Bernie Wrightson, Horror Comics Icon And Co-Creator Of Swamp Thing, Dies At 68
Bernie Wrightson, legendary horror comics artist, past away last night after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 68.
Wrightson's wife, Liz Wrightson, made the announcement via Wrightson's Facebook page.
Wrightson is known as the co-creator of DC Comics' Swamp Thing. He began his career as an artist at The Baltimore Sun newspaper and was inspired by a meeting with Frank Frazetta to begin creating his own stories.
Wrightson made his professional comics debut with the story "The Man Who Murdered Himself" in DC Comics' House of Mystery #179. He continued working on DC Comics' and Marvel Comics horror anthology titles for several years.
In 1971, Wrightson and writer Len Wein created Swamp Thing in House of Secrets #92, and in 1972 he and Marv Wolfman created Destiny in Weird Mystery Tales #1, a character that would feature prominently in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series.
In 1972, Wrightson returned to Swamp Thing for the character's ongoing series. Wrightson drew the first 10 issues of the series, co-creating Abigail Arcane and much of the Swamp Thing mythology.
In 1974, Wrightson left mainstream comics to work at Warren Studios, where he adapted the stories of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe. In 1975, he formed The Studio with Barry Windsor-Smith and Michael Kaluta, and Jeff Jones to pursue work outside of comics.
Later in his career, Wrightson produced work for Heavy Metal magazine, including the Freakshow serialized graphic novel with writer Bruce Jones. He adapted Stephen King's Creepshow horror movie into a graphic novel, the first of several collaborations with King. He also helped design the Reavers for Serenity, and in 2012 he published Frankenstein Alive, Alive! with Steve Niles at IDW Publishing.
The comics community has been mourning Wrightson's passing. Some of their reactions, which often include some of Wrightson's beautiful artwork, have been included int he following pages.
Bernie Wrightson was a true master of pen & ink, and always so nice when I'd see him at cons and gush over how much I love his art. RIP. pic.twitter.com/GjjpjVjoT6— Becky Cloonan ? (@beckycloonan) March 19, 2017
Jennifer de Guzman
Bernie Wrightson made monsters beautiful. pic.twitter.com/BCjtdr6ELQ— Jennifer de Guzman (@Jennifer_deG) March 19, 2017
Guillermo del Toro
As it comes to all of us, the end came for the greatest that ever lived: Bernie Wrightson. My North dark star of youth. A master.— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) March 19, 2017
Thank you, Bernie Wrightson for the inspiration and the countless hours I've spent enthralled by your work. Was anyone more talented? pic.twitter.com/ShrpptOREB— Gerry Duggan (@GerryDuggan) March 19, 2017
RIP Bernie Wrightson: There were giants in those days. 1991, when all the world was young. (L to R, Frank, me, Bill, Bernie and Dave.) pic.twitter.com/ExVrRjjjm6— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) March 19, 2017
Bernie Wrightson was the first comics artist whose work I loved. Oddly, I don't mourn the artist. I mourn the lovely man who told bad jokes.— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) March 19, 2017
Learned of the brilliant Bernie Wrightson’s passing while I sit here working on a Swamp Thing book with a stack of his pages on my desk… pic.twitter.com/WqJIE4P1su— Mitch Gerads (@MitchGerads) March 19, 2017
RIP Bernie Wrightson. His masterful, evocative line work was simply unparalleled. Truly 1 of the greats-he was as kind as he was talented. pic.twitter.com/izmeR77TRo— Jim Lee (@JimLee) March 19, 2017
RIP #berniewrightson. A true genius. His work comforted the disturbed and disturbed the comfortable. A poet with pen and ink and paint.— Jonathan Ross (@wossy) March 19, 2017
I can't fathom how a human with a pencil even executed this. RIP Bernie Wrightson. pic.twitter.com/cbl7vqS1Kg— John Gholson (@gholson) March 19, 2017
Terrible news about the passing of Bernie Wrightson. He made magic with his pencils.— Greg Rucka (@ruckawriter) March 19, 2017
Ethan Van Sciver
I'm crushed over the world losing Bernie Wrightson. He was such a kind gentleman, and his art meant a lot to me. I'm stunned and sad. RIP— Ethan Van Sciver (@EthanVanSciver) March 19, 2017
Heartbreaking. Bernie Wrightson was affable and approachable, treating everyone like a peer. Rest in peace, sir.— Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) March 19, 2017
R.I.P. to the great Bernie Wrightson, a star by which other pencillers chart their course. Raise a glass @sinKEVitch @JohnCassaday pic.twitter.com/5tODGUCkc0— Joss Whedon (@joss) March 19, 2017