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Louise Simonson on Frank Frazetta, Jeffrey Jones, and photo reference…

Below is a partial transcript of the above clip, with bold added for emphasis:

“Well, when Jeff did work for Warren, I wasn’t there [working for Warren] yet. I was, uhm, working in advertising promotion and, for another publisher, a magazine publisher in the city [New York]. Uhm, I think during this time Jeff may have discovered using reference? And it made a huge difference in his work. I remember at one point he, he, it suddenly occurred to him… okay, all right, back in the olden days there was a story that Frank Frazetta said that he never used reference and anybody who used reference was cheating. So a generation of young artists grew up thinking using reference is bad and cheating and this is, I don’t know, I don’t know why Frank did that because I know he used reference, I know he did. [Laughter.] Uhm, anyway, so I guess at one point Jeff just cracked and started using reference and his work got, it took a huge leap forward, so I do remember that, and I believe that was, maybe some of that might have been during the Warren period. Uhm, he just did a few things for Warren. He didn’t do that much.”

— Louise Simonson, Better Things Panel, San Diego Comic Con 2011

“My work looks the way it looks because I shoot reference.
I need that information, then I can play with it.” — Jeffrey Jones, in conversation with George Pratt



From my very own library of brittle old paperbacks:


To view all of the Zebra/Kensington editions of Robert E. Howard’s books with Jones covers that I’ve posted so far, click here.

Keywords: The Vultures of Whapeton.

Frank Frazetta · Heads Up!


Coming in 2012 from Vanguard Productions, The Frazetta Sketchbook by Frank Frazetta and J. David Spurlock is an “all-new art collection” that was planned shortly before the Frazetta died on 10 May 2010. According to the publisher, the book “is brimming with rare and previously unpublished drawings and painting preliminaries of the subjects Frazetta is best remembered for including barbarians, wild beasts, Tarzan, buxom beauties, monsters and Conan.”

If all goes as planned, The Frazetta Sketchbook will be published in hardcover in August 2012 (ISBN-10: 1-934331-57-0, ISBN-13: 9781934331576), with a softcover edition scheduled for September 2012 (ISBN-10: 1-934331-56-2, ISBN-13: 9781934331569). Although the hardcover edition will have six more pages than the softcover (134 pages vs. 128 pages), both editions, says the publisher, will “feature big, 8.5″ x 11″ lavish illustrated, full-color pages with text.”

Click here for the official announcement.

Frank Frazetta · Heads Up!

Heads Up: FRAZETTA – FUNNY STUFF, edited and designed by Craig Yoe

Coming in March 2012 from IDW:

Here’s the publisher’s description of the book, as it appears in the Amazon catalogue:

Frank Frazetta! He’s been rightfully called “The Grand Master of Fantasy Art”! But, it’s little known that Frazetta also conquered other worlds in the Golden Age of Comics, as shown in his Donald Duck-ish funny animal and hilarious hillbilly comic book stories. Even those aware of this wonderful Frazetta art don’t know the extent – this book is a whopping 256, large-format pages! Did we mention ferocious, terrifying wolves and swampland creatures in the plethora of animal stories illustrations as only Frazetta could draw them? There’s also lions and tigers and bears – oh my! – before Frazetta’s famous paintings captured the same subjects. But wait, there’s more! You’ll see the roots of the Frazetta Girl in the sexy Kathy teenage girl adventures and the hot Daisy Mae-look-alike, Clarabelle, in the hillbilly hi-jinks stories of her beau, Looey Lazybones (Holy Li’l Abner!). The introduction is by famed cartoon director Ralph Bakshi, who closely worked with Frazetta when they co-produced the animated feature film, Fire and Ice. Bakshi shares rare insights, anecdotes, photos, and Frazetta drawings, and created a special painting of Frazetta and himself as funny animals for this beautiful hardcover, full-color coffee table book! Frazetta – Funny Stuff is edited and designed by Eisner award-winner Craig Yoe.

The last substantial collection of Frazetta’s “funny animal” work was published by Kitchen Sink two decades ago under the title Small Wonders: The Funny Animal Art of Frank Frazetta, with an introduction by William Stout. You can view selections from Small Wonders courtesy of Clarke Snyder’s Inspiration Grab-Bag, in a post titled Frank Frazetta (Fritz) Funny Animal Comics-1940’s. However, since Small Wonders is only 80 pages in length — apparently it was book one of a two volume set, the second volume of which was never published — while Frazetta – Funny Stuff is, according to the publisher, “a whopping 256, large-format pages,” I think I can say with some certainty that even Frazetta fans who already own Small Wonders are going to want to add Frazetta – Funny Stuff to their collections.

Small Wonders, btw, had a terrific, art-centric cover that I like much better than the cover of the new collection, which is okay but which I would characterize as more design-centric; need I add that, where comics reprints and art books are concerned, I prefer art-centric covers:

The only down side of that cover is that the artwork is not by Frazetta but rather is a tribute to Frazetta’s funny animal comics by William Stout.

“I’m just a straight, ordinary guy. I truly wish the world was full of sweetness, flowers and happiness. But it’s not, and I do reveal that dark side in some of my work. I am known for my violent stuff. But the funny stuff is the real me.” —Frank Frazetta


Cartoon SNAP > More Frank Frazetta Funny Animal Comics – Bruno the Bear 1949, Frank Frazetta Funny Animals: Daffy and Dilly in “All At Sea” – Sept 1949, Frazetta Funny Animal Comic Book Scans from 1948: Dodger the Squirrel – Coo Coo Comics – all in colour.

ComiCrazys > Barney Rooster > Frank Frazetta – in black and white.

Shane Glines’ Cartoon Retro > Frank Frazetta: Barney Rooster, Frank Frazetta: Bruno, Frank Frazetta: Dodger, Frank Frazetta: Hucky Duck – all in colour.


Shane Glines’ Cartoon Retro > Frazetta as Model – now that is a great find!

Connections · Frank Frazetta · Howard Chaykin · Look Here

Connections: Frank Frazetta (1972) vs. Howard Chaykin (1979)

Notice how Frazetta hasn’t bothered to construct any kind of a harness for the Silver Warrior’s polar bear sleigh team and how Chaykin’s attempt to supply Urlik Skarsol’s polar bear team with a semi-plausible harness — with collars that look as though they might be made out of big, black inner tubes recycled from old truck tires — actually diminishes rather than enhances Frazetta’s gloriously silly original concept by drawing undue attention to the mundane question of how, exactly, the fantasy hero’s cool mode of transportation could be made to work in the real world and whether Chaykin’s design is, in fact, a viable solution.

BONUS IMAGE (Added 27 December 2013):