In honor of the Fangoria Convention winding up today here in LA, I was inspired to bust out a few horror-related memories kicking around in the back of my head.
First: Bernie Wrightson.
When I was a kid, we used to make occasional trips for reasons of my English professor parents usually having to do with theatrical performances or theater history library visits. When we travelled, I used to manage to drag them on brief detours to places of interest to me, like Davenports Magic Shop or Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed in London, or, in the case of Bernie Wrightson, to the NY Comic Arts Gallery at 214 Sullivan Street.
I had the poster depicted above hanging in my bedroom (to my mother's delight), and the full poster advertised the opening of a Bernie Wrightson show in Manhattan, and it provided the date and the time. As luck would have it, we were to be in Manhattan then, so I persuaded her to swing by.
Disclaimer: what follows is the hazy memory of a 14-year-old that dates to 1977. It may be quite inaccurate, but this is what I recall now.
We had to climb a set of stairs. The walls may have been white. On the second floor we arrived at a smallish gallery. The walls were white. On the left, immediately at the doorway, was a desk behind a low wall, so that you could easily see the desk surface, but you couldn't see below the desk from where we stood at the entrance. A man sat at the desk. He was friendly.
The walls featured a bunch of Bernie Wrightson artwork contemporary to that time. I enjoyed looking at it.
The man behind the desk asked if we had any questions. I forget what we may have asked, but his answer went something like this (as I recall):
Bernie usually starts with a small detail. An eye, maybe. And develops his work around that, building outward. (again, this is not a real quote. This is a paraphrase of a quote, dimly remembered, and may not be accurate)
The man behind the desk went on.
I have some of my own artwork with me. Would you like to see it?
Sure, I said.
The man behind the counter brought out some posters on heavy stock. They depicted nude, pregnant women in profile wearing gas masks. I recognized it as the work of artist Jeff Jones. I was pretty amazed at the time to be meeting Jeffery Catherine Jones in person. I was also a big fan of his work.
This was around the time that Jones shared workspace in Manhattan's Chelsea district with Bernie Wrightson, Barry Windsor-Smith, and Michael William Kaluta, collectively named The Studio, so it is plausible that I am remembering this correctly.