But the real reason why I liked this cover so much is the artist. Bernie Wrightson. And I happen to think that Bernie Wrightson is one of the most talented artists to ever work in the comic-book industry. Just my humble opinion. Of course, I didn't know that it was Bernie Wrightson back then. All I knew, like I said, is that I dug it. It was years later when looking through a book of Wrightson's art that I realized it was he who had drawn this particular cover.
The fact that Wrightson had done this issue is interesting for another reason entirely. One of Wrightson's most famous works from the early 1970's was over at DC in House of Secrets #92. The first appearance of Swamp Thing. He also did the covers and interiors to the first volume of Swamp Thing stand-alone comic-books that were published soon afterward. Well, the first ten issues of that set anyway. And they were all fantastic works of art.
What's interesting here is that Wrightson is drawing Marvel's version of another swamp creature, Man-Thing. Man-Thing actually pre-dates Swamp Thing by a couple of months. And Len Wein was involved in both characters, either directly (in the case of Swampy) or indirectly (in the case of Man-Thing). Wein's roommate around that time was Gerry Conway, and he was one of the original creators of Man'Thing. Wein would be directly involved in Man-Thing later on in between issues of Swamp-Thing. Weird stuff. There was talk of lawsuits over the similarities of the characters, but it was never really pursued. They probably weren't popular enough at the time to justify the legal action. I dunno.
But it is pretty cool to see Wrightson's work on Man-Thing up there. His use of muted colors, shadows and extraordinary detail was a gift to fans of the horror genre. He did a lot of work around this time with Warren Publishing who had a line of horror specific comic-books. He later began a series of collaborations with Stephen King that included Creepshow, Cycle of the Werewolf, the reprint of The Stand and some of the stuff in the Dark Tower series.
I don't exactly remember where and when it was that I first came across this issue. And, honestly, I don't remember much from the inside of the book at all.
But that cover...WOW!
___________________________________________________Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Whoever knows FEAR burns at the touch of...the Man-Thingc.