The Walking Dead Season 7 finale ended on a note of togetherness and hope, but also paid tribute to the story's original medium. Who is Bernie Wrightson? The episode was dedicated to this comic book legend.
Wrightson, who died Mar. 18 and was only 68 years old after battling brain cancer, was one of the original creators of the DC character Swamp Thing. He also did illustrations for a publication of Frankenstein, created creatures for Galaxy Quest and Ghostbusters, and occasionally drew for iconic heroes like Batman, Spider-Man, and The Incredible Hulk.
His gothic and often black and white style is a clear inspiration for the original Walking Dead comics. While he wasn't directly associated with the story, it's nice that the show honored one of the giants whose shoulders it stands upon.
The show is already a noted fan, in fact. This actually isn't even the first time that the show has tipped their cap in his direction. In 2015, Greg Nicotero designed a "Wrightson" zombie in honor of his iconic artwork. Even background zombies can have an artistic purpose.
Several other filmmakers and artists took to Twitter earlier in the year to pay tribute to his passing, including Guillermo Del Toro, Joss Whedon, Scott Weinberg, Patton Oswalt, and Jody Houser. He will clearly be missed, but his work will live on — speaking for itself and inspiring gothic and horror art in the future.