Foreign Comic Collector - Page 28

One boring night in August of 2014, I again found myself running eBay searches. Suddenly, I saw something on the screen that made my jaw hit the floor. A seller from Mexico had a lot of five books listed. In that lot was a copy of Mi Gran Aventura #2-154 (Swamp Thing #10). I couldn’t believe it. Finally, I was going to be able to complete my run! As fast as I could, I hit the “Buy It Now,” and immediately paid for the lot. Now, after almost five years, I own what is very likely the only complete run in the United States of Mexican editions of the Wrightson and Wein Swamp Thing series. They’re great books, and one of the highlights of my collection. Anyone who collects foreign comic books would be lucky to have them. If for some reason you decide to start hunting them down though . . . be warned . . . it will be a lengthy, frustrating trek, and there’s no telling how long you’ll be out in the swamps looking! Mi Gran Aventura #5 (Swamp Thing #5) has a pale yellow header which contrasts the red background nicely making it another stand-out book. Novaro changed the header color for Mi Gran Aventura #7 (Swamp Thing #7) to red from the original reddish brown and again, it really makes this book stand out. Sizing “Things” up For Mi Gran Aventura #2-153 (Swamp Thing #9) Novaro went with a lighter green header than DC and it contrasts the red background nicely. Mi Gran Aventura #2-154 (Swamp Thing #10) took 5 years of searching to locate. To this day I only know of one other copy that’s turned up! When I first started collecting foreign editions, I didn’t realize there were so many surprises in store for me. One of them being that some countries published in various size formats. This practice even carries through with some publishers over time, Editorial Novaro being one of them. The first of the Mexican Swamp Thing issues I acquired was Relatos Fabulosos #160 (House of Secrets #92) published in the Revistas format and measures 10” high by 7” wide, about the size of a standard American comic book from the same time period. No surprises there. The next ones I was able to lay my hands on were Mi Gran Aventura #1, 2 & 3 (Swamp Thing #1, 2 & 3). I found these in a lot from a seller out of Mexico and when they arrived, I noticed they were slightly different in size. They’re in the Avestruz format which measures the same 10” high but are only 6 1/2” wide. It was a bit unusual to see such a minor change to the size format but I didn’t think much of it. That is until I was able to get Mi Gran Aventura #152 & 153, which are in the Aguila format. They’re considerably smaller and measure 7 3/4” high by 5 1/2” wide. These threw me for a loop. Up to that point I hadn’t seen anything Mi Gran Aventura #4 (Swamp Thing #4) wasn’t altered at all and bears the closest resemblance to it’s American counterpart. Mi Gran Aventura #2-152 (Swamp Thing #8) is the 1st issue in the Aguila format (see inset article) and the yellow header is a striking change from the original solid black of the U.S. edition. This copy of Mi Gran Aventura #6 (Swamp Thing #6) is a stunning example of the book from an original owner collection that surfaced in Mexico City. 28 29 in a drastically different size and was curious about why there was such a difference. A while later I came into contact with Gustavo Medina who worked for Novaro for a time (you may remember him from FCC #4). Matt (Define999) and I were able to have a conference call with him one night and he explained that the changes in size were made in an attempt to reduce production costs due to the increasing costs of paper. There was one more size that Novaro published called Colibri, which is an even smaller size than the Aguila books. Unfortunately, I don’t own any of these so I’m unable to give exact dimensions on them but to give you an idea, they’re almost small enough to fit into the palm of your hand. You don’t see them very often, and I’m sure the reason for that is a good number of them simply didn’t survive over the years. So there you have it, a quick run down of the various size formats used by Editorial Novaro in Mexico, three of which were used during the timeframe of publication of the classic Wrightson & Wein Swamp Thing run.