Frank Frazetta: 1928 - 2010I heard this morning about the death yesterday of artist Frank Frazetta. If you’re a comic book aficionado, you might know Frazetta from his work in that field. I learned about him from seeing his art on the cover of Conan the Barbarian paperbacks, then later, on the cover of Molly Hatchet albums.
As an aspiring artist, I was intrigued by not just the detail in Frazetta’s work, but the figures he portrayed: Vikings, warriors, barbarians – the lot of them seemingly coming from post-apocalyptic times despite their own ancientness. It was not just what he drew, but the way he drew it that I wanted to emulate.
I’ve moved on from my aspirations, but I see Frank Frazetta’s influence in any number of contemporary artists, particularly in the science fiction / fantasy genres. Artists such as Boris Vallejo, who has also done illustrations for Conan novels; and Ken Kelly, who, along with Conan art, did the covers for Kiss’ Destroyer and Love Gun albums, are keeping alive Frazetta’s larger-than-life fantasy ideals.
For more information about Frank Frazetta’s life and career, you can click over to the N.Y. Times obit, or to Frazetta’s Wiki page.
Tonight’s music has really nothing to do with Frank Frazetta other than it was his painting “The Death Dealer” that graced the cover of Molly Hatchet’s 1978 debut disk. The Death Dealer is arguably one of Frazetta’s most well known pieces, spawning all manner of merchandising, including action figures, novels, and comic books. But for me it’s always the cover of Molly Hatchet and the door that opened up a new world of art to me.