In Memory: Bernie Wrightson

This post comes late, but I wanted to dedicate some time to this. On March 18th, 2017 the world lost itself a great artist. The master of the macabre, Bernie (Berni) Wrightson.

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Bernie began his career in 1966 working as an illustrator for The Baltimore Sun and would continue making work pretty much up until his death. His most notable achievement is being the co-creator of Swamp Thing for DC comics. His design for Swamp Thing would help make it one of the most recognized characters to come out of DC and to this day remains a popular character.

In my opinion however I find his greatest work to be the art he contributed to the immortal classic novel Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley. In 1983 he created a series of illustrations to go along with the novel. These images are hailed as the defining impressions of the novel. They were printed alongside the novel and have been reprinted at least a few times in the past thirty years. The original images are notoriously hard to collect, much less locate.

His work has inspired so many people including, but not limited to, Guillermo Del Toro, Joss Whedon and Mike Mignola. I personally place Bernie’s work among the great artists such as Gustave Dore and Francisco Goya. His work has also been of personal inspiration to myself.

And since this is a Hulk blog I must also mention he did the art for Marvel’s graphic novel #29 The Incredible Hulk and the Thing in the Big Change. In addition he did the cover for Incredible Hulk #197.

I feel I should also mention one of the last projects he worked on. As a follow up to his work on the Frankenstein novel he produced the art for the comic series Frankenstein Alive, Alive. This series began in 2012 and only made it to three issues. I myself have all three and LOVED the artwork. The story was also quite interesting and was building towards something unique. Unfortunately it was never continued beyond the third issue. I highly recommend you take a look at these if you have the chance.

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As a side note I was fortunate enough to have met him briefly at a convention in Indianapolis in 2016. I am really glad I was able to tell him my appreciation for his work and be graced with his signature upon a handful of items (one of which was a copy of his illustrated Frankenstein edition).

 

I hope if you are reading this (and especially if you are unfamiliar with any of the works mentioned) that you take the time to search out and appreciate his art. He truly found the beauty in horror and gave monsters a soul.

 

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The Hulk Lives Again *spoilers*

My Hulk is back and you’re gonna be in trouble.
(Hey, la-di-la, my Hulk is back.)
When you see him comin’, better cut out on the double.
(Hey, la-di-la, my Hulk is back.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, it is true. Hulk and Bruce are back from the dead.And after only four months!
This story occurs in this months and next months issue of Uncanny Avengers #15 and #16 (released Oct. 12th and November 9th). Details are somewhat limited on what brought this about. From what I understand the ninja assassin group known as ‘The Hand’ will use their ancient magic to resurrect Bruce and thus the Hulk back to life. This also in effect gives them control of the green beast for their own ends.
hulklives
I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand I am very happy he’s back. I mean this is the original green man himself. The incredible Hulk. Not some “totally awesome” poser.
On the other hand though it totally demeans the character’s death in the first place. And by extension weakens the overall impact of any future deaths Marvel has planned. They either should have waited longer (at least a year) or figured out some other way to do it. Like maybe a series where the Hulk’s closest friend reminisce on his past actions or most memorable stories. Maybe give their unique perspective on how they saw him during those times. A highlight reel of sorts. It would have been a great way to introduce the best of the Hulk to new readers before bringing him back officially.
In any case mean green is back and who knows how a recently dead Hulk will react. Pet Cemetery comes to mind….                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now he’s back and things will be fine.
(Hey, la-di-la, my Hulk is back.)
You’re gonna be sorry you were ever born.
(Hey, la-di-la, my Hulk is back.)