Sunday, May 16, 2010
Frank Frazetta, fantasist painter, passed away a few days ago. I wasn't aware of him until I'd taken some art classes and a friend mentioned his covers that were on the Conan paperback books. I can see why there were so many fanatical fans about his work as they are full of drama, action, and really draw one's attention to the covers. No wonder he had a legion of fans, and people sought out the books in which his covers graced. The first time I became aware of him was way back when I was in college, and picked up Dust's Hard Attack album, an American hard rock trio. The music was okay and had a few good songs on it I enjoyed, but overall a bit of a letdown. (No excuses for my taste back then--that's just how I rolled...) The album cover though I still consider a classic--too bad I got rid of it somewhere along the line... Such are the reasons vinyl collectors go to record conventions and haunt used bookstore and the like.
I've seen the Frank Frazetta movie, which for me, was a bit of a letdown too. I wanted him to elaborate upon his technique, or who he admired as other fantasy painters or other artist, or how he found out he had this gift for painting, what movies, comics, or books he might have enjoyed, perhaps how he honed his skill at painting. Unfortunately the movie covered none of that ground. He mostly spoke of early times with buddies around NYC, baseball, sports, being a real macho man back then, and a few other topics, which held little to no interest for me. It didn't help the movie either that the makers of the film were constantly fawning over the whole endeavor and at actually being associated with Frazetta. Still I guess it's worth a watch, I suppose, if you admire the man's work.
There's a pretty nice site at: frankfrazetta.org, which has a lot of his paintings on display. Some make pretty nice desktops, if you're into that type thing.
I've also been reading the comic, Kick-Ass, which is now a movie. I don't know how well the movie came out--I'd guess pretty decent, but the comic is a fun read by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. I'm not normally a fan or Romita's art as it generally appears too cartoon-like for my taste, but works well here. The story is funny, violent, and a quick read.
Also I've been reading The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. It's a nonfiction account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and where they come from, how they are studied, how they can infect and kill a person. It's pretty hair-raising, but interesting. The blurb on the back by Stephen King saying its a pretty horrific novel sort of hooked my curiousity.