Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight

Frank Frazetta died yesterday in a Florida hospital. My first encounter with his work was the tiny black and white images of Creepy and Eerie covers reproduced in the back of Famous Monsters of Filmland. Even in that form the images had the power to transport you to other worlds. I'd pore over them for hours, imagining scenarios of mind-numbing terror that Archie Goodwin's actual stories, marvellous as they were, could never quite match. A year or two later, I found some of the Lancer Conan books in my local newsagent and so got my first dizzying taste of Frazetta in color. It was as if the whole exotic world of American fantasy had come crashing through the plywood wall of 1970s Home Counties suburbia. I had a Frazetta badge (it was "The Death Dealer") that was still with me at college at the end of the '70s, and if I looked hard now I'm pretty sure I'd find it. For several generations he was one of the defining draftsmen of a gutsy, full-blooded, rock-n-roll brand of fantasy. The Aesir will greet him with honor.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, sobering news - I hadn't heard of his death. His images have always amazed me. I think of him as fantasy art's answer to N.C. Wyeth.