12/7/16

House of Secrets #92 – Bernie Wrightson art & cover, Jeff Jones art (1st Wrightson Swamp Thing)

House of Secrets v1 #92 dc comic book cover art by Bernie Wrightson
Bernie Wrightson

House of Secrets v1 #92, 1971 - A young scientist dies tragically in an explosion, leaving his young wife to mourn his loss. The Swamp Thing makes his first appearance in this unassuming short story. Bernie Wrightson's art is permeated with heavy areas of darkness and shadow, perfectly setting a macabre tone. The artist draws and composes the pages with uncommon beauty and grace, aided by colleagues Jeff Jones, Alan Weiss and Mike Kaluta. On Wrightson's breathtaking cover, a woman prepares for bed as the swamp creature enters her room. The figures are illuminated by moonlight and are softened through a textural effect. On the mirror's hard-carved frame, a dragon adds a gothic quality to the scene. This story was later reprinted in Roots of the Swamp Thing #5. Other artists in this issue include Bill Draut and Alan Weiss. This is number 1 of 11 House of Secrets issues with Wrightson art and/or covers.
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Wrightson cover pencils and inks = *****
Wrightson intro page pencils and inks = ***
"Swamp Thing" Wrightson story pencils and partial inks / Jones, Kaluta, Weiss partial inks 8 pages = ****

House of Secrets v1 #92 dc comic book page art by Bernie Wrightson
Bernie Wrightson
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4 comments:

  1. It wasn't stippled; he used coquille board and a soft lead pencil. The paper is textured, and a single swipe of a grease pencil across it will leave many dots, looking like stippling, in its wake. Look at Bill Gallo's sports cartoons for more examples of coquille board, or the figures in Andrew Loomis' FIGURE DRAWING FOR ALL ITS WORTH.

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  2. I've corrected it. Thanks for the info!

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  3. That's not right either. HOUSE OF SECRETS #92 was done in india ink and wash (ink diluted with water). See this link to a scan of the original cover art:

    http://tinyurl.com/4vztx7

    What happened is that DC Comics' production department did a velox (or silver print) of the cover which was 'high tech' in those days. This velox turns the wash into tiny black dots which still look like half tones, but are not; it's line art. In this case, the art was also run through a filter to get the stippled look. I wonder how Wrightson felt about this. The result is the atmospheric classic we all love and remember, but as you can see from the original, it was not necessarily what he intended.

    I used to think this was done on coquille board as well, but it wasn't.

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  4. It was called a mezzotint screen process which made the ink wash cover look like stippling. DC did the same with an early '70s WITCHING HOUR cover by Neal Adams which made it look like it was entirely crosshatched when it was all done in ink wash!

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