41 Facts About Al Williamson


Alfonso Williamson was an American cartoonist, comic book artist and illustrator specializing in adventure, Western, science fiction and fantasy.


Al Williamson 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.


Al Williamson spent most of the 1970s working on his own credited strip, another Raymond creation, Secret Agent X-9.


Al 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".


Al 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.


Al Williamson has won several industry awards, and six career-retrospective books about him have been published since 1998.


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


Al Williamson was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York, one of two children of Sally and Alfonso Williamson, who was of Scottish descent and a Colombian citizen.


Later, Al 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.


At age 12, in 1943, Al Williamson moved with his mother to San Francisco, California; they later moved to New York.


Al Williamson did it for quite some time and something must have happened.


Al Williamson gave me a page and he had already laid it out, so I just tightened it up.


Al Williamson 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.


From 1949 to 1951, Al Williamson worked on science-fiction and Western stories for publishers such as American Comics Group, Avon Publications, Fawcett Comics, Standard Comics, and, possibly, Toby Press.


Al Williamson began collaborating with Frank Frazetta, who often inked his work; and with Roy Krenkel, who often did backgrounds.


In 1952, upon the suggestion of artists Wally Wood and Joe Orlando, Al Williamson began working for EC Comics, an influential comic book company with a reputation for quality artists.


Al 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 and Harlan Ellison, but his work occasionally appeared in EC's horror and crime comics as well.


Al Williamson worked at EC through 1956 until the cancellation of most of the company's line.


Al Williamson eventually helped Goodwin enter the comics field, having him script a Harvey Comics story, "The Hermit", penciled by Reed Crandall and inked by Al Williamson.


From 1955 to 1957, Al 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.


From 1958 to 1959 Al Williamson worked for Harvey Comics collaborating with former EC artists Reed Crandall, Torres and Krenkel and inking the pencils of Jack Kirby.


Al Williamson has been noted for his perfectionism and love for the medium.


Williamson was single during this period and, according to The Art of Al Williamson, had a bohemian and undisciplined lifestyle.


Al Williamson produced some sample pages for a proposed Sunday strip version of Modesty Blaise.


Al Williamson 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.


Al Williamson received a National Cartoonist Society Best Comic Book art award for his work on that title.


Al Williamson helped assemble the first major book on Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon, published by Nostalgia Press in 1967, and wrote the introduction.


Al Williamson worked on Secret Agent Corrigan through the 1970s until he left the strip in 1980.


Al Williamson returned to Warren Publishing in 1976 and again in 1979 to draw three additional stories in Creepy.


Al Williamson was Lucasfilm's first choice as illustrator for the Star Wars newspaper comic strip, a project Al Williamson had been offered years earlier but had declined to take on at the time.


Al Williamson 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.


Al Williamson was absolutely the best Star Wars artist you could ever want to have.


Al Williamson drew the daily and Sunday feature until March 11,1984, when the strip was canceled.


Al 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.


Al Williamson provided the covers and additional artwork for Dark Horse Comics' 20-issue Classic Star Wars, which reprinted his Star Wars daily strips.


In 1995, Marvel released a two-part Flash Gordon miniseries written by Mark Schultz and drawn by Al Williamson, which was his last major work doing both pencils and inks.


Al Williamson cooperated with their production, with the exception of the books from Pure Imagination.


Al Williamson was interviewed for the 2003 Frank Frazetta documentary Painting with Fire, along with fellow surviving "Fleagle Gang" members Angelo Torres and Nick Meglin.


In 2009, a Al Williamson-illustrated Sub-Mariner story written by Schultz and dedicated to Sub-Mariner creator Bill Everett was published.


Al Williamson illustrated a "Xenozoic Tales" story written by Schultz that remains unpublished.


Al Williamson has been a stylistic influence on a number of younger artists such as Tom Yeates, Mark Schultz, Frank Cho, Steve Epting, Tony Harris, Jim Keefe, Dan Parsons, Dave Gibbons, and Paul Renaud.