This list is dedicated to legendary fantasy artist and comic book illustrator Frank Frazetta, who passed away May 10, 2010. May his afterlife be filled with all of the adventure and passion of his paintings...
As a genre that spans multiple mediums, fantasy has been able to introduce people to new worlds, new concepts, and encounters that only the imagination could provide. Within the art world, very few fantasy artists have ever been given the credit that they deserve for their artistic work. Aesthetically, fantasy in art is usually comprised of scenes of scantily clad barbarian men and women battling with supernatural forces, though there are other kinds of fantasy art. However, when it comes to "pulp fantasy", as I often refer to it, no artist has ever had the kind of cultural impact and influence that Frank Frazetta has. His works have pushed the envelope in ways that are almost indescribable. The men he draws are muscle-bound and rippling with testosterone; the women are voluptuous sensual creatures who can barely stand due to their endowments; the monsters are as grotesque and as savage could be.
Of all of Frazetta's works, this one is for me the ultimate. It combines all of his themes (scantily clad muscular men and women, sex, violence, fantasy, and adventure). The composition itself is unique and I love the way Conan remains in focus, yet the surrounding figures and images are all slightly blurred.
This classic painting displays Conan at his most savage and barbaric, which is how we like him. The contrast in colors here is rather striking and certainly makes the painting one of the most memorable of Frazetta's Conan images.
Taken from issue #1 of the Vampirella magazine, this classic "vamp" image remains one of the greatest examples of comic book pin-up art. While I'm not normally fond of this style of art because of its sexist implications, I do love this painting!
A slightly more feminine and approachable Vampirella. This painting, done almost three decades after the original, presents Vampirella more as a flirty vampire vixen rather than as a lethal femme fatale. Note the use of softer colors and more voluptuous lines.
This is a fairly good example of Frazetta's mastery of painting fantasy environments, often which display the violent side of nature. Sadly, Frazetta never created many landscapes, though I think he would have excelled at them.