Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Very Special Groovy Guest Post: Roy Thomas On Bernie Wrightson

Roy Thomas wished to express his feelings on the passing of Bernie Wrightson. Ol' Groove is honored that Roy chose to share those thoughts with us here on the Diversions.

Bernie Wrightson was one of the giants to emerge from the comics field in the late 1960 and 1970s, influencing an entire generation--perhaps more than one generation--of artists who followed him.  He was the co-creator of Swamp Thing, and easily the best illustrator of Mary Shelly's novel Frankenstein in the 200 years since it was first published.  I was only privileged to work with him on a bare handful of stories, but they were work that left me with an abiding admiration of his talent and commitment to excellence.  He will be missed.

Roy Thomas

Many thanks to Groove-ophile Mike Mikulovsky for getting the ball rolling by helping put us in contact with Roy.


  1. One thing you can always say about Roy Thomas; the man has class! Combined​ with his deep and enduring love of comics he has been a unique presence in the field since 1965. Some of my best memories in comics collecting over the years have come from his writing (Avengers # 93, anyone?). Pairing with Berni Wrightson in Creatures on the Loose # 10 makes me wish they had had many more collaborations before DC snatched Mr. Wrightson up and gave the world Swamp Thing.

    1. Thanks for the reply the other day, filling me on on the actual circumstances around Wrightson and Howard the Duck.
      If you're interested, the Comic Journal recently posted an old interview with Wrightson where he discusses that Kull story from Creatues 10 and how it soured him on Marvel at the time.
      Doesn't seem like DC had to do much snatching...


  2. Bernie Wrightson almost gave me nightmares teamed with Len Wein on the House of Mystery & of course their Swamp Thing! The House of Mystery two pocket book/novels. Had some of the creepist pictures by Wrightson. His art was as we all know was stunning, shocking at times and the stuff of nightmares. I just wish he could had stayed on Swamp Thing much longer & did the Scarecrow series at Marvel. If only Marvel had gave him his own monthly title like they did the Ghost Rider,etc. Marvel to me really dropped the ball on the Scarecrow & the DD villain Copperhead. Who should had been a anti-hero like the old pulp heroes the Shadow etc. With Roy writing or at least plotting the series. I would had loved to see Bernie do the Hulk or at least more covers with interiors by Ploog maybe too. Sad Bernie didn't do much more in comics, along with Mike Ploog & Jim Steranko. R.I.P. Bernie your art will live on as long as their comics and comic fans! Roy asked me where I thought a great place would be to post a tribute. So I suggested your site Lloyd always a class site. With real respectful fans. Happy to help out any time I can. Before I split starting next month. Spain's version of John Buscema will start drawing and inking the second and final half of Marvel Preview#9's Man-God for me. Roy plotted part II for me two years ago. Roy will also be writing the dialogue and rest as well. Keep on posting Groovy one!

    1. Check out the cover to Dead of Night # 11 featuring the Scarecrow. Bernie inked Gil Kane. It is a beaut! I have it placed in my top 100 covers of all time. Too bad the interior art didn't match the cover.

    2. I agree if I ever win the big lottery. I'd make a insane offer to the owner for that cover. I love that character. He should had been the next Ghost Rider type of hero for Marvel. I wish if not Bernie that maybe Mike Ploog, Gene Colan inked by Tom Palmer had done a monthly series. Same with the DD villain Copperhead. Instead of the Punisher he should had been Marvel's version of the Shadow.

  3. I was lucky to have known Berni Wrightson for a few years, having met him thru M.W. Kaluta. The last time I saw him was at a convention where he was dressed as a scarecrow. I think he was a little bummed because a lot of the younger fans didn't know who he was. I bought him a humble lunch of a convention hot dog and coffee (which probably cost as much as a real lunch at a normal restaurant, but there's conventions for you) and he was quite pleased. I'll always think of him as not only a great artist, but as a true gentleman, a giving person and a humble individual who appreciated his fans and the people in his life. He will be profoundly missed.

    1. That was so nice buying Bernie a hot dog and coffee. I've always felt bad that after signing 15 books for me, when Tony DeZuniga's wife asked him what he wanted​ for lunch I didn't offer to pay for it. A few years later he was gone. I still feel bad about it. You are right about great talents being forgotten. I've been to conventions where superstars of the near past have no one at their tables, while the latest floors of the month have lines snaking around the convention hall. Comic fans seem to have no sense of history.

  4. OOPS! I was so tired when I typed the above post. The gentleman I call Spain's John Buscema is Benito Gallego. He does the new Tarzan strip with Roy Thomas. He also just recently signed a contract with DC Comics also.

  5. comic reader from afarMarch 29, 2017 at 4:37 AM

    sad news indeed.
    the studio book which covered the work of bernie wrightson, jeff jones and mike kaluta, and his illustrated frankenstein are two of my favourite books.

  6. I have just learned of Mr. Wrightson's passing, and find myself surprisingly and deeply affected.

    His Monsters coloring book was a treasure for me more years past than I would care to count; in fact, I have preserved my copy to this day.

    A master of pen and ink, of light and line, of the subtle exchange between horror and humor, I for one shall miss his work.



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