Monday, February 13, 2012

Frank Frazetta (Feb. 9, 1928 - May 10, 2010)

(Above image is copyright. Artist's self-portrait. Originally from Wikipedia and many Frazetta art volumes)

Before I begin to upload new art content from my WIP (Work In Progress), I want to first take the time to thank an artist who I believe left us too soon..That man is Mr. Frank Frazetta.

Before you say, 'Frank Who?' (and, yes, I have met those people and of all places: conventions!), let me explain how very important he was to me. The first time I saw Frazetta's work was in the room two of my big brothers shared, their beds side by side.

Thank God for siblings much older, or I wouldn't have spent many happy hours cooped up in their closet to read their endless (to me) boxes of comics!

The second-oldest, a brother who is an artist too (I have three brothers & a sister), had a desk with bureau.

Now that I think about it, it almost resembled a postman's desk. Here in the upper shelves he kept the jumbo comics, those Holy Grails of illustrated adventures I tried, with my 6-year-old hands, to handle with care.

One day, I sneaked in, there was no need, I wasn't barred from my siblings' rooms as other little sisters, and found a hardcover Black Book.

Now the only other books this important-looking was our Funk & Wagnalls' Dictionary, our World Book encyclopedia set, and an almost ledger-size, cream-shade Holy Bible, with colorful, illustrated inserts and gilt-edge pages.

In my little kid's mind, this big black tome looked similar to one of those forbidden books of magic I saw on TV shows... and I decided, like those heroes and heroines, to open it.

It might as well have been magic.

As soon as I opened to a page, I was assailed by images I did not know existed: muscled, brutish men, curvy, gorgeous women, monsters, beasts both good and evil played on those pages, and my mind opened to what a 'drawer' could do.

Warriors fought gargantuan creatures and nightmares from myth with extraordinary swords no normal person could wield.
The women were beautifully plump, seductive, and dazzled me more than beauty contest models.

In these images, stories were told on single pages, warrior women with horned helmets controlled wraiths, warrior men rode beasts that would not have been ridden in real life.

The artist brother came in and I quickly shut the book, believing I shouldn't view such things. But he only smiled, asked if I liked it and I was breathless in my reply. We spent the rest of the evening flipping through the pages.

I knew then at age 5, I could do something other kids couldn't.
By 6-7, I heard the word 'artist' bandied about me by the adults in my life. But until that day, leaning against my brother, flipping through that Frank Frazetta book, I knew what an artist could truly be, and I wanted to become that as well...Dreamer.

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