Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “illustration

Bernie Wrightson R.I.P

It was just over a month ago that Liz Wrightson announced that her husband, legendary artist Bernie Wrightson was retiring. Liz confirmed on Sunday that after a long battle with cancer, Bernie has passed away. Here is the full transcript from Liz. My condolences to the Wrightson family, Rest in Peace Bernie.

A Message from Liz Wrightson.

After a long battle with brain cancer, legendary artist Bernie Wrightson has passed away.

Bernie “Berni” Wrightson (born October 27, 1948, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) was an American artist known for his horror illustrations and comic books. He received training in art from reading comics, particularly those of EC, as well as through a correspondence course from the Famous Artists School. In 1966, Wrightson began working for The Baltimore Sun newspaper as an illustrator. The following year, after meeting artist Frank Frazetta at a comic-book convention in New York City, he was inspired to produce his own stories. In 1968, he showed copies of his sequential art to DC Comics editor Dick Giordano and was given a freelance assignment. Wrightson began spelling his name “Berni” in his professional work to distinguish himself from an Olympic diver named Bernie Wrightson, but later restored the final E to his name.

His first professional comic work appeared in House of Mystery #179 in 1968. He continued to work on a variety of mystery and anthology titles for both DC and its principal rival, Marvel Comics. In 1971, with writer Len Wein, Wrightson co-created the muck creature Swamp Thing for DC. He also co-created Destiny, later to become famous in the work of Neil Gaiman. By 1974 he had left DC to work at Warren Publishing who were publishing black-and-white horror-comics magazines. There he produced a series of original work as well as adaptations of stories by H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. In 1975, Wrightson joined with fellow artists Jeff Jones, Michael Kaluta, and Barry Windsor-Smith to form “The Studio,” a shared loft in Manhattan where the group would pursue creative products outside the constraints of comic book commercialism. Though he continued to produce sequential art, Wrightson at this time began producing artwork for numerous posters, prints, calendars, and coloring books.

Wrightson spent seven years drawing approximately 50 detailed pen-and-ink illustrations to accompany an edition of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, which the artist considers among his most personal work. Wrightson drew the poster for the Stephen King-penned horror film Creepshow, as well as illustrating the comic book adaptation of the film. This led to several other collaborations with King, including illustrations for the novella “Cycle of the Werewolf,” the restored edition of King’s apocalyptic horror epic, “The Stand,” and art for the hardcover editions of “From a Buick 8” and “Dark Tower V.” Wrightson has contributed album covers for a number of bands, including Meat Loaf. The “Captain Sternn” segment of the animated film Heavy Metal is based on the character created by Wrightson for his award-winning short comic series of the same name.

Characters he worked on included Spiderman, Batman and The Punisher, and he provided painted covers for the DC comics Nevermore and Toe Tags, among many others. Recent works include Frankenstein Alive Alive, Dead She Said , the Ghoul and Doc Macabre (IDW Publishing) all co-created with esteemed horror author Steve Niles, and several print/poster/sketchbooks series produced by Nakatomi.

As a conceptual artist, Bernie worked on many movies, particularly in the horror genre: well-known films include Ghostbusters, The Faculty, Galaxy Quest, Spiderman, and George Romero’s Land of the Dead, and Frank Darabont’s Stephen King film The Mist.

Bernie lived in Austin, Texas with his wife Liz and two corgis – Mortimer and Maximillian. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, John and Jeffrey, one stepson, Thomas Adamson, and countless friends and fans. A celebration of his life is planned for later this year.


Daryl Dixon – By David Hardy

Here is the 3rd amazing caricature from The Walking Dead by artist David Hardy. Following on from his exceptional art of Rick Grimes, and Michonne, Dave has created possibly his best work so far – Daryl Dixon. Enjoy.

Daryl Walking Dead caricature


True Detective – By Javier Vera Lainez

Madrid based graphic designer/ illustrator Javier Vera Lainez has taken his love of the hit HBO series, True Detective to the next level with some sensational prints. He has done one print per episode in a silhouette style that is reminiscent of the Star Wars series by Olly Moss (which can be seen HERE). You can purchase individual prints or as a series HERE. Click on the image to see full size individual posters.

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Doctor Who – Take On Me

Stunning original animation by Richard Swarbrick… although it does have a slight resemblance to a certain 80’s A-Ha video.


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Rick Grimes – By Bryant Arnold

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Oldboy – Poster Art

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Godzilla – Poster Art

Official Godzilla poster and a couple of cool art versions from Phantom City Creative… Enjoy

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Drew: The Man Behind The Poster

Drew: The Man Behind The Poster is finally ready. The film will have its world debut at San Diego Comic-Con 2013. It tells the story of Drew Struzan, the prolific poster artist who made posters for the Indiana Jones and Star Wars films, as well as Back to the Future, The Goonies, The Shawshank Redemption, Harry Potter and many more.

Directed by Erik P. Sharkey, Drew: The Man Behind the Poster will open in New York August 16 at the Cinema Village before its rollout. The guys raised the remaining funds they needed through indiegogo last year, read story HERE. Also check out images of Drew drawing and painting the amazing Hellboy poster HERE


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Arkham Daycare by phostex

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The Omen – Poster Art

Poster art for The Omen, from the USA, Czech Republic, Poland and Turkey.

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Léon: The Professional – Poster Art


Maurice Sendak

Maurice Bernard Sendak (June 10, 1928 – May 8, 2012) was an American writer and illustrator of children’s literature. He was best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, first published in 1963.

Sendak was born in Brooklyn, to Polish Jewish immigrant parents Sadie and Philip Sendak. Sendak described his childhood as a “terrible situation” because of his extended family’s dying in The Holocaust, which he says exposed him at an early age to death and the concept of mortality. His love of books began at an early age when he developed health problems and was confined to his bed. He decided to become an illustrator after watching Walt Disney’s film Fantasia (1940), at the age of twelve.

One of his first professional commissions was to create window displays for the toy store F.A.O. Schwarz. His illustrations were first published in 1947 in a textbook titled Atomics for the Millions by Dr. Maxwell Leigh Eidinoff. He spent much of the 1950s illustrating children’s books written by others before beginning to write his own stories. His older brother Jack Sendak also became an author of children’s books, two of which were illustrated by Maurice in the 1950s.

Sendak gained international acclaim after writing and illustrating Where the Wild Things Are. The book tells the story of Max, who one evening plays around his home making “mischief” in a wolf costume. As punishment, his mother sends him to bed without supper. In his room, a mysterious, wild forest and sea grows out of his imagination, and Max sails to the land of the Wild Things. The Wild Things are fearsome-looking monsters, but Max proves to be the fiercest, conquering them by “staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once”, and he is made “the king of all wild things”, dancing with the monsters in a “wild rumpus”. However, he soon finds himself lonely and homesick and returns home to his bedroom where he finds his supper waiting for him, still hot. The book’s depictions of fanged monsters concerned some parents when it was first published, as his characters were somewhat grotesque in appearance.

The story was supposed to be that of a child who, after a tantrum, is punished in his room and decides to escape to the place that gives the book its title, the “land of wild horses”. Shortly before starting the illustrations, Sendak realized he did not know how to draw horses and, at the suggestion of his editor, changed the wild horses to the more ambiguous “Wild Things”, a term inspired by the Yiddish expression “Vilde chaya”, used to indicate boisterous children. He replaced the horses with caricatures of his aunts and uncles, whom he had spent much time creating in his youth as an escape from their chaotic weekly visits to his family’s Brooklyn home.

In 1983, the Walt Disney Studio conducted a series of CGI tests created by Glen Keane and John Lassiter using as their subject Where the Wild Things Are. The live-action film version was directed by Spike Jonze, and was released on October 16, 2009. Sendak was one of the producers for the film.

Sendak died in the morning of May 8, 2012, in Danbury, Connecticut, from complications of a stroke. In its obituary, The New York Times called Sendak “the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century.” Author Neil Gaiman remarked, “He was unique, grumpy, brilliant, gay, wise, magical and made the world better by creating art in it.”


A Nightmare on Elm Street – Poster Art

Cool A Nightmare on Elm Street poster art… Happy Birthday Robert Englund.


Cabin in the Woods – Mondo Art

Cool Mondo Art poster for an Alamo Drafthouse screening of The Cabin in the Woods.


Shaun of the Dead – Poster Art


Funny Games – Poster Art

Cool poster art, including the remake shot of Naomi Watts, for Michael Haneke’s Funny Games.


Russ Meyer – Poster Art

Cool poster art for 6 Russ Meyer movies… although they’re good, I prefer the tacky originals.


Ralph McQuarrie

Legendary concept artist Ralph McQuarrie died on Saturday, March 3rd, 2012. Rest in Peace.

Ralph McQuarrie (June 13, 1929 – March 3, 2012) was a conceptual designer and illustrator who designed the original Star Wars trilogy, the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Cocoon, for which he won an Academy Award.

Born in Gary, Indiana, McQuarrie moved to California in the 1960s. Initially he worked as a technical illustrator for Boeing, as well designing film posters and animating CBS New’s coverage of the Apollo space program at the three-man company Reel Three. While there, McQuarrie was asked by Hal Barwood to produce some illustrations for a film project he and Matthew Robbins were starting.

Impressed with his work, director George Lucas met with him to discuss his plans for a space-fantasy film. Several years later, in 1975, Lucas commissioned McQuarrie to illustrate several scenes from the script of the film, Star Wars. McQuarrie designed many of the film’s characters, including Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO and drew many concepts for the film’s sets. McQuarrie’s concept paintings, including such scenes as R2-D2 and C-3PO arriving on Tatooine, helped convince 20th Century Fox to fund Star Wars, which became a huge success upon release in 1977. Neil Kendricks of The San Diego Union-Tribune stated McQuarrie “holds a unique position when it comes to defining much of the look of the “Star Wars” universe.” McQuarrie noted “I thought I had the best job that an artist ever had on a film, and I had never worked on a feature film before. I still get fan mail — people wondering if I worked on Episode I or just wanting to have my autograph.”

McQuarrie went on to work as the conceptual designer on the film’s two sequels The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. 

McQuarrie played the uncredited role of General Pharl McQuarrie in The Empire Strikes Back. An action figure in his likeness as “General McQuarrie” was produced. Action figures based on McQuarrie’s concept art, including conceptual versions of the Imperial Stormtrooper, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3Po, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and other characters have also been made.

McQuarrie designed the alien ships in Steven Spielberg’s films Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), while his work as the conceptual artist on the 1985 film Cocoon earned him the Academy Award for Visual Effects.He also worked on the 1978 TV series Battlestar Galactica, and the films Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, *batteries not included and Jurassic Park.

Rick McCallum offered McQuarrie a role as designer for the Star Wars prequel trilogy, but he rejected the offer, noting he had “run out of steam” and Industrial Light & Magic animator Doug Chiang was appointed instead. He retired and his Star Wars concept paintings were subsequently displayed in art exhibitions, including the 1999 Star Wars: The Magic of Myth.

McQuarrie died aged 82 on March 3, 2012, in his Berkeley, California home. He is survived by his wife Joan.

Lucas commented after McQuarrie’s death: “His genial contribution, in the form of unequalled production paintings, propelled and inspired all of the cast and crew of the original Star Wars trilogy. When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph’s fabulous illustrations and say, ‘do it like this’.”