The ‘Sphere needs a Frank Frazetta

This is Frank Frazetta.

Frank

Here’s him with, yes, Clint Eastwood

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So for those of you who don’t know, Frank Frazetta was a science fiction and fantasy artist who produced comics, book covers (Tarzan, A Princess of Mars, Conan the Barbarian) as well as movie posters (Fire and Ice). Here’s Frank’s version a of selfie:

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“Frazetta was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of eight, at 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 Michele Falanga, an award-winning 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. Unfortunately, Falanga died suddenly in 1944 and with him, his dream. As the school closed about a year after Falanga’s passing, Frazetta was forced to find work to earn a living.

At 16, Frazetta started drawing for comic books that varied in themes: westerns, fantasy, mysteries, histories and other contemporary themes. Some of his earliest work was in funny animal comics, which he signed as “Fritz”.

[…]

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 friends Al Williamson and Roy Krenkel.

[…]

Through the 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. 

 […]

When I saw Frazetta’s work for the first time it was like a breath of fresh air. Now, I’m not an art guy, but it’s obvious to me which themes are not only part of his work, but part of Frazetta’s consciousness, themes like masculinity…

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…strength…

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…heroism …

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…survival…

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…brotherhood…
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…and, well, alphatude.

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Today, the days of turbocharged political correctness, when the SFWA gets blow-back for having female vikings in chainmail bikinis on one of their magazine covers, it’s nice to rediscover themes of masculinity in the classics.

And while resurrecting past works is a step in the right direction, what I believe the manosphere needs most are artists to pick up the torch and build upon Frazetta’s foundation, spreading his themes. What our counter-culture needs is an artistic resurgence of masculinity – a banner that can rally supporters and propagandize the movement. You see, internet debates and blog posts are useful, but they have their limitations. Stating something in non-fiction text doesn’t always capture the gestalt of the concept.

Currently, it seems as if the terms “liberal” and “arts” are a marriage made in heaven. The left already has control over most fiction, as Vox Day and others will attest. The left has Hollywood and television in their pocket thanks to liberal nepotism. Postmodernism has rendered much of the art world gross and degenerate – no substance, all shock value. Even comic books and video games are getting ever more PC because butthurt = financial losses. The left has already seeped into art and poisoned it, but leaving art surrendered to the left is a tactical mistake.

If anything, the success of the liberal takeover of art shows just how influential it can be. Works like Frazetta’s are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also evoke certain themes and reinforce certain values. Even without a directly political message, the observer can indirectly grok Frazetta’s picture of the ideal man. These emotions can be primitive; the thoughts may be unconscious. We sometimes cannot explain why something makes us feel the way we do, and it’s that subliminal message that can run to our advantage just as it has with the left. Right now, there are competing narratives, but art can reduce them to competing themes, themes which grapple in our hindbrain and leave one victorious over the other.

Looking at it this way, manosphere art has the potential to even eclipse liberal, postmodern, PC art, because the manosphere is always about striving toward your personal ideal, whatever that may be. Our narrative is about overcoming the opposition, getting stronger, reading, studying, and just becoming a better man. Thus, our art would likely surround themes of personal ascension. I don’t see how our theme can’t beat out the left’s. Their’s is about shocking the audience for a political message, using ugliness and emotional guilt as a bludgeon. Nobody actually likes leftist art for its aesthetic sense; leftists have rejected aesthetics as a social construct. Leftists like leftist art because it embraces the disgusting.

To distill the concept even further: equality is boring, power is inspiring.

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The manosphere has plenty of guys who know the script, but what will make a deeper impact on outsiders and send us forward as a counter-culture is a massage that doesn’t only come through words, but one that is more visceral, one that caresses the will to power that has lain dormant for so long. Every culture and counter-culture has had its own unique form of expression. Where’s ours?

Pick your media – prose, visual, interactive, music – you can’t go wrong in simply trying. If even a fraction of the energy that was spent chasing women, working on game, or writing our diatribes, instead went into pursuing the arts, we’d probably have ten times more to show for it.

For we’ve had our dark enlightenment. Now it’s time for our dark renaissance.

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Next week, I’ll post some writing tips to hopefully get some creative juices flowing for those interested in that particular art form.

All images courtesy of frankfrazetta.org.

11 thoughts on “The ‘Sphere needs a Frank Frazetta

  1. Dave,

    In your call for a dark renaissance, I think you are right to first provide an example for the manosphere to follow as you do with an artist such as Frank Frazetta. Perhaps through further diatribes centered on finding and bringing to the fore those artists who are currently working in these themes which we mean to reappropriate, we may inspire further generations of red pill advocates in their own efforts.

  2. “Pick your media – prose, visual, interactive, music – you can’t go wrong in simply trying. If even half the energy that was spent chasing women, working on game, or writing our diatribes, instead went into pursuing the arts, we’d probably have ten times more to show for it.

    For we’ve had our dark enlightenment. Now it’s time for our dark renaissance.”

    Let there be a renaissance, no even more so an improved masculinity and femininity in the medium we shall project. Not only shall there be a return of Patriarchal, sharply sexual dimorphic culture. Where the men are not only masculine and women are feminine but much better than ever our ancestors gone before.

    Where our ancestors were this manly let us males go even further. Where our ancestral women were feminine let them go even further.

    A superior culture shall we create and roll over all our competitors.

    • This is the first post of your blog that I’ve read. I already liked Frazetta’s work (to be honest I only checked his Conan covers) but, as I try harder to disconnect from the decadent zeitgeist we have now, his art grows stronger within me. As a aspiring illustrator who doesn’t draw anymore, this surge of inspiration may save me in the end of the day, after all. I’m not near Frazetta’s genius, but I will strive to better my art so it can spread our message. Let’s start the revolution.

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  5. Out of curiosity, why do you think this ideal isn’t currently being represented in mainstream culture. Take a look at your average blockbuster movie, and you’ll see countless strong male heroes embodying an ideal of strength, masculinity, and personal assertion. They encounter a threat, they struggle, they learn, they better themselves, and in the end they conquer their enemy (and get the girl). Granted, occasionally the female characters are allowed to occupy this role or share it with the male lead, but there is no way that “liberal nepotism” has purged Hollywood of masculine imagery or role models. If anything, the masculine hero is the rule, not the exception.

    • Why do I think this ideal isn’t being represented in mainstream culture?

      If I had to give a single reason, I personally think it’s because the establishment is fearful of encouraging male power. Such a thing is dangerous to Feminism’s oppression narrative.

      I think you’re right to a degree. Masculine themes still exist in movies because there’s still a demand for it. I have no doubt that the left disproportionately has influence in Hollywood, but what keeps them in check is the bottom line. There’s still enough profit to be made. But then again, the main character being male, and needing to overcome a struggle, doesn’t necessarily make it a masculine theme – every story needs a struggle, and many of those stories have male protagonists.

      I think the the second Thor movie is a decent example of what I’m talking about. Strong male lead, needing to overcome great odds, but I didn’t see specifically masculine themes. I did see a lot of the snarky, “witty”, a self-insert female fantasy character commenting on the whole thing. Even when you do see explicitly male power in a movie, there is usually a female perspective to put the audience at ease. It’s almost as if writers think the audience can’t handle it, or the writers themselves can’t handle it.

      But, granted, I’m not a movie buff. I’m sure there are plenty of examples of masculine themes that I’m just not aware of. And I do think you’re right that Hollywood does have that ideal sometimes, but sometimes that ideal comes with an asterisk.

      • I suspect that writers include female perspectives in order to appeal to a wider (i.e. male and female) audience and make more money. That doesn’t seem to be terribly problematic to me, unless we think that including any sort of female perspective actively undermines a message of male power. You seem to have more problems with the presence of female characters and perspectives than the absence of masculine ones, which seems strange to me. Because it seems like you regard Frank Frazetta as special not because he is uniquely willing to celebrate “overcoming the opposition, getting stronger, reading, studying, and just becoming a better man”– after all, every story does that– but because he doesn’t include women unless they’re busty and fawning on the men.

        • “I suspect that writers include female perspectives in order to appeal to a wider (i.e. male and female) audience and make more money.”

          True. Personally, I don’t think it’s problematic either.

          However, I will admit that I am biased in regards to female perspectives because in this day and age they are handled without subtlety and break the willful suspension of disbelief (in my opinion). There is a trend to have certain female perspectives for the sake of ideology rather than because the narrative justifies it. I don’t have a problem with female perspectives in theory; I’m just skeptical of the execution.

          “Because it seems like you regard Frank Frazetta as special not because he is uniquely willing to celebrate “overcoming the opposition, getting stronger, reading, studying, and just becoming a better man”– after all, every story does that– but because he doesn’t include women unless they’re busty and fawning on the men.”

          I could have chosen Frazetta’s images that did have half-naked (or sometimes fully nude) woman clinging to a muscled man, but I didn’t. Instead, I wanted ones which I thought conveyed a certain aspect of masculinity. That is why I like him. I won’t deny that his works had plenty of T&A, being from the 50’s and 60’s, but I was impressed by something other than the fan service.

          In Frazetta’s defense, he didn’t always portray women as permanent leg warmers, and the T&A usually included men too. Warning, NSFW, due to T&A. Ah, the fifties…

          http://frankfrazetta.org/viewimage.php?loc=ffcolr19.jpg
          http://frankfrazetta.org/viewimage.php?loc=frank_frazetta_cornered.jpg
          http://frankfrazetta.org/viewimage.php?loc=frank_frazetta_savagepellucidar.jpg

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