Tuesday, June 15, 2010
RIP AL WILLIAMSON
Man sometimes it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. Al Williamson, one of the greatest artists and inkers in the history of comic passed away at 79. It's impossible to tell how far Williamson's reach has been, he's influenced two generations of comic book artists as well as leaving a pantheon of work that will not easily be duplicated. From his X-9 series to his work on Flash Gordon, Star Wars and his amazing inks for Spider-Man, Hulk and Daredevil. Nobody comes close to Al Williamson.
For me being a huge fan of the Golden Age of comics artists like Williamson define that entire era. His early work for the EC Comics titles like Weird Science and Weird Fantasy took what had already been laid out to an entirely new arena. It was there Williamson earned his stripes to later go on doing breakthrough work for Eerie and Creepy before landing on Secret Agent X-9. From there Williamson created amazing work for Star Wars comics before focusing on inking for Marvel.
Williamson received Will Eisner awards for inking in 1996 and 1997 as well being inducted into the Eisner Hall Of Fame in 2000. That in itself is no small feat and shows just how well respected and loved the man was. Williamson helped me understand just how important inking was for the world of comic books and helped raise the art from from a second tier occupation to something just as important as the pencils themselves.
I also loved how Al Williamson could flow from style to style. His rougher work in the early books through his more refined Star Wars stuff you could tell there was an artist at work, a man who loved comic books and all they meant to people. His life was as inspiration and his death a tragedy. More so than my rambling I'll let his work speak for itself.