Al Williamson

Alfonso Williamson[1] (March 21, 1931[2] – June 12, 2010)[3][4] was an American cartoonist, comic book artist and illustrator specializing in adventure, Western and science-fiction/fantasy.

Born in New York City, he spent much of his early childhood in Bogotá, Colombia before moving back to the United States at the age of 12. In his youth, Williamson developed an interest in comic strips, particularly Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon. He took art classes at Burne Hogarth's Cartoonists and Illustrators School, there befriending future cartoonists Wally Wood and Roy Krenkel, who introduced him to the work of illustrators who had influenced adventure strips. Before long, he was working professionally in the comics industry. His most notable works include his science-fiction/heroic fantasy art for EC Comics in the 1950s, on titles including Weird Science and Weird Fantasy.

In the 1960s, he gained recognition for continuing Raymond's illustrative tradition with his work on the Flash Gordon comic-book series, and was a seminal contributor to the Warren Publishing's black-and-white horror comics magazines Creepy and Eerie. Williamson spent most of the 1970s working on his own credited strip, another Raymond creation, Secret Agent X-9. The following decade, he became known for his work adapting Star Wars films to comic books and newspaper strips. From the mid-1980s to 2003, he was primarily active as an inker, mainly on Marvel Comics superhero titles starring such characters as Daredevil, Spider-Man, and Spider-Girl.

Williamson is known for his collaborations with a group of artists including Frank Frazetta, Roy Krenkel, Angelo Torres, and George Woodbridge, which was affectionately known as the "Fleagle Gang". Williamson has been cited as a stylistic influence on a number of younger artists, and encouraged many, helping such newcomers as Bernie Wrightson and Michael Kaluta enter the profession. He has won several industry awards, and six career-retrospective books about him have been published since 1998. Living in Pennsylvania with his wife Corina, Williamson retired in his seventies.

Williamson was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2000.

Al Williamson
Alwilliamsontable
BornAlfonso Williamson
March 21, 1931
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 12, 2010 (aged 79)
Upstate New York
NationalityAmerican/Colombian
Area(s)Penciller, Inker
AwardsEisner Award Best Inker (1991, 1997)
Eisner Award Hall of Fame (2000)
Inkwell Awards Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame (2010)

Biography

Early life and career

Al Williamson was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York,[1] one of two children of Sally and Alfonso Williamson, who was of Scottish descent and a Colombian citizen. The family relocated to Bogotá, Colombia, when Al was two years old.[5] "My father was Colombian and my mother was American," Williamson said in 1997. "They met in the States, got married and went down there. I grew up down there so I learned both English and Spanish at the same time. It was comic books that taught me to read both languages."[6] At age nine, Williamson took an interest in comic strips via the Mexican magazine Paquin, which featured American strips as well as Underwater Empire by Argentine cartoonist Carlos Clemen. Later, Williamson was attracted to Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon strip after his mother took him to see the Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe movie serial.[7] While living in Bogotá he met future cartoonist Adolfo Buylla, who befriended him and gave him artistic advice.[8] At age 12, in 1943, Williamson moved with his mother to San Francisco, California; they later moved to New York.[5][9]

AlWilliamsonearly
Late 1940s sketch

In the mid-1940s Williamson continued to pursue his interest in cartooning and began to take art classes with Tarzan cartoonist Burne Hogarth, and later at Hogarth's Cartoonists and Illustrators School. There he met future cartoonists Wally Wood and Roy Krenkel. According to Williamson, "Roy broadened my collecting horizons, he became my guide to all the great illustrators — the artists who directly influenced adventure cartoonists like [Alex] Raymond and [Hal] Foster. He showed me J.C. Coll, Franklin Booth, Joseph Franke, Dan Smith, Norman Lindsay, Fortunino Matania, and the great Blue Book illustrators like Herbert Morton Stoops and Frank Hoban."[10] As he continued to learn about the cartooning field, he would visit the comic-book publisher Fiction House, meeting such artists as George Evans, Bob Lubbers, John Celardo, and Mort Meskin.[11]

Williamson's first professional work may have been helping Hogarth pencil some Tarzan Sunday pages in 1948,[12] although Williamson, who had initially believed so, reconsidered in a 1983 interview and recalled that his Tarzan work had come after his first two pieces of comic-book art: providing spot illustrations for the story "The World's Ugliest Horse"[13] in Eastern Color's seminal series Famous Funnies #166 (May 1948),[14] and a two-page Boy Scouts story, his first comics narrative, in New Heroic Comics #51 (Nov. 1948).[13][15][16] (Williamson is also identified as co-penciler, with Frank Frazetta, of a three-page crime story, "The Last Three Dimes", in Standard Comics' Wonder Comics #20 [Oct. 1948])[16] Williamson explained that while Hogarth had offered him Tarzan work, Williamson "just couldn't do it. ... I couldn't get it into my little brain that he wanted me to do it exactly the way that he did it," and instead successfully recommended Celardo, artist of the Tarzan-like feature "Ka'a'nga" in Fiction House's Jungle Comics.[13] As Williamson recalled:

...Hogarth got in touch with [Celardo], and the next thing you knew, he was penciling the Sunday page for him. He did it for quite some time and something must have happened ... but at that point I was going to the Hogarth school again in the evenings ... and he asked me again if I would like to give it a try, so I said OK. He gave me a page and he had already laid it out, so I just tightened it up. Then he gave me another page that I tightened up and he inked it. Then I said I'd like to try laying it out myself and asked if I could do that, and he said, 'Go ahead, Al,' and handed me the script. So I laid that page out on a sketchpad. He said fine and just made a couple of suggestions as to what I should do; then I just did it on the big Sunday page, and when I was through, he inked it and the other one I had done the same way, and that was it.[17]

During this period Williamson met his main stylistic influence, Raymond: "I had just turned 18. I had been in the business about six months or so. He gave me about two hours."[18]

1950s

From 1949 to 1951, Williamson worked on science-fiction and Western stories for publishers such as American Comics Group (AGC), Avon Publications, Fawcett Comics, Standard Comics, and, possibly, Toby Press.[16] He began collaborating with Frank Frazetta, who often inked his work; and with Roy Krenkel, who often did backgrounds.[19] Examples of his work from that period include "Chief Victorio's Last Stand", in Avon's Chief Victorio's Apache Massacre (no number, no month, 1951); "Death in Deep Space", in Magazine Enterprises' Jet #4 (no month, 1951); and "Skull of the Sorcerer", in ACG's Forbidden Worlds #3 (Dec. 1951), inked by Wally Wood[16][20]

Williamson 50Girls50
Five Williamson panels from "50 Girls 50", in EC Comics' Weird Science #20 (Aug. 1953).

In 1952, upon the suggestion of artists Wally Wood and Joe Orlando,[21] Williamson began working for EC Comics, an influential comic book company with a reputation for quality artists.[22] While at EC, Williamson frequently collaborated with fellow artists Frank Frazetta, Roy Krenkel and Angelo Torres, a group which, along with Nick Meglin and George Woodbridge, became affectionately known as the "Fleagle Gang", named after a notorious criminal gang.[23] Williamson primarily worked on EC's science fiction comics Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, and Weird Science-Fantasy, illustrating both original stories, primarily by writer Al Feldstein, and adaptations of stories by authors such as Ray Bradbury[24] and Harlan Ellison,[25] but his work occasionally appeared in EC's horror and crime comics as well.

Williamson worked at EC through 1956 until the cancellation of most of the company's line. Williamson's EC art has been lauded for its illustrative flamboyance, evident in such stories as "I, Rocket", in Weird Fantasy #20 (Aug. 1953), co-penciled and co-inked with Frank Frazetta; and "50 Girls 50", in Weird Science #20 (Aug. 1953), co-inked by Williamson and Frazetta.[16][26] His final published EC story was the 10-page "A Question of Time", in Shock Illustrated #2 (Feb. 1956) with partial inking by Torres, who put his initials on the last page.[16] In the fall of 1956, writer Larry Ivie introduced Williamson to future comics writers-editor Archie Goodwin, with whom he would become friends and, later, a frequent collaborator. Williamson eventually helped Goodwin enter the comics field, having him script a Harvey Comics story, "The Hermit", penciled by Reed Crandall and inked by Williamson.[27]

From 1955 to 1957, Williamson produced over 400 pages of three-to-five-page stories for Atlas Comics, the 1950s forerunner of Marvel Comics, working in various genres but primarily Westerns. He continued to collaborate with Torres and Krenkel, as well as with Gray Morrow, George Woodbridge and Ralph Mayo.[28] With Mayo, one of the first editors to give Williamson work, at Standard Comics, Williamson collaborated on the jungle girl series Jann of the Jungle #16–17 (April and June 1957). Following Mayo's death, Williamson drew stories solo for the planned #18, but the series was abruptly canceled before that issue could be published.[29] His "prolific though somewhat uneven two-year stint at Atlas",[30] where he first drew war comics, yielded superlative art in such stories as "The City That Time Forgot", in Marvel Tales #144 (March 1956); "Menace from the Stars", in Mystery Tales #44 (Aug. 1956); "The Unknown Ones", in Astonishing #57 (Jan. 1957); "Dreadnaught", in Navy Tales #2 (March 1957); and "Helpless", in Battle #55 (Nov. 1957).[16][30][31] While "something appeared to be missing from a lot of his Atlas work: enthusiasm," Williamson's Atlas Westerns, at least, "form a strongly consistent body of work, characterized by minimal to nonexistent action, a preponderance of closeups and reaction shots, and well-defined figures set against sparse backgrounds."[30]

From 1958 to 1959 Williamson worked for Harvey Comics collaborating with former EC artists Reed Crandall, Torres and Krenkel and inking the pencils of Jack Kirby (for Race to the Moon #2–3 and Blast-Off #1). On inking Kirby, Williamson relates: "I remember going up to Harvey and getting work there. They said, 'We haven't got any work for you, but we have some stories here that Jack penciled. Do you want to ink them?' I'd never really inked anybody else before, but I said, 'Sure,' because I looked at the stuff, and thought, I can follow this, it's all there. I inked it and they liked it, and they gave me three or four stories to do."[32]

Additionally, Williamson drew stories for Classics Illustrated (in collaboration with Crandall and Woodbridge); Canaveral Press's line of Edgar Rice Burroughs books (inked by Crandall);[33] Westerns for Dell Comics (including Gunsmoke #8–12) and Charlton Comics, including two complete issues of the Cheyenne Kid, (#10–11) with Angelo Torres, and science-fiction stories for ACG, including "The Vortex", in Forbidden Worlds #69 (1958).[28] He also worked with former EC artist John Severin on the "American Eagle" feature in Prize Comics Western #109 and 113 (1955).

Williamson's work during this decade was his most prolific in terms of comic book work and has garnered considerable praise for its high quality.[34] He has been noted for his perfectionism and love for the medium.[35] Despite its high reputation, S.C. Ringgenberg felt that Williamson's artwork from this period could at times be uneven and uninspired.[36] Williamson was single during this period and, according to The Art of Al Williamson, had a bohemian and undisciplined lifestyle.[37]

1960s

In 1960, with little work to be found in the comic book field due to a downturn in the industry, he went to work as an assistant to John Prentice on the Alex Raymond-created comic strip Rip Kirby for a three-year period.[28] According to Williamson: "The reason that I was called in to help him out was that John had decided to go to Mexico and Mac [Al McWilliams], John's prior assistant, didn't want to go... The deal was: would I be willing to go to Mexico?... and I said 'Si!'..."[38] It proved to be a solid learning period for Williamson, as he credits Prentice with teaching him many fundamental illustration methods.[39] According to Prentice: "...he was terrific. He's the best guy I ever had by far."[40] During that time, Williamson assisted John Cullen Murphy on the Big Ben Bolt boxing strip and Don Sherwood on the strip Dan Flagg.[41] He produced some sample pages for a proposed Sunday strip version of Modesty Blaise.[42]

Flashgordon1-Williamson
Williamson panel from King Features Flash Gordon #1 (Sept. 1966)

He returned to comics in 1965 doing one story each in Gold Key Comics' Ripley's Believe It or Not! #1 (June 1965), The Twilight Zone #12 (Aug. 1965), and Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery #11 (Sept. 1965), and helped launch Warren Publishing's black-and-white horror-comics magazines Creepy and Eerie with several stories in early issues, while contributing to Warren's war comics magazine Blazing Combat. He was instrumental in recruiting other former EC Comics artists as Frazetta, Krenkel, Torres, Crandall, and Evans, as well as artist Gray Morrow and writer-editor Archie Goodwin.[43]

In 1966, he drew the first issue (Sept. 1966) of a new Flash Gordon comic book series, published by King Features. Williamson's work received positive reader response, and returned to draw issues #4–5 (March and May 1967), as well as the cover of #3 (Jan. 1967). Williamson received a National Cartoonist Society Best Comic Book art award for his work on that title.[44] In 1967, on the strength of a backup feature he had done in the Flash Gordon book, he took over another Alex Raymond creation, the long-running Secret Agent X-9 comic strip, collaborating with writer Goodwin.[45] At the start of their tenure, the title was changed to Secret Agent Corrigan.[46]

Williamson helped assemble the first major book on Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon, published by Nostalgia Press in 1967, and wrote the introduction.[47] In 1969, Wally Wood's alternative-press comic book witzend #1 published Williamson's "Savage World", a 1956 story originally drawn for a Buster Crabbe comic book that had been cancelled. With significant contributions by Frazetta, Krenkel, and Torres, the story is a prime sample of the "Fleagle Gang" style and has since been reprinted by Marvel Comics (in the black-and-white comics magazine Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction #1, January 1975), Pacific Comics and Kitchen Sink Press.[48] Wood would later write the script for a three-page story drawn by Williamson, "The Tube", in another alternative-press comic, publisher Flo Steinberg's Big Apple Comix (1975).

By the end of the decade, Williamson was beginning to encourage younger artists whom he would meet at comic book conventions, helping Bernie Wrightson to enter the comics profession.[49]

1970s

Williamsoncorrigan12172
This Secret Agent Corrigan panel (December 1, 1972) shows Williamson's skill with inking and contrasting techniques.

Williamson worked on Secret Agent Corrigan through the 1970s until he left the strip in 1980. The first Corrigan anthology was published in France in 1975, Le FBI joue et gagne, reprinting Williamson's first episode on the feature.[50] He returned to Warren Publishing in 1976 and again in 1979 to draw three additional stories in Creepy (#83, 86, 112). These were published in France in the collection Al Williamson: A la fin de l'envoi in 1981.[51]

He drew a few more stories for Gold Key Comics, in Grimm's Ghost Stories #5 and 8 (Aug. 1972, March 1973), and The Twilight Zone #51 (Aug. 1973), as well two mystery stories for DC Comics, in The Witching Hour #14 (May 1971), with inker Carlos Garzon, and House of Mystery #185 (April 1970), with Michael Kaluta, another artist whom he helped enter the professional field, assisting him.[52] Comics historian Les Daniels noted that "Williamson's atmospheric technique, which relied on subtle textures as much as hard lines, was not typical of traditional DC art" and that editor Joe Orlando "got complaints from the production department" over using Williamson'a art.[53] He drew various Flash Gordon illustrations.[54] In the burgeoning fan movement, Williamson became an early subject of comics historians with the publication of Jim Vadeboncoeur's Al Williamson: His Work in 1971[55] and the "Al Williamson Collector" by James Van Hise, featured in the fanzine Rocket's Blast Comicollector in the early 1970s.[56] Samples of his sketches appear in various fanzines of the period.[57] Marvel Comics began regularly reprinting Williamson's 1950 Atlas Comics Western stories, starting with The Ringo Kid #1 (Jan. 1970) and Kid Colt Outlaw #147 (June 1970), further introducing Williamson's early work to a latter-day generation.

1980s

After leaving the Secret Agent Corrigan daily strip, he illustrated the Marvel Comics adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back with Carlos Garzon,[58] as well as the 50th issue of the monthly Star Wars comic. Williamson was Lucasfilms' first choice as illustrator for the Star Wars newspaper comic strip, a project Williamson had been offered years earlier but had declined to take on at the time. He was offered the Empire Strikes Back adaptation upon Lucasfilm's specific request, as George Lucas had an appreciation of Williamson's EC Comics and Flash Gordon work.[59] Writer Archie Goodwin cited "the comfort of knowing that I would be working with Al Williamson, an old friend that I've worked with over the years. He was absolutely the best Star Wars artist you could ever want to have. That makes it easier because you feel that whatever you do as a writer, you have an artist that will make it look great. He's also an artist that Lucasfilm kind of begged and pleaded for and always wanted to have do Star Wars material. There was that comfort factor in it as well."[60]

A comic book adaptation of the Dino De Laurentiis' film, Flash Gordon, written by Bruce Jones and illustrated by Al Williamson, was released by Western Publishing in both hardcover and softcover formats to coincide with the film's release. A photograph of actor Sam J. Jones, who played Flash Gordon, was pasted into the original cover art. It was serialized in three issues of Whitman's Flash Gordon comic book, #31–33, March–May 1981. Alden McWilliams inked the backgrounds for the last 25 pages. According to Williamson, "It was the hardest job I ever had to do in my life."[61] He then began drawing the Star Wars comic strip in February 1981[62] following Alfredo Alcala's tenure, with Goodwin writing. He drew the daily and Sunday feature until March 11, 1984, when the strip was canceled.[63] Williamson's daily strips on this series were completely reprinted in Russ Cochran's three-volume slipcase edition in 1991.[64]

Returning to comic books full-time for the first time since 1959, Williamson began work for Pacific Comics, collaborating with writer Bruce Jones for the Alien Worlds title (#1, 4, 8), and "Cliff Hanger", a six-issue adventure-strip backup feature in the Somerset Holmes miniseries. For Marvel, he illustrated the Blade Runner and Return of the Jedi movie adaptations.[65] The two Archie Goodwin stories he illustrated for Epic Illustrated ("Relic" in issue #27, 1984; and "Out of Phase", in #34, 1986) have been considered to be some of his finest work,[66] and Williamson himself named "Relic" as one of his best works.[33] The letterer on all these projects was Ed King.[67] Williamson drew a short story for Timespirits #4 and the full issue of Star Wars #98.[16] For DC Comics, he penciled and inked an eight-page story by Elliot S. Maggin for Superman #400 (Oct. 1984)[68] and he inked Rick Veitch on the classic, oft reprinted Alan Moore Superman/Swamp Thing story "The Jungle Line" in DC Comics Presents #85 (Sept. 1985).[16]

Following the expiration of his contract on the Star Wars newspaper strip, Williamson found that the weight of doing both pencil and inks suddenly became stressful to him, drastically reducing his output.[33] As a response to this, in the mid-1980s Williamson made a successful transition to becoming strictly an inker, beginning at DC Comics inking Curt Swan on Superman #408–410 and #412–416. The longtime Man of Steel artist would later describe Williamson as "his favorite inker".[69] Williamson then moved to Marvel where he inked such pencillers such as John Buscema, Gene Colan, Rick Leonardi, Mike Mignola, Pat Oliffe, John Romita Jr., Lee Weeks, and many others. John Romita Sr., Marvel's art director during that time, considered Williamson to be "one of the best pencillers in the world but he really can't make a living at penciling because he wants to do these beautifully pencilled pages with ample time to do them. That's why Al is inking now ... and adding a greater dimension to the penciller he's working with."[70] He won nine industry awards for Best Inker between 1988 and 1997.

1990s

Hansolo-al williamson
Williamson promotional art for cover of Dark Horse Comics' Classic Star Wars: Han Solo at Star's End (1997)

Williamson provided the covers and additional artwork for Dark Horse Comics' 20-issue Classic Star Wars (Aug. 1992 – June 1994), which reprinted his Star Wars daily strips. He later inked the Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and A New Hope film adaptations for the company. Through 2003, he was active as inker on several Marvel Comics titles, including Daredevil (#248–300), Spider-Man 2099 (#1–25), and Spider-Girl (#1–61), and such non-superhero projects as the four-issue Marvel / Epic Comics miniseries Atomic Age (Nov. 1990 – Feb. 1991), by writer Frank Lovece and penciler Mike Okamoto, for which Williamson won a 1991 Eisner Award for Best Inker. Daredevil penciler John Romita Jr. recalled that, "Working with Al Williamson was much like working with my father [comics artist John Romita Sr.] in that I felt that I was protected from mistakes. ... If my art wasn’t correct, then Al would repair it. Oddly enough, Al said he never had to fix anything, claiming he just 'traced' over my pencils."[71] In a 1988 interview Williamson indeed stated that "I'm just tracing [Romita's] pencils" and claimed that the only changes he made were occasionally leaving out an unnecessary background if he was in a rush.[33]

In 1995, Marvel released a two-part Flash Gordon miniseries written by Mark Schultz and drawn by Williamson, which was his last major work doing both pencils and inks. Also with Schultz, he illustrated the short story "One Last Job" for Dark Horse Presents #120 in 1997. In 1999, he drew the Flash Gordon character a final time when regular cartoonist Jim Keefe asked for his help on a Flash Gordon Sunday page.[72]

Later life and career

Since 1998, there have been six career retrospective books published (see "Further Reading" section). Williamson cooperated with their production, with the exception of the books from Pure Imagination. He was interviewed for the 2003 Frank Frazetta documentary Painting with Fire, along with fellow surviving "Fleagle Gang" members Angelo Torres and Nick Meglin.[73] In 2009, a Williamson illustrated Sub-Mariner story written by Schultz and dedicated to Sub-Mariner creator Bill Everett was published.[74] The story itself was originally drawn ten years previously.[75] Williamson illustrated a "Xenozoic Tales" story written by Schultz that remains unpublished.[76]

Living in Pennsylvania with his wife Corina,[77] Williamson retired in his seventies[78] and died on June 12, 2010, in Upstate New York.[1] Some premature reports, based on unsubstantiated Twitter claims, erroneously gave June 13, 2010.[79][80]

Legacy

Williamson has been a stylistic influence on a number of younger artists such as Tom Yeates,[81] Mark Schultz,[82] Frank Cho,[83] Steve Epting,[84] Tony Harris,[85] Jim Keefe,[86] Dan Parsons,[87] Dave Gibbons[88] and Paul Renaud.[89]

Awards

Harvey Award

Eisner Award

Jack Kirby Hall of Fame

  • Formally named finalist for induction in 1990,[98] 1991,[99] and 1992.[111]

References

  1. ^ a b c Hevesi, Dennis (June 21, 2010). "Al Williamson, Illustrator of Comic Books, Dies at 79". The New York Times. p. B8. Archived from the original on June 1, 2014.
  2. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  3. ^ Veitch, Rick (June 14, 2010). "Al Williamson 1931–2010". Pulse (column) ComicCon.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  4. ^ "Al Williamson, RIP: The Official Statement From The Williamson Family". The Comics Reporter. June 14, 2010. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Van Hise, James. The Art of Al Williamson. (San Diego, California: Blue Dolphin, 1983) ISBN 0-943128-04-8, p. 15
  6. ^ "Interview with Al Williamson," The Jack Kirby Collector #15 (April 1997), p. 16. Reprinted in The Collected Jack Kirby Collector Volume Three (TwoMorrows Publishing: |location= Raleigh, North Carolina, 1999), p. 142. ISBN 978-1-893905-02-3
  7. ^ Hurd, Jud, "The Al Williamson Story", Cartoonist Profiles #3 (Summer 1969), p.31
  8. ^ Schultz, Mark (2004). "Chapter 1: Up from South America". In Yeates, Thomas; Ringgenberg, S.C. Al Williamson: Hidden Lands. Milwaukie, Oregon: Dark Horse Books. p. 15. ISBN 978-1569718162.
  9. ^ Schultz, in Yeates, Ringgenberg, pp. 11–15.
  10. ^ Schultz, in Yeates, Ringgenberg, p. 20.
  11. ^ Morrow, Jon. "Interview with Al Williamson", The Jack Kirby Collector #15 (April 1997), p. 17
  12. ^ Schultz, in Yeates, Ringgenberg, pp. 19–20.
  13. ^ a b c Van Hise, The Art of Al Williamson, p. 18.
  14. ^ Groth, Gary, ed. (2013). 50 Girls 50 And Other Stories Illustrated by Al Williamson. Seattle, Washington: Fantagraphics Books. p. 238. ISBN 978-1-60699-577-8.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Strauss, Robert, "Flourishing with the Genre" in Van Hise, p. 7
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i Al Williamson at the Grand Comics Database
  17. ^ Van Hise, The Art of Al Williamson, pp. 18–19
  18. ^ Roberts, Tom, "Alex Raymond" (sidebar), "Chapter 2: The Young Pro" in Yeates, Ringgenberg, p. 22
  19. ^ Ringgenberg, S.C., "Chapter 3: EC" in Yeates, Ringgenberg, pp. 23–35
  20. ^ Williamson, in Van Hise, p. 19, credits the inking on "Skull of the Sorcerer" to Wood, Joe Orlando, Frank Frazetta. and himself.
  21. ^ Spurlock, David. Wally Wood Sketchbook. (Lebanon, New Jersey: Vanguard Productions, 1998) p. 103
  22. ^ Ringgenberg in Yeates, Ringgenberg, pp. 76–77
  23. ^ Ringgenberg in Yeates, Ringgenberg, p. 50
  24. ^ For example, "A Sound of Thunder" in Weird Science-Fantasy #25(Sept. 1954)
  25. ^ For example, "Upheaval", an adaptation of Ellison's "Mealtime", in Weird Science-Fantasy #24 (June 1954). It was Ellison's first comic book work: "Weird Science-Fantasy #24". Sequentialellison.com. n.d. Archived from the original on June 1, 2014.
  26. ^ Strauss, in Van Hise pp. 9–10, singles out "I, Rocket" and "50 Girls 50" as stylistic breakthroughs.
  27. ^ Feduniewicz, Ken, and Yeates, Thomas, "Chapter 5: Fade-Out on the Fifties" in Yeates, Ringgenberg, pp. 193–194
  28. ^ a b c Yeates, Thomas, "Chapter 4: Atlas" in Yeates, Ringgenberg, pp. 81–84
  29. ^ Yeates, Thomas, "Chapter 4: Atlas" in Yeates, Ringgenberg, pp. 147–153
  30. ^ a b c Strauss, pp. 11–12
  31. ^ "Al Williamson credits". Atlas Tales. n.d. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013.
  32. ^ Morrow, Jon. "Interview with Al Williamson", The Jack Kirby Collector #15 (April 1997), p. 18
  33. ^ a b c d Zimmerman, Dwight Jon (November 1988). "Al Williamson". Comics Interview (62). Fictioneer Books. pp. 43–59.
  34. ^ Strauss, p. 13
  35. ^ Barlow, R.(1972) EC Lives!. E.C. Fan-Addict Club: New York, p. 33
  36. ^ Ringgenberg, S.C., "Chapter 3: EC" in Yeates, Ringgenberg, pp. 46–48
  37. ^ Van Hise, The Art of Al Williamson, p. 45
  38. ^ Feduniewicz, K. and Yeates,T., 'Williamson conquers the universe! ,Third Rail #1 (June 1981), p.3
  39. ^ Van Hise, The Art of Al Williamson, 30
  40. ^ Van Hise, The Art of Al Williamson, p. 65
  41. ^ Hurd, p. 32
  42. ^ Mendez, A. E. "Madame X: Peter O'Donnell and Jim Holdaway's Modesty Blaise". The Rules of Attraction: The Look of Love: The Rise and Fall of the Photo-Realistic Newspaper Strip, 1946–1970. Archived from the original on July 20, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
  43. ^ Goodwin, Archie, "The Black & White World of Warren Publications", Comic Book Artist #4 (Spring 1999), p.9
  44. ^ Ringenberg, Steve. "Al Williamson Interviewed", The Comics Journal #90 (May 1984), p. 78
  45. ^ "Al Williamson". Lambiek Comiclopedia. 2014. Archived from the original on June 1, 2014.
  46. ^ Riggenberg, "Al Williamson Interviewed", p. 80
  47. ^ Ringgenberg, "Al Williamson Interviewed", p. 88
  48. ^ Schreiner, Dave. "Savage World", Death Rattle vol. 2, #10 (April 1987) pp. 22–23
  49. ^ "Like a Bat Out of Hell: Chatting with Bernie Wrightson, DC's Monster Maker". Comic Book Artist. Raleigh, North Carolina: Two Morrows Publishing (5). Summer 1999. Archived from the original on September 18, 2010.
  50. ^ "Corrigan – Agent Secret X-9". Bedetheque. Archived from the original on June 1, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
  51. ^ "A la fin de l'envoi". Bedetheque. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
  52. ^ Cooke, Jon B. (March 13, 1998). "Interview by Jon B. Cooke of Comic Book Artist Magazine". Kaluta.com. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014.
  53. ^ Daniels, Les (1995). "Haunted Houses Fear as an Art Form". DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. New York, New York: Bulfinch Press. p. 159. ISBN 0821220764.
  54. ^ "Flash Gordon Commercial Art". The Holloway Pages. Archived from the original on April 12, 2009. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
  55. ^ Vadeboncoeur, Jim. Al Williamson: His Work (Promethean Enterprises: Sunnyvale, California, 1971)
  56. ^ See Van Hise, James, The Al Williamson Collector, Rocket's Blast Comicollector, Miami, Florida: S.F.C.A, #'s 90–116
  57. ^ For example, Heritage #1a and 1b, Doug Murray and Richard Garrison (1972); Squa Tront #1–7, Wichita: Jerry Weist (1967–1977)
  58. ^ Edwards, Ted (1999). "Adventures in the Comics". The Unauthorized Star Wars Compendium. New York, New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 82. ISBN 9780316329293. The artwork reached a new high, with Williamson penciling and Carlos Garzon inking likenesses of the characters that had an accuracy never before seen in the series.
  59. ^ Van Hise, The Art of Al Williamson, p. 36
  60. ^ Morrow, Jim (June 9, 1996). "Another Star Wars Classic: Writer/Editor Archie Goodwin". Echo Station. Archived from the original on July 23, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
  61. ^ Riggenberg, "Al Williamson Interviewed", p. 77
  62. ^ Edwards, p. 84
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Further reading

  • Ellison, Harlan, Bruce Jones, Mark Schultz, Archie Goodwin, Mark Wheatley, Al Williamson. Al Williamson Adventures (Insight Studios Group, 2003) ISBN 1-889317-17-9
  • Schultz, Mark. Al Williamson's Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic (Flesk, 2009) ISBN 1-933865-13-X
  • Spurlock, J. David (editor). The Al Williamson Sketchbook (Vanguard Productions, 1998) ISBN 1-887591-02-8
  • Theakston, Greg. Al Williamson – Forbidden Worlds (Pure Imagination, 2009) ISBN 1-56685-081-9
  • Theakston, Greg. The Al Williamson Reader, Vol. 1 (Pure Imagination, 2008) ISBN 1-56685-037-1
  • Williamson, Al, Frank Frazetta, Roy G. Krenkel, Angelo Torres, Al Feldstein, Otto Binder, Jack Oleck, Carl Wessler. 50 Girls 50 And Other Stories (Fantagraphics Books, 2013) ISBN 978-1-60699-577-8

External links

Al Williamson (baseball)

Silas Albert Williamson (February 20, 1900 – November 29, 1978) was a Major League Baseball pitcher who played for one season. He pitched for the Chicago White Sox in one game, playing on April 27 during the 1928 Chicago White Sox season.

Angelo Torres

Angelo Torres (born April 14, 1932, in Santurce, Puerto Rico) is an American cartoonist and caricaturist whose work has appeared in many comic books, as well as a long-running regular slot in Mad.

Atomic Age (comics)

Atomic Age is a four-issue comic-book miniseries, cover-dated November 1990 to February 1991, published by the Marvel Comics creator-owned imprint Epic Comics. It was created by writer Frank Lovece and penciler Mike Okamoto, and inked by Al Williamson.

The series was among the items featured in the Bowling Green State University exhibition "The Atomic Age Opens: Selections from the Popular Culture Library." Collaborator Al Williamson won the 1991 Eisner Award for Best Inker for his work on it and other series that awards-year, with Okamoto winning the Russ Manning Award for most promising newcomer.

Big Apple Comix

Big Apple Comix is an early independent comic book published by Flo Steinberg in 1975. A historically important link between underground comix and what would later be called alternative comics, this 36-page, 6​3⁄4" × 9​3⁄4" hybrid with glossy color covers and black-and-white interiors contains 11 sometimes sexually frank stories by such mainstream creators as Neal Adams, Archie Goodwin, Denny O'Neil, Herb Trimpe, Al Williamson, and Wally Wood. Most of its stories revolve around New York City (colloquially known as "The Big Apple") during a particularly low ebb in the city's finances, crime situation, race relations, and infrastructure.

Comics Revue

Comics Revue is a bi-monthly small press comic book published by Manuscript Press and edited by Rick Norwood. Don Markstein edited the publication from 1984 to 1987 and 1992 to 1996.

As of 2014, it has published more than 300 issues, making it the longest running independent comic book (beating the record of Cerebus the Aardvark). It reprints comic strips such as Alley Oop, The Amazing Spider-Man, Barnaby, Batman, Buz Sawyer, Casey Ruggles, Flash Gordon, Gasoline Alley, Hägar the Horrible, Krazy Kat, Lance, Latigo, Little Orphan Annie, Mandrake the Magician, Modesty Blaise, O'Neill, Peanuts, The Phantom, Rick O'Shay, Sir Bagby, Star Wars, Steve Canyon, Tarzan, Akwas, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Artists whose work has appeared in Comics Revue include most of the best known names in comics art: Jack Kirby, Milton Caniff, Hal Foster, Charles Schulz, Al Williamson, George Pérez, Roy Crane, Russ Manning, and Burne Hogarth.

In issue #200, Comics Revue featured the only English language publication of "The Dark Angels", the last Modesty Blaise story, by Peter O'Donnell and Romero.

In 2006, it was revealed in Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths that the Batman stories published in Comics Revue actually happened on Earth-1289.

In October 2009, the magazine re-launched as a bi-monthly title with twice the number of pages and reprinting Sunday strips in color. Each issue now includes at least one complete story.

Issue #300 includes a complete index to all comic strips published in Comics Revue #1-300.

Dan Green (artist)

Dan Green (born November 26) is an American comic book illustrator, working as an inker primarily from the early 1970s to the present. He has often provided the finished art after receiving breakdowns by artists such as John Romita, Sr., John Romita, Jr., John Byrne, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Marc Silvestri, George Pérez, Keith Giffen, Gene Colan, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Carmine Infantino, Al Williamson, Bernie Wrightson and Keith Pollard.

Incredible Science Fiction

Incredible Science Fiction was an American science fiction anthology comic published by EC Comics in 1955 and 1956, lasting a total of four issues.

List of Entertaining Comics publications

Entertaining Comics, commonly known as EC Comics, was a major publisher of comic books in the 1940s and 1950s. The letters EC originally stood for Educational Comics. EC's Pre-Trend titles are those published by Max Gaines and his son William M. Gaines, who took over the family business after his father's death in 1947.

In 1950, with the addition of writer and artist Al Feldstein, EC found success with their New Trend line, including their horror titles Tales From the Crypt The Haunt of Fear and The Vault of Horror. A line of science fiction titles soon followed, Weird Science and Weird Fantasy, illustrated by the best artists in the business, such as Wallace Wood, Reed Crandall, Johnny Craig, George Evans, Graham Ingels, Jack Davis, Bill Elder, Joe Orlando, Al Williamson and Frank Frazetta. In addition to original stories, the books also featured adaptations of Ray Bradbury's short stories.

The New Direction group was a response to the Comics Code Authority. Picto-Fiction was a short-lived line of heavily illustrated short story magazines. Beginning in 1958, EC published annual and special editions of Mad.

Mark Schultz (comics)

Mark Schultz (; born June 7, 1955) is an American writer and illustrator of books and comics. His most widely recognized work is his self-created and owned comic book series, Xenozoic Tales, about a post-apocalyptic world where dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures coexist with humans. He is also the current writer of the Prince Valiant comic strip.

Piracy (comics)

Piracy is an EC Comics title published in the early 1950s. The bi-monthly comic book, published by Bill Gaines and edited by Al Feldstein, began with an issue cover-dated October–November, 1954. It ran for seven issues, ending with the October–November, 1955 issue.

Front covers were by Wally Wood, Reed Crandall, Bernard Krigstein and George Evans. The stories of adventure on the high seas were illustrated by Wood, Crandall, Krigstein, Jack Davis, Al Williamson, Graham Ingels and Angelo Torres.

Piracy was reprinted (in black and white) as part of publisher Russ Cochran's The Complete EC Library. Between March and September 1998, Cochran (in association with Gemstone Publishing) reprinted all seven individual issues. This complete run was later rebound, with covers included, in a pair of softcover EC Annuals.

Rapido (comics)

Rapido (Roussel Dupont) is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Doug Braithwaite, the character made his first appearance in The Punisher Vol. 2, #65 (June 1992). He is an enemy of the Punisher.

Roy Krenkel

Roy Gerald Krenkel (11 July 1918 – 24 February 1983), who often signed his work RGK, was an American illustrator who specialized in fantasy and historical drawings and paintings for books, magazines and comic books.

Stark Industries

Stark Industries (NYSE: SIA, NASDAQ: STRK, fictional), later also known as Stark International, Stark Innovations, Stark/Fujikawa, Stark Enterprises and Stark Resilient, is a fictional company appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The company is depicted as being owned and run by businessman Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark, also known as Iron Man. It first appeared in Tales of Suspense #40 (April 1963) and was founded by Tony's father, Howard Stark. According to Forbes 25 largest fictional companies it had an estimated sales of $20.3 billion, ranking it at number 16.In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Stark Industries has a logo similar to that of defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange as SIA. During the press conference scene, Stark is seen entering a building that resembles the entrance to Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works facility. An airplane extremely similar to the Lockheed YF-22 stood as a statue in front of the Stark Industries facility, exactly like the prototypes on display at Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California.

Tomorrow Midnight

Tomorrow Midnight is a mass-market paperback collection of comic adaptations of eight short science fiction stories by Ray Bradbury, gathered from the pages of the EC Comics comic books of the 1950s. It is one of five EC collections published by Ballantine Books between 1964 and 1966 (the others are Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, Tales of the Incredible and The Autumn People), and one of two made up of comic adaptations of Bradbury's work (the other is The Autumn People). The presentation of the material is problematic at best, since the color comic book pages are represented in black and white and broken into horizontal strips to fit the mass-market paperback format. Still, the collections are historically important. They were the first attempt to resurrect the EC comics, only a decade after public outcry had driven them off the racks. They were the first introduction of those comics to a generation of readers too young to remember them in their first run.

The stories are drawn from the comic books Weird Fantasy and Weird Science. The adaptation was not credited in the original publications but was probably by Al Feldstein, the editor of the books. The artists were such EC stalwarts as Bill Elder, Jack Kamen, Joe Orlando, John Severin, Al Williamson and Wally Wood.

The cover painting by Frank Frazetta, himself an EC alumnus, is original to this collection.

Valor (EC Comics)

This article is about the EC Comics title. For the DC Comics character, see Lar Gand.Valor was a short-lived comic book published by EC Comics in 1955 as the second title in its New Direction line. The bi-monthly comic was published by Bill Gaines and edited by Al Feldstein. It lasted a total of five issues before being cancelled, along with EC's other New Direction comics.

Valor was dedicated to tales of action and adventure in various period settings, including Ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Crusades, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic era. It was similar in vein to the historical stories that previously appeared in EC's Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat from 1950 through 1954.

Artists included Reed Crandall, George Evans, Gardner Fox, Graham Ingels, Bernard Krigstein, Joe Orlando, Angelo Torres, Al Williamson and Wally Wood.

Valor was reprinted as part of publisher Russ Cochran's Complete EC Library in 1988. Between October 1998 and February 1999, Cochran (in association with Gemstone Publishing) reprinted all five individual issues. This complete run was later rebound, with covers included, in a single softcover EC Annual.

Weird Fantasy

Weird Fantasy is a dark fantasy and science fiction anthology comic that was part of the EC Comics line in the early 1950s. The companion comic for Weird Fantasy was Weird Science. Over a four-year span, Weird Fantasy ran for 22 issues, ending with the November–December 1953 issue.

Weird Science-Fantasy

Weird Science-Fantasy was an American science fiction-fantasy anthology comic, that was part of the EC Comics line in the early 1950s. Over a 14-month span, the comic ran for seven issues, starting in March 1954 with issue #23 and ending with issue #29 in May/June 1955.

Weird Science (comics)

Weird Science was an American science fiction comic book magazine that was part of the EC Comics line in the early 1950s. Over a four-year span, the comic ran for 22 issues, ending with the November–December, 1953 issue. Weird Fantasy was a sister title published during the same time frame.

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