Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Frazetta's Looie Lazybones

Here is a splash page that is currently being auctioned by Russ Cochran.

Can anyone identify this page from an issue of THRILLING COMICS in the late 40's? I've never seen it before and I suspect it might be unpublished. I thought I'd throw it out there for those with a substantial Frazetta comic book collection.

Russ' Auction site:


Monday, January 30, 2012

Three Sexy Frazetta Women

A nice sketchsheet featuring three lovely ladies, partially colored in colored pencils. They were done simply for the joy of drawing and with no other purpose in mind. None of the images were published or subsequently used for another project. This sheet was found partially crushed in the back of a dresser drawer upstairs in Ellie's room. Thank God it survived.

(c) 2012 DocDave Winiewicz

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How Frazetta Bought A Home

An interesting piece of Frazetta history, this document dates from the early 70's and depicts a listing of paintings that Frank was giving to Russ Cochran to sell. Russ Cochran, of course, was Frank's first art agent and was directly responsible for creating the market for Frazetta original art. Russ' importance to the Frazetta story is significant. Frank was attempting to raise enough money to pay off the new home and land in Pennsylvania. The listed numbers are the sale prices. Russ would take his cut out of those prices. And, yes, Russ did sell them all. He sold them during the period of 1971 to 1975. The FIGHTING MAN OF MARS was added later. Frank never thought highly of the piece. He thought it was a simply static portrait with nothing special about it. I disagreed with him completely. The princess is spectacular and the entire environment is filled with mood and atmosphere and glorious heroism. We decided to use it as the cover to both editions of the Frazetta Reference volumes.

(c)2012 DocDave Winiewicz

Monday, January 23, 2012

Frazetta As Home Designer

These pages are home design revisions from the mind of Frazetta. The Frazetta home in Marshall's Creek, PA underwent many changes from the time of its purchase in the early 70's. It started as a single story cottage, run down and filled with clutter. There was a barn off to the side. Frank added a pre-fabricated second story to the cottage, then he added an expanded living room, then he added a new studio. These sketchbook page revisions reflect a time when Frank wanted to expand the house further with a swimming pool. Originally the pool was going to be enclosed and feature a very primitive jungle motif with rocks and vegetation. At the very last minute Frank rejected this idea because of potential humidity damage to the paintings. He called the idea "Frazetta's Folly".

There is one museum design in the group that derives from the home designs. The original museum idea featured a separate studio apartment for Frank on the second floor. This would have been Frank's private getaway area. He wanted some separation from Ellie. Ellie said it was too expensive, nixed the idea, and plans reverted to a single story design.

At one point Frank wanted to build an all new home on a different part of the lake. Frank Junior had just built a large home across the other end of the lake and Frank wanted to outdo it. Frank's medical issues put an end to those ideas.

Many people wonder why Frank chose the Pocono mountain area as his destination. Frank was clearly disenchanted with the whole NYC-Long Island area. Ellie had found a large tudor-style house that was turnkey move-in ready, but Frank wanted no part of it. He said "no". He was tired of neighborhood living. He wanted space; he wanted the stereotypical "room to breathe". The reason for Pennsylvania is that the National Cartoonist Society would have yearly golf outings at the Shawnee-on-Delaware resort, the Shawnee Inn, owned by Fred Waring, an early supporter of the NCS. They gathered to celebrate his birthday every summer. In addition to cartoonists, many celebrities would show up. This is where Frank played golf with Hal Foster and met Jackie Gleason. This was located right in the middle of the Pocono mountains. These outings influenced Frank. He loved the mountains and the isolation of the area.The land was very atmospheric, very moody and mysterious. The summers featured heavy fogs and constantly changing weather patterns. The vegetation was thick and rich; the area was populated by many animals from deer to rabbits to coyotes to bobcats. It was the perfect location for Frank. It was this very 65 acre parcel of land that influenced George Lucas and Clint Eastwood to buy up sections of California. They both saw what Frank had and they wanted the same thing.

Frank settled in and let the world beat a path to his door. It was a magical house in a magical setting.

(c)2012 Doc Dave Winiewicz

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Frazetta Gem

In the early 1970's Russ Cochran asked Frank to do a couple of drawings for his publishing company. Frank produced an exquisite fox face logo in a circular motif and a standing fox illo for Russ' letterhead. This sketch sheet contains a study for that project. Frank also included that wonderful cascading piece of ribaldry on the sheet. Horny and aggressive amazon warriors chasing reluctantly tumescent men. An amazing little presentation is it not? Straight from some exotic fever dream in the highly eroticized corner of his mind.

The original was discovered in the back of a drawer in 1994 where it was purchased by Alex Acevedo of the Alexander Gallery in NYC. It was partially crinkled and executed on very light paper, so Alex had it archivaly drymounted onto a heavier board. It has since been cut apart.

(c) 2012 DocDave Winiewicz

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Frazetta As Cover Model

Most of you viewers have seen these covers by now. We included them in the second revised edition of the Definitive Frazetta Index/Reference. What is interesting is that absolutely no one knew about these covers until fellow collector and friend, Andrew Steven ( who helped co-edit and fact check the Frazetta Index. He was invaluable in the final finish of the book) discovered these in a bookstore. He was stunned and puzzled when he saw them for the first time. He immediately called me up to discuss this discovery. I was amazed. Andrew had a vast paperback collection and a
comprehensive collection of Frazetta volumes. We approached Frank for the background story. Frank said that he did the covers as a favor to the art editor and a way to pick up some quick cash. He never told his wife, Ellie, nor did he keep any copies of the published covers. He simply forgot about it and never mentioned it to anyone. It was his little secret and he used all the money to buy cameras and lenses. I had him sign my copies, cursively, of course. I think I have the only signed copies in existence. This is an interesting little facet to Frank's diverse career.

(c)2012 DocDave Winiewicz

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

100th Post: Frazetta, Memory, And Memoirs

Well, we have reached a little milestone with the 100th posting. I thought that a few comments are in order concerning my approach and philosophy in producing this site.

I think it is very important for people to share their experiences directly in the form of memoirs. This is the way to preserve cultural traditions and important knowledge for future generations. Anything that augments understanding and adds to the appreciation of a significant creative life is important. I have been gathering these stories for years from many sources. Of course, history should never be written by just one person. I do not have absolute knowledge about Frazetta. I never claimed to know everything. I am just sharing what I do know. Frazetta, as everyone knows, often changed his mind and answered questions with different facts. I always gave more weight to what Frank told me before his strokes. His mind was clearer and his answers were more consistent. There is much more I wished I did know, questions I wished I had asked. My knowledge of Frank's early school life and art education is very weak. I am thankful for all the stories published by Russ Cochran, Nick Meglin, Roy Krenkel, Al Williamson, Neal Adams, Arnie Fenner, and others. In particular I would highly reccomend the Frazetta tribute that Arnie Fenner added to the latest SPECTRUM volume (#19). He addresses the issue of Frank's proper consideration and he shines a light into all those dark, closeted issues that need to be brought into the light. Arnie knows, as any right thinking reader knows, a good biography must be honest and look at all aspects of a life, both good and bad. Look at the current biography of Steve Jobs. It contains a blend of all the great things he accomplished, and the darker sides of his life and personality. It provides us with a complete picture without prejudice or propaganda. Other artists' biographies are equally candid in their portrayal of the artist's life. Look at the brutal elements in the life of N.C. Wyeth who allegedly had an affair with his daughter-in-law and fathered his own grandson. Anything less than total candor is a waste of time. A biography needs direct veracity, not pie-in-the-sky fairytales. My earlier web site was hacked into and shut down because I dared to post a trilogy of essays that began to deal with the raw and unvarnished truthful elements surrounding Frank's life, e.g. the truth behind the museums, the truth behind the myth of Ellie Frazetta, etc. Some people did not want to hear it. They preferred to wallow in self-serving constructed myths and carefully contrived phoniness. The internet cowards and haters will always be there. Fine...let them write their own stories. The truths will emerge; it is just a matter of time. When all is known it will only enhance Frazetta's reputation. I am certain of that.

Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a process that will guarantee him a place in art history's pantheon. I didn't ask for this job, but fate has a way of handing out certain responsibilities. I was placed in a unique position to share life with Frazetta at a very deep level. Our friendship transcended the realm of art and extended into many more dimensions. We incessantly talked about everything and shared experiences and thoughts continuously over the period of 25 years. I am less interested in the plain biographical facts of his life, e.g. the dates, the relatives, the timeline of his career. I leave that for others. I am interested in presenting the essence of the man himself, what makes him tick, what makes him so special and unique. Frank wanted his memory and life shared in an accurate way. He was very afraid that incorrect things would be said. He hated some of the things Ellie was saying at the museum. It bothered him deeply. If enough untruths are repeated over and over, people have a tendency to consider them as the absolute truth. Frank gave me free access to his mind and soul; he was honest with me. Loyalty was always a big thing for Frank. If Frank detected any disloyalty, then that person would be cut out of his life, period, no chance at redemption. Frank was loyal to me and I to him. That is why I am presenting these little essays...to provide a window into the authentic Frazetta and the life he lived. Frank, the man, cannot be understood without understanding the family dynamics, and the complex relationship he had with Ellie. The last 30 years of Frank's life were pivotal to his career. His life became increasingly more complex and difficult. His extreme medical problems transformed him and everyone around him.

These are my direct experiences. There is nothing to disagree with here. If someone else has a different perspective on Frank or Ellie, then by all means, write your story down and let history judge its' truth. I was there. I saw all this family joy and extreme family pain, and recorded it as best as I could. A lot of it is painful to read for many people. However, it is the truth. Great men's lives often embrace great contradictions. Frank was no different. In addition to his staggering artistic successes, his life was also full of contradiction and failure. Often, his neglect of critical family issues planted the seeds for disasters to come. I admired Frank; I loved him as a dear, dear friend; and I felt a profound pity for him. This is simply a record of my thoughts and experiences and reflections. My hope is that others will continue to build on these ideas and facts. The Frazetta story continues to evolve and grow and influence.

I added a recent portrait of myself to this essay. I'm smiling. I smile a lot. I have good reason to smile. I'm sitting on a mountain of golden memories and surrounded by fantastic examples of Frazetta's art. Life is very good, indeed!

A big "thank you" to all the readers of this site who share my passion for Frazetta. I don't know how long I can keep this going, but for now, it is a lot of fun to keep Frank's memory alive in some tangible way.

(c) 2012 DocDave Winiewicz

Posted by docdave at 3:56 PM
Scott Williams said...
These posting are of profound value and importance Dave. Thanks for being there amid the good times and the ruin and the pain and giving us an insight to the life of the Frazetta name.


February 21, 2011 9:54 AM
docdave said...
Thanks again Scott. I feel a duty and a responsibility to Frank's memory to get these things said. Frank wanted it that way. We all loved the guy so much!


February 21, 2011 10:29 AM

Monday, January 16, 2012

Frazetta Teaches Himself To Watercolor

This is an extremely early sketch page where Frank taught himself to watercolor. The backside contains a very dynamic cowboy drawing along with other studies. The front contains swatches of color and a seated man study with carefully applied tints. There are very light pencil notations on the page where Frank writes down various color overlay combinations. My early photograph did not pick up those textual additions. The color on the page is not haphazard or random. It is Frank working through various types of blendings and transparent layers for different effects. This is a very interesting piece of Frazetta history. It is currently owned by a collector in europe.

(c) 2012 DocDave Winiewicz

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Early Frazetta Watercolor

A very early watercolor portrait that looks to date from the early 40's, although I cannot be sure. The back of this piece has the word "Falanga" written on the back. Could this be a school project where Frank drew his old teacher Michel Falanga? Is it a family member, a well-liked uncle? This is a little mystery waiting to be solved. One thing for sure, it is a fantastic study and showcases the very early genius of Frazetta. There is so much life in that face, very expressive and beautifully colored.

(c)2012 DocDave Winiewicz

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Frazetta: Tarzan And The Antmen

Tarzan And The Ant Men was produced as a spec piece to show publishers what Frazetta was capable of. Vern Coriell, one of the founders of fandom and one of the early passionate enthusiasts of all things Burroughs, first published it as the back cover of the great BURROUGHS BIBLIOPHILES #29 fanzine. It was originally drawn as a watercolor. It ultimately ended-up in the collection of Robert R Barrett, another early fan of Frazetta and passionate collector of all things Tarzan and Burroughs related.

Frank wanted to get the Warren magazine oil from CREEPY #9 back, which he had previously sold to Bob. He offered a deal whereby Frank would get the oil back and, in return, repaint the Ant Men in oil and toss-in another Frazetta Burroughs illustration. Bob agreed. The result is what I think is Frank's first repaint. I have reproduced both versions. I have also included the original sketchsheet. Notice how Frank is playing with the figure of Tarzan to get that heroic walking gesture just right. I think the repainted version is better, but I do enjoy some of the color blendings in the original watercolor. I also like the "eyes open" face of Tarzan. This is the first time that a decent image of the watercolor has been seen. The fanzine version is simply too dark and muddy. It gives no insight into the obvious qualities of the original. However, for its time, we were all glad to see it. BURROUGHS BULLETIN#29 is still the greatest of all the FF fanzines/bootlegs.

Vern Coriell told me he preferred the earlier version because the repaint was stiff and featured a standardized washboard stomach that wasn't as inventive.I told him that I disagreed, but I certainly thought his points had some validity. The second version is simply more 3-dimensional; it has more of that Frazetta "presence" I wrote about earlier. The body creates a visual impact. Tarzan is seeminly striding into your living room. It has energy. It's an interesting comparison to ponder. The question of Frazetta repaints is a heated one. Everyone has their opinions.

What do you think?

(c) 2012 Doc Dave Winiewicz

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Frazetta and the Old Man

I walked into the kitchen and was greeted by Ellie Frazetta. This was late in 1995. She said: "Hi Dave! Frank is anxious to see you. He started painting left handed. He finished his first oil. It's a picture of an old man. I looked at it and started to cry." Before I could ask Ellie why she cried, Frank emerged out of the studio, shook my hand, and offered me some coffee. We went directly to the studio. The words of Ellie still puzzled me, but not for long.

I walked into the studio and saw the small painting of a little old man on his easel. I immediately congratulated Frank on the outcome and expressed my amazement at how well it turned out. It was his very first left handed oil after his major strokes. Before this he had drawn a number of pencil drawings of varying quality. This was a breakthrough.

I knew then and there why Ellie cried. Frank had painted himself, how he felt, how diminished and frail he had become. Somehow, some way, his subconscious had directed him to this subject matter. I didn't pursue it. I shot a few photos of the oil, made some more laudatory comments, and then moved on to another topic. That little oil hit me like an emotional sledgehammer. I had to sit down. I couldn't even look at Frank for a few minutes. I sipped my coffee. I felt sorry for Frank, deeply and profoundly sorry. He felt his mortality and loss of native powers. He was trying to exorcise those feelings with this oil. He never returned to that theme. I don't blame him.

It's often been said that the true autobiography of an artist can be seen in his works. At this moment, that was never truer.

(c) 2012 Doc Dave Winiewicz

Monday, January 9, 2012

Frazetta: Princess Of Mars

What makes this large oversize sketch sheet special is that it is the first set of ideas drawn for the Doubleday Books MARS series of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. Also, notice that Frank's original idea for the cover depicts the scene where John Carter flies in the air attacking a thark. Ultimately, he rejected that idea and used the more standard heroic pose of John Carter and the Princess with the giant moon behind them. The rejected cover design was then used as an interior illustration.

The sketch sheet is simply a wonderful work of art in itself.

(c)2012 DocDave Winiewicz

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Frazetta Bibliography

A number of people have asked me to post my personal bibliography of Frazetta writings, etc. Well, here it is:

FRAZETTA Bibliography……………….Dr. David Winiewicz


CHRISTIE'S AUCTION CATALOG, October 31, 1992, New York: Christie's Publications [Interior Essay]

CHRISTIE'S AUCTION CATALOG, October 30, 1993, New York: Christie's Publications [Interior Essay]

CHRISTIE'S AUCTION CATALOG, October 29, 1994, New York: Christie's Publications [Interior Essay]

CHRISTIE'S AUCTION CATALOG, November 17, 1995, New York: Christie's Publications [Interior Essay]

THE DEFINITIVE FRAZETTA REFERENCE (Index and Checklist), Edited by James Bond. Assisted by Dave Winiewicz, Vanguard Publisher, October, 2008.

THE DEFINITIVE FRAZETTA REFERENCE (Index and Checklist), SECOND EDITION, Edited by James Bond. Assisted by Dave Winiewicz, Vanguard Publisher, August, 2010.

FANTASTIC ART OF FRANK FRAZETTA, Volume 4, New York: Peacock Press/Bantam Books, 1980 [Production assistance].

FANTASTIC ART OF FRANK FRAZETTA, Volume 5, New York: Peacock Press/Bantam Books, 1985 [Production assistance].

FRAZETTA PILLOWBOOK, Northhampton, MA: Kitchen Sink Press, 1994 [Essay: "Another Side of Frazetta"].

FRAZETTA BOOK ONE, Pennsylvania: Frazetta Publications/Sun-Litho Press, 1996 [Production/Editorial assistance and introductory essay: "The Very Best"].

FRAZETTA CLASSICS: COMPLETE JOHNNY COMET: Vanguard Productions, April, 2011 [Production assistance]

FRAZETTA CLASSICS: COMPLETE WHITE INDIAN: Vanguard Productions, April, 2011 [Production assistance]

HERITAGE SIGNATURE AUCTION CATALOG, November23-24, 2001, Dallas: Heritage Coin Publications [Writing and Production Assistance].


Dallas: Heritage Coin Publications [Writing and Production Assistance].


Dallas: Heritage Coin Publications [Interior essay: “Carson of Venus”].


Dallas: Heritage Coin Publications [Interior essays- “Secret People”, etc.]

HERITAGE SIGNATURE AUCTION CATALOG, December 7, 2002, Dallas: Heritage Coin Publications. Text descriptions.

HERITAGE SIGNATURE AUCTION CATALOG, March, 2003, Dallas: Heritage Coin Publications. Text descriptions.


Heritage Coin Publications. Text descriptions.


Heritage Coin Publications. Text descriptions.


Heritage Coin Publications. Text descriptions.

ICON: A Retrospective of Frank Frazetta, California: Underwood Books, 1998 [Production assistance and photographs].

ILLUSTRATIONS ARCANUM, California: Verotik Publishing, 1994

[Interior essay: "Poetry in Pencil"].

LEGACY: Selected Paintings and Drawings by Frank Frazetta, California: Underwood Books, 1999 [ Production assistance and photographs].

L'IL ABNER, Volume 20, Northampton, Mass: Kitchen Sink Press, 1994 [Introductory essay: "Frazetta in Dogpatch"].

ORIGINAL COMIC ART: IDENTIFICATION AND PRICE GUIDE, Edited by J. Weist, New York: Avon Books, 1992 [Index: Frank Frazetta Collectors' List]

TESTAMENT. California: Underwood Books, 2001 [Photographs, production assistance, and interior essay “Frazetta in San Diego”].

ULTIMATE TRIUMPH, London: Wandering Star Press, 1999 [Production assistance and essay: "Frazetta and R. E. Howard: The Power of Passion"].


COMIC BOOK MARKETPLACE #85, September, 2001 [Essay: “Frazetta Grand Opening 2001” plus photography].

COMIC BOOK MARKETPLACE #86, October, 2001 [Essay: “Frazetta’s Little Jewels”].

COMIC BOOK MARKETPLACE #88, December, 2001 [Essay: “Frazetta’s Fine Lines”].

COMIC BOOK MARKETPLACE #89, January, 2002 [Essay: “Frazetta and Foster: Some Thoughts” plus a review of the Hal Foster book by Brian Kane].

COMIC BOOK MARKETPLACE #93, August, 2002 [Essay: “A State of Grace”].

COMIC BOOK MARKETPLACE #108, December,2003 [Essay: “Frazetta’s Fairy Tale”].

COMIC BOOK MARKETPLACE #114, Sept. 2004 [Essay: “Frazetta’s Magic Pencil…And My Biggest Mistake.”].

DIAMOND DIALOGUE, June, 1998, Autobiographical essay: "Frank-ly Speaking".

FRANK FRAZETTA FANTASY ILLUSTRATED #2, Spring, 1998, Published by Quantum Cat Entertainment, Winter Park, Florida. [Essay: "Kane on the Golden Sea"].

FRANK FRAZETTA FANTASY ILLUSTRATED #3, Summer, 1998. [Essay: “Savage Pellucidar"].

FRANK FRAZETTA FANTASY ILLUSTRATED #4, Winter, 1998. [Multiple essays: "The Death Dealer" and "The Graphic Genius of Frank Frazetta" pp. 40-49].

FRANK FRAZETTA FANTASY ILLUSTRATED #6, May, 1999. [Essay: "The Egyptian Queen"].

FRANK FRAZETTA FANTASY ILLUSTRATED #7, July, 1999. [Essay:"Conan the Warrior"].

FRANK FRAZETTA FANTASY ILLUSTRTED #8, September, 1999. [Essay: "Frazetta's Spiderman"].

GOLDEN AGE QUARTERLY #2 [Essay: "Princess of Mars"]

ILLUSTRATION #2, Feb. 2002 [Essay: “Frazetta’s Little Miracles”, plus photography].

ILLUSTRATION #5, 2002 [Essay: “Frazetta: The Creative Moment” plus photography]. November, 2002.

MUSEUM GRAND OPENING 2001, Booklet published by Frank Frazetta, Jr. [Words in tribute to Frazetta].

SPECTRUM, vol.1, #22, April,2000 [Interview, pp. 11-14, "Ultimate Triumph"].

SPFX (Special Effects Magazine), #8, New Jersey: SPFX Publications, 1999. [ Photograph].


Documentary…FRAZETTA: PAINTING WITH FIRE, VHS and DVD, 96 minutes, Cinemachine, 2003. Extensive interviews and production assistance.

THE DEFINITIVE FRAZETTA REFERENCE (Index and Checklist) Edited by James Bond. Assisted by Dave Winiewicz, Carnivore Press: New York, 2003. Interactive CD, 176 pages.

THE DEFINITIVE FRAZETTA REFERENCE (Index) Edited by James Bond. Vanguard Publications: New Jersey, 2009. Two essays contributed.

CAME THE DAWN Portfolio, Published by Frazetta Prints, I wrote the

Introductory text as a favor for Frank Frazetta Jr.

ULTIMATE TRIUMPH book interview by Anya Martin, July, 1999.

Published in several London newspapers and the internet.


COMIC AND FANTASY ART APA (Hereafter abbreviated to CFA-APA), #3, December, 1985, Edited by Roger Hill. [Essay: "Reveries of a Frazetta Collector, Part 1"].

CFA-APA #4, March, 1986. [Essay: "Reveries of a Frazetta Collector, Part 2"].

CFA-APA #5, June, 1986. [Essay: "Delectations and Ruminations"].

CFA-APA #6, September, 1986 (Entire issue devoted to Frank Frazetta). [Essay: "The Greatest"].

CFA-APA #10, September, 1987. [Essay: "Reveries of a Frazetta Collector, Part 4"].

CFA-APA #11, March, 1988. [Essay: "A Serious Look at a Serious Picture"].

CFA-APA #13, September, 1988. [Essay: "What's New with Frank?"].

CFA-APA #16 , Fall, 1989. [Essay: "A Trip to the Frazettas"].

CFA-APA #18, April, 1990. [Essay: "The Poetry of Line"].

CFA-APA #81, Summer, 2010 FRAZETTA MEMORIAL TREIBUTE ISSUE, Guest essay: “Fun With Frank and Ellie.” A look at the issue of Frazetta’s pornographic stories.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Frazetta Signature

The professional signature of Frazetta underwent many changes over the course of 50 years. It was not an easy signature to draw or paint. The oil reproduced above is an example. Frank said this in response to one of my questions: "You know...my name isn't easy to draw. It takes work to get it just right. See that painting [He points to the HUNTER OUT OF TIME oil hanging in his studio] it took me four times to get it right. Four times! I finally got it the way I wanted it."

Now, that's a perfectionist. The signature on that oil is exceptional. If you get a chance ever to see the original, look closely at that signed area. I marvel at it.

After his first two strokes Frank's professional signature was never the same. It was a supreme effort for him to even attempt it. The results were stiff, labored, crooked, and unnatural. He tried it using both hands. Both hands failed. Please don't ask me to evaluate the authenticity of later items signed by Frazetta. They may or may not be. If it looks bad, then it's probably good. I reproduce a picture of Frank's drawing table which has a big thick board on it. Frank would draw ink drawings and watercolors on this board in the pre-stroke days. After the strokes he abandoned pure ink drawings and relied on pencil. Notice on the surface of this board all the many times Frank began to practice his pro signature. Notice how weak each attempt is. This was profoundly frustrating for Frank. Also notice the tray of Mickey Mouse watercolors that Frank used for coloring. And, of course, the overall Frazetta chaos and visual cacophany jumps out of this photo, even a big blob of dried glue on the board. Imagine all the carefully crafted, life-infused beauty that emerged from this artistic jumbalaya. I hope someone preserved the board. The other side is equally interesting, but I didn't photograph it. I simply forgot to do it. I always thought that an artifact like that takes you right inside an artist's head. I look at that board and I see a thousand images of Frank smiling and a thousand laughs.

I noticed during the times I would take Frank to the hospital for blood tests that he would sign the forms with his right hand cursively. The extra papers I reproduced contain examples of Frank signing his name cursively with his right hand AFTER the strokes. He was practicing before signing some ULTIMATE TRIUMPH books for me. Notice how he achieves a much smoother result. I had Frank sign later books exclusively with this cursive signature. It simply looked better. I never attempted to have Frank sign with his pro signature. It was simply too painful to watch him attempt it and I know he was embarrassed by it.

The evolution of Frank's signature and its many phases is worthy of a big essay by itself.

(c)2012 DocDave Winiewicz

And, of course, I reserve copyright on all my photo images. The Frazetta Estate reserves copyright on all art depicted in any of my postings.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Frazetta: Conan The Buccaneer Studies

Frank would often take b/w photos of works in progress. These are rescued photos from early Conan concepts. The actual originals are about 9x12 inches and in full color. The concepts were rejected because they did not show the face of Conan.

Welcome to the New Year, everyone!