Monday, June 14, 2010

R.I.P Al Williamson

Al Williamson is being mourned today by comic book fans around the world. He was one of the first illustrators whose name and style I looked for because he was so cool. Same for Wally Wood. For years I kept the EC comics they worked on together. God alone knows what happened to them. At least Al lived a good and long life. Those ECs are still my all-time favorite comics. So long, Al.


Todd Mason said...

And for DC, as here...and for so many others. There is a solidity to his work that most of his peers, even the brilliant ones, didn't quite manage.

Anonymous said...

I met Al Williamson briefly back in the 80s when I was a young teenager attending a convention in Atlanta. I had him sign a back issue of the E.C. fanzine Squa Tront that featured his work. He seemed happily shocked I'd bring such a thing and not the usual Star Wars comic. He was very kind, he thumbed through the zine as if he hadn't seen it in years and spoke to me like I was somebody his own age and not some fan kid. I've always thought he was a good guy since then and I always enjoyed his art greatly. R.I.P. Roger, Richmond VA.

Tom Roberts said...

In mouring and reflecting on my friend, I hope no one minds that I am going to repost the same comments I made on Bill Crider's blog earlier.

I knew Al intimately and worked with him. A gentleman, and huge talent. But those who only knew Al through his art, may not be aware of other sides of him.

When I was in the studio with Al, our conversations did not necessarily linger on art, but on old movies and Westerns. Al loved to share his enthusiasm about old movies. And in doing show, give credit to a lot of the behind the scenes people: bring awareness that many old movies were made exciting by stuntmen such as Dave Sharpe and Jock Mahoney, or stunt choreography by Yakima Canutt. Their contributions sometimes added more to a film than whatever star was on the marquee.

In the studio were three-ring binders housing some of Al's extensive collection of black and white movie stills. To open a binder was doom because it would cost us 45 minutes or an hour in gabbing about this film or that when we should have been drawing.

Al also had a great love of jazz music and Artie Shaw. Music was always on softly while we worked.

We will not see Al's like again.

Tom Roberts

Cap'n Bob said...

I've always loved his art. My former roommate published a tribute called AL WILLIAMSON: HIS WORK, way back in the seventies. I was lucky enough to see some of Al's less familiar work. Odd that he and Frank Frazetta should go so close together. Their styles are similar and they worked together in the old days.
I'm with you on those EC's, Ed. I sure wish I still had my collection.