Tagged: Frank Frazetta

Review: The Fantastic Paintings of Frazetta
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Review: The Fantastic Paintings of Frazetta

The Fantastic Paintings of Frazetta
By J. David Spurlock
Vanguard Press

Trade HC ISBN13: 9781934331811 Retail $39.95 • 120 pgs
DX LE ISBN13: 9781934331828 Retail $69.95 • 138 pgs plus slipcase

When we were kids in the 70s, my pals and I hung around a great comic shop, Kim’s Collectible Comics & Records.  Owner Kim Draheim loved comics, but he helped expand the horizons of our small worlds – letting us discover wonders beyond the standard Marvel and DC comics that defined our comfort zones. In his shop, we stumbled upon older comics, vinyl records and comic-adjacent artists…like Frank Frazetta. It was all pretty mind-blowing.

We quickly realized there was a time and place for each creator’s talents and gifts.  When one of my gang was searching for a Fantastic Four issue illustrated by Frank Frazetta, we all chuckled. Even back then we knew that Frazetta was beyond all that.

When I took a college-level painting class while still in high school, there came that point to choose one artist for the term paper.  I chose Frank Frazetta. My professor kind of frowned and suggested I instead research and write about Salvador Dali.  I told my professor that Dali was a fine artist…but in my mind, Dali was no Frazetta.

If Spurlock was in my class, maybe he would have said the same thing.

Even back then I would have been excited by the new book, The Fantastic Paintings of Frazetta. This is another gem from J. David Spurlock’s Vanguard Publishing. It’s a thoughtful, loving celebration of a genre master that is both a first-class introduction to Frazetta and a long-awaited treat to every reader/fan/collector that has already has an appreciation for Frazetta.

From the first page, Spurlock takes the reader on a journey that includes “greatest hits” and “lost treasures”.

Well-loved paintings fill the pages – but often with a twist. Either there’s additional materials or alternate versions included. Spurlock includes great stories that pull back the curtain for us, illuminating the process behind Frazetta’s artistry.

I really enjoyed the many surprises. There’s Frazetta barbarian art from before Conan. There is a 60s spy movie poster.  I was especially surprised to learn that in one case, when Frazetta got an original painting back, he made some changes.  And although I’d seen the Luana piece many times, but I didn’t realize that there was more to it.It’s no secret that Frazetta inspired so many other creators. But I didn’t realize the extent of the George Lucas connections until reading this book.  When I watch Star Wars movies,  I’ll never look at Chewbacca or the Death Star the same way again.

Many of the paintings reproduced here are larger than they’ve been printed before. This allows us to really see the nuances – brush strokes, paint etc. on these beauties.

Here’s the official description:

Discover, or return to, the world’s greatest heroic fantasy artist, Frank Frazetta, in this landmark art collection entitled, Fantastic Paintings of Frazetta. The New York Times said, “Frazetta helped define fantasy heroes like Conan, Tarzan and John Carter of Mars with signature images of strikingly fierce, hard-bodied heroes and bosomy, callipygian damsels” Frazetta took the sex and violence of the pulp fiction of his youth and added even more action, fantasy and potency, but rendered with a panache seldom seen outside of major works of Fine Art. Despite his fantastic subject matter, the quality of Frazetta’s work has not only drawn comparisons to the most brilliant of illustrators, Maxfield Parrish, Frederic Remington, Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth but, even to the most brilliant of fine artists including Rembrandt and Michelangelo and, major Frazetta works sell for millions of dollars, breaking numerous records.

 

And Spurlock has pulled out all the stops with this one. This book has definitely crossed the line to be a full-fledged celebration. Here’s the bells & whistles:

  • PAPER: Thicker, quality art-book paper than ever used in any prior Frazetta collection. This firmer paper helps achieve the highest quality of reproduction.
  • PROTECTIVE LAMINATION: Lavish combination of both matte & gloss cover laminations to dazzle the senses. While many top publishers scrimp by not providing ANY lamination, the new Frazetta collection doubles down to protect every cover smartly and with panache.
  • SIZE: 10.5 x 14.6 with spreads as wide as 21 inches: Larger pages and images than any previous Frazetta art book.
  • INDIVIDUALLY SIGNED: Even deluxe books rarely come signed but, this has not one, but TWO signatures; author J. David Spurlock and Frank Frazetta Jr, Director of The Frazetta Art Museum in East Stroudsburg PA.
  • VELUM PAGE “TIPPED-IN” BY HAND: When Vanguard does produce signed books, it is regularly on the front endpapers which is mounted to the inside front cover. But for Fantastic Paintings of Frazetta, the signature page was printed separately on a translucent velum parchment and bound, one at a time, into each book, by hand.
  • NEW LIGHTWEIGHT SLIPCASE: Vanguard’s new lighter-weight laminated slipcase keeps the deluxe book protected in style while conserving shelf space and minimizing shipping costs to retailers and Frazetta aficionados.
  • BONUS FOLIO: Sixteen extra pages of art including some very rare images, a newly discovered previously unknown and unpublished 1960s Frazetta movie poster run at a whopping 21 inches wide and, rare mid-1960s Creepy magazine art as never seen before, perfectly reproduced at full, Original Art Size!

Every year at San Diego Comic-Con, I tend to buy at least one book from the Vanguard booth. The at-the-booth conversations with J. David Spurlock are part of the fun.  And if I miss him, I always get my pal Steve Rotterdam to do his Spurlock imitation.  This year, of course, none of us will be stopping by San Diego Comic-Con. But there’s plenty of ways to buy this – and I always suggest going through your local comic shop or local indy book store.  I was surprised to see that a book of this quality doesn’t have a $100+ price tag, and is reasonably priced at $39.95 The deluxe version, with extra pages and a slipcase, is $69.95.

The Fantastic Paintings of Frazetta would make any coffee table proud. And if your coffee table is too full, maybe it’s time to get another coffee table.

Ed Catto’s Convention Treasures!

I’m still reeling – in a good way – from Syracuse’s Salt City Comic-Con. It was a fantastic comic convention where I had way too much fun. And I’ve got some observations to share with you about it, but they’ll have to wait until next week.

This week I like to share some of the treasures I found at the show.

Let’s start with the “full disclosure” routine. I’m at the point where my comic collection is way too large, and I’ve been taking the steps to prune it back over the last few years. I’ve found this process difficult to adjust to, but my wife and I are in that downsizing mode. Surprisingly, I’m finding that maybe I am not that much of a hoarder after all. I actually feel better when I get rid of stuff.

But… I can’t help but wander a convention and stumble across a few treasures. And I was delighted with what I found at Syracuse’s Salt City Comic-Con.

In a 50-cent long box, I found this fantastic copy of Fantagraphics’ reprint title from 1987, Untamed Love, showcasing Frank Frazetta stories. Even though this reprint collection was published thirty years ago, the comic felt pretty new. The coloring is vibrant and the high-quality paper really holds up. The stories are a bit silly, but that Frazetta artwork is gorgeous!

Neal Adams was our guest of honor and, as he often does, told us few stories. Iwas especially intrigued when he revealed he’s working on a new Deadman series. I pressed him for details, and instead of offering just a few coy or cryptic teases, he outlined the whole first issue. And then he showed me the page he was working on. I was really impressed and think it will be his best work in years.
So… in anticipation that new series, I picked up a reading copy of Strange Adventures #209. It was a thrilling story with innovative storytelling and clever page layouts. The big climactic fight atop a Ferris wheel kicked my vertigo into high gear. I have trouble with heights these days, and that frenetic battle above the midway isn’t going to help matters.

Of note: there was a circulation statement in this issue. It turns out Strange Adventures was reported to be selling 146,600 issues each month. I find that so astounding, especially compared to today’s print runs.

I just loved the cover to Girls’ Romances #160 and couldn’t resist snagging it. The brilliant Jay Scott Pike is the artist. While the composition is solid and strong, the non-traditional sketchy, scratchy line work was what grabbed me.

It turns out this was the last issue of this long-running series. By this time, they must have decided it wasn’t worth it to create new stories. Inside are reprints of old John Romita stories – but the women’s hairstyles were retouched to give it a “modern” 1971 feel! These bizarre edits create a double layer of retro.

Most fans fondly remember those Antonio Banderas Zorro movies from a few of years ago. My dad was just watching it on cable, in fact. And comic fans all agree that Alex Toth’s Zorro comics were a pinnacle for that character. So I was pleasantly surprised to find myself buying Zorro – The Complete Dell Pre-Code Comics from the Hermes Press booth at the con. It’s a totally different version of Zorro.

Hermes Press was an energetic and committed exhibitor. I may be a bit biased, as I do like so many of their books. They created two convention exclusives and they were selling everything at a discount, so all attendees found a lot to like about their stuff.

In the forward of the Zorro collection, ace author Max Allan Collins provides a brief history lesson about the main artist of these stories – Everett Raymond Kinstler. I wasn’t familiar with this artist, but he is work is evocative and often confused with, Joe Kubert’s style from the 50s. “You had me at Kubert,” I thought when reading the forward.

It’s a tremendous book and after I read it, I think it deserves a spot on my coffee table. Then after a while, I’ll lend it to my dad. Another treasure from another comic-con.

Ed Catto’s Mitzi McCoy Summer Fling!

MM 110748 300 debut episode

mm-promo3-ccWhat’s more delightful than a summer fling? You meet someone new, get fascinated and before long you’re spending every moment under the hot summer sun together. This summer’s almost over, but there’s still time for one last fling. Get ready to meet Mitzi McCoy…and her creator’s grandson, Brian Collins.

Mitzi McCoy was a lovely strip that debuted in the late forties. Created by illustrator Kreigh Collins, the series opens in the small midwestern town of Freedom, where readers meet the strong willed heiress Mitzi McCoy.

In her first adventure, she summons her resolve to tell her obnoxious fiancée to “get lost.” Mitzi had discovered her fiancée was burdened with debt, and to make matters worse, he had bragged to a gossip columnist that he was “marrying money.” On top of all that, the scoundrel also included a photo of Mitzi in a bikini to accompany the story. Having learned a tough lesson, Mitzi throws herself, and her local newspaper chums, into a series of small town adventures.

The strip is visually stunning. Through the lens of 2016, Kreigh Collin’s artwork is like a lovechild of early Frank Frazetta mixed with a whimsical dash of Dave Stevens. Mitzi McCoy reminds me a lot of Frazetta’s comic strip Johnny Comet, recently collected and published by Vanguard. Each panel is solid, tight and imaginative with expressive figures, gorgeous design and engaging settings.

Kreigh Collns at EaselMitzi and her pals would face off against counterfeiters, art forgers and blackmailers amongst the rolling hills of small town America. As the quintessential “girl next door”, Mitzi offered many opportunities for Kreigh Collins to show off his art skills with demure glamour shots.

But as just as quickly as she came onto the scene, Mitzi was whisked away.

After only two years, artist Kreigh Collins shifted gears. He ended Mitzi McCoy and started an historical adventure strip called Kevin the Bold.

It would be fair to assume Hal Foster’s classic Prince Valiant inspired this new strip. In fact, Kreigh complained to his editor at the NEA syndicate how unfair it was that Foster was able to run Prince Valiant as a full-page strip, when Kevin the Bold was cut to a half page. He compared his concern to boxing with Hal Foster, but with Foster secretly punching with an iron bar in his boxing glove.

In the last years of his career Kreigh would change the strip once more. It became Up Anchor, a nautical strip about a family on a boat. It mirrored his own time living on a schooner with his wife and two youngest children.

Mitzi on a Swing panelKreigh’s family took his illustration work in stride. It seems that the family didn’t consider his newspaper strips that big a deal, although Kreigh did enjoy a certain amount of local celebrity. After his passing, Kreigh’s studio had drifted into a state of disrepair. Kreigh’s widow donated many of the strips, proofs and original artwork to others.

But one day graphic designer Brian Collins, Kreigh’s grandson, fell hard for Mitzi McCoy. He didn’t know much about his grandfather’s career or the comic strips he created but he was intrigued when he starting seeing a few of the strips.

It turns out Brian’s father and grandfather weren’t very close. So growing up there wasn’t that much interaction. But Brian had caught the bug and wanted to learn more. As a self-confessed collector, he worked hard to acquire the old strips. He hunted down several old strip clippings from collectors and his uncle would also supply him with surviving treasures whenever they were found.

Perhaps, as a graphic designer, he shares a bit of his grandfather’s talent and appreciation for illustration and narrative adventure.

Mitzi McCoy Sailing PanelBrian has, in essence, become the champion of this grandfather’s work and legacy. He maintains the blog, Kreigh’s Comics with an outstanding collection of strip samples and commentary.

Brian’s now exploring several options to produce a collection of his grandfather’s work. Fans of Geek Culture know that there are so many wonderful and innovative new comics produced each month, but that doesn’t stop them from enjoying the incredible reprints of classic material offered by publishers like IDW, Hermes, Vanguard, Fantagraphics and Canton Street. It’s become a new Golden Age for enjoying Golden Age work.

It’s surprising Kreigh Collin’s work isn’t better known. Maybe the syndicate didn’t support it enough. Maybe the circulation wasn’t strong enough. Regardless, in these fleeting days of summer, there’s still time for you to fall in love with Mitzi McCoy.

 

FORTIER TAKES ON ‘THE BAT STAFFEL’ WITH G-8!

ALL PULP REVIEWS- by Ron Fortier
G-8 And His BATTLE ACES
THE BAT STAFFEL
By Robert J. Hogan
A Berkley Medallion Book
Cover by Jim Steranko
Dated 1969
142 pages
As most pulp fans know, back in the late 1960s and early 70s, many paperback publishers began reprinting the old classic pulp magazines.  The most popular of these reprint series were the Doc Savage books with the stylized James Bama covers and the Conan adventures as defined by master artist, Frank Frazetta.  Of course many other pulp heroes also received the paperback treatment as the fad caught on for several years introducing a whole new generation of readers to these classic figures.  Among some of the other heroes to find new life in the small softcover market were the Avenger, the Shadow, Operator 5 and the man known as the Flying Master Spy, G-8 And His Battle Aces.
Put out by Popular Publications, G-8 was one of many aviation heroes of the time to include Bill Barnes and Dusty Ayres amongst others.  Yet his magazine was the one with the longest run.  Debuting in October of 1933 it went to produce a whopping 110 issues; all of them written by Robert J. Hogan.  Another uniqueness with this title was the fact that Popular allowed Hogan’s name to be used. The habit of the pulps was to create a bogus house-name for a monthly series so that they could employ multiple writers, as most of them did, without the fans being any the wiser.  Not so with Hogan, who at the height of his career was writing three monthly books and numerous short stories to compile a staggering average of 200,000 words a month; a feat no other American writer has ever equaled. 
Robert Jasper Hogan was the son of a Dutch Reformer minister born in 1897 and raised in Buskirk, NY.  A graduate of St. Lawrence University, before turning to writing full time, he was a cowboy, a boxer, piano player, pilot and airplane salesman.  Thus his realistic descriptions of G-8’s aerial combats have a ring of authenticity to them.  Hogan became friends with many veteran airmen who had fought in World War One and he based a great deal of his adventures on them and their exploits while at the same adding a heavy dose of the macabre.  Each of his G-8 adventures were an efficient blend of spy thriller, aviation adventure and horror fantasy.
Although aware of the character, I’d never read a G-8 story before and decided to correct that while attending this year’s Pulp Fest in Columbus, Ohio.  Luckily, with the help of pulp fan David Walker, I managed to find three of those Berkley paperback reprints including the very first G-8 novel, THE BAT STAFFEL.  It is a solid, rousing debut of the series introducing us not only to the mysterious G-8, whose true identity we are never to learn, but his colorful supporting cast to include his British valet, Battle and his soon to be arch nemesis, Herr Doktor Krueger, the Kairser’s number one mad scientist.  Krueger has developed a deadly poison gas that, when inhaled, turns its victims into piles of ashes.  The German air corps has built half a dozen flying machines resembling giant bats and fitted them with tanks to carry the deadly fumes.
No sooner does G-8 discover this plot then the Bat Staffel attacks a small French town and completely decimates it.  Infuriated by this merciless savagery, G-8 flies off to combat these bat-planes single handedly and is almost done in.  Fortunately he is saved by two American pilots who come to his aid.  The first is the small, happy-go-lucky Nippy Weston who has a penchant for magic tricks and practical jokes and then there is the former college All American Half Back, Bull Martin is a giant of fellow with a granite-like jaw and the heart of a kitten.
Loyal to a fault, Nippy and Weston, upon discovering they have just saved the famous spy, G-8, enthusiastically sign on to be his wingmen in his campaign to foil the Bat Staffel.  From that point on the three of them escape one dangerous death-trap after another, each using his flying skills and other abilities to stay alive and defeat their enemies.  THE BAT STAFFEL is a fast paced, truly imaginative glimpse back into the heyday of the pulps and a fantastic introduction to one of pulpdom’s all time greatest heroes.  Next time you’re at a pulp convention, follow my lead and hunt up copies of G-8  And His Battle Aces.  You won’t be disappointed.

Monday Mix-Up: My Little Death Dealer

This week’s Monday Mix-Up comes to us from zedew, who brings us a tribute to the late great Frank Frazetta and his most famous painting of all, Death Dealer, the inspiration for more paintings, a line of novels, and various comics. And now we have this vision, seen through the prism of My Little Pony… yes, it’s My Little Death Dealer.

Somehow, I don’t think Molly Hatchet will be using this as an album cover. Although if they did a kids album… hmm.

What he’s not telling you: the blood on the axe? It’s Strawberry Shortcake.

via BoingBoing: If Frazetta was a bronie.

MIKE GOLD: The Curious Case of The Ghost Rider

Last week, the Internets were all aflutter with the story about how Disney/Marvel successfully defended itself against Gary Friedrich’s Ghost Rider lawsuit. This was hardly surprising. Just ask Marv Wolfman or the ghost of Steve Gerber.

Then Disney/Marvel turned around and demanded $17,000 from Gary for the Ghost Rider prints he sold at comic book conventions – you know, just like hundreds of other artists do at every artists’ alley at nearly every comic book convention held in the past decade. This was very surprising. And quite disgusting. Not to mention overwhelmingly petty.

Well, those of us who followed Disney’s Air Pirates lawsuit weren’t surprised at all, but that’s another story.

When Gary filed his appeal and the noise went into the can for a while, I whipped out Marvel Spotlight #5.  On that very first Ghost Rider story, the credits read “conceived and written by Gary Friedrich.” (Emphasis mine.) That was unique for comics at that time. The lawyers discouraged publishers for printing creator credits lest said creators pull what is affectionately known as a “Siegel/Shuster.” I remember being a bit surprised – perhaps impressed is the better word for it – back when I read that issue back in 1972. Nonetheless, Gary lost his case.

This wasn’t the only thing that surprised me. I was also surprised that Marvel plowed over the name of their western hero, first and last seen in his own seven-issue series back in 1967. It was a clever use of recycling intellectual property.

I remembered that Ghost Rider rather fondly. It was a good, solid macabre western character told in then-contemporary Marvel style featuring some of Dick Ayers’ best art in years. So I whipped out Ghost Rider #1, cover-dated February 1967. And then I took a look at the credits.

Please note that both Ghost Rider origins were edited by the same person, a guy named Stan Lee. And Roy Thomas was involved in both – as co-dialogist on the western, and as “aider and abettor” on the motorcyclist. And Gary Friedrich was a writer on both.

That didn’t give Gary any legal coverage, but it’s an interesting chain-of-evidence. Core to the issue of who owns what – in a moral sense but not legal – is the derivation of the original Ghost Rider. The first one. The one before the two published by Marvel Comics.

The one that was damn near exactly the same as Marvel’s western, right down to Dick Ayers’ artwork and design. The one that was published by Magazine Enterprises in various of their titles, including one called “Ghost Rider.” That one lasted twice as long as Marvel’s. The feature got its start in their Tim Holt title. This original version was, as noted, drawn by Dick Ayers and written – some say created – by editor Raymond Krank, who later replaced himself with Gardner Fox. Many of those Tim Holt covers were drawn by Frank Frazetta, who also illustrated a Ghost Rider text story.

This wasn’t the first time Marvel assumed the name of a character they did not create, as geriatric Daredevil fans know all too well. But that, too, is another story.

Ghost Rider has had an interesting history, one that isn’t over. It’s a good example of how the whole comics creation thing is a can of worms. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman and Clark Kent and Lois Lane, but they did not create Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, and Kryptonite, among a great, great many other vital Superman concepts. If their estates wind up owning Superman, what happens to Perry and Jimmy and the rest?

Good grief. Back in the day, nobody was supposed to take all this seriously. But I think I know how either version of the Ghost Rider would have handled it.

Screw the lawyers. We’ve got us our six-guns, and one mother of a bike.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

REVIEW: “Wally Wood: Strange Worlds of Science Fiction”

Wally Wood: Strange Worlds of Science Fiction
Vanguard Publishing, Trade paperback, 224 pages. $24.95
Introduction by J. David Spurlock

A friend of mine owns the original art to a page of what he (and I) consider the zenith of Wally Wood’s creative genius, “The Mad ‘Comic’ Opera” (MAD #56, July 1960, written by Frank Jacobs). It is a lush piece of work, a cartooning tour de force that causes wide eyed disbelief on the printed page and gasps of astonishment when viewed in its larger, original form. “The Mad ‘Comic’ Opera” is an amazing moment in time, a moment that offered Wood a piece of work which allowed him to show off everything he had learned in his preceding dozen or so years as a comic book artist.

There is not a false note or creative misstep in a single panel of this six-page feature, not in layout or story telling, not in his use of Duotone to bring depth and dimension to the black and white page, and certainly not in his ability to do pitch-perfect parodies–albeit as “real people”–of the comic strip characters populating the story The operatic death scene of Dagwood Bumstead alone would have been enough to cement a lesser artists’ reputation; in the hands of Wally Wood, it was just one panel among some three dozen bits of perfection.

Wally Wood may never have been better, and, in his later and sadder declining years, he often operated at a level that was, in comparison to “The Mad ‘Comic’ Opera,” heartbreaking but which, viewed on their own, were still better than three-quarters of what anybody else was doing. It is also no secret that Wood frequently employed assistants and ghosts to help him turn out the volume of work he produced, but their use was no concession to quality or creative control. As Michael T. Gilbert wrote in the article “Total Control: A Brief Biography of Wally Wood” from Alter-Ego Volume 3, #8, “In the ’50s he mainly worked with Joe Orlando, Harry Harrison, and Sid Check. In later decades he was assisted by Dan Adkins, Ralph Reese, Wayne Howard, Larry Hama, and Bill Pearson, to name a few. No matter. The end result was unmistakably Wood. Helpers or not, the quantity and consistent high quality of the pages were unbelievable. He was always in control of the final product.” (more…)

Conan the Barbarian

Conan the Barbarian was such a major figure in the heyday of the pulp magazines, that he made an indelible impression on readers. When Lancer Books took over the mass market paperback publishing for the Cimmerian in the 1960s, the Frank Frazetta cover images were so powerful, you had to notice. Since then, different generations have their own impression of how Robert E. Howard’s character and world should look. After Frazetta came Barry Smith and John Buscema and after them came Arnold Schwarzenegger and then…not much. The syndicated Conan featuring Ralf Möller barely made a ripple and as the rights went from owner to owner, he faded a bit from memory. Even the wonderful Dark Horse Comics adaptations have not quite made the stir the original comics did nor have the paperback originals from Tor and others had that same spark.

As a result, there was a lot riding on Lionsgate’s revival of the character and, sad to say, they failed at their task. Conan the Barbarian, which came out in August, was poorly marketed and came up short in the writing, production design, acting and directing, resulting in a worldwide box office of anemic proportions. Now, the movie is coming out this week as a Blu-ray combo pack and we get a chance to consider what went wrong.

(more…)

Jeffrey Catherine Jones, 1944 – 2011

Noted illustrator and sometime comics artist Jeffrey Catherine Jones died yesterday of complications from emphysema.

In comics, her work appeared in Heavy Metal, the various Warren magazines, Epic Illustrated, and many, many others. Committing herself to illustration in general and expressionism in specific, she was a member of the legendary Studio along with Michael Kaluta, Barry Windsor-Smith and Bernie Wrightson. Jones’ illustrations graced a great many science fantasy novels (Michael Moorcock, Dean Koontz, Fritz Lieber, Andre Norton, and others) and magazines as well as publications such as The National Lampoon.

Her work has been reprinted in a number of albums, most recently IDW’s Jeffrey Jones: A Life In Art. This ironically titled tome was released at the beginning of this year.

Jones married Mary Louise Alexander (now Louise Simonson) in 1966 and had a daughter, Julianna, the following year. In 2001 Jeffrey had gender reassignment surgery. In recent years she suffered from numerous ailments, but had made a sadly brief return to the drawing board last month.

In one of the highest compliments imaginable, illustrator Frank Frazetta called Jones “the greatest living painter.”

#SDCC: Frazetta Conan Painting Sells for $1.5 Million

#SDCC: Frazetta Conan Painting Sells for $1.5 Million

It’s one of the images that defined the fantasy illustration industry we geeks love so much. And to a lucky buyer, Frank Frazetta’s 1971 Conan the Destroyer sold in a 1.5 million gold piece private sale agreed to at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con with Robert Pistella and Stephen Ferzoco of Frazetta Management Corporation. No word yet on who purchased the piece of where it will be hung, but we assume it’ll adorn a wall next to fine mahogany bookshelves full of leather bound collections of Tolkien, maquettes of scantilly clad heroines, and signed Rush LPs.

Tip of the hat to BleedingCool.com.