Saturday, May 29, 2010

Frank Frazetta

"All the heroes and legends I knew as a child have fallen to idols of clay" ~ Dennis DeYoung

May 10, 2010 came and went with barely a whisper of news about the passing of a giant. On that day, Frank Frazetta, one of my personal heroes, passed away.

I have always loved art, and once believed I had some talent. So much so, in fact, that I attended college with the intention of majoring in art, but eventually dropped out for a multitude of reasons. One of those reasons was because after observing the talent the other art students possessed, I realized I really didn't have that much talent in art, after all.

But, I still love art, and a few years after I left college, I discovered Frank Frazetta. No doubt, everyone is familiar with Frazetta's work, but don't know who he was. To this day, when I spy a cover illustration by Frazetta, I immediately recognize the familiar style. I can also recognize the imitators, of which there are many.

I first became acquainted with Frazetta's work shortly after college when I became interested in a particular type of comic book. I started buying and reading comic books with titles such as "Creepy", "Eerie", and my personal favorite, "Vampirella". The allure of these particular comic books came mostly from the artwork, which was far better than the ordinary DC Comics (which is very good in it's own right) style artwork.

Probably the most popular and most sought after comic book cover illustrators was Frank Frazetta. Frazetta's artwork was distinctive, and singularly recognizable by it's incredible detail.

Frazetta's art was probably the chief reason I became familiar with the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Although Burroughs' novels have gone through possibly hundreds of printings since he wrote them in the 1800's, Frazetta's cover illustrations of books such as "Warlord of Mars", and the "Tarzan" series, spawned an entire new generation of Edgar Rice Burroughs fans.

I was one of them.

During one period of my life, I voraciously read virtually every Edgar Rice Burroughs book I could get my hands on, particularly those whose covers had been decorated with Frank Frazetta paintings.

Now, besides loving art, I also love Edgar Rice Burroughs' books, thanks to the artistic genius of Frank Frazetta.

It was the "out of the frying pan, into the fire" style of Burroughs that inspired one of my personal original quotations:

"My life is an Edgar Rice Burroughs book without the adventure."

Those readers familiar with Burroughs' novels will no doubt understand my meaning.

In honor and memory of Frank Frazetta, I now present my two readers with examples of some of his amazing artwork:

Warlord of Mars

Egyptian Queen

John Carter and the Apes of Mars


Conan the Destroyer




Z said...

"I now present my two readers.." You made me laugh so hard!

WONDERFUL illustrations, Mark, thanks for those...he deserves a blog post and you did him proud!

Now, back to my blog (it's all about ME:-)..who is LOLA!? :-)

Joe said...

Z: I am proud to be his second reader.

I liked Frank Frazetta's work, too. I found him to be very absorbing.

Mark said...

Z, I just added the words, "Except for Lola" because I borrowed part of my comment from song lyrics in a song by the Kinks.

Mark said...

Joe, darn it! I'm going to have to amend my post now. You and Z weren't the two readers I had in mind! I guess now I have 4!

Lone Ranger said...

I've always liked Frazetta's art too, but I never let my mom see it.

Trader Rick said...

we LOVE HIS WORK, AS WELL. Having read all of the Tarzan novels, I can assure you the first was published in 1912...

Thanks for the moving video for the SGT.