Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.22: Al Williamson

No.22: Al Williamson

Inspired by the legendary Alex Raymond and a student of Burne Hogarth, Al Williamson, who studied art alongside Roy Krenkel and Wally Wood, became one of the key science fiction artists in the industry and one of the cornerstones of E.C. Comics. A more unsung talent compared to his contemporaries such as Frank Frazetta, the prolific Williamson nevertheless carved out a unique niche as a collaborator and later a strip artist who was very much in the Raymond vein. Words: Andrew Colman…

Taking his artistic cues from earlier fine artists and illustrators, Williamson began his comic career at Fiction House in the late 40s, while also pencilling the odd piece for Eastern Color, ACG, Avon, Fawcett and Standard. Working with Wood, Krenkel and Frazetta, Williamson began his celebrated tenure at EC Comics in 1952. A mere 21 years old when he joined Bill Gaines’s company, Williamson was seen as the junior member of the coterie of artists known as the Fleagle Gang. It was here that his baroque (thanks partly to Frazetta) yet cinematic style bloomed, with Frazetta inking his pencils (as he wasn’t keen on this task). Although he worked on the odd crime and horror story, he was always considered a key science-fiction artist by fandom, pencilling classic stories for Weird Science, Weird Fantasy and Weird Science-Fantasy, such as fan favourite 50 Girls 50. His work with E.C. maven Al Feldstein was one of the classic high points for the publisher, with several stories adapted from Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison.

After E.C. Comics shut down in 1955 due to senate investigations and the arrival of the comics’ code, Williamson, like so many EC alumni, moved over to Atlas where he drew many stories in various genres, such as war, adventure, horror and above all western, where his filmic, subtle style was most suited. After this he moved to Harvey, Prize and Classics Illustrated, occasionally getting to ink Jack Kirby’s art. The 1960s proved to be an even more intense period for Williamson, working on Raymond’s Rip Kirby strip for John Prentice. His most important move at this time however was to fledgling publisher Warren, where he helped launch the magazine company’s roster of titles, specifically Creepy, Eerie and Blazing Combat. Warren Publishing was always considered the successor to EC in the industry, and as its output was black and white magazines, it avoided the strictures of the comics’ code. It also drew a significant number of old colleagues back into the fold, such as Frazetta, Krenkel, Angelo Torres, Reed Crandall and long-time friend and ace writer / editor Archie Goodwin. In 1966 he finally got to draw several issues of early inspiration Flash Gordon before working with Goodwin on Secret Agent Corrigan, perhaps his key comic strip.

By the 1970s, Williamson moonlighted here and there on Gold Key and DC books with aspiring young artists such as Mike Kaluta and Bernie Wrightson, who had obviously developed their style from E.C. From the 80s onwards, Williamson, by this point an honoured and feted veteran in fandom, continued to work on many series, with many of them being Star Wars titles.

An artist who did a great deal for the medium as an advocate, influence and sponsor, Williamson never lost his passion for comics and comic strips, his clean, subtle and atmospheric line and versatility as a penciller making him one of the earliest artists to gain traction as an icon with burgeoning fandom, the cognoscenti and nascent convention circuit. A bridge between comics’ Atom Age and the modern era, Williamson was a major influence on many and varied artists, from Wrightson to Dave Gibbons.

 

Here’s links through to the other entries in our 101 Greatest so far as well

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.23: Barry Windsor-Smith

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.24: Alex Ross

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.25: John Byrne

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.26: Mike Mignola

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.27: Basil Wolverton

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.28: Howard Chaykin

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.29: Moebius

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.30: Dave Gibbons

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.31: Creig Flessel

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.32: Milt Caniff

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.34: Burne Hogarth

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.35: LB Cole

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.37: Bill Everett

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.38: Robert Crumb

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.39: Mac Raboy

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.41: Jim Starlin

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.42: Mike Zeck

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.43: Adam Hughes

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.44: Daniel Clowes

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.45: Gene Colan

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.46: George Perez

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.47: Michael William Kaluta

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.48: Cary Nord

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.49: Frank Quitely

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.50: Mike Ploog

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.51: Johnny Craig

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.52: Darwyn Cooke

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.53: Steve Dillon

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.54: Gil Kane

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.55: Michael Zulli

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.56: John Romita

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.57: Joe Maneely

 

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.58: Marshall Rogers

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.59: John Severin

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.60: Alex Toth

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.61: Brian Bolland

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.62: David Mazzuchelli

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.63 Reed Crandall

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.64 Harry Anderson

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.65 Nick Cardy

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.66 Matt Wagner

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.67 Bryan Hitch

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.68 Shawn Martinbrough

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.69 Al Feldstein

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.70 Nestor Redondo

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.71 Tarpe Mills

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.72 Eduardo Risso

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.73 JH Williams III

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.74 Irv Novick

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.75 Dan Zolnerowich

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.76 Gilbert Shelton

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.77 Tommy Lee Edwards

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.78: Sean Phillips

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.79: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.80: Dan DeCarlo

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.81: Marie Severin

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.82: John Paul Leon

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.83: Jim Lee

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.84: Denys Cowan

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.85: Ross Andru

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.86: Paul Gustavson

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.87: George Evans

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.88: Michael Golden

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.89: Matt Baker

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.90: Todd McFarlane

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.91: Fiona Staples

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.92: Carl Barks

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.93: Carmine Infantino

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.94: Alan Davis

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.95: CC Beck

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.96: Syd Shores

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.97: Bob Fujitani

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.98: Tim Sale

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.99: Jim Aparo

https://tripwiremagazine.co.uk/headlines/tripwires-101-greatest-comic-artists-of-all-time-no-100/

https://tripwiremagazine.co.uk/headlines/tripwires-101-greatest-comic-artists-of-all-time-no-101/

 

The post Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.22: Al Williamson appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.

No.22: Al Williamson Inspired by the legendary Alex Raymond and a student of Burne Hogarth, Al Williamson, who studied art alongside Roy Krenkel and Wally Wood, became one of the key science fiction artists in the industry and one of the cornerstones of E.C. Comics. A more unsung talent compared to his contemporaries such as
The post Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.22: Al Williamson appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.Read MoreTRIPWIRE MAGAZINE

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