Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Art of Al Williamson

The Art of Al Williamson by James Van Hise was a treat back in the days before everyone had an “Art of” book out. Even today, with a lot of comic and fantasy artists having retrospective and omnibus collections out, this book still stands up and is worth the prices people ask for it on the secondary market.

First published by Blue Dophin Enterprises in 1983, this book reprints a wide spectrum of Williamson's published and unpublished work. Complete stories include: “The Hunted!” from Two Gun Kid #25 (1955); “The Little Earth” from Blast Off #1 (1965); “The Vicious Space Pirates” from Danger is Our Business #1 (1953); “The Lizard” from Mystery Tales #51 (1957); “When the Creature Escapes” from World of Suspense #7 (1957); “The Gun-Slinger!” from Kid Slade Gunfighter #7 (1957); two weeks of unpublished Star Wars dailies; and a complete Secret Agent Corrigan sequence.

This book is also packed with unpublished sketches, sample pages, and panel reprints. It also has a pretty good checklist and short interview/appreciations of Williamson by George Evans, Archie Goodwin, Frank Frazetta, Ray Bradbury, Angelo Torres, and Bill Gaines to name a few. (Looking my copy of this book, I knew I had Williamson sign it, but my copy is also signed by Archie Goodwin, George Evans and Angelo Torres!).

When The Art of Al Williamson came out it had a cover price of $7.95. At some point they were like 3 for $10 from the Koch brothers, I think that's where I got mine. This book is a great thing to have, I'm still amazed at how much is packed in 144 pages.

As usual, Mr. Door Tree provides lots of Williamson treats here.

Williamson posts on Pencil/Ink.

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