Legendary artist Bernie Wrightson announces retirement due to declining health

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Jan 30, 2017

Bernie Wrightson is a living legend in the world of comic book, horror and fantasy art.

In a career spanning five decades, Wrightson co-created Swamp Thing and Destiny, illustrated Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, drew Creepshow for Stephen King and George Romero, and worked at one point or another for every major comic book publisher. He's one of the most acclaimed and beloved artists on the planet ... but unfortunately it seems his time at the drawing board has run out.

Wrightson underwent surgery for a brain tumor after a series of strokes in 2014. Last year, Wrightson's wife Liz announced that a second surgery would be scheduled. Now, ongoing health issues have limited Wrightson's movement and perception, and so he must retire.

Here's the full statement on the matter from Liz and Bernie Wrightson, originally posted to Facebook and now available on Wrightson's website:

Dear Fans and Friends,

I apologize for our silence for the past few months. Last November Bernie began falling again, and having obvious problems with perception. He had to undergo yet another brain surgery to relieve bleeding, and then spent several weeks undergoing in-patient rehabilitation. Unfortunately, it appears that he has lasting damage: he has extremely limited function on his left side, and is unable to walk or reliably use his left hand, among other limitations.

We have had to come to the sad conclusion that he is now effectively retired: he will produce no new art, and he is unable to attend conventions. Should this situation change I will happily announce it here.

He can still sign his name (in fact he was signing Kickstarter prints in the hospital!), and is otherwise pretty healthy and has good cognition. We expect to continue releasing signed prints, and offering occasional pieces of art for sale from the collection that remains. We both thank all of you for your continuing support and good wishes!

All our best,
Liz and Bernie Wrightson

So, while you'll still be able to get prints (and hey, who doesn't need a little Bernie Wrightson hanging in their home?), the master has drawn his last monster. We wish Bernie Wrightson all the best as he continues his recovery.