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Frank Frazetta - Legends of Fantasy Art vol.1

Updated on January 8, 2015
Conan the Barbarian - art by Frank Frazetta
Conan the Barbarian - art by Frank Frazetta
A Princess of Mars - art by Frank Frazetta
A Princess of Mars - art by Frank Frazetta

A tribute to Frank Frazetta, my favourite artist of heroic fantasy..

Frank Frazetta, one of the most admired and influential fantasy artists in history, was born February 9th, 1928, Brooklyn, New York..

In kindergarten his teachers were astonished that a five-year-old child was drawing better then the older pupils. At the age of 16 Frazetta started looking for work and was soon drawing illustrations for books on Westerns, fantasy, mysteries and other themes.

In the early 1950s Frank Frazetta worked for EC Comics, Avon and several other fantasy & comic book companies. Comic books included John Wayne Comics, Buck Rogers, and Ghost Rider and a long list of others. In the 1960s Frazetta painted covers for horror magazines like Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella.

In 1964, Frazetta's painting of Ringo Starr for Mad Magazine caught the attention of United Artists and he was approached to draw the movie poster for the film "What's New Pussycat?". More poster work followed, including - The Fearless Vampire Killers, Who's Minding the Mint?, The Night they Raided Minskys, The Gauntlet and Fire & Ice.

Tarzan of the Apes - art by Frank Frazetta
Tarzan of the Apes - art by Frank Frazetta
Dracula meets the Wolfman - art by Frank Frazetta
Dracula meets the Wolfman - art by Frank Frazetta
Sacrifice - art by Frank Frazetta
Sacrifice - art by Frank Frazetta
Savage World - art by Frank Frazetta
Savage World - art by Frank Frazetta

1965 to 1973 is generally regarded as Frazetta's 'golden age' and most of his famous paintings were created during this period. In addition to movie posters Frank Frazetta started producing paintings for paperback book covers. His book cover for "Conan the Adventurer" by Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp in 1966 caused quite a stir in the fantasy art world. The Conan paperback series sold about 10 million copies in a few short years. Frazetta dramatically altered the visual look of the fantasy genre and other artists started to copy his style.

In 1983 Frank Frazetta co-produced the animated movie "Fire & Ice" with director Ralph Bakshi. Rotoscoping was used for realism and the art design emulated Frazetta's style, the film was dubbed by some "Frazetta in motion". In the late 1980s he was commissioned to paint the cover to "Battlefield Earth", by L. Ron Hubbard.

Frazetta's art also appeared on the covers of various record albums like Nazareth's 1977 album "Expect No Mercy", Molly Hatchet's first two albums feature "The Death Dealer" and "Dark Kingdom" and Dust's second album, Hard Attack which features "Snow Giants".

A documentary on his life and career was released in 2003 titled - "Frazetta: Painting With Fire". In 2009, Frazetta's painting of "Conan the Conqueror" was sold to a private collector for $1 million.

Frank Frazetta died at the age of 82 on the 10th of May 2010 at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, Florida. He had suffered a stroke the night before.

Egyptian Queen - art by Frank Frazetta
Egyptian Queen - art by Frank Frazetta
Conan the Destroyer - art by Frank Frazetta
Conan the Destroyer - art by Frank Frazetta
Dawn Attack - art by Frank Frazetta
Dawn Attack - art by Frank Frazetta
A Fighting Man of Mars - art by Frank Frazetta
A Fighting Man of Mars - art by Frank Frazetta
Snow Giants - art by Frank Frazetta
Snow Giants - art by Frank Frazetta
Thuvia, Maid of Mars - art by Frank Frazetta
Thuvia, Maid of Mars - art by Frank Frazetta
Vampirella - art by Frank Frazetta
Vampirella - art by Frank Frazetta
Wolfman - art by Frank Frazetta
Wolfman - art by Frank Frazetta
John Carter and the Savage Apes of Mars - art by Frank Frazetta
John Carter and the Savage Apes of Mars - art by Frank Frazetta
Sun Goddess - art by Frank Frazetta
Sun Goddess - art by Frank Frazetta
Fire & Ice - art by Frank Frazetta
Fire & Ice - art by Frank Frazetta
Chained - art by Frank Frazetta
Chained - art by Frank Frazetta
Night Winds - art by Frank Frazetta
Night Winds - art by Frank Frazetta
Death Dealer III - art by Frank Frazetta
Death Dealer III - art by Frank Frazetta
Atlantis - art by Frank Frazetta
Atlantis - art by Frank Frazetta
The Berserker - art by Frank Frazetta
The Berserker - art by Frank Frazetta

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    • Steve Lensman profile image
      Author

      Steve Lensman 21 months ago from London, England

      Thank you Cyrus. Frazetta was a superb artist and his art was iconic.

    • profile image

      cyrus shahrzad 21 months ago

      Dear Steve in my mind as an artist in my sixty years as an artist never seen anyone artist to offer the form of humans, regardless of real or fantasy as Frank Frazetta did. I was surprised seeing his works which I have collected specially the one you have shown. Thank you and truly I do miss seeing more of his works.

    • Steve Lensman profile image
      Author

      Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England

      Frazetta is still the best, all the other artists look at his work with awe. He was hugely influential.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 5 years ago from The High Seas

      I have a MASSIVE digital collection of Frazetta's art as well as his art books and I have spent days of my life doing nothing more than looking at his wonderful images.

    • Steve Lensman profile image
      Author

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Thanks Zebrahut, comment is appreciated. In heroic fantasy art, Frazetta was the best and a huge influence on other artists.

    • Zebrahut profile image

      Zebrahut 6 years ago from UK

      I'm a massive Robert E Howard fan and Frank's art is the perfect partner for his work -thanks for a great hub!

    • Steve Lensman profile image
      Author

      Steve Lensman 7 years ago from London, England

      Hello Russ, yeah those Creepy, Eerie covers are great. You should do a hub on them, post some of those covers. ;)

      Btw my favourite Conan painting is the first one on this page "Conan the Adventurer". Love it. Is it for sale? I've got a few quid put aside...

    • RussBGrant profile image

      RussBGrant 7 years ago from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

      Great job on this one. I'm currently reading the Archive series of "Creepy" and "Eerie", and Frazetta's covers are beautifully reproduced. It's impossible to think of Conan and not see Frazetta's take on the character.

    • Steve Lensman profile image
      Author

      Steve Lensman 7 years ago from London, England

      Claire, I was also a fan of fantasy artists Boris Vallejo and Ken Kelly back in the 90's. I may do a hub on them one of these days. :)

      Looking at the page I wish I had made the smaller pictures "clickable" they will look a lot better at twice the size.

    • Clare-Louise profile image

      Clare-Louise 7 years ago from Birmingham UK

      Wow how could I have forgotten about Frank Frazetta! I absolutely love his work... used to do sketch copies of his pictures all the time... unfortunately they weren't exactly on a par ;P

      Thanks for the reminder, I'll be looking out for that documentary!

    • Steve Lensman profile image
      Author

      Steve Lensman 7 years ago from London, England

      I have the 2-disc DVD of Fire & Ice but not the Blu-ray, it hasn't been released here in the UK yet. I may have to import.

      Just found out another Frazetta painting "Conan the Destroyer" was sold for $1.5m, 2 months after his death. It is the 2nd painting below the end of the text I posted above.

    • Cogerson profile image

      UltimateMovieRankings 7 years ago from Virginia

      I love his work as well.....Fire and Ice is a classic.....I have upgraded that movie to Blu-Ray....outstanding Blu-Ray....plus the DVD commentary has a great track with Ralph Bakshi and they talk a lot about Frank and their work on Fire and Ice....voted up

    • Steve Lensman profile image
      Author

      Steve Lensman 7 years ago from London, England

      Thanks. Choosing which artwork to display was a problem, there was so many great ones. I had to leave some favourites out. :)

    • KellyE1967 profile image

      KellyE1967 7 years ago

      He is awesome Fire and Ice is one of my favorites. Great images you have selected. Very nice.

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