In the early eighties, I was trying to beak dance, trying to decide who was better, Michael Jackson or Prince (the answer is Prince) and tripping out on a really weird Swamp Thing comic book. The cover is long gone now, but I remember it had an orange cartoon cat holding an issue of Swamp Thing and saying something like “Hey Kids!!!! Four exciting issues of The Swamp Thing!!!” I bought it from a thrift store next to the Seven Eleven where I used to play that awesome vector Star Wars game. In a box near the front counter was a bunch of weird comics that I had never seen before. I remember there were a few issues of Nexus and a few issues of Heavy Metal. I was too scared to buy the later because they showed boobs. Me and my friends picked through that box until all the good stuff was gone.
“When ya gonna get some new comics, mister?”
“When you kids buy all those, then I’ll get some new ones.”
“Well we don’t wanna buy these.”
“Then I aint going to get any more comics.”
So we stopped going back.
Most of the comics I bought from that place are long gone except for this Swamp Thing. It appears to be a black and white re-print for the Australian market. The first page says it was distributed by Gordon & Gotch (A/SIA) Ltd., Melbourne. The reason I still have it and the reason I still look at it is because most of the stories inside were illustrated by a dude named Nestor Redondo. And his illustrations are so achingly beautiful that it just kills me to look at them. Even as a kid, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw his giant ants and weird swamp mutant kids. I wish comics still looked like this. It's clear that this was not some hack. This was a real illustrator kicking ass and making comics look better than they ever had. Here’s a few scans: