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The conventional wisdom about Frazetta and the science-fiction genre is that he had little motivation for the subject matter. Frank explained in several interviews that he had to push himself to get motivated enough to draw or paint in that genre. He much preferred the worlds of ER Burroughs and RE Howard. There are a couple of exceptions to this. The story goes that early in their friendship he was visiting Al Williamson. Al was showing a 16mm print of an early Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serial to some friends. Al, of course, loved those early Flash Gordon episodes and never tired of viewing the adventures of Flash and Ming the Merciless. In an earlier post I showcased the original art where Frank was showing Williamson how to draw Flash and add zip-a-tone textures While viewing the movie Frank sat down at Al's drawing board and started drawing a large version of Flash Gordon. He added a big monster and a shot of Dale in the background. Flash had his obligatory signature headpiece on, of course. Everyone thought that headpiece was extremely "cool". Frank brought the original back to his studio and did the final inking. This was in late 1950 or so. Later, Frank offered this piece to Steve Douglas, the art director at Famous Funnies that Al had introduced him to, for possible use as a Buster Crabbe Comics cover. Steve turned it down because he wanted shots of Buster Crabbe on the cover, not Flash Gordon. Frank threw the cover on top of his cabinet and there it stayed until many years later when a friend (Frank said it was Larry Ivie) grabbed a bunch of originals off the cabinet top and partially tore several pieces. Unfortunately, this FLASH cover got torn and is now missing a small portion of the monster's left wing. Frank never repaired it. He just left it. Many years after that Frank sold the original art to rock star Glenn Danzig. Glenn had it for many years before moving it to Hollywood writer and famous SEINFELD writer David Mandel.

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franzetta blog, good source for info and images.

Stories of the Late Frazetta.


Science fiction author-publisher and software developer.