Famed Horror Artist Bernie Wrightson Dead at 68

Famed horror comic artist and illustrator Bernie Wrightson has died at 68 years of age.

Liz Wrightson posted the news on the official Bernie Wrightson website this morning stating that her husband had passed, “After a long battle with brain cancer.”

Liz Wrightson detailed his substantial contributions to the comic book and horror industry in the obituary, recalling that, “His first professional comic work appeared in House of Mystery #179 in 1968. He continued to work on a variety of mystery and anthology titles for both DC and its principal rival, Marvel Comics. In 1971, with writer Len Wein, Wrightson co-created the muck creature Swamp Thing for DC. He also co-created Destiny, later to become famous in the work of Neil Gaiman. By 1974 he had left DC to work at Warren Publishing who were publishing black-and-white horror-comics magazines. There he produced a series of original work as well as adaptations of stories by H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe.” 

Wrightson also,”…spent seven years drawing approximately 50 detailed pen-and-ink illustrations to accompany an edition of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, which the artist considers among his most personal work. Wrightson drew the poster for the Stephen King-penned horror film Creepshow, as well as illustrating the comic book adaptation of the film. This led to several other collaborations with King, including illustrations for the novella “Cycle of the Werewolf,” the restored edition of King’s apocalyptic horror epic, The Stand, and art for the hardcover editions of “From a Buick 8” and Dark Tower V.  Wrightson has contributed album covers for a number of bands, including Meat Loaf. The “Captain Sternn” segment of the animated film Heavy Metal is based on the character created by Wrightson for his award-winning short comic series of the same name.”

In addition to his work in the comic book industry, Wrightson also worked on several films as a conceptual artist, lending his talents to Ghostbusters, The Faculty, Galaxy Quest, Spiderman, Land of the Dead, and The Mist.

Wrightson is survived by his wife Liz, two sons, John and Jeffrey, and one stepson, Thomas Adamson.  The entire comic and horror community send their love to Wrightson’s family and will continue to celebrate his work for years to come.

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Nick Banks
Staff Writer at Horror News Network
Nick joined the website in 2015. His lifelong love of comics and horror began with Universal Monsters and the Incredible Hulk. He has fond memories of going to Waldbaum’s supermarket with his mother and being rewarded with a 3-pack of sealed comics. It’s been all downhill from there… Since those early days, his life has been immersed in four color action and scares on the silver screen.
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