Frank Frazetta passed away on May 10th at the age of 82. His impact on American comics was enormous: the entire modern sword-and-sorcery genre is arguably directly descended from his paintings.
Frazetta came out of the American adventure-strip cartooning tradition–Alex Raymond’s artwork, in particular, was prominently echoed in his dynamic, explosive images of sinewy bodies in motion. He also served as Al Capp’s assistant on “Li’l Abner” for years.
Once Frazetta came into his own, though, he pretty much invented an entire category of artwork. An undeniable master painter, he applied his mastery to his passion for the fantasy art genre: muscular sword-wielding barbarians, lurking horrors, voluptuous damsels in distress, armies in monstrous armor, every detail in each of his images writhing into life. A single painting, he found, could evoke an entire story–an entire world–which may be why he mostly stuck with cover illustrations. The iconic depictions of Conan aren’t Robert E. Howard’s descriptions of his character; they’re Frazetta’s cover illustrations for the ’60s reprints of Howard’s stories. He was the most heavy metal artist American comics have ever seen, and he will be missed.
See 10 of the artist’s most iconic work HERE.