In 1966, Wrightson began working for The Baltimore Sun newspaper as an illustrator at the age of 18, and it was in the following year, after meeting artist Frank Frazetta at a comic-book convention in New York City, that he decided to create and illustrate his own stories.
In 1968, he showed pages of his artwork to DC Comics editor Dick Giordano, and he was then given his first freelance assignment.
In January 1974, he left DC to work at Warren Publishing, and in 1975 he would begin what many consider to be his greatest achievement, when he spent seven years drawing approximately 50 detailed pen-and-ink illustrations to accompany an edition of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein.
In 1983 Bernie Wrightson began a long and fruitful collaboration with the modern master of horror Stephen King, when he illustrated the comic book adaptation of the King written horror film Creepshow.
In addition to his wife Liz, he is survived by two sons, John and Jeffrey, and one stepson, Thomas Adamson.