We are inundated today with artists that seemingly know nothing about composition, form or solidity. This is a series about great artists that you may not know about (If you're under 30 that is). Most of the artists I profile are dead, some are still kicking and doing amazing work. But they've long fallen out of the mainstream to make way for The Hot Artist. The great thing about the old guys/gals is that they are like a glass of cold water on a hot day. These people knew their craft, not Photoshop. They used brushes and quill pens to create their masterpieces. Their only undo button was a bottle of Pelican White and a steady hand.
In 1966, Wrightson began working for The Baltimore Sun newspaper as an illustrator. The following year, after meeting artist Frank Frazetta at a comic-book convention in New York City, he was inspired to produce his own stories. In 1968, he showed copies of his sequential art to DC Comics editor Dick Giordano and was given a freelance assignment. Wrightson began spelling his name "Berni" in his professional work to distinguish himself from an Olympic diver named Bernie Wrightson, but later restored the final "e" to his name.
In 1968 he drew his first professional comic book story, "The Man Who Murdered Himself", which appeared in House of Mystery #179 (March-April 1969). He continued to work on a variety of mystery and anthology titles for both DC and, a few years later, its principal rival, Marvel Comics. It was for Marvel's Chamber of Darkness and Tower of Shadows titles where he was first encouraged to slightly simplify his intricate pen-and-ink drawing, and where his lush brushwork, a hallmark of his comics inking in the 1970s, was first evidenced.
Wrightson won the Shazam Award for Best Penciller (Dramatic Division) in 1972 and 1973 for Swamp Thing, the Shazam Award for Best Individual Story (Dramatic) in 1972 for Swamp Thing #1 (with Len Wein).
He has received additional nominations, including for the Shazam Award for Best Inker in 1973 for Swamp Thing, as well as that year's Shazam for Best Individual Story, for "A Clockwork Horror" in Swamp Thing #6 (with Len Wein). He won the Shazam Award for Best Penciller (Dramatic Division) in 1974.
Wrightson received the H.P. Lovecraft Award (also known as the "Howie") at the 2007 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon.