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May 10, 2010

Fantasy artist Frank Frazetta dead; inspired a generation

frank frazetta dead at 82

News comes today of the death of Frank Frazetta, an artist who became famous for his striking fantasy images of voluptuous women, square-jawed heroes and blood-curdling monsters. His prolific career spanned the era of Buck Rogers and Conan, and he illustrated books about Tarzan and other characters by such authors as Edgar Rice Burroughs. (Not to mention the poster for the movie "What's New, Pussycat?" and some heavy metal albums.)

Frazetta inspired a whole generation of illustrators. Baltimore native Bernie Wrightson, who helped created Swamp Thing, was among the comic book artists who sought to be the next Frazetta -- or to outdo him.

A couple of years ago, the Baltimore Sun asked Wrightson how he got his start, and here's what he said: "I had gone to this convention in New York City, the World Science Fiction Convention, because I wanted to meet Frazetta. And there were some guys from DC Comics there. DC was interested in starting a sword-and sorcery comic book - and that was the stuff I was drawing, because that's what Frazetta did. And so they just met this kid at a show who was doing sword and sorcery stuff. And they were like, "It doesn't matter if it's good or not, this is what he does."

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 4:35 PM | | Comments (0)

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About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
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