Al Williamson: Hidden Lands

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9781569718162: Al Williamson: Hidden Lands
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Al Williamson stands in rarified air, among the titans of the development of comics as an art form. Drawing from the tradition of the heyday of book, advertising, and comic-strip illustration, Williamson brought a command of craft and dynamics rarely seen, before or since, to a field that had largely valued speed over skill. As part of an amazing stable of young artists at E.C. in the 1950s, Williamson helped change the industry forever although much of his work of the era has remained hidden. This work includes a diverse array of fantasy, science fiction, westerns, war stories, and more that showcases the astonishing range of this master of the form. Al Willaimson: Hidden Lands at last uncovers these stories from his days at Atlas, E.C., Charlton, Harvey, Dell, and more - including collaborations with Roy Krenkel, Wally Wood, Frank Frazetta, and other top creators of the era - most of which have never been reprinted as well as a wide array of material that has never before been published, including fascinating sketches and works from his career's infancy and photos from the artist's personal scrapbooks. Covered in fascinating depth by writers Mark Schultz, Thomas Yeates, and Steve Ringgenberg and gathered from extensive, lively interviews with Williamson, Al Williamson: Hidden Lands is an essential volume for any fan of this giant of graphic fiction as well as for those interested in comics history of the classic era of pen-and-ink illustration.

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Williamson is revered by comic-book aficionados for a handful of sf stories he drew in the 1950s for EC Comics. This lovingly assembled tribute shows that his total 1950s work is much larger and very diverse. Three of the nearly 30 stories reprinted here were done for EC; the rest, for smaller publishers. They include work in virtually every genre, from westerns and fantasy to war and romance. Many are collaborations with other top artists, including Frank Frazetta and Wally Wood. Most haven't seen print since their original publication. Their quality varies, for the measly page rates offered by smaller publishers didn't allow Williamson the lavish detail of which he was capable. Still, each piece attests his crisp facility with pen and ink. Prominent younger artists Yeates and Mark Schultz and comics historian S. C. Ringgenberg contribute essays on Williamson's career that are accompanied by rare drawings and photos. Williamson later drew newspaper strips, but his early work is the cornerstone of his lofty reputation. This collection demonstrates why. Gordon Flagg
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