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Icon: A Retrospective by the Grand Master of Fantastic Art, Frank Frazetta Hardcover – October, 1998

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Editorial Reviews Review

This book is going to make Frank Frazetta fans very, very happy. Icon: A Retrospective by the Grand Master of Fantastic Art Frank Frazetta is a comprehensive look at the work of one of the world's most influential fantasy artists. Frazetta's entire career is covered, from his earliest work on L'il Abner to his unused poster art for Quentin Tarantino's From Dusk Till Dawn; from his powerful interpretations of Robert E. Howard's Conan character to his whimsical Hollywood parodies. More than a hundred full color prints of Frazetta's most representative work are collected here in a single handsome edition, along with photographs of the artist and his studio, quotes, and testimonial biography.

The subject matter of Frazetta's work is familiar--brawny warriors, buxom enchantresses, and terrifying monsters--but he manages to infuse them with a rare charisma. His figures are sublime, at once naturalistic and hyper-real, and his vivid use of colors startles the eye again and again. Incredibly, this collection manages to do justice to his decades of award-winning work. Icon is a must for the serious Frazetta enthusiast. --Brendan J. LaSalle


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Underwood Books; 1st Hardcover Ed edition (October 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887424415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887424417
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.8 x 12.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I recommend this collection to anyone passionate about illustration or fantasy art.
While many of us would have loved to simply be as good a fantasy illustrator as Frank Frazetta, the man himself was so much more than that.
This book gives detailed insight on many of Frank's great works and commentary from Frank himself!
Michael D. Rhem II

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Bryan E. Leed on January 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is "Icon," which is book one of three, all of which are now available. Even though all three discuss all eras of his life and career, this Icon book is probably the best one to start with, since it shows many of the works that made him famous.
This book has a bunch of the Edgar Rice Burroughs paperback cover paintings, (Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, etc.), and Conan the Barbarian covers, too. The text explains how the Frazetta paintings on the paperback book covers were responsible for outrageously high sales of these paperback books. This is probably what Frazetta is most famous for, these paperback covers that started a trend of sci-fi fantasy paintings that were as brutally dangerous as they are beautifully painted.
This book discusses Frank Frazetta's early childhood art, how he got into illustrating and comic books, comic strip work ghosting Lil' Abner for Al Capp, being wooed by Hollywood stars, doing movie posters during different decades, etc.
All three books discuss the same eras, but with different details and commentary from different friends and associates. There are also plenty of insightful quotes from Frank in all three books, which explain his outlook concerning his artwork and doing business with his artwork over 5 decades.
I remember Frazetta best for his Molly Hatchet album covers, which are both in this "Icon" book, but they are credited to the original paperback covers that they were first commisioned for, so Molly Hatchet is not mentioned.
To me, a kid in the 1970's, Frazetta was recognized as an expert in his own category, but his work was not common to come across. So I am very pleased with all three books in this trilogy, that finally brings most of his career together in three nicely made art books.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Length: 0:22 Mins
Frank Frazetta probably needs no introduction. The images that come to my mind straightaway are the almost perfect anatomy drawings of warriors and women.

This book is a biography of Frank Frazetta looking at the illustrations he created throughout his career. It is really humbling to read how he rose from a kid drawing strange title like "The Elephant who wouldn't help" to the famous series of Conan. There are lots of interesting things to read like his working relationships with editors, his choice of keeping all his prints or how he learned anatomy in a day.

The illustrations included are comics from his childhood, movie posters, book covers and paintings. Towards the end, the paintings are given larger print space each with the story behind the creation.

Fans of Frank Frazetta should probably save a space on your shelf for this book.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Tucker VINE VOICE on October 27, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My last review was much too long. Here's a new take: how do you improve on something as beautiful as the original Icon? Simple. Add more art, and more pages. Fill the pages from one corner to the next with more art. Put it in a sturdy softcover binding and charge less for more. If you don't know who Frank Frazetta is this is your chance to discover a master artist. Add some dazzling images and powerful designs to your bookshelf by buying this book. His work is provacative, emotional, and has an uncompromising impact on those who view it. From the primal strength of his Conan paintings to the erotic beauty of his defiant women, it's the vitality of his art that makes it distinctive.Discover Frank Frazetta with this new book.Rediscover his incredible range if all you have are his old books from the seventies.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David Ullery on September 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Frazetta can capture life better than any camera. His images are more than alive they are surreal. The action and movement leap off the page. The women are more beautiful and voluptuous than any you may ever meet or dream of. The men are believable in their musculature, stance and prowess, and are harder than a rock. His beasts and cats are more tawny, serpentine and ferocious than any fantasy author or movie maker could conjure up. His armor is harder and more metallic than seems possible. And its all here in "Icon".
Frazetta can lead your eye and cause you to see what he wants you to see. His structure and framing are flawless. Frazetta does not paint posed characters in heroic staged scenes. Frazetta takes a snap shot of life in its most vivid and lush moving existence, or in its near death harshness and puts it on canvas. Even his non-moving figures fairly ripple with life and energy. And you can see examples of it all in "Icon".
Their are only two perfect matches in the art world and they both have the master Frank Frazetta as the second component. The first is author Edgar Rice Burroughs and the second is Robert E. Howard's Conan. Frazetta made Burroughs' work come to life in beautiful, brutish livid reality. Frazetta made Conan the beleivable, powerful, war-torn thug he was. Almost all of these pieces are contained in "Icon".
I wish I were a Frazetta hero and could rescue and succor a Frazetta female. But, since I can't I'll just have to settle down in my easy chair and browse through "Icon" again.
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