Frank the Barbarian

So, with all the media buzz surrounding this new Conan the Barbarian movie, I figured it would be a good time to give a shout out to one of the greatest Sci-Fi and Fantasy cover illustrators of the 80’s: Frank Frazetta.

He painted a lot of voluptuous women, none of which will be posted here. Google ’em yourself. Said women graced the front covers of innumerable paperbacks, which graced the shelves of myriad book shops, which graced the streets of cities all around the world.

Our boy Franklin is best known for his work on the Tarzan and John Carter books by Edgar Rice Burroughs (someone I’ve been meaning to bush up on in my reading time), and Conan the Barbarian, by someone I’m not going to bother looking up.

Young Frank was also an avid athlete, but no one really cares. This just goes to show you: the arts have infinitely greater staying power than athletics.  Who even knows who Babe Ruth was any more?

Without further ado, here are a few selections of Frank Frazetta’s work. No further ado. I’m going to wrap up all of the ado in a Hefty bag and put it out for the trash man. If you see any ado lying around, sweep it under the carpet. But watch for carpet vipers.

Frazetta-ConanTheUsurper-1967Frank Frazetta, Cover for Conan the Usurper, 1967

Frank-Frazetta-Combat_1968Frank Frazetta, Combat, 1968

Frank Frazetta-Against The Gods_1966Frank Frazetta, Against the Gods, 1966

So, lots of muscular people; you get the idea. But sometimes these center-stage, anatomically awesome humans steal the show from Frazetta’s truly terrific fantasy critters.

Frank Frazetta-TheMoonMen-1978Frank Frazetta, Cover for The Moon Men, 1978

(Not to be confused with The Moomins)

frank_frazetta_gollum_1973Frank Frazetta, Gollum, 1973

frank_frazetta_manapeFrank Frazetta, Man Ape from Conan the Barbarian

Frank Frazetta-John Carter1-c1970Frank Frazetta, from John Carter, 1970

Aren’t those great? You only get that good at monsters by studying animals.

Frank Frazetta-Black Panther_1972Frank Frazetta, Black Panther, 1972

Frank Frazetta-Kane on the Golden Sea_1977Frank Frazetta, Kane on the Golden Sea, 1977

Fun fact: Frazetta was good buddies with infamous, irreverent animator Ralph Bakshi. He and Bakshi collaborated on the 1983 high fantasy/lowbrow film Fire and Ice, but I don’t recommend it. I don’t recommend any of Bakshi’s films, even if I do admire his spunk.

For more of Frank’s work, check out this gallery!

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5 thoughts on “Frank the Barbarian

      1. Joachim Boaz

        Well, I wish thinking of all the books I had with his cover (not a fan I must admit, prefer the surrealist of that era, Paul Lehr, Richard Powers, Robert Foster) and realized that most were earlier than the 80s… hehe

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