Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Sensuous Frazetta

I just received my copy of the deluxe limited edition of the SENSUOUS FRAZETTA. It was sent to me by my good friend, David Spurlock, the very hard working publisher of Vanguard Books. Yes, I did recently sell my collection of art, fanzines, and books. However, I did keep a number of volumes that I consider essential. All the various publications produced by Dave Spurlock fall into this category. My bookcase is chock full of Vanguard books. Again, they are ESSENTIAL for any true Frazetta fan and connoisseur.

This latest volume in the FRAZETTA CLASSICS SERIES  is another must have. What could be better than a volume devoted to Frazetta's women? Patrick K. Hill is responsible for the overall design of the book and Patrick did an exceptional job. It is a very handsome volume with accurate captions and nice layout. The opening essay by Joseph Michael Linsner is heartfelt, sensitive, and insightful. The remaining explanatory essays are very informative and provide a wonderful context for the published illustrations. The quotations from Frazetta that are sprinkled throughout the text are wonderfully appropriate and provide a nice insight into Frank's thinking. Older fans and newer fans will learn from this book.

The heart and soul of this volume is, of course, the art. What incredible art! The book provides a wonderful overview of the role that sensuality and eroticism played in Frazetta's career. Frank drew and painted women in such a unique manner. His women "Live" on the page. They touch us, affect us, enflame the mind and imagination. Yes, they encourage more than a bit of mental lust. The book covers the whole gamut of published genres from magazines to oils to movie posters to paperbacks. The Frazetta visual universe is vast and extremely impressive.

I thought I had seen every single image of females drawn and painted by Frank. I had the opportunity to see all his private erotic/porno stories on many occasions. Those stories are filled with the most highly eroticized Frazetta females known to exist. Sadly, these have never been published. This is certainly a sin against art history. However, a surprise on page 12 of this volume is a sensational illustration that was brand new to me. What a complete treat!
Buy the book! This one illustration justifies any cost. Now you have something to look forward to...a fresh Frazetta, never before seen. Extraordinary.

The book presents all the truly great Midwood paperback illustrations. Beautifully presented in this volume in their original sepia wash intent. Exceptional work. Many are based on photo reference, but the finished result is simply superb. Most of these original wash drawings are not known to exist. I sincerely hope the originals will be discovered some day. Frazetta was able to retain a small number and now these originals are highly prized by collectors. Also in this volume are the legendary romance stories done for the PERSONAL LOVE comic books. It is nice to see the side-by-side presentation of these stories: the colored comic on the right; the original linework in b/w on the left. All these original pages do exist so, hopefully, at some point in the future we will be able to see repros in full tonality shot from the actual original art pages. In the meantime this volume has the best presentation. I thank David Spurlock for adding these great stories. The stories drip with beauty and sensuality.  Again, this is Frazetta at his best.

I really cannot find any fault with this book. Like all Frazetta projects, this comes across as a great labor of love. Putting together a volume such as this is not easy. It takes time, care, and participation by people with art, copies, photos, and rare paperback books. I thank all the people who helped this book to be the classic it is sure to become. For me it already is the definitive work on the Frazetta female. It is a work that any fan of Frazetta will enjoy pulling off his shelf time and time again. It will not gather dust. A great, great project.

DocDave Winiewicz  September, 2016

PS: There are several editions of this book available from VANGUARD PRODUCTIONS. I would buy the deluxe edition. It has a sensational slipcase and a set of extra art pages. The price is very reasonable for a book of this quality.