March 19, 2017

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"Horror to me is... a spot of blood on his shoe"-- Bernie Wrightson (1948-2017)



Whenever I think about Bernie Wrightson, I think about this clip from Masters of Comic Book Art, a fantastic 1980s era VHS video profiling some of the greatest artists of comics.

Best known for his work on Swamp Thing and his illustrations for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I don't know if you could say that there are a lot of artists following in Wrightson's footsteps (with the exception of Kelly Jones probably) because the worldview that Wrightson portrayed on the page was almost such a naturalistic p.o.v. but twisted just enough to make you wonder about the reality of what you were seeing.

For as much as Wrightson could affect the way that we see the world of Swamp Thing, Batman or Frankenstein, it was Wrightson's definition of horror (starting around the 5:00-minute mark of the embedded clip) that has always stuck with me and influenced the ways that I look at his work and even horror as a genre.

"... horror to me is the image of a well-dressed man, standing on a corner waiting for a bus and everything about him is absolutely perfect except there's a spot of blood on his shoe."

Thanks for Bernie, this has been what horror has been to me as well for the past 30 years.

From Wrightson's Frankenstein illustrations