DALLAS - A stunning group of original art by illustrator Bernie Wrightson--lead by his iconic original cover art for Swamp Thing #1-- highlights the finest examples of the master’s hand to come to market in decades. The iconic horror cover art is estimated to sell for $150,000+ in Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction Aug. 4-6 in Dallas.
“Wrightson’s facility with an inking brush never fails to astound,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Comic Operations at Heritage Auctions, “and it’s even more stunning on the original art than in printed form.”
Wrightson’s original cover art for Swamp Thing #1 (DC, 1972), not only stands as one of the most iconic horror covers ever produced, it is also marks the first appearance of the half-man-half-plant version of Alec Holland, a character which resides permanently in DC Comics canon. This "First Startling Issue" was crafted in ink over graphite on Bristol board with an image area of 10" x 15". It is signed by Wrightson in the lower left image area.
Wrightson co-created Swamp Thing for DC. Early in his career he a reputation as an editorial cartoonist at the Baltimore Sun. Soon afterwards he was offered work by DC Comics and in 1969 his first professional work was published in House of Mystery #179. After working on just 10 of the 20-issue limited Swamp Thing series, he produces black-and-white art for horror comics magazines as well as adaptations of stories by H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe.
Among the additional examples of Wrightson’s art work on offer is a masterful wraparound cover original art for DC Special Series #2 from 1977 (est. $50,000+) and the original art for story page 3 of Swamp Thing #5 (est. $20,000+). The creepy original cover art for Twisted Tales #2, published in 1983 by independent publisher Pacific Comics is considered one of the best covers ever produced during the 1980s (est. $25,000+).
Several examples of Wrightson’s Horror and Fantasy Series includes the original art for #9 (est. $20,000+). With rich, bright, vibrant colors, the print of townsfolk attempting to kill a vampire though several means necessary was so popular with fans that it was used as the art on card #80 of the 1993 collector series Bernie Wrightson: Master of the Macabre trading card set. (DC, 1973). A dark and brooding painting of The Cask of Amontillado, produced for The Edgar Allan Poe Portfolio (est. $25,000+), and Free Fall, depicting a space battle an astronaut four-fisted centaur set against a highly-detailed spaceship , are perfect examples of the master’s breadth and depth as an artist.
Heritage Auctions’ presentation of Bernie Wrightson’s original art will cross the block Aug. 4-6 in its Comics & Comic Art Auction in Dallas. High-resolution images of the art and a history of his career may be found on HA.com.
Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $900 million, and 950,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.
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