The Comic and Art worlds mourned together this Saturday as news spread of the passing of one of our best, Bernie Wrightson. At the age of 68, the acclaimed horror artist lost his battle with brain cancer, a far greater foe than any of the monsters he has brought to life throughout his career.
Bernie (or Berni, from his early days), is remembered for the vast, unmatched contributions he made to the world of comics. He is one of the earliest and greatest artists, beginning his journey at the ripe age of 18. At 20, he joined DC comics and his career in comics took off. In 1971, Wrightson took on the project that would cement his role in the future of gothic art. He partnered with Len Wein to create Swamp Thing.
From illustrating Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the works of Edgar Allen Poe, to working closely with other talents such as Stephen King and Jim Starlin, Bernie’s work continued to shape the future of horror illustration. His work is irreplaceable and impossible to imitate. His signature gothic style, featuring heavy lines and incredible detail, will inspire artists far beyond his death.
Many great artists have been inspired by Bernie Wrightson, as a man, and as an artist. His fans and peers remember him as a kind, warm man with a passion for his artistry. Many artists took to social media to honor the master:
Bernie Wrightson. Sweet. Funny. Never forgotten. Miss u buddy.
— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) March 20, 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
— Bill Sienkiewicz (@sinKEVitch) March 20, 2017
These thoughtful tributes and kind words are a comfort to Wrightson’s wife, who is keeping his webpage, Twitter, and Facebook running as friends pay their respects.
[Liz] I'm staying logged into Bernie's account so I can read all of your lovely tributes. They mean the world to me. Thank you all so much.
— Bernie Wrightson (@BernieWrightson) March 19, 2017
We can continue to honor the work and life of this artistic master by enjoying the gifts he left behind. Bernie Wrightson was a singular talent, an artist unmatched in his field. His influence on the world of comics and gothic art will never be forgotten. He will be missed.
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