in the Family…," with plot and art by Bernie Wrightson and scripted by Virgil
North, appeared in the DC comic House of
#204, cover dated July 1972. The story is significant for a few
reasons. With the exception of "He Who Laughs Last" (a collaboration with Mike
Kaluta, House of Mystery #221, Jan.
1974), this is Wrightson’s last full length story published for the DC "House"

Based on the art style, this story was done sometime in 1971 or
1972. The signature on the cover is dated 1972, but that could have been done
later than the story. Bernie’s earlier
for the DC titles were done in his earlier Graham Ingels and Frazetta influenced
style. While the artist’s work contains elements of those masters up through the
present day, in this story I see more of the influence of Jack Davis,
particularly in the rendering of the creeps at the bottom of page three.
Wrightson’s work almost always has a strong element of humor and the exaggerated
jawlines of knobby noses of Davis’ have a lot to do with that. "All in the
Family…" features a smoother and more confident line than his earlier DC

Of course, lots of hanging spit between the lips (page seven
for example). On this read-through of the story, I also noticed two pages (four
and six) where Bernie the page is a full page splash, anchored at the bottom,
with the upper parts of splash covered by smaller panels. I’ll have to look for
that elsewhere in his art. It offers some effective variation in the layout, and
it might be a bit of a compositional shortcut too.

This story was
published a few months before the publication of the first issue of Swamp Thing, and was likely the last
full-length story Wrightson did for DC before devoting most of his time to that
bi-monthly comic. At nine pages, this one clocks in as one of the longer
Wrightson non-Swamp Thing stories for DC. This story serves as a nice example of
the transition between the artist’s earliest efforts for DC and his more
confident and polished work on Swamp
. He also did a couple full-length humor/horror stories for the
DC title Plop! toward the end of his
Swamp Thing run, these stories show the artist approaching the excellence that
would show when he began his run of work of Jim Warren’s line of horror

Below is the cover for House of Mystery #204, the nine page
story "All in the Family…," and scans of the original art for the cover and a
few of the interior pages. Enjoy!