I've been a fan of Al Williamson's art since I first saw it. He had such a classical line to his work. I especially liked his black and white art, and his science fantasy work--Star Wars and Flash Gordon. Al passed away yesterday.
I met him just once, at a San Diego Con. He came over to my table, and we talked for awhile. I was actually surprised he knew who I was, but he said he was a fan of my work. Anyway, we talked for a few minutes, and then he came back with a big stack of original art, and said he wanted me to have something of his. I felt like the proverbial kid in the candy store as I went through all that beautiful art. I finally chose a daily strip. His pen and brush work, especially the way he handled the water and mist in the last panel is nothing short of amazing. He did not want anything in return, not even an art trade.
It was about a year later that his health problems became public knowledge.
Besides being a terrific artist, he really was a true gentleman.
Here are a couple of links about his passing:http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/06/legendary-illustrator-al-williamson-passes-away/http://www.comicsbeat.com/2010/06/14/al-williamson-1931-2010/