Bernie Wrightson was one of the greatest graphic artist of the past fifty years. He was revered and respected by the likes of Neil Gaiman, Joss Whedon and Guillermo Del Toro, who took a twenty-four hour vow of silence after Wrightson died in 2017 at the age of 68. Del Toror afterwards said:
As it comes to all of us, the end came for the greatest that ever lived: Bernie Wrightson. My North dark star of youth. A master.
Best known as the co-creator of Swamp Thing, Wrightson produced an enviable catalogue of graphic art work for comic books and magazines during his career, including a series of rare and much sought after illustrations for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the artwork for Stephen King’s The Cycle of the Werewolf.
In 1976, Wrightson produced a series of paintings for a limited edition set of prints featuring key scenes from the tales of Edgar Allan Poe. The portfolio consisted of eight prints and was limited to an edition of 2000. Most of these prints were signed by Wrightson, who was then still using the first name “Berni” so as not to be confused with the Olympic gold medalist diver Bernie Wrightson.
For the series, Wrightson produced eight paintings. However, the first painting for “The Pit and the Pendulum” proved to be too bright and could not be used by the printers as the thick impasto paint caused considerable glare. Wrightson replaced the image with a darker far more atmospheric picture. It is perhaps noticeable that the finished prints had a slightly darker less vibrant appearance than their original paintings. Even so, each image brilliantly captured Poe’s haunting work.
H/T Monster Brains.
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