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 Gahan Wilson  (1930 - )

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Lived/Active: United States      Known for: illustrator-cartoon

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Ad Code: 3
Gahan Wilson
from Auction House Records.
Playboy cartoon illustration, page 179, April 1971
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Gahan Wilson (b. 1930)

Gahan Wilson was born on February 18, 1930 in Evanston, Illinois.

Wilson say of himself, 'I was a creepy little kid. I did the whole comic book thing, and then I discovered Weird Tales – instantly homed right in on that around high school, and just loved it” (

Wilson’s first work appeared in 1954 in Amazing Stories.  As cartoonist, he is most know for hi work in Play Boy, Colliers and The New Yorker; where his drawings appeared and prose fiction appeared regularly for fifty years. Appearing in National Lampoon Wilson had a comic strip Nuts.  He thought of childhood strips like Peanuts as saccharine, leading him to create a hero The Kid who sees the world as occasionally a fun place ,yet was unfair, dark and dangerous.

In the 1950’s, Wilson was inspired by monster films and “irreverent” cartoonists in Mad and Punch Wilson maintain a continuing an association with F&FS as both a cartoonist and occasion reviewer.  In 1972, Wilson wrote and illustrated a short story for Harlan Ellison's anthology Again, Dangerous Visions.  Then in (c. 1975,) he contributed short stories to other publications such as: M1 and The Zombie Butler both appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and were reprinted in Gahan Wilson's Cracked Cosmos.  

In addition to writing, drawing and reviewing books and movies.  Wilson also made a video game with Byron Preiss, The Haunted House.  In 2010 a collection of his work, Fifty Years of Gahan Wilson, was published.  In the spring of 2011,  Fantagraphics announced a "complete" edition of Nuts.  In the documentary, Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird directed by Steven-Charles Jaffe, Wilson is the subject.

Awards Include:
2005 - Lifetime Achievement from World Fantasy Awards
            Lifetime Achievement Award from National Cartoonist Society
1981 - World Fantasy Convention Award

''Art should lead to change in the way we see things. If some artist comes up with a vision which gives a new opening, it usually creates a lot of stress, because it's frightening” (

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