Frank Frazetta

Born in Brooklyn in 1928, Frank Frazetta showed a remarkable talent for drawing almost from the time he was able to hold a pencil. At the age of eight, he was enrolled into the Brooklyn Acadamy of Fine Arts under the tutelage of Michael Falanga.

During his eight years at the Acadamy, Frazetta began to show more of his prodigious talent, but when Falanga died suddenly in 1944, the Acadamy was closed, and Frazetta was forced to search for work to earn a living.

At age sixteen, Frazetta began working as an assistant to comic artist John Giunta. Within a year, he had published the first of his own comics, Snowman. During the next seven years, he worked for four comics publishers, producing an extremely diverse variety of work, from funny animals to westerns, mysteries to fantasy, historical to contempory. During this period, he turned down work offers from such influential people as Walt Disney.

In the early 1950's he painted the now famous Buck Rogers covers for "Famous Funnies", and then accepted an offer of work from Al Capp, creator of the newspaper strip Li'l Abner. Frazetta spent nine years working with Capp, mainly on the Johnny Comet newspaper strip, although he ghosted for Capp himself on Li'l Abner for some time. Eventually he tired of this and returned to mainstream comics.

The comics world, however, had moved forward and Frazetta found himself an outsider. With his work labelled as old-fashioned, he looked around for somewhere else to apply his talents, and joined the creators of the early "Mad Magazine" - Will Elder, Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Davis - at Playboy magazine working on the comic strip parody Lil' Annie Fannie.

In 1964, Frazetta began painting more paperback book covers, producing arguably some of his most famous work. He did covers for Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan, Carson of Venus and Pellucidar series, for Robert E. Howard's Conan novels, and many more.

Since then, Frazetta has become established as one of the world's top commercial artists, showing astonishing abilities with oil painting, ink illustration, watercolours, and pencil.


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