Saturday, May 15, 2010

Goodbye Frazetta

Everyone has done their tributes already to the great Frank Frazetta, but I thought I would say something about his influence on me. Naturally I came across him first with the Conan novels. His work brought Conan to life like no other artist could. I've mentioned a number of times in this blog that Alan Lee is my favorite artist, but Frazetta is absolutely the next in line.

I love so many of his paintings, but I will show only this one, called Dark Kingdom.

I not only love the piece itself, but this one influenced me in one chapter of my book. I was always intrigued by the skeleton that the warrior was walking over. It has clearly been there long enough to be fully decayed - what is the story behind it?

In my novel a group of characters escapes from a lost city within the mountains only to find themselves in a legendary haunted forest. They have no other way forward, so they are forced to enter. Legend says that a terrible battle took place in the woods five thousand years gone, and that as the losing side fled, the wizard that led them cast a curse on the place. Ever since, the leavings of battle - skeletons, armor, weapons - lie scattered through the forest, never disappearing with time like they should.

The group stalks carefully through the trees, trying to avoid rusty blades and sharp bones, and eventually they are forced to make camp when it grows too dark.  They find a clearing and remove all of the detritus, hoping that old bones and weapons are the only true danger. The main character awakes in the night, shivering from an unnatural cold, and finds that the two guards are frozen solid. The camp is surrounded by misty apparitions of the slain. Slowly the wraiths close in on the camp...

I'll leave it there. What I mean to say is a big Thank You to Frank Frazetta for inspiring so many lovers of fantasy and science fiction. Rest in peace, Frank.


  1. There's always a picture or piece of music that inspires my writing in some way. I'm glad he was part of your life. I've seen some of his other work, and although I'm not into sci-fi/fantasy he's a brilliant artist. Is this the picture on one of the Molly Hatchet album covers, do you know?

  2. That picture was always a favorite of mine. And yes, it was a Molly Hatchet album cover.

  3. I also love the Thor painting. Do you know what it is appraised at in dollar terms? Thanks

    1. I can't find any info about the painting having been appraised. I don't think it is for sale, and you can probably only get prints of it.