The comic book industry suffered a major blow this past week. Famed horror comic artist, Bernie Wrightson, has passed away at the age of 68 after a long battle with brain cancer. He passed away in his home in Austin, Texas. His wife publicly announced his death earlier this week on Wrightson’s official website.
Unfortunately, the artist had not been producing much artwork in the past few years due to his retirement. However, he left behind a legacy of beautiful and inspiration artwork for many people in the horror genre and the comic book community. Wrightson was a shining star in the horror comic genre, but he also did work for a lot of popular films and television series. His most popular creation would be the Swamp Thing for the DC Comics monster series in 1971. Wrightson’s creation would go on to inspire Wes Craven’s creature feature in the 80’s. He is also known for his work Marvel’s version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (which included 50 ink illustrations), artistic renditions of Edgar Allen Poe’s and H.P. Lovecraft’s works, and Stephen King’s Creepshow.
Bernie Wrightson got his start as a freelance artist at the Baltimore Sun when he was a teenager. Two years later, he started animating for DC Comics. Throughout his career, Wrightson drew for Marvel and DC and had the chance to reimagine Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Dr. Strange, and other comic classics in all sorts of horrific situations like in the illustration above. Aside from comics and graphic novels, Wrightson also did conceptual art for films like Ghostbusters and Galaxy Quest.
Fans of the horror artist flocked to social media platforms this morning to commemorate the inspiration Bernie Wrightson had brought to their lives. Popular names like Mark Hamill, writer Neil Gaiman, Joss Whedon, and Guillermo del Torro were only a few of the people who paid tribute to this amazing man and artist.