Monday, May 10, 2010

Artists I Admire: Frank Frazetta

Frank Frazetta died of a stroke today. And it is strange because I am more sad than I thought that I would be. I'm not depressed by any means. But I just didn't imagine that his death would affect me at all. So to feel this kind of pang of sadness is surprising.

I always liked Frank Frazetta's art. I thought his Conan was unparalleled and his Death Dealer was an inspired design. His environments were super moody and ominous. I liked that he drew women with big butts... but it wasn't off putting like R. Crumb's women with big butts.

Then I saw a movie called "Frank Frazetta: Painting with Fire" when I was exposed to more of his work. Aside from all of the fantasy stuff he painted, he also drew a lot more straight-forward comic book work. I particularly enjoyed his Western work. But that wasn't the big thing that I took away from this movie.

The whole movie they talk about how Frazetta is a natural artist. How he has almost perfect recall of his own visual library. How if he needed to draw a rabbit, he just sat there for a second thinking... then would proceed to draw out a perfect rabbit. Then, they talked about how he had a stroke so severe that he lost use of his right hand. His drawing hand. This is a terrifying thought to any artist. But, Frank Frazetta learned to draw with this left hand. And some say that he drew BETTER with his left than with his right.
Yeah he did "that Wolfmother cover"

It's that attitude, the whole death before dishonor mentality. The never say die work ethic. That is something that inspired me. And for that Frank Frazetta has forever earned my admiration.


erik said...

Great post. I have definitely seen this guy's stuff. And if it wasn't him, it was someone trying to be him. Awesome stuff. Vikings, wizards, dragons. All good.

You have to comment on the passing of Ronnie James! "No more rockin' for you..."

Tannerama said...

Yeah! I posted a comment on facebook about Frazetta died then Ronnie James Dio and how the heavy metal world must be weeping.

I hope they play that Tenacious D song at his funeral.