I first saw Frank Frazetta's art as a kid. I was probably 8 years old and my best friend and I were HUGE KISS fans. I remember one day we were working on a puzzle that was the cover of the Destroyer album which at the time we thought was just about the most amazing piece of art ever created (ironically done by artist Ken Kelly who was hugely influenced by Frank's work) But my friend had this other puzzle. It was this warrior with polar bears pulling him through this bleak snowy world, and I was like "WHAT is THAT??!"
That's the thing with Frank's work. You know it and have seen it even if you're not aware that you have. I had many moments like that with Frank's work throughout my formative years. I wasn't a comic fan as a kid. As a matter of fact I didn't even own a comic until I was 24 or 25 years old. But Frank's work I've been a fan of and has impacted me throughout all those early years. All my favorite things seemed to stem from a line that went directly to Frazetta. Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, all the kick ass concept art you see for video games and movies...all that imagery is influenced and inspired by Frank's work.
I would go to book stores as a kid, and I'd see these covers by Frank and you'd just be drawn to them. They could pull you from half way across a store over to see them.....They almost demanded to be seen. You would just see this abstract design that was so interesting and then as you'd get closer to it. The piece just got better, and better, and better.
That's the other thing with Franks work....it improves over time. The mark of a great artist is to create timeless art and Frank managed to do that again and again. He at times looked like he'd been to these incredible worlds and scenes he painted whether it was moving us into the future or taking us back to primal man...he lived them. I don't know how he did it, and that's why no one has really been able to go beyond Franks work in an INCREDIBLY vast and huge field of "fantastic" ideas. It all seems to go back to Frazetta's art STILL to this day....it's amazing really and a true testament to his brilliance.
Frank passed away last night from a stroke at the age of 82. He's probably my favorite artist and as much as his work has already impacted my life and art....I don't see that ever ending. There are pieces I've yet to imagine, and draw that I am sure will have Frank in there. So he's not gone and really will never be forgotten because I know I am not alone with those sentiments.
All hail the great Frank Frazetta, a true legend and icon.