Bernie Wrightson, the comic book artist and illustrator who co-created the character Swamp Thing, died today after a long battle with brain cancer, according to his wife Liz, who posted the news to his official site. He was 68.
Born on October 27, 1948, in Baltimore, Maryland, the artist was best known for co-creating along with writer Len Wein the DC Comics character Swamp Thing in 1971 (its first appearance was in House of Secrets #92 and illustrating the Swamp Thing comic book series in the early 1970s.
Lesser known is that he also co-created the character Destiny, which later gained popularity in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series, published by DC’s Vertigo.
But it was his 50 highly detailed pen-and-ink drawings for an illustrated edition of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein that really showcased Wrightson as master at his craft. The artist reportedly spent seven years working on the art for this edition, and it has left a lasting impression.
Over the years, Wrightson worked on adaptations of other classic horror stories by H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe, as well as Stephen King’s Creepshow.
In recent years, he worked with horror author Steve Niles on Frankenstein Alive, Alive!, Dead, She Said, The Ghoul, and Doc Macabre for IDW Publishing. He also worked as a conceptual artist on several films, such as the original Ghostbusters, Galaxy Quest, George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead, and Frank Darabont’s Stephen King film The Mist.
Wrightson, who lived in Austin, Texas with his wife Liz and their two corgis (Mortimer and Maximillian), is survived by his wife, two sons, John and Jeffrey, and one stepson, Thomas Adamson.
The world has lost an incredible talent today in Bernie Wrightson. Below are some tributes from those in the entertainment world who knew him.
RIP Bernie Wrightson
October 27, 1948 – March 19, 2017