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Frank Frazetta 1928 – 2010

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Like many artists of my generation I can divide my early development into two categories; before I saw my first Frank Frazetta painting, and after.  I remember the day. I was crossing the floor of the Santa Barbara Public Library near a rack of paperback novels they recently made available for check out, when Frank’s “Death Dealer” stopped me in my tracks.  I studied it in amazement. Then it occurred to me there might be other books with covers by the same artist.  I searched quickly, fearful that someone else would find them before I did. My second discovery was “The Moon Maid”, which was not only a painting of a naked woman riding on the back of a centaur (more than I could’ve hoped for already) but the story was by Edgar Rice Burroughs (my favorite author, at the time).

I checked both books out, hurried home, took out pencil and paper,  and began to copy them.  From that moment on I knew I could not be satisfied until I taught myself to draw as well as Frazetta. He had set the bar.  In my youthful optimism I sought to match him.  Thirty years later I still haven’t succeeded in this ambition, and I doubt I ever will.  But this much is certain; however well I can draw today I owe directly to Frazetta.

Frank Frazetta passed away on May 10, 2010.  There will never be another like him.

3 Comments to Frank Frazetta 1928 – 2010

  1. by Lindsay D

    On May 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Very well said, Doug. Frank will be missed by us all.

  2. by Josh Sheppard

    On May 20, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Amen brother. He turned illustration in a whole new direction, just when it seemed to be dying.
    Why don’t you tell the story of when you met him…

  3. by Pat

    On May 28, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Back in the 1970’s I had the pleasure of being thrown off Frazetta’s property while hoping to catch a glimpse of him. His cover of Molly Hatchet’s “Flirting with Disaster” was magnificent. We will never forget.

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