So Long Frank Frazetta
Frank Frazetta has died.
Okay, I’ve been staring at that first sentence for almost half an hour now, at a loss for how to follow it up. Others will write eloquent eulogies and fact-filled stories about Frank. I can’t do that. I’m merely a fan of his work. And right now all I can think of is how dizzyingly empty I feel to know that he’s no longer with us. I can’t deny that I’m just selfishly sad for myself right now.
I remember the first time I saw a Frank Frazetta illustration. It was the cover of a paperback fantasy novel; I don’t even remember which one. I was so taken by the cover art that I immediately bought the book, took it home and read it, but all I really cared about was the cover. I have no recollection of the story at all, but I put the book up on a shelf in my room with the cover facing out so that I could admire it. It was the purest articulation of the power, violence, seduction, mystery, and doom I had ever imagined in a fantasy story…and it didn’t require even a single word to convey it. I was hooked.
At that time some 30 years ago I had read a few fantasy novels, but I didn’t really catch the fantasy bug until I saw Frank Frazetta’s work. From then on, although I found fantasy stories and authors that appealed to me, what I was really looking for was the story that could measure up to those told by Franks paintings, sketches, and illustrations. In more than 30 years, few ever have.
Truly, this is a sad day for art and fantasy lovers. I wish I could write something more to pay tribute to Frank rather than simply referencing my own selfish sorrow, but right now I’ve got tears on my cheeks and a hollow place in my heart that decorum and eloquence can’t seem to penetrate. And maybe I’m just not trying very hard.
So long Frank, and Godspeed.