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


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Flesk Publications; First Edition edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193386513X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933865133
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 9.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,338,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
Flesk has produced a true treasure for fans of Flash Gordon and Al Williamson.
Tim Janson
If you like the film you'll love the adaptation, and if you don't like the film you'll LOVE the adaptation.
Richard A. Tucker
If you are a fan of great art and Al Williamson I can't give this book a higher recommendation--buy it.
Scott R. Dunbier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Tucker VINE VOICE on July 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
Al Williamson's take on Flash Gordon is loved by most comic artists and the delight of almost anyone who has seen them. To collect them in this one volume is a dream come true for a lot readers and creators who enjoy or work in the sequential storytelling medium.
The production here is typical of Flesk Publishing in that it's excellent! The love for Williamson's work exudes from every page.
What has to be said about Al Williamson's work on Flash Gordon is that he was the next logical and creative step in the long career of Flash Gordon in publishing. Dan Barry did a great job before him but the comic strip format was very limiting.
Williamson's visuals -in the more open format of the comic book page- were much more closely allied to that that of the character's creator, the legendary Alex Raymond.
Collected here, as near as I can tell, are all of Williamson's Flash Gordon including hard to find comic book stories from the sixties (including the Union Crbide color strips), the adaptation of the cult film favorite from producer Dino De Laurentis in 1980, and the last Al Williamson Flash Gordon which was written by this book's writer, Mark Schultz, for Marvel Comics back in '94-95. While the latter story was only comprised of 2 issues it's a complete story and a contemporary take on Flash Gordon that doesn't so much stray from the original but shows the natural growth in the medium as well as a Mongo that's growing up with Flash's altruistic influence helping to guide its citizens.

A side note- The adaptation of the film has to be seen to be believed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Gold on August 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Flesk delivers a primo book. The bulk of the artwork is from scans of Al Williamson's original artwork which he has retained in his personal collection. It runs the gamut of Mr. Williamson's association with Flash Gordon from childhood and adolescent artwork to the obvious professional work he has done. Beautiful book with some of the images in color but the majority is in black and white. I had hoped that it would have been done in color but it doesn't disappoint either way. Sergio Aragones writes a nice intro and the text by Mark Schultz is very informative.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alex Sheikman on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are earlier reviews that describe the contents of this book and how it fits into the history of comics (and into the work of Al Williamson) much better than anything I can write without feeling that I am duplicating someone's superior earlier effort. However I wanted to write a few words about the artwork from my point of view.

I enjoy drawing and I very much enjoy looking at the work of other artists. This book is great, because it is almost like getting a class in comic book inking. Al Williamson, apart from being a great draftsman, was also an incredible (award winning) inker who was able to take his pencil drawings and embellish them with beautiful ink linework using different pens and brushes. It is simply a pleasure to see how differently he handles his inks on backgrounds vs. foregrounds. He showcases many different approaches to textures and how to get various effects on paper. The reproduction is crisp and every line can be seen.

It is also very interesting to see how Mr. Williamson's art changed from his 1960's Flash Gordon comics to his 1980's Flash Gordon movie adaptation to the final Marvel mini-series. Every stage had great strengths and seeing all of them in one volume showed a wide range of his abilities.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scott R. Dunbier on November 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
This in an extraordinary book. While one reviewer complained of the art being in black and white, I could not be more pleased--Here we start with Flash Gordon #1 in 1966. Williamson was 35 years old and in his absolute prime. Some pages are obviously shot from copies but many of the pages are reproduced from originals. This is a book to savor, to pour over and enjoy over time, a book to come back to again and again. While the 1960s Flash is the highlight, the 1980 movie adaptation is also terrific. If you are a fan of great art and Al Williamson I can't give this book a higher recommendation--buy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
Al Williamson is a true legend among comic artists. He was one of the stars of EC Comics in the 1950s and went on to become a popular artist and inker at Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse Comics. But Williamson's passion, the character who he's had a lifelong, on again-off again relationship with is Flash Gordon. This fantastic book from Flesk Publications covers Gordon's dalliances with the character beginning with the 1966 comic series for King Features. Williamson drew three issues of the title and you will find all three issues reprinted inside.

Since the book is a large format, it truly brings Williamson's style to life. Only the great Alex Raymond, creator of Flash Gordon, could capture the pure space opera essence as well as Williamson. These issues have not been seen in decades and this is Williamson at his peak. Over the next couple of decades, Williamson would keep returning to the character however he could, including illustrating one page stories commissioned by Union Carbide and doing the comics adaptation of the 1980 Flash Gordon Film, as well as the 1980s Marvel Flash Gordon series, all of which are reprinted inside.

In addition the book provides a biography and overview of Williamson's career. For those who may only know Williamson from his later work as an inker, it's a treat to see his earlier work. His art is powerful and yet subtle. Flesk has produced a true treasure for fans of Flash Gordon and Al Williamson.
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