Sunday, 19 March 2017

BERNIE WRIGHTSON PASSES AWAY...



Legendary SWAMP THING artist BERNIE
WRIGHTSON has passed away after battling brain
cancer for many years.  Condolences to his family,
friends, and fans.  We shall remember him.

10 comments:

TC said...

I never got into horror comics all that much, so I've seen relatively little of Wrightson's work. In fact, the only comic I owned with Swamp Thing in it was a Brave & Bold where he/it co-starred with Batman, and that was by Haney and Aparo.

As fate would have it, though, I did have Creepy #113 (1979), with several reprinted Wrightson stories. One that I remember had a small town near a lake that was rumored to have a sea serpent-type creature. A scientist came to town and captured the monster. But the people killed him and released the creature back into the lake. They didn't want to lose their tourist attraction.

My memory may be playing tricks, but I also seem to remember seeing a letter from Wrightson published in Larry Ivie's fanzine Monsters & Heroes in the very late 1960's. That would have been when he was just starting his career. It's impressive that, less than ten years later, he not only had succeeded in becoming a professional artist, but had co-created a major character, Swamp Thing. And, by 1979, he had evidently gained enough of a fan following for Warren to publish that all-Wrightson issue.

Kid said...

When you consider that he was only a young man in his early 20s when he first drew Swamp Thing, TC, it makes you realise just how talented he was - and from a very young age. I've got all of the original run of Swamp Thing comics, plus various reprints for ease of reading. I'd recommend DC Comics Classics Library: Roots of the Swamp Thing - it's a corker!

Philip Crawley said...

Sad to learn of the passing of another giant of the comics field. I have very fond memories (and quite a few issues) of his Swamp Thing comic. Also fondly recall his work in the warren B&W mags. Used to regularly open up the large format paperback The Studio and lose track of time as I cast my eyes over the work in there, Bernie's especially. In one sense it's another link with the days of our youth gone but there are always the many works he left behind to take you back.

Kid said...

I've got a fair wee bit of his work, PC, including a collected hardback edition of his work for Creepy, an issue of a DC comic that collected his short strips, his Swamp Things, his Spider-Man graphic novel, and one or two other things. Oh, and his Frankenstein book. Hardly exhaustive, but they'll all help me to remember what an accomplished artist he was, and to keep his name alive in my mind for many a good year yet.

paul Mcscotty said...

That is very sad news indeed a great artist, one of the best ever (certainly in the horror genre he was probably the best) and nopt really an old man. – I always remember picking up the first Swamp Thing issue I ever read (issue 8) and was totally blown away by it , especially the wonderful art from the stunning cover to the last page. As much as folk go on about Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing (which imho was very very good indeed ) for me Bernie’s Swamp Thing with Len Wein, was and always will be unsurpassed (although Nester Redondo’s version was damn good as well) .

Kid said...

Yeah, I always preferred Len Wein's version of Swamp Thing over Alan Moore's myself, to be honest, PM. It was good to see Len return to the character with a 6 issue series last year, 'though it was a shame Bernie didn't draw it, good as the other artist was. I was lucky in that the first ish of ST I bought was the first issue of the regular series, and I picked up quite a few after that. Yeah, and Nestor Redondo was likewise excellent, although his art was perhaps not quite so 'shadowy' as Bernie's.

Vince and Siv said...

Not sure if I've posted this on your site kid, but a great Wrightson memory for me, and makes his passing that little bit sadder...

Back in the day when the book 'The Studio' came out (1979 I think, focusing on Wrightson, Kaluta, Jones and Smith), I took my copies of ST 1-10 to The Studio signing at Forbidden Planet London to get Bernie to sign them (which he duly did, laying them all in a line, he wryly commented 'I'll sign them in a production line, which is how they were drawn!').

Having done that I passed issue 9 to Mike Kaluta saying 'I think you inked some of the pages, could you also sign it?' (Its still listed online in some places as him : http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Swamp_Thing_Vol_1_9)...however, he looked blankly at my 16 year old self and said 'I think there's a mistake, I didn't do that.' At which point I felt a hot flush of embarrassment rising over my face.

At this point Jeff Jones (also sadly no longer with us, he was still Jeff then) leaned over and said....'oh, I remember doing that!' And signed his name on one of the pages he'd inked (you can see the difference in the inking style on a number of pages of the issue, and in retrospect you can see it's Jones' style).

As a young-ish kid from London, meeting some comic pros (from America even!), a day like that is something that stays with you!

Kid said...

What a brilliant reminiscence, V&S, and indeed one for you to fondly remember for the rest of your life. I haven't met that many American comicbook legends, unfortunately, the only three I can think of for the moment being Stan Lee, Will Eisner and Archie Goodwin, but I know exactly how you'd have felt back then going by my own experience. (Oh, just remembered, I also met Bill Sienkiewicz back in the '80s, but I wasn't a particular fan of his, despite his undoubted talent.) I'd love to have met Jack Kirby, Wally Wood, Curt Swan, and artists of that ilk, but alas, too late now. Have you still got those Swamp Thing issues?

Vince and Siv said...

Yes I have still got the ST issues at home...along with the copy of The Studio (the real reason the 4 artists were there!) that they all signed.
There was a period when FP London got some real stars over, I went to a Neal Adams signing for the Tarzan portfolios he did...where i got Superman v Ali signed as well (possibly a Batmen too...there was a 2 item limit I seem to remember)....also a Will Eisner signing for a portfolio called 'The City'.
Eisner was very kind, when 'A Contract with God' came out I wrote a letter to him via his publisher....amazingly a few months later, a hand written letter from the man himself from America turned up at my house! Again, one of those things that just 'stays with you'.

Kid said...

Unfortunate circumstances have now increased the value of your ST comics, but it's unlikely that you'd ever sell them anyway, I'm sure. Will signed my copy of Sequential Art and put a nice inscription in it so I'm very happy to have it. Sad to think of how many artistic legends are now no longer with us, eh?

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