Monday, May 10, 2010

The end of an era.

Frank Frazetta is dead.
I wasn't really going to post anything, since the web is rocked by the news. But someone, a close friend, convinced me to post.
Some people were posting the first things they had seen of Frazetta's work. I honestly don't remember the first thing I saw of his. I think it was the Son of Tarzan Ace book cover above. I think it was around 1964 or maybe earlier when he was doing the Ace covers with Roy Krenkel doing some and Frazetta doing some. I was a big reader of the Burroughs Ace books. I used to save my money all year round to go to one bookstore in Beatrice Nebraska where they carried all the Ace titles. Those books were so great since Burroughs novels were fairly short and the format of the Ace books fit in your back pocket. The original mobile device, for sure.
Like most artists today, I grew up looking at those great Frazetta covers and frontispieces. They were more representational of the genre of story than actually being from the stories, but who cared. They got you to buy the books and that was the main thing.
At first I admired his paintings, but as I started to try to learn to use a brush then I really paid attention to his black and white work.
Frazetta's work inspired a whole world of images of the mind. New worlds to conquer. Moments in time of awe and wonder.
I think each person who viewed one of his paintings got something different from it. Some focused on the design, some the figures, some the mood, some the action, and some the method. I think these works hit me like a roundhouse punch. The way he pulled the focus of the image in and out to give each area a special place in your imagination.
Illustrators like Rockwell and Parrish worked from a lot of reference and it seemed to show in their work. Frazetta's work was like you had a camera from the Twilight Zone and were taking pictures from another world.

Thanks Frank, I never met you but I visited your worlds.


  1. An eloquent, even elegant, tribute, my friend.

  2. Most definitely a fitting tribute.

    For me, it was his art on the covers of the Conan novels, that attracted me to read them, as a teen.

    Whether you like Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or Horror, Frank's work was there, and grabbed you attention. We are richer for that.

  3. His death is news to me. I came to Frazetta late as well. It may have been when I moved out to West Texas and got involved with art. I take that back, I remember an album cover he did for a hard rock trio called Dust. I think the painting was called The Frost Giant's Daughter, and had a couple of warriors fighting each other with swords on the cover--one of the reasons I picked up the album. The music turned out okay, but the highlight was the cover.