Sunday, January 22, 2023


There is no shortage of books featuring the art of the late, great Frank Frazetta. Since the publication of the first of several volumes entitled, THE FANTASTIC ART OF FRANK FRAZETTA from Peacock Press/Bantam in 1974 through today, numerous editions in varying quality have hit the shelves.

Scheduled for release next month is what is sure to be the definitive collection of Frazetta's artwork, THE FANTASTIC WORLDS OF FRANK FRAZETTA. Multi-lingual publisher Taschen is known for their high-quality art books and this one is sure to exceed anything yet produced. With a whopping 468 pages, the standard edition is $200 and available for pre-order. There is also a limited slip-cased edition (of course) that sells for $600.

From the publisher:
All Hail the King of Fantasy Art
Frank Frazetta finally gets the big beautiful book he deserves

Frank Frazetta has reigned as the undisputed lord of fantasy art for 50 years, his fame only growing in the 12 years since his death. With his paintings now breaking auction records (Egyptian Queen sold for $ 5.4 million in 2019) he’s long overdue for this ultimate monograph.

Born to a Sicilian immigrant family in Brooklyn, 1928, Frazetta was a minor league athlete, petty criminal and serial seducer with movie star looks and phenomenal talent. He claimed to only make art when there was nothing better to do – he preferred playing baseball - yet began his professional career in comics at age 16. Strip work led him to the infamous EC Comics, then to oils for Tarzan and Conan pulp covers. Both characters were interpreted by many before him, but as he explained in the 1970s, “I’m very physical minded. In Brooklyn, I knew Conan, I knew guys just like him,” and he used this first-hand knowledge of muscle and macho to redefine fantasy heroes as more massive, more menacing, more testosterone-fueled than anything seen before. As counterbalance he created a new breed of women, nude as censorship allowed, with pixie faces and multiparous bodies: thick thighed, heavy buttocked, breasts cantilevered out to there, yet still, with their soft bellies and hints of cellulite, believably real. Add in the action, the creatures, the twilit worlds of haunting shadow and Frazetta’s art is addictive as potato chips.

This monograph is the biggest and most complete ever produced on the artist, done in collaboration with the Frazetta family and with top collectors.

Dan Nadel is curator-at-large for the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis, and a contributor to the New York Review of Books and Artforum. Nadel’s books and exhibitions include Peter Saul: Professional Artist Correspondence 1945–1976 (2020), Chicago Comics, 1960s to Now at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2021), and the forthcoming biography of Robert Crumb (Scribner, 2024). He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Zak Smith is an artist whose work is included in several public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Saatchi Gallery, London; and The Whitney Museum of American Art. He is the author of several books, writes a regular column for Artillery magazine and lives and works in Los Angeles.

Dian Hanson produced a variety of men’s magazines from 1976 to 2001, including Juggs, Outlaw Biker, and Leg Show, before becoming TASCHEN’s Sexy Book Editor. Her titles include the “body part” series, The Art of Pin-up, Masterpieces of Fantasy Art, and Ren Hang.

The Fantastic Worlds of Frank Frazetta
Famous First Edition: First printing of 6,000 numbered copies
Hardcover, clothbound with jacket, 29 x 39.5 cm, 4.87 kg, 468 pages
ISBN 978-3-8365-9480-6
Edition: English, French, German (Famous First Edition)

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