Friday, July 24, 2009

Bernie Wrightson and The Shining

Bernie Wrightson has long been associated with the works of horror author Stephen King. Wrightson's first collaboration with Stephen King was the comic book adaptation of the 1982 film Creepshow. Bernie went on to illustrate Cycle of the Werewolf in 1984 and the restored version of The Stand in 1990. Wrightson also illustrated the limited edition of From a Buick 8, The Wolves of Calla, and King produced an introduction to Bernie's edition of Frankenstein.

One more place where Wrightson has illuminated the words of Stephen King was in one of the most widely circulated magazines in the United States: TV Guide. In conjunction with the premier of the television mini-series of The Shining, TV Guide published King's prologue to the novel titled "Before the Play." The prologue had been cut out of the 1977 novel. It had eventually been printed in a 1982 issue of a small press horror magazine called Whispers. The prologue's appearance in the April 26 - May 2, 1997 edition of TV Guide marked its first publication for a mass audience. Wrightson contributed the cover, one color illustration and two small B&W illustrations. To be honest, there is a lot Bernie's work I like better than these drawings. But I've always had a soft spot for these because this was probably the most widespread distribution of Wrightson's work to a mass audience. For a couple weeks in the Spring of 1997, a Bernie Wrightson painting of a maniac with a roque mallet was in every grocery checkout lane in America.

No comments: