Thursday, 27 June 2013

Artus Reportus Longus Windus - Frank Frazetta

This is the first report that we were required to do for the Critical Studies section of the course. I've broken it up three sections because the whole thing was far too image heavy.
CAVAET! - I got pulled up on my referencing for this report even after I used the handout sheets AND the APA referencing tool in Word. Make certain of your references before submitting and cite everything! Even if you consider it to be redundant information.

In this report I plan to focus on three different practitioners. They all work in the same genre, fantasy art, but each is very different in their approach to the materials and techniques used.
  • Stan Sakai is the creator and illustrator of the Usagi Yojimbo graphic novels. His work is black and white and well written.
  • Frank Frazetta who was a fantasy artist until his death in 2010. He worked primarily in acrylics but started out illustrating comic books as well.
  • Brian Froud who is a fantasy artist. He worked closely with Jim Henson on The Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal movies.


This is Frazettas painting for the movie, Fire and Ice which he worked on with Ralph Bakshi [1]
. The central figure in the painting is the blond man. Not only is he positioned in the center of the image but he is also the most strongly illuminated

Although we can see him preparing to face off against the apeman climbing the cliff we, the audience, can also see that he is in danger of being stabbed by the apeman behind him.
Though the eye is first attracted to this man we then move to the woman in a way that has nothing to do with porn or sexiness at all, I realize that this sounds like a joke but it isn't.

We move to her because of the colouring of her body and specifically the small purple triangles of her bikini that are highlighted by the whiteness of the surrounding chest area which contrast entirely with the rest of her skin tone.

The man at the top, in the movie he acts as the mentor, and appears to be doing so in the poster as well but upon inspection you see that he is paying no attention to the apeman with the knife and even if he were he is wielding a double handed axe which, while impressive, is not as fast as the thrust of a knife..

The colours used are interesting and we see that the sky and the glaciers are coloured to match up with the title of the movie. The clouds and stormy conditions also speak of war and battle. (the film is more or less one long battle sequence)

The apemen are done in a very darkened range of colours to the point where they blend in with the rocks themselves.

Of special interest is the axeman who's leg does the same This hints at a relationship between him and the apemen [2]

How was it made?
Although Frazetta worked well in pencils and watercolours but he is most well-known for his work in oils
When was it made?
In 1986 for the film Fire and Ice.
Where was it made?
This piece was made in his gallery in East Stroudsberg
What was the social cultural and technological context of its production?
  • Social:
    The man and the woman are the two hero's while the apemen are little more than beasts under the command of Necron.
  • Cultural:
    The lands of Fire and Ice are under attack by Necrons forces. When the woman escapes his grasp he directs all his efforts into tracking her down.
  • Technological:
    Nothing more than swords and primitive weaponry. There is some magic wielded by Necron but it doesn't have much flashy sparkles
Who is the intended audience for this piece?
The intended audience for this piece would have been males of appropriate age. Frazetta had a huge following thanks to the book covers and the comics that he illustrated.
  1.  Who also made Lord of the Rings using the same rotoscoping techniques as this film.
  2. He is the father of Necron, the villain.

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