Thursday, November 07, 2013

Frank Frazetta Original: Embarrassment of Riches

November 7, 2013
   It's crazy, but sometimes I forget that I have treasures I don't even remember having. Recently I ordered a book, "Frank Frazetta Art and Rememberances" by Frank Frazetta, Jr.

   The book is lush with great images, but I was a little disappointed in the narrative because Frank, Jr. glosses over some of the family feud that erupted after Frank, Sr's death (I remember reading about one of his sons driving a bulldozer or a back hoe into the museum to retrieve paintings he thought should have been his). None of that is in the book, which I can understand, but I would like to read the true story at some point.

   Anyway, the book is lavishly done with rare photos of the family and Frank, who, as a young man, looked like a cross between Clint Eastwood and James Dean. And, who can deny Frank painted some impressive images, like this gem which ended up on a Molly Hatchet album cover (the third to feature a Frazetta):

   Great horse with excellent steam snorting to boot. And who could forget Frazetta's women?

Frank Frazetta, Vamperella

   In the mid-1950s Frank ghosted the comic strip Li'l Abner, doing the heavy lifting for Al Capp (and enhancing the enhancements of every woman in the strip).

   As I admired the many images in the book, I found myself contemplating what I wouldn't give to have a Frank Frazetta original! Well, I was cleaning in the garage last weekend and came across this:

   Yes, it's an original panel from Li'L Abner drawn and signed by the Master himself. I believe this was gifted to me by fellow cartoonist Robert Steinhilber. How sweet is that?

"Thass a mighty flimsy dress t'go rasslin' grizzly b'ars in, Joan L Sullivan."
—Your Typical Dogpatch Idjut in Li'l Abner