Indica un intervallo di date:
  • Dal Al

AL WILLIAMSON, 1931 – 2010

MomAl_da Craig

Una foto scattata nel 1942, quando Al (Alfondo) aveva appena undici anni, a passeggio con la madre.
Proviene dal blog di
Craig Yoe, che ci fa conoscere la scomparsa di quest’altro grande fumettista di Oltreoceano, sublime inchiostratore al cui esempio molti fumettisti del mondo, in particolare di “scuola latina”, e ancor più specificamente italiani, hanno attinto.

La vignetta sotto, dedicata a Craig, ne è una prova evidente.
Nel blog di Craig a questa pagina è possibile vedere il grande formato l’intera striscia dell’agente Phil Corrigan (l’Agente X-9 conosciuto da buona parte dei lettori italiani grazie alle pubblicazioni edite dai romani Fratelli Spada) alla quale questo panel con dedica appartiene.

Alwilliamsonpanel1_650

565

R_al_williamson

Sotto, un video, ricavato da un servizio giornalistico televisivo WFMY di venti anni fa, ci mostra Al Williamson insieme ad altri colleghi nello stesso solco grafico, da George Evans a Dave Stevens (già scomparso da un po’, che sarebbe stato il più giovane, ospite anche in Italia più volte, dove l’avevamo conosciuto).

Spacelove

Sotto, qualche esempio abbastanza significativo dell’interpretzione data da Williamson all’immortale Flash Gordon.

Si comincia con la copertina del disco in vinile della MGM dedicato all’eroe di Alex Raymond, con tanto di signore di Mongo (il perfido Ming, in alto a destra) dall’incarnato molto meno itterico di come lo coloravano i grafici italiani della tipografia Nerbini (e, a seguire, tutti gli altri).

Fg_williamson4

Poi, tre pagine pubblicitarie con Flash Gordon, inedite in Italia, che Williamson realizzò per la società Union Carbide Plastics, riprendendo sequenze classiche delle avventure già descritto, in modo assai più analitico, dal Raymond degli anni Trenta.

Trovo fantastico che sia stato lo scienziato amico Zarro (Dr. Zarkov) a provvedere alla salvezza di Gordon, grazie alla bachelite, al vinile, al politilene… A tutti i prodotti plastici inquinantissimi prodotti dall’azienda americana.

Come la cover dell’album, anche queste immagini sono postate “in grande”, perché merita osservarle e ammirarle al meglio. Chi farà un po’ più di fatica a visualizzarle a causa di una connessione un po’ lumachesca spero che mi e ci perdoni se impiegherà più tempo a visualizzarle.

Grazie a The Holloway Pages.

Fg_williamson1

Fg_williamson2

Fg_williamson3

Per forza di cose, i blog, i siti specifici, stanno cominciando a coprire la notizia.

Alphoto La meravigliosa prima tavola di Food for Tought, che riproduco sotto, lavorata come se si fosse usato il bulino, viene da Golden Age Comic Book Stories, che la pubblica per intero insieme ad altre cose.

Si tratta di uno dei primi fumetti di Williamson, uscito su Incredible Science Fiction n. 32 in data novembre – dicembre 1955, e realizzato in collaborazione con Roy Krenkel.

La foto (recente) sulla destra, invece, è stata pubblicata da The Comic Book Catacombs, altro blog da tenere d’occhio, curato con amore, competenza e divertimento da Chuck Wells.
Da lui apprendo che oltre a influenzare altri colleghi con il suo lavoro, Williamson aveva anche spinto alcuni di loro, come Bernie Wrightson e Mike Kaluta, a farsi avanti nel settore.

Da Cori Williamson viene il ricordo, con le indicazioni per compiere opere di bene in memoria del marito Al, che riporto sotto:

“Al Williamson, who for over fifty years drew for both comic books and comic
strips, died June 12, 2010, at age 79. In recent years he suffered from
Alzheimer’s disease. He is survived by his wife of thirty-two years, Cori, his daughter Valerie and his son Victor.

“Williamson was born in New York City in 1931, but spent his first thirteen
years primarily in Bogotá, Colombia. In 1941, his mother took him to see the
science fantasy movie serial Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, an experience
which, combined with his love for comics storytelling, set his career course at
an early age.

“Williamson, who first and foremost considered himself a cartoonist, excelled at
illustrative science fiction, adventure and western stories, pulling inspiration
from both classic comic strips and motion pictures. He is highly regarded both
popularly and critically for his excellent draftsmanship and dynamic
storytelling. Most notably, Williamson was extraordinarily accomplished at
rendering the human figure in motion. His classically proportioned characters
twist and leap with a startlingly vivid illusion of movement in part evolved
from his study of motion picture action choreography.

“Williamson began his professional career in 1948 and achieved popular
recognition in the early 1950s as the youngest and one of the most talented
contributors to the legendary EC line of comics. Beyond EC, Williamson drew superior work for many comic publishers, including American Comics Group, Atlas/Marvel, Charlton, Classics Illustrated, Dark Horse, Dell, Harvey, King,
Prize, Toby and Warren. From 1967 until 1980 he produced the art for the King Features Syndicate‘s daily Secret Agent Corrigan newspaper strip, and from 1981 to 1984 drew the daily and Sunday Star Wars newspaper strip.

“Beginning in the 1980s Williamson reintroduced himself to a new generation of
comics readers as an inker for DC and then Marvel Comics, enjoying memorable stints finishing the work of other artists on Superman, Daredevil and Spidergirl.

“The single comics character, however, with whom Williamson is most identified
would be Flash Gordon. The science fiction adventurer, created in 1932 by Alex
Raymond for King Features, engaged the lifelong imagination of Williamson. He
produced a much beloved series of stories for King Comics’ Flash Gordon comic
book in the 1960s. He returned to the character in 1980, drawing a comics
adaptation of the contemporary Flash Gordon motion picture.

“In the 1990s, he produced a Flash Gordon mini-series for Marvel Comics and later contributing to the original Sunday strip. In addition to the stories, he produced countless other Flash Gordon images for uses in advertising, merchandising and the fan
press.

“He gradually retired from the professional ranks in the early years of the new
century as one of comics’ most admired and influential creators. Over his career
he received numerous professional awards, including multiple Harvey and Eisner Awards and the National Cartoonists Society‘s 1967 Award for Best Comic Book Cartoonist.

“Beyond his remarkable accomplishments as an artist—the works mentioned above
represent only a sampling—Williamson deserves recognition as a veteran who often
opened professional doors for many others starting their careers.

“An impressive number of comics contributors owe at least part of their success to Williamson’s willingness to recommend and promote new artists and writers to his editorial contacts.

“Williamson was also an avid collector of comics and illustration art, valuing
the beauty of original drawings produced for comic books and strips long before
the physical art created by commercial artists was popularly appreciated. He
will be fondly remembered by those you knew him for his generosity, his indefatigable sense of humor and his great enthusiasm in sharing his love of comics, illustration, movies and music.

“Al Williamson took inspiration from a legion of cartoonists, illustrators and
motion pictures from the first half of the twentieth century and created works
of timeless appeal—and then he passed that inspiration on to new generations of
comics creators.

“The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, a donation in Al’s memory be made
to either:

“The Joe Kubert School
37 Myrtle Avenue
Dover, NJ 07801
Attn: Al Williamson Scholarship Fund

“or

“Yesteryears Day Program
2801 Wayne Street
Endwell, NY 13760″

Cartoonist Globale extends it’s heartfelt condolences to Al’s family, friends and fans.

Incrediblescifi_32_willi_rgk

© King Features Syndicate per le immagini di Flash Gordon.