It! (short story)

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"It!" is an influential horror short story by Theodore Sturgeon, first published in Unknown August 1940. The story deals with a plant monster that is ultimately revealed to have formed around a human skeleton, specifically that of Roger Kirk, in a swamp. P. Schuyler Miller described "It!" as "probably the most unforgettable story ever published in Unknown. "[1]

Similar characters[edit]

The story's seminal nature is indicated by the plant-based swamp monsters that appeared in various comicbooks. Among these characters are Hillman Comics' Heap in Airboy Comics, who debuted in what was intended as a one-time appearance in the feature "Skywolf" in Air Fighters #3 (Dec. 1942). Created by writer Harry Stein and artist Mort Leav, the Heap became a popular character in return appearances and later an ongoing solo feature.

Early depictions of the Heap look highly similar to the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies character Gossamer, an orange-furred, practically featureless monster in sneakers who menaced Bugs Bunny in the 1946 animated short "Hair-Raising Hare" before going on to other appearances (named "Rudolph" in one).

Solomon Grundy in All-American Comics is the result of a criminal having fallen in a swamp, though he did not have a plantlike appearance.

Sturgeon's story continued to show influence after the relaxation of the Comics Code Authority's restrictions on horror late in 1971. Man-Thing first appeared (in an unrestricted black and white magazine-size comic) from Marvel Comics in May 1971, and DC Comics introduced Swamp Thing in the anthology comic House of Secrets #92 in June 1971. A different character, based upon the House of Secrets story, also called Swamp Thing debuted in issue #1 of its own title (November 1971) after popular response to the original story. Gerry Conway and Len Wein, the writers who created Man-Thing and Swamp Thing respectively, were good friends and roommates at the time but did not discuss their work with each other.

Marvel also published an adaptation of the original story in Supernatural Thrillers #1.[2] Tony Isabella and Roy Thomas were asked by Marvel's editors to consider an ongoing series with Sturgeon's swamp creature, but they felt the similarity to Marvel's own title, Man-Thing would create [3] conflicts.

The 1980s saw the introduction of Bog Swamp Demon and two Swamp Thing movies, as well as Dave Sim's Man-Thing and Swamp Thing parodies, Woman-Thing and Sump-Thing, in the pages of Cerebus.

The 1990s introduced more parodies, including Swamp Beast in Harvey Comics' Monster in My Pocket and Man-Thang and Swamp-Thang in Marvel's What The--?!.


  1. ^ "Book Reviews", Astounding Science Fiction, September 1949, p.151
  2. ^ htm
  3. ^ Isabella, Tony (16 April 2013). "WIKIPEDIA GOT "IT" WRONG". Retrieved 2013-04-16.