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
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.