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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.


( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 11th, 2010 09:00 am (UTC)
Sad to hear that. He was like the Remington of fantasy, stirring one's imagination as much as the words within.
May. 11th, 2010 09:40 am (UTC)
In my mind's eye I have always seen Dany's final triumphant ride on her dragon (the black one) over to Westeros done in the style of Frazetta.
May. 11th, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
Frazetta: an icon, no doubt. A sad, inevitable event to lose another one of the great ones.

I'm sure Alex Ross was influenced by the man. The comic book industry continues to turn out amazing, evolving talent, which is of course another legacy of Frank Frazetta.

May. 11th, 2010 12:40 pm (UTC)
Wow. I have followed his work for a long time. My father grew up on east 11th st in brooklyn, across the street from the Frazettas. After wwII my dad apprenticed with Frank's father, Al, to learn the craft of stone setting. Sometimes, when things were slow, dad would interact with Frank (who was somewhat younger). Frank would draw the most amazing and detailed pictures in chalk on the pavement. Then the rain would wash them away. Interestingly, my father holds the distinction of teaching Frank to ride a bike. He will be missed.
May. 11th, 2010 12:45 pm (UTC)

Think of his influence on every fantasy video game ever made! RIP to a great artist.
May. 11th, 2010 01:27 pm (UTC)
He was my favorite. His sf/fantasy paintings always inspired wonder--that there was a fantastic world beyond the borders of the canvas.
(no subject) - jemocasa - May. 11th, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 13th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
That was me! Are we friends? ;)
May. 11th, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC)
"Fire & Ice"
I read your note, looked up the NYT obit, and was reminded me that I have a copy of "Fire & Ice" around here somewhere. I'll have to sit down and re-watch it one night soon and drink a toast to the artist behind it.
May. 11th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC)
Boris Vallejo just never compared to Franzetta. He always had a darker more fantasy tone. Instead of the barrage of well muscled men, women, and beasts Boris is known for. He will be missed.
May. 11th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
He's had a big influence on other areas of pop culture as well, like album covers. He did covers for Molly Hatchet, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Wolfmother.
May. 13th, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
Covers from Art
"He did covers for ..."

Actually, he agreed to let them use is art, existing pictures, for their album covers. He may have done some specifically for albums, I'm not positive about that, but most of those albums you are thinking of were existing artwork they selected for album covers.

But your point is still valid. It's hard to think of those bands without picturing Frazetta's work. And those covers inspired later generations who wanted to capture that Heavy Metal Band vibe he established.
May. 11th, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
I have had the privilege of going to the museum in Eastern PA where many of his original paintings are on display. Amazing, amazing sight to see.

And then to learn that later in life one of the strokes he had limited his ability to paint with his dominant hand, I think his right, so he taught himself to use his left, and I thought some of those pictures were as impressive as his earlier works. Maybe I am so impressed because I have trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler!

He will be missed.
May. 11th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
In eastern PA myself...can you tell me the name of that museum?
(no subject) - sommac - May. 12th, 2010 12:32 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 11th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
In danger of dating myself here, but didn't he do the album covers for Molly Hatchet as well?
May. 12th, 2010 01:29 am (UTC)
Re: Frazetta
I think so - if I remember rightly, it was Frank's "Death Dealer" painting.
May. 11th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
Wow that's sad and very unfortunate. A friend and I were just talking about Frank's work earlier. Truly one of the greats.
May. 11th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
Shared remorse
I don't do a lot of posting, but I share your remorse. Frazetta was king and along with Vallejo, defined fantasy art in my youth. Another little piece of my childhood gone, but he will be fondly remembered. Rest in peace
May. 11th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
sad indeed..
This really brings me down. I am a huge fan of the late Karl Edward Wagner and his hero Kane. Frazetta did some of the Kane novel covers as well and they were marvellous. I believe that one of his most famous paintings - the rider on the hill with the curved axe, is meant to depict Kane or was inspired by Kane.

It makes you feel old when the heroes of your youth die..
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( 36 comments — Leave a comment )


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