Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Frank Frazetta · Illustration Art · Look Here · Movies

Look Here: MRS. POLLIFAX — SPY, with cover art by Frank Frazetta

I bought the following battered paperback for a buck at a church sale on the weekend:


The image on the cover is an aggressively cropped section of Frank Frazetta’s unusually expansive poster art for the movie Mrs. Pollifax — Spy (1971), which was based on the novel by Dorothy Gilman.

Here, for ease of comparison, are what the poster and the original art look like, more or less:

Notice how, in the poster image, someone or other — the art director? — not only has intensified the colour and contrast but also has moved the hand with the gun, camouflaged in the canopy of the tree in the original, down and slightly to the left, and trimmed back the foliage a bit, in order to make the “threat from above” ridiculously blatant, and I would argue that both changes work rather nicely; that is, the brighter colours seem to me to be more sympathetic to the comedic intent/content of the image — not to mention, more eye-catching — and the change in the position of the arm, etc., integrates the hidden, would-be assassin in a more satisfying way into the overall comedic situation.

(Oddly enough, on the paperback cover, the hand with the gun appears to be positioned more or less where Frazetta has it in his painting, though its effect in that instance — if one notices it at all — seems to me to be more unsettling than it is humorous.)

Notice also the variations in colour among the three images. I don’t know if Frazetta’s original painting is truly as subdued as it looks in that JPEG. What I do know, however, is that my scan at the top of this post matches my copy of the book quite well.

Arthur Suydam · Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Connections · Frank Frazetta · Illustration Art

Connections: Frank Frazetta and Arthur Suydam


I scanned the cover of Back to the Stone Age by Edgar Rice Burroughs, with pulse-poundin’ art by Frank Frazetta, from the copy of the paperback edition in my personal library.

Arthur Suydam’s Mammoth was published as a poster/print in both an unsigned and a signed and limited edition by Glimmer Graphics in 1990, and it appears that copies of both editions are still available. I borrowed the image of Mammoth from the Glimmer Graphics site.

Suydam’s stories in Heavy Metal and Epic Illustrated were among the best those magazines had to offer.

Frazetta, of course, is Frazetta.

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Connections · Frank Frazetta · Illustration Art · Look Here

Connections: Frazetta (1973/74) vs. the unknown (1980)

I don’t often buy Western paperbacks, but when I came upon the Signet Brand Western edition of Ray Hogan’s The Hell Raiser (1980) at our local Value Village, I knew right away that there was an amusing blog post in it. So I bought it. But since I don’t own the Signet edition of Flashman at the Charge with the Frazetta cover, we’ll have to make do with a scan borrowed from Davy Crocket’s Almanack of Mystery, Adventure, and the Wild West:


Is it mere coincidence that Signet published both Flashman at the Charge and The Hell Raiser? Or was the (uncredited) artist instructed by the publisher to do a Western version of a painting, Frazetta’s painting, that had sold a lot of books for Signet in the past? The answer, my friends, is blowin’ in the wind… the answer… is blowin’… in the wind…

Flashman at the Charge is one of the many paintings that Frazetta “improved” after he got it back from the publisher:

Nice hair.

Keywords: Flashman at the Charge, The Hell Raiser.

Connections · Frank Frazetta · Look Here

Connections: Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ and Frank Frazetta

On 14 May 2012, James Gurney asked readers of his blog, Gurney Journey, if anyone could tell him what became of Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ’s Les Porteurs de Mauvaises Nouvelles (“The Bearers of Bad News” — or better, “The Bad News Bearers!”), which was exhibited at the Salon of 1872. Upon seeing the image of the painting that Gurney posted, artist Craig Elliott contacted him to point out that Frazetta very clearly swiped one of the fallen figures in his painting Conan the Destroyer, and a side-by-side comparison was duly incorporated into the post. And then Rafael Kayanan noted that “a similar figure based on the second fallen male on the Lecomte can be found at the bottom left of Frazetta’s kneeling Kublai [sic] Khan plate.” It was all news to me, so…

I’ve posted both comparisons below, but please note that I haven’t borrowed any images from James Gurney’s site. If you want to view Gurney’s version of the comparison suggested by Craig Elliott, click here.


Turns out, Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ’s Les Porteurs de Mauvaises Nouvelles, “long thought to have disappeared (and noted as such in Roger Diederen’s study on Lecomte de Nouÿ – see article in French) is in fact still held at the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs” (See Didier Rykner, “France’s Hidden Museum,” The Art Tribune,


Seeing Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ’s Les Porteurs de Mauvaises Nouvelles reminded me of two other terrific paintings on the theme of indifference in the face of death and destruction: Eugène Delacroix’s The Death of Sardanapalus (1827) and Gustave Doré’s The Enigma (1872):



Ragged Claws Network > Connections: Frazetta and Jones

Frank Frazetta · Harvey Kurtzman · Heads Up! · Joe Kubert · John Severin


Coming in early 2013 from Fantagraphics:

The publisher describes the book (paperback, 192 pages, 12 x 12 inches) as follows:

Archival interviews with Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Frank Frazetta, Bill Gaines, and many more, as well as contemporary interviews with MAD artists, are reprinted in the first of a beautifully packaged two-volume set.

The Comics Journal Library series is the most comprehensive series of lavishly illustrated interviews conducted with cartoonists ever published. To celebrate our republication of the legendary EC line, we proudly present the first of a two-volume set of interviews with the artists and writers (and publisher!) who made EC great. Included in the first volume: career-spanning conversations with EC legends Will Elder, John Severin, Harvey Kurtzman, and Al Feldstein, as well as short interviews with EC short-timers Frank Frazetta and Joe Kubert. Also: EC Publisher William Gaines on his infamous Senate subcommittee testimony, and probing conversations between Silver Age cartoonist Gil Kane and Harvey Kurtzman, as well as contemporary alternative cartoonist Sam Henderson and MAD great Al Jaffee. Part of what made EC the best publisher in the history of mainstream comics was some of the most beautiful drawing ever published in comic books, and every interview is profusely illustrated by pertinent examples of the work under discussion. The EC artists were renowned for their attention to detail, and the reproduction here takes full advantage of the oversized art book format.

If you’ve been buying every issue of The Comics Journal since the dawn of time like I have, you’ll have a lot of the material in this volume in your collection already. But digging through old magazines is such a chore…

Al Williamson · Bernie Krigstein · Frank Frazetta · Gahan Wilson · Heads Up! · Jack Davis · Joe Kubert

Heads Up: A selection of new books coming soon from Fantagraphics!

Every once in a while, I like to use the Amazon “Advanced Search” to find out what I have to look forward to in the coming months from my favourite publishers. Sometimes the information published in the Amazon catalogue is not precisely accurate. Sometimes a book will be credited to the wrong publisher. Often the books are listed without descriptions or cover images. Often the publication date that is listed turns out to be wildly optimistic. I think you get the picture. Anyway, today I was looking for forthcoming books available for pre-order from venerable comics publisher, Fantagraphics, and I just thought I’d share with you some of the titles that caught my eye. I don’t know if I will be willing or able to purchase all of these books if and when they finally are released, but they are all titles that I, and perhaps you, will definitely want to consider. So, without further ado, here’s my very tentative shopping list:

[NO IMAGE — that’s not an error; that’s my way of letting you know that there’s no image yet in the Amazon catalogue.]

Problematic: Selected Sketchbook Drawings 2004-2011 [Hardcover]
Jim Woodring (Author)

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (October 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995945

[NO DESCRIPTION — but it doesn’t matter; for me, it’s a must have!]


The Love and Rockets Reader: From Hoppers to Palomar [Paperback]
Marc Sobel (Author), Los Bros Hernandez (Illustrator)

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (October 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995928
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995921

[NO DESCRIPTION — I want to know what this is before I pre-order, but they’ve got my attention.]


The Love and Rockets Companion: 30 Years (and Counting)< [Paperback]
Neil Gaiman (Contributor), Marc Sobel (Editor), Kristy Valenti (Editor)

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (September 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995790
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995792

[NO DESCRIPTION — again, I want to know what’s in this!]

DAL TOKYO [Hardcover]
Gary Panter (Author, Artist)

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books; 1 edition (Jun 12 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560978864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560978862

Product Description

“Dal Tokyo was a monthly comic strip, drawn in Panter’s groundbreaking “ratty line,” about a future Mars that is terra-formed by Texan and Japanese workers. In 1983 the L.A. Reader published the first 63 strips. A few years later, the Japanese reggae magazine Riddim picked up the strip, and Panter continued the saga of Dal Tokyo in installments for over a decade.”

About the Author

“GARY PANTER (Brooklyn, New York) is the author of Jimbo in Purgatory and Jimbo’s Inferno.”

[There’s some of Panter’s work that I like and some that I don’t. Dal Tokyo, however, is one that I will definitely consider purchasing. I won’t pre-order, though.]


Love and Rockets: The Covers [Hardcover]
Los Bros Hernandez (Author)

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (November 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995987
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995983

[NO DESCRIPTION — but an easy decision: a must have!]


Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures [Hardcover]
Joe Kubert (Author), Bill Schelly (Editor)

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (September 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995812
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995815

[NO DESCRIPTION — but very tempting nonetheless!]


Messages in a Bottle: Comic Book Stories by B. Krigstein [Paperback]
B. (Bernard) Krigstein (Author), Greg Sadowski (Editor)

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (March 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995808

[NO DESCRIPTION — doesn’t matter, I want it!]


Gahan Wilson Sunday Comics [Hardcover]
Gahan Wilson (Author)

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (February 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606996126
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606996126

[NO DESCRIPTION — Do I need another collection of Wilson cartoons? Nope. Do I want another one? Yep. Will I be able to afford one? Time will tell.]


“‘Taint the Meat…It’s the Humanity!” and Other Stories [Hardcover]
Jack Davis (Author), Al Feldstein (Author), Gary Groth (Editor)

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (January 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995782
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995785

[NO DESCRIPTION — but probably part of Fantagraphics’ new EC Comics Library, and therefore a must have!]

“50 Girls 50” and Other Stories [Hardcover]
Frank Frazetta (Author), Al Williamson (Author), Gary Groth (Editor)

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (January 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995778

[NO DESCRIPTION — again, if it’s part of the new EC Comics Library from Fantagraphics, it’s a must have!]

Notice that I haven’t linked to any of the books listed above at Amazon or any other bookseller. That’s deliberate on my part. I’m not trying to make money by enticing you to buy things via RCN. My sole interest is to promote the kind of books that I enjoy so that those books will sell more copies and (maybe) publishers will keep producing the kind of books that I enjoy.