At my new favorite book store Half-Price Books I discovered for small money two of the three The Heap volumes from PS Artbooks. I found the lovely second and third volumes but alas not the first one. That's fine with me (for now) as I discovered that it is in the second volume that the definitive Heap stories from Hillman's Airboy Comics begin, those drawn and written by Ernie Schroeder.
Schroeder is referred to as "the Good Heap Artist", evoking memories of Carl Barks "the Good Duck Artist". It seems Schroeder never signed his work and so no one for years knew the identity of the artist who so distinctively rendered this memorable character for several years to the end of the run. The two volumes I picked up feature delightful covers, one by Frank Brunner that's been featured here before and another by Steve Bissette, an artist with a long association and deep knowledge of monsters in general and swamp monsters in particular.
Maybe one day I'll find the debut volume. I hope I do, but I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it even if it sports a fantastic Mike Ploog cover.