Alfred Dean Avison (July 7, 1920 – December 1984) was an Americancomic bookartist known for his work on the Marvel Comics characters the Whizzer, which he co-created, and Captain America during the 1930–1940s period known to fans and historians as the Golden Age of comic books.
Born in Norwalk, Connecticut, the son of artist and WPA muralist George Avison, Al Avison was influenced by the work of his father and of commercial illustrator Albert Dorne. He studied art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. His first known comics work is co-inkingJack Kirby‘s lead story in Novelty Press‘ Blue Bolt Comics #4 (cover-dated Sept. 1940).
For Marvel Comics‘ 1940s predecessor, Timely Comics, penciler Avison and an unknown writer co-created super-speedster the Whizzer in U.S.A. Comics #1 (Aug. 1941). The character would appear in most issues of that comic, and was part of Timely/Marvel’s first superhero team, the All-Winners Squad.
After Captain America creators Jack Kirby and Joe Simon moved on following Captain America Comics #10 (Jan. 1942), Avison and Syd Shores became regular pencilers of the title, with one generally inking over the other. Avison had been the inker over penciler Kirby on Captain America Comics #4-6 (June-Sept. 1941), and had penciled or inked that character’s stories in All Winners Comics as early as issue #3 (Winter 1941-42). Shores would take over as regular penciller, inked by Vince Alascia, while Avison did his World War IImilitary service.
Avison also worked as a penciler or, more often, as inker on characters including the Vision (in Marvel Mystery Comics); the Blonde Phantom; the Young Allies (in Amazing Comics, Kid Komics and Mystic Comics); the Black Marvel (in All Winners Comics); and Tommy Tyme (in Mystic Comics). With Joe Simon, he was one of two inkers on the Kirby-drawn debut of Marvel Boy in Daring Mystery Comics #6 (Sept. 1940). Avison’s Timely work appears as late as Captain America Comics #71 (March 1949).