A SNEAK PEEK at IDW’s latest…

Main cover

UPDATED 10/27/17: Bernie Wrightson would have been 69 today. As it happens, IDW’s Bernie Wrightson Artifact Edition hits stores next week (11/1). We ran this preview just before New York Comic Con but it seemed to make sense to share it again today. The art, of course, is remarkable. Enjoy. — Dan

They’re not dummies over at IDW. The publisher’s latest Artifact Edition celebrates the incredible work of Bernie Wrightson — and it’s hitting just time for Halloween (and New York Comic Con).

We have an EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW here for you, I gotta say, this book is as startling — and unsettling — as you’d expect from comics’ master of the macabre.

Let me back up: What’s an Artifact Edition? IDW and editor Scott Dunbier pioneered the Artist’s Edition some years ago — an oversize hardcover featuring high-res scans of a creator’s original pages. It’s the closest thing you’ll probably ever get to owning the original art itself.

An Artist’s Edition aims to tell entire stories using those pages. But sometimes all the art’s unavailable, so IDW started doing Artisan Editions, which present a survey of the creator’s work.

Variant cover

Bernie Wrightson Artifact Edition, which is due 10/25, includes covers, pages, layouts, sketches and other ephemera from his original early-’70s Swamp Thing run with Len Wein; DC’s classic horror titles such as House of Secrets and House of Mystery; and many other projects, including Batman: The Cult.

The 12 x 17, 152-page hardcover lists for $125. There will also be a special edition on sale at New York Comic Con this week, with a front featuring Swamp Thing’s first appearance on the cover of House of Secrets #92. (By the way, check out letterer Todd Klein’s blog post about the making of that cover. You’ll dig it: Click here.)

It’s a gorgeous book and particularly bittersweet to look at it now, since both Wrightson and Wein died this year. But I can’t imagine a better tribute to their work together than something like this.

What you’ll find below are 13 outstanding pages from the edition. As I always like to say in these kinds of previews, I’m only scratching the surface. I could easily have just made this covers and splashes but I also wanted to show off Wrightson’s design and storytelling prowess too. This selection gives you a real sense of what this book is all about.

Swamp Thing #1 cover

Swamp Thing #1, Page 1

Swamp Thing #1, Page 15

Swamp Thing #2, Page 8

Swamp Thing #2, Page 22

Swamp Thing #4, Page 13

Swamp Thing #6, Page 6

Swamp Thing #7, Page 15

Swamp Thing #7, Page 16 layout

Swamp Thing #7, Page 16

House of Secrets #100 cover

Batman: The Cult promo poster

Swamp Thing color sketch and early model sheet

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. It’s really a treat to see these pages. Thank you for posting them. Bernie was one of the greats… THE great, IMHO.

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