Frank Frazetta. Damn, he was good.
The other day, I noticed a book on my friend Gino’s desk. It jumped out at me and, even though I caught just a glimpse of the cover, I instantly recognized it as a Frazetta. I had to look at it, because that is what his images do to you—they compel you to look at them. Dramatic. Powerful. Complex. I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction in my younger days. That was the primary genre he worked in, and you could always tell a Frazetta book cover illustration because it just stood out from the rest. Not that other illustrators weren’t any good. There were plenty of great ones out there, just none with who grabbed your attention like Frazetta.
Frank died in 2010, so we no longer get to see new work from him, but there was a pretty good documentary produced about his life and work, called Frazetta: Painting with Fire. Its definitely worth watching, because his story is a unique one, and his toughness is inspiring. And while I think they sometimes get a little too profuse with their praise in the film, I think he was an exceptional talent. Eventually, he might get broader recognition for that talent, but if that doesn’t happen, who really cares. Those of us who are fans of his, will just enjoy his work for what it is—amazing.