Here’s him with, yes, Clint Eastwood
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:
“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.Eventually he joined Harvey Kurtzman doing the parody strip Little Annie Fanny in Playboy magazine. By 1964, one of Frazetta’s magazine ads caught the eye of United Artists studios. He was approached to do the movie poster for What’s New Pussycat and earned his yearly salary in one afternoon. He did several other movie posters (see notable works). Frazetta also started producing paintings for paperback editions of adventure books. His cover for the sword-and-sorcery collection Conan the Adventurer by Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp (Lancer 1966) caused a sensation-numerous people bought the book for its cover alone. From this point on, Frazetta’s work was in great demand. During this period he also did covers for other paperback editions of classic Edgar Rice Burroughs books, such as those from the Tarzan and Barsoom (John Carter of Mars) series.”
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…
…and, well, alphatude.
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.
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.
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.