Frank Frazetta (born February 9, 1928) is an American fantasy and science fiction artist, noted for work in comic books, paperback book covers, paintings, posters, record-album covers, and other media.
Frazetta was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City. At the age of eight, with the insistence of his school teachers, Frazetta's parents enrolled him in the Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts. He attended the academy for eight years under the tutelage of Michael Falanga, an Italian fine artist. Falanga was struck by Frazetta's significant talent. Frazetta's abilities flourished under Falanga, who dreamed of sending Frazetta to Europe, at his own expense, to further his studies, but Falanga died suddenly in 1944. When the school closed about a year later, Frazetta was forced to find work to earn a living.
At 16, Frazetta started drawing for comic books in various genres: westerns, fantasy, mysteries, histories, and other contemporary themes. Some of his earliest work was in funny animal comics, which he signed as "Fritz." During this period he turned down job offers from giants such as Walt Disney. In the early 1950s, he worked for EC Comics, National Comics, (including the superhero feature "Shining Knight"), Avon, and several other comic book companies. Much of his work in comic books was done in collaboration with friend Al Williamson and mentor Roy Krenkel.
Noticed because of his work on the Buck Rogers covers for Famous Funnies, Frazetta started working with Al Capp on his Li'l Abner comic strip. Frazetta was also producing his own strip, Johnny Comet at this time, as well as assisting Dan Barry on the Flash Gordon daily strip. In 1961, after nine years with Capp, Frazetta returned to regular comics. Having emulated Capp's style for so long, Frazetta's own work during this period looked a bit awkward as his own style struggled to reemerge.
Work in comics was hard to find, however. Comics had changed during his period with Capp, and his style was deemed antiquated. Eventually he joined Harvey Kurtzman, doing the parody strip Little Annie Fanny in Playboy magazine.
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