Frank Frazetta-February 9, 1928 – May 10, 2010
As a kid, there were two artists I wanted to be when I grew up. One was John Bolton, the other was Frank Frazetta.
I'll never forget the thrill of first seeing the cover of Creepy, on a newsagents shelf in Liverpool-the image of a sword wielding, frenzied warrior battling wierd bat demons, scored itself immediately to my little cerebellum,and beheld everything my adolescent imagination comprised up until that point, in one beautifully rendered image. It had nothing to do with my surroundings, and everything to do with some internally, amplified fantasy world.
Over the years, there were so many more covers to discover- savage, hellish, beasts, barbarians with axes glistening with blood,sultry buxom vixens writhing at there bootstraps-each one an iconic image, always a technicolor candy wrapper to the monographics within.
Sadly,in light of the post Star Wars blitz, Frazetta's work seemed a tad old fashioned-a relic of a bygone age, sword and sorcery shtick that carried the stigma of overgrown boys still living with there Mums and Dads.
And yet, I see his influence is everywhere, from the art of Bisley to Brom, to the Teutonic digital renderings of a World of Warcraft module, his legacy cuts a swathe through the driveling digital posturing of his imitators, because technically, he was a master.
In this era of p.c proselytizing , its hard to imagine a world where images of inflated sex kittens bent provocatively before a squirming serpent barely raised an eyebrow, let alone emblazoned the cover of a boys comicbook, but his work represented such a time of unpretension and unselfconscious.
And whilst he has long since been embraced as a seer, in the record of a certain 'art history', respect is overdue.