Blazing Combat #1, October 1965

With the passing of Frank Frazetta last week, I thought it was about time Gorilla Daze paid tribute to the legendary artist. Though he’s most often thought of as a cover artist, Frazetta drew comics during the 1950s. Working in a variety of genres, including westerns and adventure as well as fantasy, he drew for a number of publishers including DC, EC and Avon. It wasn’t unusual for Frazetta, Al Williamson, Angelo Torres and Roy Krenkel to collaborate on strips, routinely laying out or finishing each others work uncredited.

Frazetta soon outgrew comics, and moved on to work with Al Capp on the popular Li’l Abner newspaper strip. It was after this that he began to seriously pursue book cover commissions, making his mark most famously with covers for Conan and Tarzan in the mid-60s mass-market reprint editions. These days, the word fantasy conjures up certain (clichéd) images — those images were in no small part created by Frazetta as he came up with a whole new “language” of fantasy art.

At around the same time Frazetta returned to comics in the slightly more adult form of the black and white magazines published by James Warren. The horror-based Creepy and Eerie were soon joined by a new kind of war mag: Blazing Combat

Image copyright ©2010 J. Michael Catron