Click on image at right to enlarge Bissette's original sketches for this issue's cover. (The sketch in the lower right was used for the cover of issue #56.) The handwritten notes say "Could adorn ST gravemarker with rose & thorns, but lack of any vegetation at grave may be better". The sketches on the left have a newspaper that says "Gotham Times, Swamp Thing Destroyed". The newspaper in the sketch at upper right says "Swamp Thing Dead".
On his blog, Bissette says these are some of his favorite SWAMP THING covers which he did. His first wife Marlene (then Nancy) O'Connor posed for him.
1:1 At her blog, ST fan
Madbertha notes that this funeral scene (published Dec. 1986) has a lot in common with WATCHMEN #2 (published Oct. 1986). Both rainy funeral scenes were written by Moore and use only narration captions instead of word balloons. Both begin with an extreme zoom in. Both show mysterious persons in the background.
2:3 While Swampy doesn't get a grave marked by a cross, the cross atop the church in this panel points toward his memorial.
4:3 Commissioner Gordon (a supporting character from the Batman books) is referring to events in issue
The statue of ST shows up in SWAMP THING issue
#70 and in issue #2 of Neil Gaiman's mini-series BLACK ORCHID in 1991.
4:6 ST fought
Woodrue in issue
#24 and helped Superman in DC PRESENTS
#85, also by Alan Moore and Rick Veitch. Batman has met ST a number of times.
Liz hooked up with Abby last issue.
Chester continues as a supporting character in SWAMP THING. Bullock is a supporting character in the BATMAN books.
10:1 Who's that fellow in the bowtie? Everyone at this funeral seems to be a character we've been introduced to before.
10:6 The Phantom Stranger
stood by ST in issue #50, among other times. They both went on to form part of the so-called Trenchcoat Brigade in Neil Gaiman's BOOKS OF MAGIC mini-series.
22 Swampy's pose here is the same as his statue on page 3.
COMMENT: This issue's letters page contained a heated discussion over the menstrual theme of issue #40.
COMMENT: In 2002, DC Comics collected issues 51-56 in the trade book "Swamp Thing: Earth to Earth".(shown at left)