Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Bats and Bluejay Mystery by Berni Wrightson

Okay, so 1970 and RBCC has this ad for Badtime Stories, which I missed out on, but saw everything later in various Wrightson books, EXCEPT no Bats and Bluejay, and it turns out it was never in Badtime Stories!  Is there more than the splash, and how can I see it if there is?  Couple of interesting notes:  the other Mountain Man splash you see here belongs to my buddy Scott, who bought it from Jeff Jones, who took it out of a trash can at The Studio after Berni threw it away!  Also, the Task artwork was reported stolen years ago, so we will probably never see the originals (bummer).  And, finally, speaking of Bluejay, I tossed up a Wrightson piece he did a few years before all this that I like to call The Blueman Group


  1. You, sir, have great taste! This is one of my personal favorite posts (now if we could only see the rest of that disappear'n story)

  2. "Bats and Bluejay" must have been the precursor for "The Reaper of Love." It's interesting, because Berni said (in A LOOK BACK) that he had just gotten over a terrible love affair when he drew "The Reaper of Love" in early 1971. I suspect he was talking about Mary Skrenes (who wrote for HOUSE OF MYSTERY under the pen name Virgil North in the early '70s). Berni also said he waited till the last possible moment to draw the "Swamp Thing" short story for HOUSE OF SECRETS #92. It was the weekend of New Year, 1970, and Berni finished the cover art on New Year's Day. He probably began "Bats and BlueJay," then had to put it aside to work on "Swamp Thing," getting assistance from Jones and Kaluta to rush it out in one weekend, then got back to work on "Reaper." As for "The Task" you can see some original art at as well as a page that he stopped working on. Always interesting to see the false starts (he redid page one of "Jenifer," too).

    1. For clarity: New Year 1970/71. It was the end of December, 1970 when the "Swamp Thing" short story was rushed out. Berni used photo reference of himself and his friends to expedite the process. Regarding BADTIME STORIES, Berni closed the book with "Uncle Bill's Barrel," a short comics story he drew in 1968. It shows a lot of influence from Frazetta's 1954 two pager "Cindy is Saved." "Barrel" is what Berni showed Carmine Infantino in 1968 to obtain work for DC Comics.

    2. Some Wrightson false starts...

      page 1 of what would have been his contribution to the ABYSS portfolio (he did "Wrightson's Revolting Rhymes" instead):

      A first try at "Wrightson's Revolting Rhymes" for ABYSS:

      unpublished HOUSE OF MYSTERY splash pages to stories never completed:

      First try at "Jenifer":

      Feel free to upload these, and to make a post with them!

  3. Wow, thank you! No one has ever attempted a real response to my request on Bats & Bluejay til now, and I do appreciateya