Monday, March 20, 2017

In Memorium: Bernie Wrightson

One of the true leading lights of the old guard passed away on Saturday at the age of 68 after fighting a protracted battle against brain cancer. Bernie Wrightson was a legendary member of The Studio formed in 1975 alongside Jeffrey Catherine Jones, Michael Kaluta and Barry Windsor-Smith and all four of them produced singular work that helped change the illustrative form forever. Bernie was notable for his contributions to horror comics, although he worked with a variety of subject matter for numerous publishers. A lengthy list of his credits would take some time, but the highlights include House of Mystery; House of Secrets; Swamp Thing; Batman; Epic Illustrated; Master of the Macabre and of course his groundbreaking Frankenstein portfolio. Bernie's influence resonated into other media as well with his work on the "Captain Sternn" segment of the animated film Heavy Metal and collaborations with author Stephen King, beginning with Creepshow and Silver Bullet; plus select design work on Serenity in 2005.

Bernie Wrightson was always a pleasant creator to interact with and he made copious appearances at many convention over the years. I am very glad to have gotten a chance to speak with him on numerous occasions. Wrightson simply
can not be replaced. The Catacombs extends its sincerest condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Venting for the heck of it!


Thor is not a woman! Captain America’s best friend and long-time partner might change his costume to reflect his regard for Steve, but Sam is his own man (and would not cede his iconic identity over to do so)! Everyone in the Marvel Universe is NOT a member of the Avengers or the X-Men or the Fantastic Four (blending them all together only masks this conceit)! Captain Marvel died and Carol Danvers IS the new Captain Marvel (and although that was a long time in coming, Kelly Sue DeConnick did not create either version)! There are not a half dozen Spider-Men; or Women! Sidekicks and love interests aren’t potential replacements for their super-powered pals and lovers (doing this undermines the core concept and shows that the writer has run out of ideas of their own)! The Falcon, The Black Panther, Shang Chi, Blade, Storm, Bishop ( …… well seriously, the list of available non-caucasian heroes and characters goes on and on), so changing all of the blond & blue-eyed characters into an ethnic version seems pointless (unless you have a point on the top of your head)? Those massive cinematic versions rolling out successfully time and again based upon the recognized iconic versions scoff at the ridiculous print versions that try so hard to be something different? Hey editors and creators, hundreds of millions of movie ticket patrons might want to read the adventures of their heroes, maybe you should stop dicking around with your stupid bullshit and check your egos??