Thursday, January 02, 2014
Frank Frazetta ... Russ Cochran ... Artist Edition
In the last 3 years I have been caught-up in the “Artist Edition” frenzy that got started by IDW with their reprinting of Dave Stevens’ “Rocketeer” from the original art boards. I already have an entry on this blog about my opinions about the origin of this trend (posted back in 2012), so I won’t repeat myself about that but I would like to write about a recent “discovery” on my part. Three weeks ago I was flipping through a Frank Frazetta book called “Icon”. Just getting inspired to try to push myself and try to do interesting art, and on one of the biographical text pages in the book, I saw a little insert reproduction of a cover for a publication called “Untamed Love”. Oh, sure "Untamed Love", I have a copy, published by Fantagraphics almost 30 years ago, reprinting Frazetta’s romance comics. Three or four stories, drawn by Frazetta in the 1950, that just blew my mind when I first read them. It is one of the few comics that I keep in an easily accessible drawer next to my drawing table. Incredible stuff for sure. But funny enough, the cover does not look familiar and as I read the text I realize that this is something different. A quick search on the web and…it turns out Russ Cochran, back in 1970s produced two oversize black and white Frazetta reprints. First, “Untamed Love”, collecting four Frazetta romance stories from the 1950’s shot from the originals that Frazetta had (stored in his closet no less). Second, was the collection of all the Thunda stories drawn by Frazetta also shot from originals (also stored in Frazetta’s closet). Both editions are oversized, bigger than modern magazines (but regretfully not the full size of the original artwork). Years later, Fantagraphics used these editions to produce comic book sized colorized versions of the same stories that I am familiar with.