Monday 2 June 2014

The Monstrous Art of Diving

This entry contains paintings of divers encountering monsters of the deep produced by three well-known fantasy artists.

The cover to Warren Publishing's Eerie magazine issue three, published in 1966, is by the late Frank Frazetta.

Born in Brooklyn in 1928, Frazetta began working in comics as a studio assistant aged 16. He worked in a variety of genres for a number of publishers including National (later to become DC) and the infamous EC Comics. He also worked on various daily strips including Al Capp's L'il Abner.

In the 60s he moved on to film posters and book covers. Film posters included those for What's New Pussycat?, The Night They Raided Minsky's and Clint Eastwood's The Gauntlet. His book covers included such famous characters as Conan, Tarzan and John Carter. He also produced covers for Warren's range of magazines as well as illustrating a few stories. He later worked with animator Ralph Bakshi on the 1983 film Fire and Ice and his work appeared on album covers for various bands including Molly Hatchet and Nazareth.

Frank Frazetta died in 2010 aged 82.

Nightmare was the first of several magazines produced by short-lived 70s publisher Skywald. The cover below, from 1971, is by Peruvian artist Boris Vallejo.

Boris Vallejo was born in Peru in 1941. He was already working as an artist when he emigrated to the United States in 1964. He became a popular cover artist on books featuring the likes of  Tarzan, Conan and Doc Savage. He used extensive photographic reference for his figures, often posing for the male characters himself. His first wife, Doris, posed for many of his female characters. He now works with his second wife Julie Bell and you can buy prints of his work from their website.

Demon of the Deep was painted by Ken Kelly in 1992.

Born in 1946, Ken W Kelly is the nephew of Frank Frazetta's wife Eleanor. Like Frank and Boris, Ken has painted Conan and Tarzan but he's possibly best known for his album covers for heavy metal giants Kiss. He also painted the iconic cover for the album Rainbow Rising. You can purchase Ken's work here.

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