Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gold Key Comics...George Wilson Gallery

One of Gold Key's finest cover artists, George Wilson realist painted covers never failed to grab the attention of young  readers drawing them in for another exciting adventure and their parents twelve cents. Wanting to be an artist from a early age, Wilson was inspired by many creators but preferred studying the classic work of Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon and later the slick line of illustrator and cartoonist Noel Sickles. Equally skilled in pen and ink, George worked in commercial illustration before and after his years with Western Publishing doing numerous Hardy Boys drawings, romance paperbacks, wild west and war material, and whatever else he was called upon to produce for the ad agencies. But most of his fans remember those lush watercolor and acrylic paintings for Gold Key's adventure, sci-fi, jungle, and mystery titles. Another of the publisher's unsung heroes, Wilson's work was rarely signed if at all as he produced these mini masterpieces with his usual creative flair. Depending on a brief synopsis from the writer, the artist would make a few rough pencil sketches before going to his collection of photographs to get the right pose or locale for the setting, and often used model and actor Steve Holland for his hero image. His straightforward classic style can be seen on the many titles shown below whether is was one of the comics company's numerous licenced properties or their own super-hero creations. A jack of all trades, George would even act as a model if he couldn't find the right pose and is the case of the gun-toting villain coming out a window on  this Phantom cover from August 1964.

 


















 

7 comments:

Joe Jusko said...

Thanks for posting these! Wilson was an absolute genius. Been looking for a nice Mighty Samson cover for years.

El Vox said...

That's some great George Wilson art. I noticed the Turok. Good stuff.

El Vox said...

Where does the SF second panel come from after Turok? I don't recognize it? Thanks, you got a nice blog here, just found it.

Dave Karlen said...

That cover is from Space Family Robinson #5 for December 1963.

Dave Karlen said...

Mr. Jusko, thanks for your comment. We are crazy about your work as well, especially the Tarzan!

Scott Goodwin said...

Thanks for the background. About 20 years ago, I lucked into four of his Gold Key cover paintings: Tarzan 206, Solar 22, Boris Karloff 6 and Twilight Zone 26. Since I'm a comic nerd from way back--my brother and I used to love the digest-sized Gold Key collections in the 70s--I recognized the style. I'd never sell them, but did want to learn more about the artist. Thanks again for the story.

Ashley Batchelor said...

Wow Scott. Super nice pieces. Have you ever thought about putting them up on the Comic Art Fans sight? I am sure everyone would love to see them. Especially the Twilight Zone 26, which I believe is actually really the four color 1288 issue. Aren't those Mystery Comics Digests the best?!