R.I.P. Al Williamson

I woke up this morning to hear Al Williamson died. I had been a fan of the man's work for a while as a kid, without ever really knowing who he was, thanks to various EC and Flash Gordon reprints, but I first became aware of who he was thanks to seeing his inks over Curt Swan's pencils on DC Comics Presents #87, the Crisis on Infinite Earths tie-in issue that introduced the Superboy of Earth-Prime. He had a slightly heavier line than did Swan's usual collaborator, Murphy Anderson, but the difference was most noticeable on the women... they had a certain voluptuousness that you didn't often find in a Swan book. A little research showed this was something of a trend in Williamson's work. And seeing as I was maybe 12 or 13 when I made this discovery, well, how could I not become a fan?

So long, Mr. Williamson. I only wish I could have met you in person to shake your hand for being one of my all-time favorite illustrators of adventure, science-fiction, and yes, beautiful women.

(For a nice look back on Williamson from someone clearly inspired by the man, check out the first post from Athena Voltaire artist/co-creator Steve Bryant in this Comic Geek Speak forum thread.)

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