It is with a very heavy heart that we must report the passing of renowned horror comic artist Bernie Wrightson, who lost a long battle with brain cancer, according to his wife, Liz, who made the announcement on Facebook. He was 68.
Wrightson was instrumental in creating some of the most wonderfully grim and beautifully terrifying images in comic history. Along with writer Len Wein, Wrightson co-created DC Comics’ Swamp Thing, a character that received his own live-action adaptation in a 1982 film directed by Wes Craven. He also helped co-create the Weird Mystery Tales character Destiny, who would become used heavily by Neil Gaiman.
Wrightson was not just beholden to DC Comics. He also worked with Marvel on titles such as Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, Gargoyle, Epic Illustrated, Punisher, and The Tomb of Dracula. Additionally, if you’ve seen the fantastic 1981 animated film Heavy Metal, then you might remember the “Captain Sternn” segment. This character was originally created by Wrightson in a 1980 edition of Heavy Metal magazine.
To say that Wrightson was one of the most important artists in comic book history doesn’t feel like it’s enough. His work influenced countless artists, and his art leapt from pages into the minds and imaginations of everyone who saw his material. His passing is an enormous loss not only to the comic community but to the world of art in general.
We send our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to his friends and family, and we share in the grief felt by so many around the world.
Rest in peace, Bernie. Thank you for all you’ve given us over the years.