View Full Version : 7 original comic pages from Frank Frazetta
March 6th, 2010, 10:21 PM
These 7 pages were sold in an e-bay auction a few years back.
I saved the scans from the post.
i don't know why he scanned them so big for the auction, but thank god!
Hope you like.
March 6th, 2010, 10:45 PM
March 6th, 2010, 10:59 PM
No man can beat the hairy druthga.
March 6th, 2010, 11:19 PM
Many thanks for these, my little rabbit turd. Lovely pieces. They're also an excellent example of why you shouldn't use rubber cement and self-adhesives on archival art...
March 7th, 2010, 01:14 AM
Ho ho! Thanks! :D
March 7th, 2010, 01:33 AM
awesome, thanks davi! only thing I can't say I care for are some of the goofy expressions on the close-ups, but other than that, it's great to see more work by the master. :)
March 7th, 2010, 03:04 AM
Man, you gotta love comics writing back then. Mighty white man kill evil monkey lord!
Thanks for these, they're a piece of history for sure.
March 7th, 2010, 09:09 AM
Really nice, what a master. Actually the art auction sites (the dedicated ones) are a really good place to find hi-res scans of art such as Frazetta's. For example..
comics.ha.com (http://comics.ha.com/common/view_image_only.php?img=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.ha.com %2Flf%3Fsource%3Durl[file%3Aimages%2Finetpub%2Fnewnames%2F300%2F5%2F2%2 F9%2F8%2F5298035.jpg]%2Ccontinueonerror[true]%26source%3Durl[file%3Aimages%2Finetpub%2Fwebuse%2Fno_image_availa ble.gif]%2Cif[%28%27global.source.error%27%29]%26sink%3Dpreservemd[true])
Depends what's being sold at the time, of course, and often you need to be a member to see the full scans. Personally I was too fearful to bid on anything, those art auction sites are not friendly places if you don't know what you're doing.
March 7th, 2010, 09:37 AM
I would steal these with a backhoe.
March 7th, 2010, 10:06 AM
comicartfans.com is another good site for good scans and stuff.
Thanks Davi for the post :)
March 7th, 2010, 10:47 AM
I personally am in love with the bottom two panels. Wonderful!
Thanks a lot.
March 7th, 2010, 11:21 AM
I would steal these with a backhoe.
Mr Ferrara you just made my week!!!
The work is awesome. It's also nice to see the originals. It kinda brings the work a tad down to earth, reproductions looking all sleek and toned with the same black value seem unreachable sometimes.
It's also nice to see that even Frazetta made mistakes. Not that anyone thought otherwise but it's nice to see that he did and wasn't afraid of mistakes.
I have two questions for those who my know more.
1)On page 2 the first frame has this cut-out shape, this might have been the result of a change in the frame so I guess they pasted it on the main image and redrew over it. Was this common practice? Do they do it today? I never saw this before.
2)What kind of paint is the white paint they use to cover up the ink and redraw over it? I got some white 'ink' thing once that was supposed to do the trick, but it's useless, it's too transparent.
March 7th, 2010, 12:35 PM
There are actually a number of paste-overs (mostly typo corrections), and yes, it's not only quite common but probably the rule for comic art. Most people think that original art for reproduction is a pristine piece of archival art with perfect everything. Bullshit.
I've seen entire pages made up of pasted tissue paper drawings with as many as five overlaps in some places, with the balloons or text pasted in over top of that. That's the primary reason that original comic art is so rare--rubber cement and tracing paper/typing paper deteriorates rapidly, and if frosted tape is also used with dye markers rather than true ink and brush, you can kiss the art good-bye in less than five years.
Often, an entire panel will be replaced by cutting out the existing block and pasting the new from the back into the hole. This was usually done when censoring or an editorial change was required that was fairly extensive, making reworking the existing art almost impossible.
As for white corrections, the most common method was a jar of thick water-based white paint like thick poster paint that was called "Pro-White." It was finely ground to prevent pigment chipping and rough build-ups that were difficult to draw over. Some artists also used a white ink that was more difficult to use because it often separated out of suspension in a few hours and stank like hell. It also had a tendency to leave a gritty surface if you weren't careful.
Corrections over the paint layer were actually pretty easy if the drawing was done with a brush, but even a pen would work if you did it in one stroke. The real drawback was that sometimes, the black repair "faded" into the white paint because the white would soften and mix upwards, sometimes to the point that the black over it would become too light to repro.
It's possible to lay down a layer of frosted tape (Scotch Magic Tape) over the white correction or a cut edge and touch up the lines on it, as long as you carefully removed all finger grease from the tape--a trick that saved my life more times than I can count.
Artists are not gods and often make mistakes. Artists that work for reproduction are demons that operate with every filthy underhanded trick they can come up with to get the job out on schedule--gods have nothing to do with it. The naive perfectionists die acclaimed but poor. The dogs in the pit kill to get the job done and bring home the hamburger and beer in hopes of getting laid. Welcome to the real world, Bubba...
Add note: Since Davi was kind enough to give us a chance to see this art close up, take a few minutes and study each piece from corner to corner and you'll realize just how little a PEN was used compared to a brush. If you can't tell at first look, keep looking and you'll get it.
March 8th, 2010, 02:20 AM
Tarzan say "knock off!"
Still fantastic, though!
March 8th, 2010, 09:20 AM
Thanks for these davi!
Heck even back then Franks mad skills were evident. His action and his love for what he was doing are clearly seen here.
March 8th, 2010, 01:13 PM
Great post Ilaekae! At this time, how was the reproduction done?
March 8th, 2010, 01:49 PM
It was almost certainly on a rotary press of some type, and since it was color, I'm assuming an offset litho web press due to the relatively high runs and need for cheap production. Letterpress (relief printing) would have been too slow because the ink takes longer to dry and the cost of the plates would have been prohibitive.
This means that the originals above would have been photographed on a huge vacuum camera with ortho film (high contrast/black-white). The color would have been done with specialists cutting masks to the artist's spec guides to make up simple CMYK screen combinations which would be burned to the appropriate color plate one at a time. I'm not sure what the press capacity was then, but there would have been anywhere from 12 to 24 pages printed at a time (keep in mind that a PAGE is a single side of a sheet of paper trimmed to size--each of the illustrations above are ONE page).
This isn't much different from how modern newspapers and magazines are printed.
March 8th, 2010, 04:08 PM
Very cool post :)
Third panel second page... Thunda looks like Tom Hanks...
March 9th, 2010, 07:25 AM
makes me sort of happy to see that even frank frazetta could sometimes struggle with anatomy.
March 9th, 2010, 03:05 PM
Thanks Ilaekae! Seems I have a lot of Wikipedia-reading to do...
EDIT: so the photographs of these pen and ink drawings would be the black (K), and the hand-cut masks would be CMY? Could these masks be semi-transparent, so they could make different amounts of C, M and Y, or were either on or off, making only 7 individual colours possible? (C, M, Y, CM, CY, MY, CMY)
March 9th, 2010, 06:55 PM
CMYK color is created by using various weights of screens made up of neatly aligned little dots, each in a sep color to make up the final color. For example, 100Y + 50M would indicate/produce a fairly strong orange (100% coverage of yellow plus 50% coverage of magenta printed on top of each other creates the optical illusion of an orange color).
The pages art above WOULD be the K plates/negs/art since they're the KEY plate (which is where the "K" comes from--surprise!) This plate is almost always printed last, after the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow plates in that order.
The masks are used to create little CLEAR trap areas where you would want a specific color to appear. A film screen the opposite of what you want is taped behind this "window" (if you want 30% to print, you use a 70% screen in strip-up--remember--we're working with negatives here [inverse]), one for each of the separate CMYK colors that are required to make up the final color (our example above would require a clear hole for yellow [no screen] and a 50% for the magenta negative. These negatives would all be "burned" to the appropriate plate (c, M, Y, K), and...no...there isn't just one neg for each color--I once prepped art that required 274 separate burns to make up the complete four plates (in my case, six plates--the two extra plates were for special colors that had to be an exact match and could not be made up in CMYK)
The screen values used in the old days were pretty simple--either 10%, 25%, 50% and 75% OR 10%, 20%, 40%, 60%, and 80%, giving you six or seven values for each of the CMYK colors (that's assuming that NO color is 0% and a solid lay is 100%). Pretty primitive, but it was good enough to give us all the art comics and Sunday newspaper comics you grew up with. Today, without computers, there are usually 12 values used, and with computers, you can double that by working in 5% increments. Beyond that, you've entered the world of STUPID...
This is a highly complex area/discussion from a mechanical standpoint and would require me to write a few 1,000 words just to give the basics, so definitely check out Google for CMYK color and Process or Four-Color printing. In addition to the color breaks, the screens, and the reversals, you also have to worry about what angle the screens are stripped at. Heeheehee...
I was a specialist in mechanical CMYK color breaks, both as art and pre-press strip-up, so take this as a given...(if my eyes haven't gone completely to hell) I can identify approximately 450-500 CMYK color mixes to within five percent by looking at a piece printed in flat colors...without reference.
That's the primary reason I work in CMYK in Illustrator and PS--why do RGB when you already have 90%+ of the CMYK color equivalents in your head?
When things slow down for me a bit, I have a technical tutorial/manual on printing, color and mechanical color screens planned for the POW! section. I may broaden it and see if anyone thinks it might help posted somewhere else, too.
March 9th, 2010, 07:34 PM
Ilaekae: Awesome stuff, do post what you can. It's interesting to know this stuff.
Also I must say that I was impressed by the amount of brush that was used instead of a pen. It was the first thing I noticed about the work, and was quite happy about it, being able to see this brushwork. I mostly work inks with a brush and because the few people who I know work with a pen mostly, it made me feel odd because I don't like working with a pen.
I am wondering if the pencils for these were tight, loose or non-excistant. Any ideas?
March 10th, 2010, 08:44 AM
Those branches in the shade, my this man was good at creating light effect.
March 10th, 2010, 12:08 PM
Thank you so much for the pages,
It does boost my confidence if only a little...
I was really hard on myself because I definately use white gouache alot...I thought it was merely a mark of my inexperience, but I still kept making lots of mistakes (even when I did improve on some parts)...
Ilaekae, thx for posting more info behind the comic scenes.
Keep helping everyone, dude or dudette.
March 10th, 2010, 04:06 PM
Thanks, Ilaekae, you the man!
March 17th, 2010, 11:33 PM
these pages are in his book.
March 18th, 2010, 08:17 AM
March 18th, 2010, 09:16 AM
I am wondering if the pencils for these were tight, loose or non-excistant. Any ideas?
I've seen reproductions of penciled pages by Frazetta for some late Flash Gordon stuff that were pretty detailed, but I think those were meant to be inked by other artists... So I'm not sure how detailed his penciling would have been if he was doing the inking.
That said, it's always so refreshing to see how sloppy the original pages by masters actually are... helps me curb my perfectionist tendencies. (And MISTAKES! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who makes really loopy mistakes! Even Frazetta makes 'em!)
White-out and pasted bits of paper and mask cutting and... arrrgh! (We had to cut color-separation masks for one of our classes in school, just so we could learn the obsolete way.) God, I love Photoshop. "We'll fix it in Photoshop!" that's my mantra these days...
I mostly work inks with a brush and because the few people who I know work with a pen mostly, it made me feel odd because I don't like working with a pen.
There's actually a fair number of people out there working with brush and ink, so you're not alone... I use a brush almost exclusively, with pen reserved for straight lines and a few small details (most of the comic artists I admire were brush masters. Brush is good.)
March 18th, 2010, 03:14 PM
Thanks for the scans and the lenghty but interesting technical explanations Ilaekae.