The Macabre Frazetta


‘Tis the Witching Season and it seems apropos to run a post on Frazetta’s macabre artwork here at the DMR Blog. Frank is, of course, known for his brawny barbarians and bodacious babes, but he had an iron in the horror fire dating back to the early 1960s, before had ever painted a Sword and Sorcery cover.

Pretty much immediately after Frazetta parted ways with Don Wollheim and Ace Books, he landed a job with Warren Publishing. His ERB paintings for Ace had been noticed. Doing covers for Creepy and, soon after, Eerie, Frank helped cement the Warren mags as the preeminent purveyors of weird comics in the US. He would do his last actual comics/sequential art work—as opposed to covers—for Warren as well.

Frank still did horror-oriented stuff on into the ‘70s. His classic painting for Bradbury’s The Autumn People—used as the “cover pic” for this post—is one example. Another is his “Mahar” painting for At the Earth’s Core. I’ll admit that it, perhaps, requires the context of the novel to fully appreciate the horror of it all, but I still think it’s great.

Frazetta was also big on the Headless Horseman, one of the truly American horror icons—though it had precedents in Western European folklore. Frank painted not one, but two, renditions of the Horseman.

Enjoy the gallery below. Even without the benefit of the Second Sight, I foresee another “Macabre Frazetta” post when the next Witching Season rolls ‘round.