Was there any nicer guy in comics? I think not. And talented? Breath taking! Man, his work evoked in me a sense of wonder when as a teenager I first saw his work in the pages of Creepy and Eerie and then finally found an old EC with his “Food For Thought” story in it at a book store for a quarter. All the beautiful detail certainly was food for thought and I studied that story over and over again.
I contacted Al later in the 70s and he kindly sent me the beautiful Secret Agent X-9 you see below. I’ve scanned it so that you can see it in all its juicy details. I finally met Al face to face a decade ago at a little convention near me in up state New York. What a thrill to shake the hand that brought to life Flash Gordon for me in his King comics version of the space traveler that was first penned by Al’s hero Alex Raymond. Flash and all the beautiful, often romantic, alien worlds that Al Williamson saw in his head and so gorgeously put on paper…they’ll never be the likes of this or a guy like Al again.
.Here’s a pic of a young 11 year-old Alfondo and his mother Sally who greatly encouraged him in his love for comics. They are in Bogota, Columbia. This photo and some of the other art here is from the MUST HAVE book Al Williamson Hidden Lands published by Dark Horse. This book is put together by Tom Yeats, Mark Schultz and S. C. Ringgenberg and has my highest recommendation.
Harvey Kutzman rented a boat during the EC days and took this photo of Al at the helm looling not unlike one of his dashing characters.
A self portrait …
Here’s a black and white version of this famous splash page. Al’s pal Roy Krenkel assisted him on some of the details. Al loved to collaborate with Krenkel, Frazetta, Torres and Wood as much bcasue of his love for his companions in additon to the artistic ondrs that resulted.
I used this drawing below and a fantastic Roman orgy scene Al drew in my book Clean Cartoonists’ Dirty Drawings.
Al was very handsome and often served as his own model. Compare the photo below with how he drew his heroes as per the panel below it.
Click on the strip below to get a super close up of the masterful inking.
— C. Yoe (in the funny papers)