My friend Matthew and I just made a special trip out to the Frank Frazetta Museum in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. It was awesome. After a quick (65-mile) drive from Brooklyn, we arrived on the beautiful 75-acre Frazetta estate, paid our admission, and wandered the one large room, ogling and marveling at the amazing paintings on the walls. I’d seen most of them in print many times, but nothing compares to seeing them in person, actual size. The brush strokes and the physical dimension and texture of the paint on the canvas are lost in most reproductions; did I mention it was awesome?
Frank wasn’t around at the time, but his wife Ellie chatted us up for quite sometime, and regaled us with stories of Frank, his family, his art, and his business:
- Frank taught himself to paint with his left hand after a stroke a couple of years ago (an impressive example is on display at the museum).
- At one point, he wasn’t happy with one of his paintings used for a pulp novel, and his publisher arranged to credit it to his rival, Boris Vallejo, instead.
- He used to regularly paint over his classic paintings, because he was never satisfied with the published versions—not paint them again, mind you, but paint ON TOP OF the original work!
- The US Army asked Frank if they could use his “Death Dealer” character in the insignia of a division, but they thought the name wouldn’t go over very well, so they referred to him as “The Phantom Warrior.”
Although Frazetta is perhaps best known for his definitive vision of Conan the Barbarian, Death Dealer seems to be the character of Frazetta’s most often translated into skin art. Here’s a tattoo version of the painting, “Death Dealer II“, done by Stacy Sharp at Sharp Tattoo in Ronkonkoma, New York.
If you’re not familiar with Frazetta’s masterful, iconic art and illustrations, you’re missing out. Check out the Unofficial Frank Frazetta Gallery for relatively large images of many of Frazetta’s most famous works, including “Cat Girl,” above. Then, visit the Official Frazetta Art Gallery to buy posters of your favorites!
And go visit the museum, already!
Just in case you missed the link that Mia sent earlier, this totally sweet backpiece (as seen on checkoutmyink.com) was done by Alfie Lamberger at Mark of the Sparks Tattoos in Frederick, Maryland. Thanks, Mia!
This inspired me to seek out some other CFTBL tattoos on the web; I found quite a few, but here are some of my favorites:
This great shot (bonus points for complementary-colored t-shirt) from BMEzine’s Sci-Fi Gallery was inked by David Antonio at Good Clean Fun Tattoo Studio in Georgia. I love the circular composition, creepy lighting, and menacing claw.
The colors, placement, and technique of this lower half-sleeve are really excellent . Bonus points for the brushstroke-lookin’ daubs of color around the edges. Tattoo by Bez at Triple Six Studios in Sunderland, UK. Photo from TattooNOW.com.
The following Monster Mash sleeve (in progress in this photo) is from welovethedark‘s flickr photostream (self-described “corporate goths”). The process from source artwork (by awesome illustrator David Hartman) to finished piece (by Charles Cain at Mark of Cain Tattoo near Boone, North Carolina) is well-documented. Excellent artwork, Excellent tattoo, excellent photos and play-by-play description. Kudos to all!
BONUS VIDEO! This song by Dave Edmunds gets stuck in my head all the time!