Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Bernie Wrightson in The Witching Hour

This was a shilling well spent. Behind a wonderfully atmospheric cover, there lurks an Alex Toth story and then the brilliantly drawn "...And In A Far-Off Land." Bernie Wrightson and Steve Skeates sneaked some swords and sorcery into a mystery comic and blew my poor young mind.

Cover art by Mike Sekowsky with inks by Nick Cardy - June-July 1969
Here's a taster of the very early Bernie Wrightson art,
which instantly sent him into my list of Top Ten artists.
Art by Bernie Wrightson, story by Steve Skeates


  1. Great stuff.

    Dunno where else to make this request so im just gonna do it here and hope u see it.
    Came across a great little book in a local second hand store in Jerusalem: "Sinister Legends" by Kris Guidio. The art is amazing and the motifs seem to be the kind that would stir your cup of tea. Do you have any info on the guy? i tried to look but couldnt find alot.

  2. Kris Guidio was one of the Savoy Publications stable of artists. He was artist on "Meng and Ecker" and the notorious "Lord Horror (Born -Again-Atomic-Bomb-Horror". Actually they were both notorious. "Meng and Ecker: was seized and destroyed by the Obscene Publications squad and the original Lord Horror novel, written by Michael Butterworth, on which the comic version by David Britton and Kris Guidio was based, has the honour of being the last book to be banned in Britain (in August 1991) though the ban was lifted a year later. Article here: http://www.savoy.abel.co.uk/HTML/nstat.html

    I probably first saw Guidio's art in "Oz" magazine, and I shall post pages from David Britton's "Crucified Toad" if I can find the damned thing. No art by Kris Guidio in there but there are some amazing drawings by David Britton.

    Here's a quote from David Britton about his incarceration for the publication of "Lord Horror":

    "Lord Horror was so unique and radical, I expected to go to prison for it. I always thought that if you wrote a truly dangerous book—something dangerous would happen to you. Which is one reason there are so few really dangerous books around. Publishers play at promoting dangerous books, whether they're Serpents Tail or Penguin. All you get is a book vetted by committee, never anything radically imaginative or offensive that will take your fucking head off. Ironically, I think it would do other authors a power of good if they had to account for their books by going to prison—there are far too many bad books being published!
    Prison just reinforced everything I already believed about society's lack of judgement—40% of the people in there shouldn't be there. Mostly they're there for misdemeanours like soft drugs, traffic offences, non-payments of fines, or because they're poor or mentally, badly parked.

    Strangeways Prison was a truly terrible place, the equal in terror and intimidation of a prison in a corrupt third world country. When people are being burned alive in cells opposite, you get some hint of what Auschwitz must have been like. Prison didn't cure me. It just made me more bitter, and more determined to retaliate."

  3. Fascinating!
    Thanks alot David. i shall eagerly await the future posts you've mentioned.
    Also, if you could spare a dime on any Cramps related comics, that would be great as well.

    Thanks again!