story.

13:4 "White" as a bride's dress

18:4 Note the bat eating the moth

21:1 The "Sid Lives" tattoo refers to punk musician Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. A female vampire in issue #3 wore a button (which was even visible on the cover) that said "Free Sid". Vicious was arrested on charges of murdering his girlfriend in 1978, but was bailed out and died of an overdose a few months later.

COMMENT: This issue is reprinted in black and white as ESSENTIAL VERTIGO: SWAMP THING #19, May 1998.

COMMENT: In 2001, DC Comics collected/reprinted ST #35-42 in a book titled "Swamp Thing: The Curse".

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