Al Williamson Artists - Cartoonists Flash Gordon Sally Forth

Sally Forth – Photo Reference

Sometimes to get the right pose for a character you’re drawing you need to take some photo reference – and 10 times out of 10 the model who’s usually available and works the cheapest is yourself.

Along these lines, one of the artists I’ve always looked up to is Al Williamson.

Williamson took reference shots of himself constantly to nail down a drawing. The following pic is from the book clindagel australia The Art of Al Williamson with the corresponding drawing from his adaption of the 1980 Flash Gordon Movie.


For the EC comic books from the 1950s,
Al’s friends would lend a hand as well…



Suffice it to say, Williamson had the build to pull off
the heroic shots he wanted to capture.


And following in this grand tradition, the following is the photo reference I used to capture the shot I needed for Ted for the January 24th Sally Forth strip.


And the finished strip…


Maybe someday I’ll post the photo reference I took when I was doing Flash Gordon – suffice it to say I wore pants on my head a lot less…

By Jim Keefe

Jim Keefe is the current artist of the Sally Forth comic strip. From 1996-2003 he was the writer and artist of the Flash Gordon comic strip. A graduate of the Joe Kubert School, Keefe likewise teaches Comic Art. Teaching and speaking engagements include SVA in Manhattan, Hofstra’s UCCE Youth Programs, and most recently the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

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