Al Williamson's Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic

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9781933865133: Al Williamson's Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic

Flash Gordon, introduced as a Sunday newspaper comic strip by King Features Syndicate in 1934, remains after more than 70 years, one of the best-known and most beloved epics of heroic fantasy produced in America. Initially envisioned and drawn by the brilliant Alex Raymond, the strip's melange of alien wonders, beautiful damsels, interplanetary evil and peerless derring-do remains potent today, as witness its many adaptations in print, motion pictures and television. It has been cited by no less a popular fantasist than George Lucas as a primary influence on his Star Wars series.

Beyond the lasting impact of the strip's heroic themes, the drawing skills of Raymond inspired a small army of succeeding cartoonists to take up his illustration-based stylistic mantle. Al Williamson is arguably the foremost of these acolytes, widely acclaimed as the artist who best exemplifies the original spirit of Raymond's creation, as well as being the most distinctive and lyric. His vision of the character, formed in childhood and deeply personal, captured the hearts of Flash Gordon readers like no other.

Al Williamson's Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic, collects all the major works of the artist featuring the character. At 256 pages, it encompasses Williamson's three stints of depicting Flash in comic book format: the legendary King Comics stories from the 1960s, the 1980 adaptation of the Universal Flash Gordon motion picture, and the Marvel Comics miniseries of 1994.

In addition to these classics of sequential storytelling, Al Williamson's Flash Gordon features Williamson's Flash drawings done for commercial illustration and prints, his assists on the Flash Gordon comic strip, a variety of Flash images contributed to amateur publications, and a selection of largely unpublished images spanning his interest in the character from childhood to the conclusion of his career.

With an introduction by Sergio Aragones, text by Mark Schultz, and images reproduced directly from the artist's original drawings, this long-overdue collection of evocative artwork documents the lifelong impact that Flash Gordon had on Williamson and the particular impact that Williamson had on Flash Gordon.

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About the Author:

Al Williamson was born in New York City in 1931. Williamson's professional credits are both legion and legendary. Developing an elegantly illustrative cartooning style, he first came to prominence with the highly influential EC comics line of the 1950s. His much beloved work in the mid-'60s on King Features Flash Gordon comic book series garnered him a "Best Comic Book Cartoonist" award from the prestigious National Cartoonist Society. He drew the daily comic strip Secret Agent Corrigan from 1967 until 1980, and then jumped to the Star Wars strip for another three years.

Mark Schultz has been cartooning, illustrating, and writing for over twenty years. He is best known as the creator of the award-winning speculative adventure comic book Xenozoic Tales, which has been adapted to television as the animated series Cadillacs and Dinosaurs. Schultz is the recipient of five Harvey Awards, two Eisners, an Inkpot, a Spectrum, and three Haxturs (the last from the Salon Del Internacional Comic del Princapado de Asturias). Currently, he writes the Prince Valiant newspaper comic strip. In addition, Schultz is working on his new book, Storms at Sea.

Sergio Aragones has won every major award in the field, including the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award, and the Will Eisner Hall of Fame Award. He has appeared in Mad magazine since the mid-'60s. He also produced 16 best-selling original Mad paperback books. His comic book work has received multiple Eisner awards. His artwork has appeared on hundreds of advertisements and editorial features, and his animation has been featured on numerous TV shows, including The Shirley MacLaine Special, The Cher Special, The Half-Hour Comedy Hour and Dick Clark's TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes.

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Williamson, Al
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