It! (short story)

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"It" is a horror short story by American writer Theodore Sturgeon, first published in Unknown of 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 Heap battles "The Man of the Moonlight" on the cover of Airboy Comics, volume 9, number 5 (March, 1952). Artwork by Ernest Schroeder.

Plant-based swamp monsters similar to that in the story appear in various comic books. Among these characters are Hillman Comics' the Heap in Airboy Comics, who debuted in what was intended as a one-time appearance in the feature "Skywolf" in Air Fighters #3 (December 1942).

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 (and 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 plant-like appearance.

Sturgeon's story continued to show influence after the relaxation of the Comics Code Authority's restrictions on horror late in 1971. The Man-Thing first appeared (in an unrestricted black and white magazine-size comic) from Marvel Comics in May 1971, and DC Comics introduced the Swamp Thing in the anthology comic House of Secrets #92 in June 1971. A different character, based upon the House of Secrets story and also called the Swamp Thing, debuted in issue #1 of its own title (November 1971).

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, The 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.