Bernie Wrightson’s ‘Frankenstein’ Illustration Sells For $1.2 Million at Profiles in History Auction

by Nick Banks

Bernie Wrightson’s famed wrap-around cover for Marvel Comics 1983 edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein sold for a whopping $1.2 million at yesterday’s Profiles in History auction in Los Angeles. The world-famous illustration (named after the chilling promise the monster makes to Victor that “I shall be with you on your wedding night”) was auctioned off as as part of a private collection of original comic book art featuring work by fellow artists such as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Wally Wood, and Barry Windsor-Smith among others.

Profiles in History described the significance (and value) of the piece prior to the auction, stating that “With the offering of Bernie Wrightson’s wraparound cover for the illustrated edition of Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, it is truly a historic occasion. While certainly Wrightson’s magnum opus, this mammoth illustration is arguably the finest work in pen and ink accomplished in the twentieth (or perhaps, any) century.”

The current auction record for a piece of original U.S comic book artwork was set earlier this year, when Frank Frazetta’s ‘Egyptian Queen’ painting for the cover of Eerie magazine issue 23 sold for $5.4 million.

Marvel’s 1983 edition (in both hard cover and paperback) featured 50 detailed pen-and-ink illustrations from Wrightson, and quickly became a sought after collectible by Wrighston and Frankenstein fans.  Dark Horse Comics released a hard cover 25th Anniversary edition in 2008, but it has also unfortunately gone out of print.

In 2012, Wrightson and writer Steve Niles produced a four issue mini-series entitled, Frankenstein Alive, Alive! (from IDW).  The collaboration between Wrightson and Niles was a sequel to Shelley’s original novel, featuring a very much alive monster seeking peace in a cruel world.

Stay tuned to Horror News Network for news of a re-release of Wrightson’s Frankenstein.

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