Monday, May 10, 2010

RIP Frank Frazetta

Frank Frazetta died today. Perhaps more than any other artist, Frank Frazetta understood low fantasy, swords-and-sorcery stories. His paintings don't try to be photo-realistic. They're brooding, gritty, sensual, and dangerous. I understand that he's not everyone's cup of tea, but then again, neither is low fantasy.

I know that a lot of people have said it before, and I don't have much new to contribute to the conversation, but what I like about Frazetta's art is that it is straightforward. The hero is muscular, the monster is grotesque, the damsel is voluptuous.

I have been reading some Conan stories by Robert E. Howard, and this is how Conan's creator wanted to see the world. In his mind, the best world was one where a man could take a sword in his hand and carve out a place for himself. Tyrants and monsters would fall before him, and women would long to feel his mighty arms around their slender waists. Not that it would be easy. A hero would have to be prepared for pain. He should steel himself for a long journey, usually alone, against treacherous enemies. There would be women who would try to lure him to danger, and monsters of every size, from the subtle to the gargantuan. There would be dark magic and terrifying elder gods. But a man who was strong of heart and limb, who put his trust in steel and nothing else, could triumph against those odds and emerge the victor, black-haired and sullen-eyed.

This was the world Frank Frazetta painted. It was simple, raw, and unapologetic. May he rest in peace.


I created my first challenge on Ficly today in memory of Frank Frazetta. If you feel like participating, check it out here: RIP Frank Frazetta Challenge on Ficly.

This may be a good opportunity for those of you who have been meaning to write something on Ficly but haven't gotten around to it yet...

1 comment:

bluefish said...

Well said, my friend. After that, I don't have much else to add.