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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Frank Frazetta, RIP

Pictured at right: a Synod Assembly. We think it's from "Mid-Western Warriors," (New York: Ballantine, 1966).

For those whose childhoods were not misspent raiding stacks of used paperbacks at flea markets (or, of course, Our Beloved Godfather's library), the name of Frank Frazetta may not have much resonance. But for many of us in the Neeks & Gerds department, he was a figure of vast importance.

Frazetta gave life to Conan, John Carter, High Priestess La of Opar, Vampirella and a thousand other physiologically improbable figures. His was the brush that launched a thousand adolescent fantasies, sexual and otherwise.

In a sense, he as the visual equivalent of Robert E. Howard. Like Howard, he is often copied, and well; unlike Howard, he is rarely surpassed at his own craft.

His comic-book work isn't as well known as his paintings, but should be. He did his best work in the neglected field of romance comics, which we can't actually bring ourselves to read. But why waste time reading, when there are all those pictures?

1 comment:

Taranaich said...

Frazetta had so much experience in so many fields, it's hard to find something he wasn't involved in.

By the way...

In a sense, he as the visual equivalent of Robert E. Howard. Like Howard, he is often copied, and well; unlike Howard, he is rarely surpassed at his own craft.

What exactly do you mean by this? Are you saying Frazetta was rarely surpassed as a fantasy illustrator, an illustrator in general, or an artist, while Howard wasn't rarely surpassed as a fantasy author, or author in general?

I just don't think it's entirely necessary, and it mars an otherwise poignant tribute. (Then again, I don't think anyone's copied Frazetta or Howard well, and certainly few surpassed either as fantasy artists/authors).