Bernie Wrightson is one of the most acclaimed horror artists of all time. His work on Swamp Thing and many DC mystery books are hailed as classics of the form, but his undisputed masterpiece is Frankenstein, illustrated from the Mary Shelley novel. Leading up to Frankenstein, Wrightson did a series of breathtaking stories for Creepy and Eerie magazines, in the mid-1970s. Chief among these stories, and with the beginnings of the style he adopted for Frankenstein, was The Muck Monster.
Now, IDW Publishing is pleased to announce the first Artist’s Edition portfolio, and featuring the incredibly intricate detail of Bernie Wrightson’s The Muck Monster. As with all Artist’s Editions books or portfolios, the original art is meticulously scanned in color and from the actual original art.
As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc.), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.
The one that started it all, for IDW portfolios that is, way back in 2012. It’s interesting to see IDW start a portfolio line two years after the Artist’s Edition book line, but that was the breakout year.
Based on Comic Art Fans, this story is part of Scott Williams’ collection so all scans came from a single source. Scans are clear and without issue. Word balloons pasted onto the art boards. Correction fluid used on dialogue. Margin notes are production only, but every page bears Wrightson’s signature. Pages are slightly yellowed with tanning on the edges.
An excellent design here by Dahlk, establishing a template for the line. Single colour, logo from the art, a bar of circles and a colour test bar at the bottom. Sample image on front and rear. Clean, eye-catching, overall excellence.
IDW keeps production values high and this doesn’t disappoint. Thick matte paper stock; I don’t have callipers but this feels thicker than what’s used in the books. A heavy cardboard stock used for the portfolio. The plates fit comfortably in the paper sleeve. The portfolio comes in a mylar sleeve; mine was used and didn’t have it, but I’m working off an assumption.
On the back of each plate we read “This is NOT a page of original art”.
No longer available from IDW or Diamond, eBay or the back corner of your local comic shop is your best bet. Scott Dunbier announced at SDCC 2018 that this material would appear in the Bernie Wrightson Frankenstein AE, but we don’t have a solicitation for that yet.