Friday, September 16, 2011
Creepy Presents Bernie Wrightson
It seems my Halloween season is trying to jump the gun and get started in mid September. Dark Horse comics just released a must have item for me, a collection of all the stories that artist Bernie Wrightson did for the old Warren horror magazines Creepy and Eerie, called Creepy Presents Bernie Wrightson. If you're not familiar with Wrightson, he is an illustrator and comic book artist known for his fondness for the weird, the macabre, and the just plain grisly, and for his consummate skill at depicting that sort of imagery. Wrightson is the man who defined the look of DC's Swamp Thing and who produced an illustrated version of Frankenstein which is truly a work of art.
He was also a member of The Studio, a group of four young, rebellious artists (the other three were Barry Windsor Smith, Mike Kaluta, and the late Jeff Jones) who shared studio space and created some of the most impressive and influential fantasy art and comics of the 1970s.
But he got his start as a comic book artist and he did some of his best and yes, Creepiest work for the black and white magazines published by Jim Warren. The Creepy presents volume contains all the stories Wrightson drew or inked, plus all his many spot illos, pin ups, color illustrations, and frontispieces. These stories include The Pepper Lake Monster, The Muck Monster and what to me is the creepiest story Wrightson ever drew, Bruce Jones' Jennifer. I remember my buddy Lanny and me talking about this one on a cold Halloween night. Just disturbing as all get out.
The book also features Wrightson's amazing adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story Cool Air. This may have been my first exposure to Lovecraft, because if memory serves, I read this in comics form before I'd ever read any of Lovecraft's prose. There's an adaptation of Poe's The Black Cat as well.
Now get this. The entire collection is only $19.99. That's right. All this gruesome Wrightson goodness can be yours for the low low price of twenty bucks. The linework reproduction is great, the paper is very nice, and the color pages are lovely. Get down to your local comics shop and grab a copy.