Comic Artist Bernie Wrightson’s Edgar Allan Poe Portfolio

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Known in the comic book universe as the co-creature of legendary creatures like DC’s Swamp Thing — and for his illustrations for horror mag guru Warren Publishing — artist Bernie Wrightson created a series of paintings depicting scenes from the stories of macabre genius Edgar Allan Poe. The dark, thickly painted works were made in 1976 — just one year after Wrightson formed the New York City artists’ loft commune that came to be known as The Studio, which he shared with fellow creatives Barry Windsor-Smith, Jeff Jones, and Michael William Kaluta. Free from the restrictive commercialism of his roots, Wrightson’s Poe portfolio demonstrates a reverence for the classical painters and illustrators of the past and the artist’s early influences — like fantasy icon Frank Frazetta. Click through to see Wrightson’s painterly version of Poe’s grim tales.

Image credit: Bernie Wrightson [Spotted via Golden Age Comic Book Stories, hat tip to John Coulthart]

Image credit: Bernie Wrightson

The Cask Of Amontillado “For the love of God, Montressor!” “Yes,” I said, “for the love of God!”

Image credit: Bernie Wrightson

The Back Cat “She fell dead upon the spot, without a groan.”

Image credit: Bernie Wrightson

Descent Into The Maelstrom ” … I began to reflect how magnificent a thing it was to die in such a manner … ”

Image credit: Bernie Wrightson

Masque Of The Red Death “Seize and unmask him — that we may know whom we have to hang at sunrise, from the battlements!”

Image credit: Bernie Wrightson

Wrightson’s unpublished The Pit And The Pendulum painting, which was unprintable due to its glossy glare. He recreated the scene in a second version, which was included in the Poe portfolio (click through to see).

Image credit: Bernie Wrightson

The Pit And The Pendulum “I saw clearly the doom which had been prepared for me … ”

Image credit: Bernie Wrightson

The Tell – Tale Heart “Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! — here, here! — it is the beating of his hideous heart!”

Image credit: Bernie Wrightson

Murders In The Rue Morgue “As the sailor looked in, the gigantic animal had seized Madame L’Espanaye by the hair … ”

Image credit: Bernie Wrightson

The Premature Burial “The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and the other begins?”