It was only in doing the link for my last post on Frankestein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, that I stumbled across the news that Bernie Wrightson had died.
“You writers live too much out of the world.”
—James Mason reading THE THIRD MAN
I grew up with the work of Bernie Wrightson, and no one seeing his art, particularly his stunning linework for Frankenstein could deny that he was one of the world’s greatest living artists. The fact that that moniker must now be changed to ‘greatest artist’ is apt but painful.
To his family and friends, and to his admirer’s and fans like myself, my heartfelt sympathies goes out.
We mourn the dead not for themselves, selfish humans that we are, but for us. We are suddenly made more alone by their absence, even strangers who we only new by marks on a page, can leave a whole in us, equal to the joy those images gave us.
In terms of Bernie Wrightson it is sizeable.
But we have the images.
Like unreal master draftsman before him, such as Gustave Dore and Virgil Finlay who have passed into the long night, the mystery that waits for us all, he joins the pantheon of Legends. Those three for me are the trinity of Linework/iIlustrative gods.
There is unfortunately an absence of new artists coming up with the mind blowing pen and ink skills of Wrightson, and more than that… his work ethic, and patience, and attention to detail, which is a shame. I wonder when we’ll see another artist of his skillset and mindset, who will produce work of the scope of Wrightson’s FRANKENSTEIN.
Wrightson is of that earlier age that produced contemporaries and proteges such as Kaluta and Sienkiewicz and Bissette and Totleben, And his inspiration lives on in them and in us.
Rest in Peace
Bernie Wrightson 1948 -2017