Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another Hidden Frazetta Female

The illustrations executed for the Doubleday Series in the early to mid-1970’s are very uneven in quality. Frank said that he was just trying to draw some interesting designs. He had no great ambitions for this series. The best of the lot are the ones containing full female images. No surprise, is it? Frank has a hard time drawing a female poorly. The image I am reproducing with this essay was buried in a collection for 35 years. The collector bought it from Russ Cochran in the 1970’s and kept it all these years as a constant source of joy and satisfaction. How many originals these days will bring that type of long term aesthetic joy? Very few, indeed.

The girl in this drawing is all pen except for the daubs on the hair. Frank used a little brush on the slab figure. He wanted the form on the slab to be a bit softer to the eye. The female form is simply exquisite. She stops, looks, experiences shock, then gently lifts her left arm and hand in a gesture of sympathetic emotion. Her right hand goes to her mouth in seeing the horror. A delicate response and a movement caught at just the right moment. Beautiful. Like all Frazetta women, she is soft, and invitingly erotic. The published version added a skirt to cover her buttock area. How typically puritanical of the art editor: crappy publishing quality along with heavy-handed censorship. And yet, if the truth is told, we still loved the books and the art. It gave birth to a vigorous cottage industry of bootleg publications. The fans just wanted more and more Frazetta of any sort.

We still do!

©2011 Doc Dave Winiewicz