Born in Baltimore on the 27th of October (obviously infusing him with the spirit of Halloween), "Bernie" Wrightson showed his work to DC Comics editor Dick Giordano who hired him to do freelance work for the company. At the tender age of 19, Wrightson got his first story published in HOUSE OF MYSTERY #179 in 1968; he dropped the "e" from "Bernie" to distinguish himself from an Olympic diver with the same name and became Berni Wrightson professionally (he would restore the "e" to his name years later). In DC's HOUSE OF SECRETS, he would co-create the character Swamp Thing with Len Wein; the short story was so popular DC would spin it into it's own critically-acclaimed series.
Berni Wrightson represents to me, at least, the very essence of comic book horror for the last half century. His loss is a great one to me and to all his fans. My condolences go out to Liz, John, Jeffrey and Thomas. As my woefully inadequate tribute, I thought I'd provide just a taste of some favourites from the Master of the Macabre.