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Frank Frazetta (1928-2010)

His involvement with the animation world was relatively brief, but his inspiration to artists, animators and cartoonists, world over, cannot be denied. Frank Frazetta, the science fiction/fantasy painter, whose commercial art appeared on movie posters, in comic books and on numerous paperback novels has passed away. He began his career in the 1940s drawing funny animal comics for various publishers. He later ghosted L’il Abner for Al Capp and occasionally assisted Will Elder on Playboy’s Little Annie Fanny. He became famous for his sword-and-sorcery art, which included covers for Creepy and Eerie magazine, and on the Conan the Barbarian novels. For animation, he drew the poster for Rankin-Bass’ Mad Monster Party (1967) and collaborated with Ralph Bakshi in producing the animated feature Fire & Ice (1983). Perhaps the most satisfying adaption of Frazetta to animation was by Richard Williams in this 1978 Jovan after shave commercial:

  • MJ

    R.I.P Frank Frazetta I can’t beleive I was just looking at your rough work just 20 minutes ago thinking what a great artist you are and now I find out this. When I first came across your work only a few years back through reading Bruce Timm’s Modern Masters book I realised I was looking at the work of a living legend. Sadly today we have lost a living legend, I will still continue to study and admire your work.

  • George

    Frank’s work is so commanding, “Modern Master” is a term that gets thrown around too often anymore, but for Frank that was a more than apt description. Thanks for dazzling us all these years, and for leaving such an incredible legacy. RIP

  • We were talking about Frank Frazetta just last week. He was one of the best, and a great inspiration to me. RIP.

  • I feel like every heroic pose owes a debt to this masterful artist. I am sad to hear of his passing.

  • Rooniman

    Not Frank Frazetta! Why dod he have to go?! The Horror!

  • Yet again we’ve lost another talented artist who should serve as an inspiration to the rest of us. His art, whether it be a cover for Creepy or ghost art for Li’L Abner, always showed a command of the medium and a dynamic sense of anatomy. I think I’m going to go though his Johnny Rocket strips to appreciate his work. My condolences to his friends, family, and fans worldwide.

  • Bill Field

    What a great ad, that you can see both artisans styles clearly. Frazetta’s crisp contrasts and muscular detail, with Williams’ amazing motion design! Thanks Jerry, a great tribute to a terrific and lasting force of art!

  • One Frazetta animation connection that wasn’t mentioned is that Frank was offered to work for Disney, but ultimately declined the offer.

  • Brad Constantine

    Rest In Peace, Frank…now you and Ellie are together again at last.
    What an amazing Artist, and such a wide variety of work. He could do it all, and better than most…Funny animal stuff, Hal Foster type comics, watercolors, oils, photography…and a great Dad as well. Frank also was also one of the first artists to keep his originals. His wife Ellie supervised the reproduction business, which allowed all of us to have Frazetta art in our bedrooms and offices. Probably one of the most influencial Artists of the late 20th century, hands down.

  • may he ride on forever vanquishing demons. a seismic tear has been ripped through the art-world today.

  • Charles

    Frazetta will be sorely missed! He was a consummate draftsman and artist of rare perception and talent. The man could paint and draw ANYTHING with panache and beauty.

    Recently, I purchased his definitive documentary film on DVD – Frazetta: Painting with Fire (2003). Absolutely unbelievable and touching! I highly recommend this purchase to Frazettaphiles and visual art enthusiasts. Learn why Frazetta originals sell in the $100Ks.

    R.I.P. Frazetta!

  • Frazetta art was so inspirational and had so much life, sometimes it was terrifying. But it was raw, it was real, and he believed in every stroke of the pencil he made. What warms my heart even more is that he never stopped making art. After his second stroke (?), I believe I read, he taught himself to draw with his opposite hand… and the art looked just as incredible.

  • Tekena

    That commercial is hilarious! Don’t feel bad everybody, he left us enough to remember him by!

  • John A

    It’s a shame his animated “Dracula” project never got off the ground.

  • Another hero I never had a chance to meet. But his legacy of work is profoundly inspiring and I’m constantly in awe of his talent.

  • Seni Oyewole


  • Tedzey

    NOOOO!!!!!!! He was a legend who will surely be missed!

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    Let’s not forget Vampirella! (who could forget her,anyway?)

  • JP

    There’s a pizza parlor in Austin called Conan’s that is decked out with Frank’s art everywhere. I was always fascinated by these prints – and was never aware of the artist until now. Thanks for sharing his legacy with us, CB.

  • VinceP

    RIP Frank, you will be missed. Thanks for all the barbarians, monsters and epic poses, they really were a lot of fun. That after-shave commercial really made me smile!! :)

  • Santhan Vutha

    Frank Frazetta was defintely one of the most influential artists of this century since his work has no doubt inspired countless visions of heroes, heroines and creatures on distant worlds. I didn’t know about him until three or four years ago and i was quite surprised to hear that my father owned some books about his work. Needless to say its a great loss to many fans and artists and i hope that someday all of us loyal fans can contribute something that could live up to the masterful artistry that was Frank Frazetta’s life.

  • purin

    Wow, that ad is inspiring! I saw a screencap of in the Animator’s Survival Kit and wondered “What the heck kind of ad could that be!” I was looking at a real piece of art and… wait, after shave? O_o Surreal.

    (yeah, I’m a real newb)