Oddly, one of Frazetta’s major FAMOUS FUNNIES covers has never been published in all its tonal glory. Russ Cochran published a colored portfolio of all the covers, but these were straight line shot copies with added color. The LIVING LEGEND volume contains several FAMOUS FUNNIES covers displaying the ink tonalities, but FAMOUS FUNNIES #211 was not included. A decent transparency of this original has never been shot since its original publication in the mid-1950’s.
In a recent deal I was fortunate to come across the original copy/stat/velox of this cover that was owned by Stephen Douglas. Stephen Douglas was the art editor at FAMOUS FUNNIES. Al Williamson was the person who first introduced Frazetta to Stephen Douglas back in the early 50’s. That introduction led to some nice jobs for Frank at a time when the money was much needed.
This copy is interesting because not only does it reveal the ink in a state of brand new freshness, but it still has some of the original underlying pencils before they were subsequently erased. In this copy the pencil adds another dimension to the original. The image, of course, is sensational, and the original cover sold for a record price. Back in 1995, Alex Acevedo of the ALEXANDER GALLERY in NYC offered Frank the ACE paperback oil of TARZAN AND THE JEWELS OF OPAR in trade for this FAMOUS FUNNIES cover. Frank asked me what I thought about the offer. I told him it was a fair offer but that there was magic in all that crosshatching. I told him I would never do that deal. Frank turned the deal down. It was a good decision.
Dr. Dave Winiewicz ©2008