[DC Comic Book Art Connoisseurs Club] The Spooky Art of Bernie Wrightson (October 1948 - March 2017) October 13th 2020

Fellow distinguished DC Comic Book Art Connoisseurs, lovers of compelling artwork everywhere, I welcome you all to participate in a very special celebration of Bernie Wrightson artwork through the decades for DC Comics!

We’ll have jointly edited Wikis, vibrant voting polls and your personal reflections and postings on the your favorite Bernie Wrightson panels and moments!

Early on, in the late 1960’s, Wrightson had contributed his first stories to DC’s horror anthology titles ‘House of Mystery’ and ‘The Witching Hour’.

House of Mystery #179 3/5/69 click for issue 179

Wrightson Bibliography for House of Mystery 179a 180a 181a 183a 186a 188a 191a 193c 195ac 194c 201a 203a 204ac 205a 206a 207ac 209ac 211ac 213a 214a 217c 219a 221ac (“a” is “art”, “c” is “cover”) Click here for House of Mystery series

The Witching Hour v1 #3, 1969 is not in our DC Universe library, but spooooky #5 is, if you dare to peek!** Click to see Issue 5 8/20/69

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House of Secrets #92 (first appearance of Swamp Thing) 6/2/71 Click for Issue 92

Wrightson Bibliography for House of Secrets 92ac 93c 94ac 96c 99a 100c 103c 106c 107c 134a 135c 136a 139c (“a” is “art”, “c” is “cover”) Click here for House of Secrets Series

From there, Bernie Wrightson drew the first ten issues of the brilliant Swamp Thing (Len Wein, writer):

Swamp Thing #1 10/4/1972 Click for Swamp Thing #1 1972

Click for Swamp Thing 1-10 (1972) featuring Bernie Wrightson on art!

Later, in the DC Universe, he worked with Jim Starlin on the mini-series ‘The Weird’ (1987) (not in our library) and ‘Batman: The Cult’ (1987) Click here for Batman: The Cult

So join the party, join the fun and post YOUR favorite Wrightson panels and pages!

WIKI: add your observations below:

What makes Bernie Wrightson such a moving artist?

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Another Club boards the Swamp Thing Express for October. So much Swamp so little time. I picked issue #2 for today. Wrightson’s line work is fantastic, detailed, but his composition I think is even better. Here’s a few images.
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This is a small panel of the unMen taking Swamp Thing to Castle Arcane. The view of Swamp Thing headed toward us with this two-headed unMan paddling is fun, in a bad weird way.


Two pages later, the unMen are ready to take Swamp Thing up the mountain to the castle. The strong diagonal line draws you from the unMen in the lower left, up across Swamp Thing, to the Castle above. There’s something of a crucification allegory going on here.

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To continue on that theme, Anton Arcane reaches out to Swamp Thing with the sun shining through clouds in the back. A very twisted take on God and Adam on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

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From the History Club’s Muck and Magic Double Feature: Swamp Thing a nice fact about Wrightson.

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Downright terrifying stuff, thanks for sharing!!

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Here’s a nice Wrightson cover that shows his horror and Batman chops. Look at that driver and the horse.

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Now, why would anyone hire that couch for a ride?

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I know I wouldn’t!

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I’m trying to figure out why the two t’s in the Detective logo are in that shape…

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Good eye.

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Vampire protection.

Anyway, really enjoyed a lot of his work over the years, though for me my favorite is still the book where I first saw his art, Batman: The Cult, which is honestly one of my favorite Batman stories in general.

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What you posted here really shows how Bernie Wrightson evolved as an artist over the years. There’s lots of his work that we don’t have on DC that he did later like Frankenstein which is highly detailed pen and ink. What you have posted here reflects that microscopic focus, it’s almost an excessive fixation by the artist on the background details.

Think about all the artists that we now see in plain view using the panel to panel function here, where the close-ups show there was not only no detail to the background but very little detail to the human beings often.

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More highly detailed work from Bernie Wrightson, this time from Swamp Thing #4 ('72): something about using a black and white sketch look for his work really brings out the believability of the horror for me, yikes!!

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On the special night at the end of October, the artist Bernie Wrightson reminds us that sometimes there are many good reasons to have trouble falling asleep right away; best to stay alert some nights…like tonight for instance.

The other sage advice I feel Wrightson showed us with the following cover,

Sometimes it’s not a good idea to have your family pick your fiance… Or pick at is the case may be…