Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Black and White Wednesday: Bernie Wrightson...Original Art from the Swamp

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! It's October, so it's time to start getting ready for Hooooowl-oween! One of the high-points of the Groovy Age for Ol' Groove (and many other citizens of Groove City) was Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson's Swamp Thing. The creature-who-was-Alec Holland was so cool. Strong and silent. Brilliant but misunderstood. And slimy. Kids love slime! Anyway, howzabout we take a look at some of the Master of the Macabre's original Swamp Thing art--including some pencil roughs! Yep, Ol' Groove has done some early trick-or-treating on the 'Net, and you, you lucky Groove-ophile, get to share in the goodies! Here we gooooooo...

DC Special Series #2/Original Swamp Thing Saga
DC Special Series #14/Original Swamp Thing Saga


  1. When I was a little kid in school, another kid kid let me look at one of his comic books (we used to pass 'em around a lot) and it wasn't until years later, when I bought the reprint, that I realized that comic we were getting our sticky fingerprints on was Swamp Thing #2! Gasp!
    Hard to forget the Un-Men and Anton Arcane's castle of horrors!
    A high point in horror comics!

  2. That page from #9 (with the alien) looks considerably sharper than in the printed comic, which I used to think had inferior art, but it may have been lousy production. I understand Jeffrey Jones helped out on it. And the brushwork on that crucifixion page from #2 is mind-meltingly beautiful, almost too good for comics.

    1. You're right Russ...years ago at the signing for The Studio book at Forbidden Planet in London, I got Berni Wrightson to sign my copies of 1-10....he laid them all in a line and signed them 'on a production line....just like I drew them' he wittily said....I then asked Mike Kaluta if he would sign the Alien one as I'd heard HE did the helping inks....he looked blankly at me and said ' wasn't me' that point Jeff Jones leant over and said 'Oh, yes, I did that!', signing it and saving my blushes! That was quite a day out for me as a 15 year old kid!

    2. What a great story. My own interaction with Wrightson at around the same time proved him to be a gracious and generous host, a class act all the way.

  3. Thanks for posting this. To this day, Wrightson's art for the original SWAMP THING remains among the best comic art ever created. Wrightson's ethereal, shadow-laden visuals are magnetic. Then you realize Wein's text and the art complement each other perfectly. In the early '80s, DC issued a few high quality, full color paperback-size collections of some of their titles, SWAMP THING being one of them. As a kid, I was first able to read the original Wein/Wrightson stories (up through #6, I believe) that way.

  4. I have owned all ten of Wrightson's Swamp Thing issues since the '70s, as well as House of Secrets #92 where it all began. Speaking of which, his cover art for that is a classic:


    Chris A.

  5. I sure hope IDW is pursuing doing this in one of their Artist's Editions!

  6. The sheer beauty of Wrightson's Swamp Thing (and various covers for DC's mystery mags) reveberates to this day. I still salivate over his macabre use of shadows and lush brushwork.



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