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R.I.P. Frank Frazetta

Frank Frazetta has died. One of the giants of SF and fantasy art. In his heydey, it was said that having a Frazetta cover on your paperback would double your sales. I have no idea whether that was true, but most of us believed it, and dreamed of one day having one of his paintings on our own books. Frazetta had a profound influence on many artists who came after him as well, some of whom went on to become giants in their own right. Jeff Jones in particular comes to mind, but there were many others.

Frazetta's vision of Conan, as seen on the covers of the Lancer paperback collections of the 60s and 70s, became the definitive picture of the character... still is, actually, though he bears only a passing resemblence to the Cimmerian as Robert E. Howard described him. The success of that line sparked a REH revival and brought many of his other works back into print as well... Bran Mak Morn, King Kull, Solomon Kane, etc.

And this comes hard on the heels of the death of John Schoenherr, another titan.

The world of SF and fantasy art is much poorer than it was a few months ago.


May. 11th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
A great loss. My first clear memory of coming into contact with Frazetta's work was at second hand -- an older cousin of mine was an amateur artist with some talent (he later went into becoming a successful window designer), and I always admired a skateboard that he had painted up with a really amazing scene of a barbarian leaping at some villainous warriors. Only in later years did I realize that he likely traced a Frazetta painting, or sketched something similar, and painted in deliberate homage to him.

Tom Spurgeon has provided a comprehensive obituary, while The Beat has some interesting details about his life and art.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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