Frazetta added his inks to many pages that Williamson drew in the 50's. The first two here are from Buster Crabbe Comics #5 (I believe). There's also a healthy dose of Roy Krenkel to be found in the mix. It's truly heartbreaking to see how much rendering was lost under the coloring.
The three images below have appeared in fanzines separately, but until finding this photostat in Larry Ivie's files, I hadn't realized that they were all taken from a single page of art.
Of the many collaborations between Williamson and Frazetta, 50 Girls 50 is one the most fondly remembered by fans, no doubt due, in part, to the subject matter. But these pages also found both artists working at the peek of their abilities during the EC years. Below are a few of Williamson's ink tracings for the story.
Larry Ivie moved from his home in Utah to New York City straight from high school, having been accepted into what might have been the country's only school devoted to cartooning and commercial art in the 1950s, Burne Hogarth's School of Visual art.
It wasn't a good fit for Ivie — from the first he seemed to be at odds with the curriculum that Hogarth was offering. Because of the declining state of both the comic book and comic strip markets, Hogarth turned the emphasis of the school more towards other forms of commercial art, such as gag cartoons and magazine illustrations.
Nevertheless, the fact that Ivie had the opportunity to meet other aspiring comic book artist studying at the school was of immeasurable value. The images posted here represent some of the work being done by his fellow students at the time, or soon after their graduation.
In combination, this work gives one a unique glimpse into the sort of work Hogarth's school was generating at that particular point in the history of commercial art.
The first two pieces here are by the maestro himself, Burne Hogarth, most likely done as class demonstrations.
Angelo Torres and Ivie were schoolmates, but the actual introduction might have been through through Al Williamson. Here are some examples of Torres' earlier work, his Frazetta influence already well in place.
Williamson was a student at Hogarth's school before Ivie's arrival in New York, while the school was still running only weekend classes. Clearly Hogarth saw the potential in his student since he soon hired Williamson to be his assistant on the Tarzan Sunday newspaper strip. The examples below show just how strongly Williamson shifted towards Hogarth's style during this period.
A piece done by Archie Goodwin, a classmate (and apartment mate) of Ivie's. This illustration incorporates a blue acetate overlay.
Two student pieces by Ivie, exemplifying the sort of class assignments he loathed.
This painting, done in Ivie's last year at Hogarth's was most likely not an assignment but done as a portfolio piece aimed at the science fiction pulp magazine market.
A quick caricature of Roy Krenkel drawn by Ivie while still a student.
Somewhere along the line, while Al Williamson was still living in New York, he decided his collection had outgrown the amount of room he had available for storage. To lightened up his load, he passed on stacks of files to his friend, Larry Ivie. Some of these were manila envelopes containing clipped pages from Golden Age comics that he (Williamson) had been collecting for years. But more importantly, he also passed on stacks of his own sketches. Chances are he saw in Ivie someone who would appreciate the historical value of the work (perhaps even more than he himself) and who would keep the collection in tact. Many of these drawings are juvinalia, stretching back to his childhood days in Bogota, Columbia, but there also a great many from other periods in his career, including from his EC days and his work for King Feature's Flash Gordon comics. As a whole, they provide an extraordinary record of artistic development of one of the field's acknowledged geniuses.
The samples below are mostly pre-EC, from his early professional period. The first few are incomplete work, done on large Bristol or illustration board.
The panels below are cut away from a larger page, presumably to be discarded. Though they are rough, I love these drawings, largely because (it seems to me) you can see the artist experimenting with ink techniques, searching, stumbling in places and succeeding in others. The boy's face in the last panel, in particular, displays a sensitive to form, texture and character that you rarely see in comic art today. The lines employed on the bandana have a wonderful, lyrical quality.
I'm not sure if the drawing below is Williamson's or not, but that seems a good guess. But perhaps another of the Fleagles?
Two femme fatales, as envisioned by a young artist in the 50's.
In his lifetime, artist / writer / historian Larry Ivie amassed a wide-ranging collection of of original comic art. Some of this material has never been published and a good deal more had never received adequate reproduction. The intent of this blog is to share the collection with fellow enthusiasts and to generate discussions about comic art and the artistic process.