The Frazetta sketchbook from 1954 contained some of his greatest sketch work. Alas, the book was sold in 1994 and immediately broken apart and sold. Many of the individual pages were also split apart into isolated sketches. The full integrity of the book was lost to the ages. I have 99% of the book in Xerox/stat/photo form and hope to recreate it at some point in the future.
This image of Tarzan in the midst of the Dum-Dum ceremony comes from that 1954 book. It is a gem. Tarzan is in a state of animal frenzy as he renews his savage powers around the night fire. The image of Tarzan is wild…arms flailing, yelling at the moon… electric, kinetic hair flying…savage ecstasy in the jungle. By comparison the apes seem almost sedate as their king asserts his majestic rule of the jungle. The nightblack jungle, smoke, and flames are elegantly “suggested” by just a few carefully drawn lines, perfectly placed.
I can just see Frazetta at his table drawing this scene for his amusement… eyes blazing, and with a deep smile cutting across his lips. I would not be surprised if he left his studio for a few moments to dance and howl in the hot Brooklyn night.
Pure Frazetta magic!
Dr. Dave Winiewicz ©2008