Bernie Wrightson’s original cover illustration for the Marvel Comics version of Frankenstein could set a new auction record at Profiles in History next week. The artwork is entitled “…I shall be with you on your wedding night,” and captures the chilling threat made by the monster to his creator in Mary Shelley’s groundbreaking 1818 horror novel. Wrightson’s illustration is expected to sell for up to $1 million, and has been described as “the finest fantasy ink drawing of the 20th century, if not of all time”. The work is the leading lot in a private collection of comic book art, which hits the block in Los Angeles on December 10 after being hidden away for decades.
Bernie Wrightson (1948 – 2017) was an acclaimed comic book artist renowned for his work on horror and suspense titles for both Marvel and D.C. Comics. Wrightson’s main claim to fame was his co-creation of the iconic D.C character Swamp Thing, but the undoubted masterpiece of his career was his 1983 comic book adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
The incredible level of detail in the illustration has led experts to describe it as Wrightson’s own “Sistine Chapel” and the adaptation was a passion project for the artist, who described his work in 2008: “I’ve always had a thing for Frankenstein, and it was a labor of love. It was not an assignment, it was not a job. I would do the drawings in between paying gigs, when I had enough to be caught up with bills and groceries and what-not. I would take three days here, a week there, to work on the Frankenstein volume. It took about seven years.” The remarkable level of detail throughout the illustration is a testament to Wrightson’s skills, as he captures the intensity of the scene and the gothic atmosphere of Dr Frankenstein lab in all its glory.