Swamp Thing 60 John Totleben original art

One of the recent trends in comics has been the over-sized deluxe ‘original art’ edition of a book or artist’s work. These are reproductions of the original pages, sans colour, with all the pencil marks, printer mark up and notes, reproduced at the original size – usually ‘half up’ from the final printed size. Usually expensive (around the £100 mark) these beautiful tombs are fascinating artifacts and show how much detail is lost in the print process.

If there’s one issue that needs collecting in this way it’s Jon Totleben‘s work on issue 60 of Alan Moore‘s run on Swamp Thing from 1987. This self-contained story is a standalone in that it’s all collage rather than a straighter pen and ink style and features a sci-fi plot where Swampy is basically raped in space by an alien entity with the horn (I think).

Anyway, the terrible reproduction and flat colours flattened all the subtleties out of the art as these scans of some of the original art from the Cool Lines Artwork website reveal (where you can actually still buy some of the art if you have deep pockets).

Some of it has objects like metal chains and watch innards attached to it but it’s doubtful if this could ever be collected as the art is now scattered to different owners after Steve from Cool Lines bought the majority of it it from the artist. Maybe DC has decent quality scans of it with all the separations somewhere and will see an opportunity milk some more of the Moore cash cow at some stage.

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