Rich Handley Author and Editor

New Book Examines the Extraordinary History of DC Comics’ Swamp Thing and John Constantine


Author Rich Handley’s Born on the Bayou: A Pre-Flashpoint Chronology of Swamp Thing and Hellblazer is now available from BearManor Media Books.

October 2, 2023: The long road to the publication of Rich Handley’s latest book began in 1971. That’s when writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson introduced to comic book readers a sympathetic bog-monster who was far more than his horrifying exterior conveyed.

There was Moore to come, however—Alan Moore, to be exact—and it transformed the comics world. Wein and Wrightson’s story “Swamp Thing,” published in DC Comics’ The House of Secrets #92, launched a truly extraordinary saga. The resultant Swamp Thing monthly title chronicled the exploits of scientist-turned-plant Alec Holland, and it later introduced occultist and Byronic hero John Constantine.

Born on the Bayou

Alec Holland and John Constantine: distinctively different, yet inextricably intertwined. Born on the Bayou: A Pre-Flashpoint Chronology of Swamp Thing and Hellblazer examines every comic, novel, and short story—approximately a thousand tales—to feature the mossy elemental or the British mage before 2011’s Flashpoint. The book features a foreword and cover by legendary Swamp Thing writer-artist and Constantine co-creator Stephen R. Bissette, as well as an afterword by John E. Boylan, Guinness World Record-holding Swamp Thing guru and editor of the Swamp Thing magazine Holland Files International.

Born on the Bayou covers not only Swamp Thing, but also the comic’s spinoffs, John Constantine: Hellblazer, American Freak, and The Un-Men. It also incorporates all appearances by either Swamp Thing, Constantine, or the casts of their sagas in other titles, such as The Sandman, Shade the Changing Man, Batman, Challengers of the Unknown, The Books of Magic, and more.

This monster of a book (557 pages and 8″X10″) is modeled after Handley’s previous chronologies (Timeline of the Planet of the Apes: The Definitive Chronology, Watching Time: The Unauthorized Watchmen Chronology, and Back in Time: The Back to the Future Chronology). A must-have for fans of the muck-encrusted mockery of a man and the chain-smoking British mage, Born on the Bayou: A Pre-Flashpoint Chronology of Swamp Thing and Hellblazer is available from BearManor Media in a variety of formats: color, black-and-white, softcover, and hardcover. Learn more at

Rich Handley has written, edited, and contributed to dozens of books about such franchises as Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Watchmen, Swamp Thing, Stargate, Dark Shadows, The X-Files, Twin Peaks, Red Dwarf, Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Back to the Future. He contributed multiple essays to DC’s official John Constantine, Hellblazer 30th Anniversary Celebration, and he co-edited Sequart’s anthologies From Bayou to Abyss: Examining John Constantine, Hellblazer, and Musings on Monsters: Observations on the World of Classic Horror, earning a reputation as an expert on Swamp Thing, John Constantine, and their macabre world. Rich edited Eaglemoss’s Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection and currently writes articles and short fiction for Titan’s Star Trek Explorer magazine.

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Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, The Un-Men, The Books of Magic, The Sandman, Alec Holland, John Constantine, Timothy Hunter, and other characters and works discussed in this book are the property of DC Comics, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros., and AT&T’s WarnerMedia, with no copyright infringement intended. All rights reserved. This book is not endorsed by DC Comics or Warner Bros. Discovery.

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