Saturday, August 16, 2008

Monster of the Swamp: A Bite-Sized Man-Thing Deathwatch Sandwich!



Page Publications Pty. Ltd. liked to do things right. They preferred to reprinted US issues in full, and in sequence, rather than to sort and match features into new titles by character or theme. If possible, space allowing, they would opt to include black and white reproductions of the US covers in the issues, for completeness’ sake. If they needed to avail themselves of the rear cover to present a complete story, so be it. If the inner cover pages were not required, they would just as often as not leave them blank, without advertising. Sure, sometimes the series cover titles would differ from the US titles, but that was not the norm, and regardless, it was hardly tampering in the first degree when it comes to scheduling reprint material.

So I think they would be embarrassed to realise they stuffed up with their third digest Man-Thing reprint.
Monster of the Swamp is the follow-up to the second Man-Thing digest reprint, Swamp Creature. Swamp Creature reprinted The Man-Thing #’s 4, 5 and 6. In turn, Monster of the Swamp should have carried The Man-Thing #’s 7, 8 and 9. The cover is a reprint of the cover to #7, and the other two covers are reprinted in black and white in the book. But instead of kicking off with “The Old Die Young!” from #7, the buggers have mistakenly slotted in “Deathwatch!” from #9 both before and after “The Gift of Death!” from #7 – a “Deathwatch!” sandwich!.

Based on samples of other Page/Yaffa digests, it wouldn’t surprise me to find the Man-Thing digests are in fact reprints of standard-size Page/Yaffa issues. In other words, there is probably a series of three or four Page/Yaffa Man-Thing issues reprinting the first dozen or so US issues. I‘m guessing the digests are quasi-one-shots retitled for the purposes of recycling. So I wonder whether the ‘original’ Page/Yaffa Man-Thing #3 - assuming such an issue exists - also has this error or not.

I also wouldn’t mind knowing the title of the first Man-Thing digest – surely there is such an issue.

Not that these questions keep me awake at night or anything…

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