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Happy b-day, B-man


It’s Bernie Wrightson’s birthday. If you don’t know the name, you’ll have seen his stuff. Like, comics. I mean, horror comics. That’s everybody, right?

He did lots and lots of horror comics, lots of Batman, the first ten issues of Swamp Thing, Creepshow. You’d know him. His body of work is so gigantic (and, often, done at such a crazy fast pace) that it’s easy to find some real clunkers in his oeuvre. But when he’s on form, he’s brilliant.

In ’83, as an unpaid labor of love, he did a series of illustrations for Shelley’s Frankenstein (I say Shelley’s because he skipped over Karloff and all of that and went to the book for inspiration) for which he is rightly much acclaimed. The image at the top is from the series and this link will take you to a Google Images search. Do check it out; these drawings blew me away when I were a young illustrator.

Wrightson’s not terribly old (yes, I’m at the point where 68 strikes me as the bloom of youth), but he’s been fighting cancer for the past few years and he’s just canceled the rest of his 2016 appearances on account of a health relapse, so prayers or vibes or whatever are in order.

I find it entirely fitting that his birthday overlaps Inktober (and Halloween). I had every intention of doing Inktober this year, but then I remembered — oh, yeah! I’m lazy!


Comment from LesterIII
Time: October 28, 2016, 1:34 am

His illustrations for Frankenstein enthralled me in the 80’s, and I must have spent weeks fixated on the ‘clutched in the lab’ two-pager:


He was my greatest example when arguing my preference for B&W over full-color in comics/graphic novels.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: October 28, 2016, 3:23 am

How have I come so far in life and never (knowingly) encountered this guy? I love his style. I’m actually halfway through the book now, and I’m quite struck by how different the story is from the all the various films. It reminds me lot like how the Tarzan films differ from its book(s).

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: October 28, 2016, 12:47 pm

I seem to recall he illustrated Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf; that’s where I know his name from.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: October 28, 2016, 1:00 pm

This sings to me…. amazing

Comment from dissent
Time: October 28, 2016, 3:38 pm

Yeah, there’s just something special about good pen and ink artwork.

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