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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.

Comments

( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
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mfanderson
May. 11th, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)
I will forever remember the Movie...
...Fire and Ice.

Frazetta shaped my young adolescent mind in many ways. Heavy Metal magazine, Fire and Ice. These images will stick with me forever.

pyr8queen
May. 11th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
My favorite is this cover of Edgar Rice Burrough's "The Moon Maid" - which I read when I was about 14. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Rf9S3GkkeyI/SRxuQ-_kz6I/AAAAAAAAGt8/Up0gOAG-vSE/s320/frank+frazetta.+the+moon+maid+and+the+centaur.+001.jpg
ebleyes
May. 11th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you George for letting me mourn with you the death of this artistic wizard. As a kid of the 80s I was blown away with beauty and savagery of Frank Frazetta's art, I used to stare at my big brother's novel's collection -as I didn't like to read at the time- and wondered if the content of the book will match the greatness of the cover. RIP Frank and thank you for making me wish I was one of your heroes.
bryanjamesross
May. 11th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
A sad day indeed
I grew up with Frazetta's books in my house. His work always fascinated and inspired me, one of the very reasons I'm so much in to Fantasy today.

R.I.P.
rattlesnakeroot
May. 11th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
And I forgot this, but he also did the cover of John Keel's famous book The Mothman Prophecies.

http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/frazetta-obit/
hippoiathanatoi
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.
metalshaman
May. 11th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
we lost a legend, thats for sure.
ellen_kushner
May. 11th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
Man, I was an editorial assistant (for Jim Baen) at Ace Books back when Frazetta was still a paperback god. I think we still published the Conans. I know we bought a *lot* of Boris Vallejo covers, because he was painting in the tradition . . . . Well, the world turns, doesn't it?

OT: Have you seen this auction of original Canty art from your book? I'll send you more info offline, but for now:
http://community.livejournal.com/debsliverlovers/tag/seller:%20thomas%20canty

Anything you can do to help boost the signal & get these sold will be deeply appreciated. It's for a very, very good cause:
http://community.livejournal.com/debsliverlovers/profile
waited_here4u
May. 11th, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
The world has lost one of the greats. He is one if not the biggest reason I got into fantasy when I was young. A few issues of 'Heavy Metal' and I was hooked into fantasy art by some incredible artists. Frank Frazetta was the best of the bunch in my opinion. He was one of the rare artists that wouldnt even need to sign his piece and you would undoubtedly know it was his. He will be missed, but never forgotten.
feanorspain
May. 12th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
Frazetta
Frank Frazetta died?! It is a sad day, what an amazing talent that changed the way we "SEE" Literature!! Farewell Frank: Ars longa, vita brevis!!!!
nycfalcon
May. 12th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)
A few years back there was a documentary done on his life. It gave very good insight into why he was special.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_GfJG_6CDo
driftinscotty
May. 12th, 2010 01:27 am (UTC)
I only discovered this through your site. I know that Frank had been in ill health recently, but it's still sad. I recently visited his museum in the Poconos in Pennsylvania and drank in many of his vibrant works. I absolutely love his style and think he was underrated as an artist. Not a genre, sci-fi, fantasy artist, but rather an artist in full. I'd recommend that anyone who hasn't seen it, see the documentary "Painting With Fire," which gives a great appreciation of what an interesting man Frazetta was. The guy was one of those rare Renaissance men who could have done any of a number of things, including professional sports. He chose to follow the path of art and we fans of science fiction and fantasy were treated to his rare talents. Frank truly has been often imitated and never duplicated. R.I.P.
targaryenesque
May. 13th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
I wish that Frazetta could have done a gallery of the ASOIF characters
Dany and her warrior king. The Mountain that Rides. The Hound. These would have been great themes for Frazetta.
aredwitch
May. 13th, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
Those Conan illustrations were great but I must say, once I got my hands on Robert E. Howard's stories, L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter and all the other Conan imitators were not as interesting to read.
dougsbum
May. 14th, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC)
A Song of Ice and Fire tends to evoke Frazetta-type images whenever I read it. Frazetta once said "A painting, it's something important; you want to look at it, maybe, forever. Who wants to look at just an ordinary hero forever? You want the ultimate, you pull out the stops and do everything in extremes. The extreme in beauty,if it fits. The extreme in ugliness if it fits; the extreme in terror if this is what's required. You know, I think this is one reason that so many different people enjoy my stuff, because so many extremes are jammed into it." G.R.R.M. could say the same thing and it would sum up his work perfectly.
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