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Frank Frazetta wasn’t all Sword & Sorcery, he painted some classic movie posters too

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‘What’s New Pussycat?’ (1965).
 
It was a painting of Ringo Starr that changed Frank Frazetta‘s life. Frazetta was a comic strip artist contributing to EC Comics, National Comics (later known as DC Comics) and Avon Comics. He was drawing Buck Rogers, Li’l Abner, Johnny Comet and helping out on Flash Gordon. Occasionally he would supply his talents to MAD magazine. That’s how he produced a painting of Ringo Starr for a spoof shampoo ad for the magazine. The picture caught the attention of PR guys at United Artists who commissioned Frazetta to produce the poster artwork for their Peter Sellers, Peter O’Toole, Woody Allen film What’s New Pussycat? For one day’s work, Frazetta earned his annual salary. It changed his life. The success of What’s New Pussycat? led to further poster commissions for a whole slate of movies: After the Fox, The Fearless Vampire Killers, The Night They Raided Minsky’s and The Gauntlet.

The movie work led to book cover work. He painted some of the most iconic covers for Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan and John Carter novels. And most famously redefined Conan the Barbarian as a bulging muscled, rugged behemoth. Frank Frazetta created a whole world of these Sword and Sorcery paintings which defined the genre and became synonymous with his name.

However, I do prefer Frazetta’s movie poster artwork which beautifully captures the whole joyful spirit of the swinging sixties, before progressing towards his more recognizable style in the seventies and eighties.
 
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Frank Frazetta’s painting of Ringo Starr for MAD magazine (1964).
 
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‘What’s New Pussycat?’ (1965).
 
More fabulous Frank Frazetta movie posters, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
RIP Frank Frazetta
05.10.2010
11:30 pm

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Art

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Frank Frazetta

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Deep down, all that (even nominally straight) men really want to do is kill everything that moves and then fly away on a badass wyvern with all of the naked barbarian maidens in sight, likely while “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin plays in the background. This was the great revelation that drove Frank Frazetta, god rest his soul, to the top of the world of fantasy art. His style has been imitated by every fantasy book cover artist and prison punk trying to draw some art to trade for cigarettes since. For his work perfectly captured the pure essence of the teenage male libido in as unvarnished of a form as “Dirty Dancing” did for the teenage female libido. Jah bless.

More:

(Feuilliton: RIP Frank Frazetta)

(Coilhouse: RIP Frank Frazetta)

Note: Badass wyvern. I just wanted to type that again.

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment