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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, production could be a little better
The 8 issues of Saga of the Swamp Thing contained in this volume (#20-27) contain one of the best story arcs in comic history. Anyone who is a fan of Alan Moore (The Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, etc.) should put this book high on their list of priorities.

This volume has two major boons over the previously released paperback version of the TPB...
Published on February 18, 2009 by mcg480

versus
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A BIGGER quality control problem
This book reprints issues #20 - 27. The first story-arc ends with issue #24. This book LEAVES OUT THE LAST FOUR WORDS OF THAT STORY! The story ends with a full-page picture of Swamp Thing with arms outstretched, head titled up toward the sky, with the sun setting behind him. In the original comic book, and the first paperback reproduction, the upper left-hand corner...
Published on January 29, 2010 by Perry Beider


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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, production could be a little better, February 18, 2009
By 
mcg480 (Tucson, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1 (Hardcover)
The 8 issues of Saga of the Swamp Thing contained in this volume (#20-27) contain one of the best story arcs in comic history. Anyone who is a fan of Alan Moore (The Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, etc.) should put this book high on their list of priorities.

This volume has two major boons over the previously released paperback version of the TPB from 1998:

1. The obvious one: the hardcover is nice for damage mitigation, and is a nice presentation.
2. The important one: the hardcover version contains issue #20, which is actually the first one written by Moore (but illustrated by Dan Day not Stephen Bissette), the *previous version* of the TPB does not.

That being said, I was disappointed that they didn't go with a higher grade paper for this hardcover volume, something glossy would have been nice. Unfortunately it is the same newspaper-print stock type paper that was used in the paperback (were it not for this I would have rated it 5 stars easily).

Another issue, probably due to the fact that I pre-ordered the book and it was shipped the day it was released: the cover feels sticky, like the ink isn't completely dry. We'll see if that goes away after a few days.

All in all a great book. If you don't already have the paperback TPB definitely pick this up. Even if you do, you will probably want to get this version for issue #20 if you are a die hard Moore fan.

*edit* Decided to update this based on a user comment. I noted that the previous version of the TBD does not have issue 20. The new version, basically the same as this hardback, does contain that issue.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A BIGGER quality control problem, January 29, 2010
By 
Perry Beider (Silver Spring, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1 (Hardcover)
This book reprints issues #20 - 27. The first story-arc ends with issue #24. This book LEAVES OUT THE LAST FOUR WORDS OF THAT STORY! The story ends with a full-page picture of Swamp Thing with arms outstretched, head titled up toward the sky, with the sun setting behind him. In the original comic book, and the first paperback reproduction, the upper left-hand corner of the page has the words "...and meet the sun." Those words are the poignant climax of a five-issue story, and DC somehow managed to omit them, ending the story in mid-sentence.

I know it sounds bizarre, but as Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up. You can read about it elsewhere on the web, including the blog of artist Stephen Bissette and the DC message boards.

Having said that, yes these are absolutely great stories. (The dream sequence in one of the chapters brought tears to my eyes.) I wouldn't tell you not to buy the book because of those missing words...especially now that you can put them in mentally yourself. But you might want to wait until they do a second (hopefully corrected!) printing...or look for one of those first paperback editions (which won't have issue #20, though).
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal Issues...Poor Quality Production, February 18, 2009
By 
RandA "RandA" (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1 (Hardcover)
I have to say I was greatly disappointed with this release. I've been a fan of the Moore/Bissette/Totleben run of Swamp Thing since it first came out in the mid-1980s. When I heard about this collection (which I assumed meant the eventual release of all the issues in hardback), I was so excited.

Imagine my disappointment when I took the plastic wrapping off the volume.

First, the pages are printed on the same paper stock as the tradepaperback editions. I know the price of the volume reflects this low-quality paper, but I would have been happy to pay extra to get a high-quality product. Isn't that the point in buying a hardback of something you can get in a paperback for significantly less cost?

Second, the dustjacket was obviously designed by someone unfamiliar with the limitations of offset printing. As I know from my profession, you do NOT print on wax paper type paper. The ink will never completely dry on this type of paper. Unfortunately, that's the material they decided to use for this volume's dustjacket. It's sticky because of the wet ink, and a moderately-pressured wipe of the dustjacket will result in a black smudged finger or cloth. I have yet to risk placing it in my bookshelf with the rest of my volumes, for fear of it leaving ink on the volumes that sandwich.

All that said, would I buy future volumes of this hardback series? Absolutely...but only because I'm such a hardcore fan. And these issues ARE completely amazing. However, unless you're also a hardcore fan, I would have to recommend the tradepaperbacks as a more reasonable option for the money-versus-quality rationale.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moore's classic run on Swamp Thing finally in hardcover, February 19, 2009
This review is from: Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1 (Hardcover)
One of the best comic runs in the history of comics hasn't really gotten the attention it deserves when it comes to collected editions. This is Moore at his best. The stories in this book are truly amazing. Swamp Thing learns of how he really came to be and faces off with some of the best characters. Moore has always had a gift for writing women characters, and you have to love his portrayal of Abigail.

Another bonus in this collection is Issue #20. This has never been reprinted and Moore fans who couldn't find the old issue can now get it in this hardcover.

Now, not everything is perfect. There are two flaws with this collection. The first flaw is the dust jacket. It seems like they printed it on wax paper or something like it and it is really stick and kind of wet feeling. I will say this though, after about a week of having my copy, it doesn't feel nowhere near as bad as when I first got it. The second flaw is that the paper is still printed on the rough type of paper and not glossy. I would have loved this collection if the paper would have better instead as the same as the old trade paperbacks.

But those flaws aside I will say that this is still a nice hardcover edition. If they release the other five books, I will definitely get them all.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Embarrassingly Bad Production Values, But Great Story, July 10, 2010
By 
James Dawson (Woodland Hills, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1 (Hardcover)
What a cheap and shoddy book this is. Once again, Vertigo has proven that the company is more interested in cutting corners to save pennies and maximize profits, instead of treating collections of its greatest comics with the respect the work deserves. (For further evidence of this shameful practice, take a look at the awful paper Vertigo uses in its FABLES trade paperback collections. For shame!)

The paper in this Swamp Thing collection is better than the newsprint used in the original 1980s comic books it reprints, but not by much. It's not glossy at all, which means most black areas look flat and drab. Because of the way this paper absorbs ink, it's often difficult to read the frequent white text on black captions, just like in the original comics. The paper is not even opaque, for cripe's sake, showing a lot of bleed-through that makes you wonder if the book is acidifying and deterioriating before your very eyes.

Also, the waxy-feeling dustjacket is printed on some paper of unknown origin that seems specifically designed NOT to be used as a dustjacket. When a book doesn't even feel good to hold in your hands, that's saying something.

Story-wise, these are some of the best comic books ever written/drawn, deserving good printing on quality paper at the very least. (And why there's no Absolute edition of this series is beyond me.)

It's a damned shame that Vertigo has so little regard for their best comics that they keep putting out third-rate collections like this one. Save your money, and hope for the day when a new management team will have more interest in quality control.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saga of the Swamp Thing Book 1, May 21, 2012
This review is from: Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1 (Hardcover)
I'd never read any Swamp Thing before. Heard good things about it, but I'd never actually read it. Wow, was I missing out.

After reading this first volume, it puts a lot of things in place. The way I see it, more than a couple of comics that came after this, were trying their best to rip off themes and narrative devices originated in this series. And again, the original is still the best.

I was immediately sucked into this book, and it turned out to be a real page-turner. The action never stopped. This is the first edition of this book, which has been in print on and off since the late 80's, to include Alan Moore's first issue, #20. The issue had always been left out of collections due to it wrapping up the previous storyline, but while it did that, it also laid the ground work for many future stories. I didn't feel lost for a minute while reading that issue.

And the art... the art is absolutely stunning, perfectly fitting into Moore's moody writing.

To say that I'm looking forward to the second paperback volume would be an understatement. It's going to be a long wait until October.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for graphic novel fans., November 10, 2012
Swamp thing was turned from a simple comic into a proper saga, Moore's story telling shines through here and is reminiscent of the "Tales of the Black Freighter". Read both foreword and introduction for a better understanding of the significance of the Saga of the Swamp Thing.
Last but not least, the layout, drawing and colouring work very well and some care has been taken in converting this into an enjoyable experience on kindle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saga of the Swamp Thing (Book one), January 8, 2010
This review is from: Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1 (Hardcover)
If you have read any of the many interviews and magazine articles Alan Moore appears in print or on the web, you would have at least some decent knowledge of his inherent impact upon the comics industry, the comic art form itself and also, some may argue, pop culture itself. You all know how it happened. Watchmen came out, a book he created and wrote, published over the period of 1986 going into 1987 in monthly installments. At that time the comic was a marginalized medium, looked down upon as child's fare. "Watchmen", in all its artistic splendor and sublime narrative, was the singular book that pulled, or succeeded to some extent in pulling comics out of that doomed stereotype. It was, as people touted, graphic novel that bridged literature to the comic book.

Yes, I used the words "graphic novel" because Watchmen was the comic that helped push that term, along with probably Dark Knight Returns, into public or, at least, semi-public consciousness. And at the head of it all, Alan Moore was the mastermind, whose ferocious creativity and masterful feel for storytelling has single-handedly turned a `ghetto' medium of the comic book into an important one. He has expanded upon the creative limits, on which comic creators of that time and of today can explore and, in turn, push further into unseen territories.

That much is true but few actually realize the genesis of where all this came from. When Alan Moore first brought his literary sensibilities into the American comic industry it was for a title many regarded as a cult, horror book, Swamp Thing. It was a doomed title on the brink of cancellation and it was slated to be taken over by a then unknown Moore only as a last gasp effort to revive it.

But Alan wrote the character into new boundaries, gave the book a fresh new start. And as Alan Moore continued to set off a furor on a book probably only a small number of comic book fans loved at that time, it even went on to become one of the flagship titles for Vertigo, DC Comics' mature imprint. A seemingly doomed character, The Swamp Thing, rife with its campy origins, further compounded by lack of respectability of the medium, was given new life.

There was a clear change, Swamp Thing became smarter and sophisticated all at the same time. The captions came thick and fast, and all of them a joy to read and never redundant or unnecessary. Even the most simplistic of captions like "I am running. Running through the dead, gray trees," turned out to be classy, almost poetic triggers for the accompanying narrative to spring forth. Alan Moore brought literary prose into comic books and he was doing it even before Watchmen was conceived.

That makes reading this hardcover revision of the first trade paperback of Alan Moore's run on the book that more amazing. The binding looks and feels professional and the actual pages look spruced up with the re-coloring and the change in paper stock. Furthermore, with a move sure to excite long time fans of the series and completists alike, this collection includes the previously omitted debut issue (#20) in which Alan makes a storyline deconstruction of sorts from where the previous story left, and then heads off into his own story in the subsequent issues where he brings his own re-imagination to the green monster's mythos (that Swamp Thing isn't human but only a vestige of his former self, not least of all), builds up a relationship between Swamp Thing and Abby (who knew such a thing could be possible for a creature like Swamp Thing) and basically goes on a rampage of brutal storytelling pregnant with wild imaginations.

In a sentence: he made Swamp Thing a good comic book and not only that, brought it back to its horror roots. This renewal of identity for the character and for the book in general is no small feat, certainly not doable by someone lesser than a writer of Alan's caliber. Alan Moore's pacing is in full show here, as is his prowess in prose construction. One only needs to read an issue of this book to know that Alan isn't messing around here, that he is no fluke. His literary skills have no equal in the field of comics.

Reading through this first volume will only further cement that sentiment. In my mind, the best comic book series ever, surpassing even Watchmen and From Hell, Alan's own flagship creations. And this is just the first volume, for goodness sake.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOULD RECOMMEND, January 4, 2014
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This book was purchased as a gift. The recipient said: Alan Moore was ahead of his time and effectively developed a beautiful extended universe around this character. In an age of comics when most stories relied on steroetypical battles with this and that masked foe, Swamp Thing is a novel that transcends the story arc concept. The character is completely reinvented and the concepts of the red, green, and rot are far more powerful than the death of Gwen Stacey. The book also isn't overly reliant on moody narration that bores the reader to establish plot points. Alan Moore is an incredible author and anyone who is looking for a literary masterpiece rather than another boring arc about their favorite superhero should get ahold of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Comics Can Be Frustrating, September 4, 2013
By 
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This comic is amazing. It deserves seven stars.

That said, this Kindle version leaves...well, the same thing other Kindle versions leave to be desired.

Reading comics on the Kindle can be frustrating. The two biggest problems are the poor zoom-in feature and the inability to change the orientation. As a result, two-page spreads are impossible to read. You can double-tap to go panel by panel, but then you lose the impact of the art. You can look at the pretty art, but then you lose the text. Sometimes, both lose impact.

Here's the good news: I now have an excuse to buy this in paperback as well.

But I wouldn't buy this edition. Why not? Well, for the same reason another reviewer was disappointed. The last four words of the first story arc are missing. The story loses its impact when the final sentence is cut in half.

Should you buy the Kindle version? Absolutely. And if you already own it on Kindle, you should buy it in paperback too. And be sure to buy the earlier version, from 1998.

Note: That edition does not include #20 "Loose Ends," which technically the start of this run. Should you wait for a future reprinting which will hopefully contain all the first issues, along with the complete text?

No. Buy this right now. Then buy it again later. Great art should be rewarded.
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Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1
Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1 by Alan Moore (Hardcover - February 17, 2009)
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