Tuesday May 11, 2010 1:35 pm
Frank Frazetta died this week. I wish there was a nicer way to say it. I never met him - and if I had I’m sure only fanboy drool would’ve burbled out in place of actual words - but I sure have a lot of his stuff around my office.
If you’re not familiar with Frazetta’s output, then you are missing out on the main influence of fantasy art for the last couple of generations. And seriously, if you’re really not familiar with his work, I’m unfriending you right now.
I bought I lot of books I’m never going to read and am not at all interested in - just because they had a Frazetta cover. I wanted to have that cover and couldn’t care less about the pages behind it. Just a couple of weeks ago, I bought a copy of Night Walk by Bob Shaw (”Sightless, marooned on a prison planet, Sam Tallon faces a desperate odyssey - to save the Universe that had disowned him”). Frazetta’s cover painting showed some guy using a spear to jam a giant spider into some sort of gooey liquid. I’ll stare at that cover again and again, and never read page 1. I’m sure there’s a medical term for my condition.
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Two books that I bought - Flash For Freedom and Flashman At The Charge - and read were because I was already a fan of the writer: George MacDonald Fraser. And having a Frazetta painting on the cover made them all the better.
My favorite Frankworks are the Frazetta books that were edited by Betty Ballantine and published from 1975-1985. Just one of those books will turn you into a Frazetta fan for life. And just for grins, I loved Small Wonders: The Funny Animal Art of Frank Frazetta that Greg Theakston put together for Kitchen Sink back in 1991.
Frank was at one-time considered an excellent baseball player and might have turned pro if not for his artwork. I’m glad he chose comic books and painting. There’s always another baseball player, but there’s only one Frazetta.
[Artwork: Frank Frazetta’s cover painting to Flash For Freedom by George MacDonald Fraser (top); Night Walk by Bob Shaw (bottom)]
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- bob shaw, comic book artist, cover, cover art, covers, death, flash for freedom, flashman, flashman at the charge, frank frazetta, george macdonald fraser, night walk, sidefeatured, small wonders
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