Frank Frazetta RIP

Just a short time after his birthday, Prince Sirki paid a visit to one of the greatest fantasy illustrative artists of any time. This is perhaps my favorite Frank Frazetta image, 1972’s “The Silver Warrior,” from the Michael Moorcock book of the same name. His work was legion and his influence cannot be measured. Talk about giants walking the earth…


18 Responses to “Frank Frazetta RIP”

  1. what a bummer, frazetta was a master of his craft, the real deal. thank goodness we have his beautiful work as his legacy. this makes me sad. RIP to a legend.

  2. bummer… loved this guy… it s not the first time we talk about this genius in here…. friends, let’s mourn together…. adios…

  3. This sucks. His illustrations of Conan were something else and really defined the character’s look in a lot of people’s eyes. The LA Times have a really nice obit with quotes from the likes of John Milius, Guillermo Del Toro and Neal Adams:

  4. thanx for that JD !

  5. Frank B Says:

    Don’t know what to say that wasn’t covered in the last FF post, except RIP and condolences to the family. (With the possible exclusion of the idiot son who tried to steal dad’s paintings and will probably inherit them now, anyway.)

  6. christian Says:

    I always forget how much iconic imagery Frazetta was responsible for, from EC to EERIE to THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS and THE GAUNTLET poster art…

  7. Frank B Says:

    I’m embarrassed to admit I had no idea MAD MAX was his.

  8. we studied quite a few of frazetta’s paintings at uni, my fine arts prof was actually quite critical of frazetta even while acknowledging his obvious genius. ‘black emperor’ is controversial and provocative in its racial and sexual overtones, and one of the few times frazetta depicts full frontal male nudity (more like side nudity really) in contrast to his numerous and lavish depictions of full female nudity. the pervasive theme in frazetta’s work of ‘man’s dominion over woman/woman’s dominion over beasts’ and the highly sexualised/objectification of his female subjects dovetails well with fantasy convention and the likely fantasy identification of consumers of his art, but also somewhat limited frazetta in his expression i think, with such a narrow exploration of the female form (his female subjects are almost always ‘inert’ while the male subjects are almost always ‘in motion’) and some interesting possibilities inherent to the genre (of course frazetta’s male subjects, while afforded a wider range of motion and identity are mainly confined to some incarnation of ‘battling warrior’ so it’s not like the frazetta universe for either gender is terribly diverse, and that’s cool. he’s frazetta)

    also, this is something about frazetta that my prof used to get his tighty whiteys in a twist about: the lack of shadows. for an artist who employed such amazing use of light and shadow in the creation of his figures, the figures themselves often fail to CAST proper shadows. weird bit of trivia.

    (i’m still trying to decide what is my fave frazetta, i haven’t been able to do it yet, i think it needs time to marinate in my head. i’m quite partial to ‘death dealer 6’ because it’s so dynamic and i LOVE the snake, and i also adore the brilliant werewolf one – the title slips my mind at the mo i really need to go to bed – even if it’s not one of his most technically/artistically accomplished the looming werewolf is just so badass it’s the ultimate badass wolfman. but i’m not sure if i’m prepared to nail it down yet for posterity)

    • christian Says:

      I hope you wrote a few good essays on “Frank Frazetta And The Fantasy Male Shadow” leah;] You’re right of course that his work was the template for warriors dominating over female subjects, but since a few of those subjects were often powerful sorceress types, I don’t find the work too transgressive or regressive — I’d say that Richard Corben was Frazetta’s more pulp dynamic equal.

      And if you look at the hypnotic print of “Cat Girl” used as our header this week, you see proper shadows galore. It’s one of Frazetta’s more impish images and damn, the greens are so lush they’re almost tactile 3-D…

      I too love the werewolf image used for the cover of CREEPY, one of the best. Drew Friedman turned me onto the fact that Frazetta did this cover for EC Comics “Tales From The Crypt” paperback that’s also that’s likely one of the best and now certainly my favorite…

  9. that ‘tales from the crypt’ cover is indeed bonza, c, i personally like frazetta best in horor/violence/evil mode!

    ‘cat girl’ is indeed amazing, i’m not sure if i made myself clear last night but i didn’t mean to imply frazetta wasn’t brilliant with his use of shadow in general, just that weirdly his figures often don’t cast a shadow on the surface below (cat girl isn’t one of his obvious shadowless wonders). the ‘museum syndicate’ site has a nice collection of frazetta paintings, there are some good examples of the shadowless wonders on there, perhaps none more egregious than ‘castle of sin’

  10. duh, i forgot to insert the link for anyone interested: (is it possible to screw this up? i hope not. fingers eternally crossed when posting links on ‘the dream’….)

    • christian Says:

      Very cool. And I got what you were saying, I think it’s interesting that he didn’t use a lot of shadow, but then his images often seem framed by an opaque kind of key lighting…

      • yes, he is (or was, that’ll take some getting used to; i’ve only just recently been able to refer to stan winston in the past tense so i must be slow to adjust) such a skilled technician with light and shadow that not using shadows to ground some of his subjects must have been a conscious choice. it never came up in my (limited) study of him back in the day, i wonder if he ever addressed the subject? i find it fascinating

        • christ, that didn’t sound right reading the thread now to catch up. i meant, any explanation by frazetta re: his use of shadows never came up in study, obviously the lack of shadows came up, the prof having been critical of this aspect of FF’s work

  11. Frank B Says:

    The woman in Beauty vs. Beast looks pretty active to me.

    Of course, the focus is on her ass, but that’s FF for you.

  12. ‘beauty’ is dynamic, fb, but in my own defense i did say “almost always inert” in my frazetta babble, she’s one of the few

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