Original Swamp Thing #1 cover artwork for sale at Heritage Auctions
The original cover artwork for the "first startling issue" of Swamp Thing is up for sale at Heritage Auctions.
Bernie Wrighton's Swamp Thing #1 cover illustration is amongst the star lots of the Heritage Comics and Comic Art Signature Auction in Dallas on August 4-6.
The iconic character was created in 1971 by writer Len Wein and artist Berni Wrightson, and first appeared in D.C Comics' House of Secrets #92. As Wein later recalled, "I didn't have a title for it, so I kept referring to it as 'that swamp thing I'm working on.' And that's how it got its name!"
Set in the early 20th century, the successful standalone story saw Alex Olsen accidentally turned into a vengeful swamp monster by a rival for his wife's hand.
Wein and Wrightson were then asked to bring the character into the present day, as part of an ongoing series, and in October 1972 the new Swamp Thing was born – this time as Alec Holland, a scientist working in the Louisiana swamps who is transformed into a humanoid plant creature.
The character found its greatest popularity in the 1980s and 90s, having been reinvented by the influential British writer Alan Moore, appearing in two movies, a TV show and countless cartoons and video games, and remains a popular character after his rebirth in 2011 as part of D.C's New 52 series.
Bernie Wrightson is one of the most respected comic book artists in the business, and is known as the Master of the Macabre for his work on a variety of horror comics and illustrated adaptations of books by Mary Shelley, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe.
He has also frequently collaborated with novelist Stephen King, and served as a concept artist on movies including Ghostbusters, The Faculty, Galaxy Quest, Spider-Man, George Romero's Land of the Dead, and The Mist.
The Heritage sale will also offer several other examples of Wrightson's original work. Notable lots include the special Swamp Thing wraparound cover art for DC Special Series #2 (1977); his gruesome original cover art for Pacific Comics' Twisted Tales #2 (1983); and an original painting depicting a scene from the Edgar Allan Poe short story The Cask of Amontillado.
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