R.I.P., Berni Wrightson

One of the greats has left us after a long fight with brain cancer. Wrightson was one of those few comic book artists who transcended comics. I'm not much of a horror guy, but I'd look at anything Wrightson drew.






  • He will be sorely missed. I interviewed him back on 2012 for a blog crossover I organized. (That link can be found HERE if you're interested)
  • alienalalienal Posts: 484
    When I was a teen, I never really got into ANY non-superhero comics until...I got Swamp Thing #1 (in 1972). The story by Len Wein was captivating and all, but the ART! Wow...apparently Wrightson on pencils, inks, AND colors! Awesome! It made me follow that series until #11, which was Nester Redondo...not a slouch either!
  • popestupopestu Posts: 782
    Mr_Cosmic said:

    He was a master.


    I got a copy of this book when I was a child simply b/c of the art. I was 10 and couldn't give a crap about Frankenstein.
  • He will be sorely missed. I interviewed him back on 2012 for a blog crossover I organized. (That link can be found HERE if you're interested) But I'm going to copy and paste it here as a way of sharing my memory of him.


    Corps Conjecture: Hi Bernie, thanks for taking the time to speak with me today. Getting right into it, how did you get into comics in the first place?

    Bernie Wrightson: Well first I went up to the offices at Marvel with a bunch of samples. I talked to someone up there, I can't really remember who, and showed them a few samples of my work and everything. They were very nice but they told me to go home and draw some of their characters which I wasn't really interested in doing, so I never followed up on that. About a year later, I went to a convention in New York and met Jeff Jones and Mike Kaluta and all of us got together and went to meet Carmine Infantino, Dick Giordano and Joe Orlando and all of us showed them our work. They were very nice and very encouraging. I went home and a month or two later I got a call from Kaluta who told me that Carmine Infantino and Joe Orlando were trying to reach me to talk to me about work. Just based on that thin thread I moved to New York and went up to DC and started working on comics and then really got started with Joe Orlando on 'House of Mystery'.

    CC: With things like 'House of Mystery' and Swamp Thing on your credits you seem to have a passion for drawing the creepy and the monsters. Did you have a love for horror when you were growing up?

    BW: Yeah I was always attracted to that. I grew up watching old Universal monster movies on TV or reading EC Comics with 'Tales from the Crypt' or 'The Haunt of Fear'. I just loved horror stories. I love scary stories.

    CC: I would imagine that as a kid you had a chance to read the original EC books before the Senate Subcommittee Trials on Juvenile Delinquency or something like the Comics Code came into effect.

    BW: I did. I was right there in the early to mid 50s buying the stuff right off the newsstands.

    CC: Did that particular moment in comics history effect your “fandom”? Or were you old enough to notice the change and see the effects in the books you were reading?

    BW: Not really. For me they were just comic books and I was only a kid. I never really thought about it, I just figured they'd always be there. Then suddenly they disappeared and you just couldn’t find them anymore. I already had a taste of that and it led me to Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft and I still kept on going to the movies all those great science fiction movies of the 1950's.

    CC: You are credited with co-creating Swamp Thing. Is that correct?

    BW: Yes, with Len Wein. Len was the writer, it was Lens idea and it was his creation and I visualized it. We were just partners and collaborators on that.

    CC: With just that one characters ongoing history, with Alan Moores later involvement and his treatment in DC's New 52 by Scott Snyder, what does it feel like to be such a contributing factor to such a huge part of comics history?

    BW: Oh boy who would have thought you know? It surprised me and it really took on a life of it's own. I never really followed it much after I left the series. I saw some of what Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben and all those guys were doing with it. It was terrific stuff, it was great. They took it in a whole new direction, stuff that I would have never thought off.

    CC: I've spoken to creators in the past who stopped reading a book they were directly involved with after they left the title because, in their mind, they've already done the version of the character that they visualize and anything else is just not how they “see the character”. Did you actively not read Swamp Thing?

    BW: It was never anything like that with me. By that time I was just too busy drawing comics to have time to read them. It wasn't just that I stopped reading Swamp Thing, I just stopped reading comics altogether. I would look at them occasionally but it wasn't like before I was involved professionally.

    CC: After you left DC you went to Warren Publishing. Why the change?

    BW: The big reason I went to Warren was that he was paying better than anyone else. When I left DC I was making $65 a page which wasn't bad, it was actually pretty good money. Warren came along and offered me $110 a page and told me I could keep my originals. That was a big deal. None of the other publishers were letting artists keep their originals, that was just part of the deal at that time. I liked the work I was doing and I really hated to give up the originals and that had been bothering me for a couple of years. So when Warren came along it was a really good deal and I went to work for him.

    CC: Let's fast forward a good few years. Eventually you made your way back to DC, mostly as a cover artist. That's when this job came about in 1998 when they did the 'Ghosts' annual crossover theme and they had you back to do the covers for each annual issue. How did that job come about?

    BW: That was basically just a job you know? They told me that these were compilations of ghost stories involving all of these different characters. I guess I had the reputation of being the supernatural artist or whatever you want to call it. So they offered and I took the job. I never had an interest in drawing superheroes. It sounds kinda funny but I never really believed in superheroes. I had a really hard time believing in people with superpowers or mutants or people shooting rays out of their eyes. It all seemed kind of silly to me. But I never had a problem believing in vampires, werewolves and the walking dead and such.

    CC: So when they approached you this was it. The only time you would ever probably feel comfortable drawing superheroes would be if they were going up against zombies or ghosts or some sort of other supernatural creature.

    BW: Basically yeah. I had done some superhero stuff in the past. In the 80's I did a mini-series called 'The Cult' with Jim Starlin which was a Batman story. I always liked Batman. I think its because Batman didn't have any super powers. He was just a guy. If someone beat him up, he'd get cuts and bruises. He wasn't invulnerable like Superman. Superman is a great character but he just isn't real to me.

    CC: Out of the 'Ghosts' series, were any of those character covers your favorite?

    BW: I don’t really have any favorites. To be honest, they all kind of melt together for me. Nothing in that particular series really stands out.

  • ^ IDK why this says I posted this yesterday. Or if there's something wrong with the forum. But I didn't post this yesterday. I did post this back when this thread was active. Maybe a glitch? IDK.
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