Bernie Wrightson original wrap-around cover artwork for Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

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Bernie Wrightson original wrap-around cover artwork for Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.
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107. Bernie Wrightson original wrap-around cover artwork for Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. (Marvel, 1983) Accomplished in pencil and ink on large 20 x 30 in. heavy weight art board. Bernie Wrightson, has been called, "the greatest horror artist of our time", "the genius who's work has a soul", and "the star who's work other artists chart their courses by". His work exerts a profound influence on many of the world's most acclaimed writers, artists, and filmmakers of today. It can also easily be said that the 1983 Marvel publication of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein is arguably the finest illustrated book of the second half of the 20th century. Originally written in 1818, the novel was later painstakingly illustrated over the course of nearly a decade by pen and ink master Bernie Wrightson. We are proud to offer here, what we consider the finest fantasy ink drawing of the 20th century, if not of all time. "...I shall be with you on your wedding night." And with those words, the most chilling line in the novel, came the inspiration for master artist Bernie Wrightson to make that moment in the story the cover image, and the single work he felt would define the artistic level the book would be judged by-a book that was a pure labor of love for him, as this was not an assignment he was being paid to do. For Bernie, this was a matter of personal pride and determination to exceed any work of his past that he had been proud of and set a goal to challenge his own artistic abilities and senses on levels he had never before achieved. This would be his Sistine Chapel. Looking at the piece in person can itself be an adventure in keeping one busy-there is just so much to look at, admire and study from edge to edge of the image. Wrightson wanted the look of the art to have an "antique" feel to it, reminiscent of an old woodcut or steel engraving. The ultra-fine linework detail is, to put it mildly, mind-blowing, with so much of the amazingly delicate work having been achieved through the steady-hand execution of line-by-line via art pen. Looking closely at the face of the monster you can actually feel the mix of his rage and anguish fueled by crazed frustration towards his creator, the cause of his inner pain. Then, looking at his creator's face, you can almost read "Dr. Frankenstein's" feelings: the instinctive defiance against his creation-gone-wrong while wrestling with the hard reality that he is no longer in control of him, trying, to no avail, to free himself from the brute strength of the creature's massively powerful arms! On the lab table, there lies the tragic female creature Victor refused to bring to life, the intended mate for the creature now simply a destroyed husk of what could've been. Looking around the lab itself makes you wonder in awe how Wrightson was even able to conceptualize, much less (over-)achieve the multilayer dimensionality of the many bottles, vials, beakers, test tubes, books, ropes, chains, etc. strewn about over every direction you look from the floor up to (and even inter-woven into) the rafters. After staring at it for some time, you'll start to notice more: the fine detailed grain patterns of the wood on the chair and the shelving, peeling plaster on the ceiling, the subtle varying levels of transparency as you see items through the other side of some of the liquid-filled glass, texture patterns on some of the ropes, the shadow angles coming off the light beaming from the fireplace, the vintage medical reference muscle chart on the back wall, a skull on a shelf, the rafters of the ceiling, a missing slat in the window shutter-so very many miniscule details that make even the backgrounds tell their own story! It's a complex study of what is essentially the heart of the novel-the lab is where Victor defies the laws of God and nature and this is the climactic moment of consequences for those actions shown in a riot of detail. The way Wrightson was able to master his control over light and shadows and depth (known as "value" in art terms), your eyes are still driven to first focus on the intensity of conflict between Victor and the creature-exactly where Wrightson wants your eye to go-even in the intriguing visual cacophony of the surroundings they're immersed in. It's so well done, it may take you a few moments before you even notice that there's a female corpse lying on the table front and center! Now that is artistic value control. It raises the question: what other artist alive today could achieve such an intricate and complex work on this astonishing level? One could even make the argument that while many great artists pencil their work and have another artist, an inker, finish the details over in ink (two very different skill sets), only Wrightson could also be his own best inker to do the fine details of his work at this extreme level of precision. As many collectors know, of all of Wrightson's work, the Frankenstein plates are among the rarest and the hardest to obtain since the collectors that own them seldom let them go. This is your opportunity to own not just "a great example" but "THE ONE"-a true crown jewel in the art world. In a world of Frank Frazetta paintings casually selling for upwards of $5 million dollars, we feel that this specific artwork, Wrightson's undisputed masterpiece, should be easily at minimum, on a parallel level of appreciation in fantasy art achievement. Large and impressive, incredibly detailed, and certainly iconic. Quite literally, the very best of the very best. Signed by Wrightson at bottom left corner. Handwriting on the back says: "Frankenstein covers #1+4 (wraparound) also repeats as interior spread, pages 146+147". Light tanning to the board and on edges, otherwise in Very Good condition. $750,000 - $1,000,000