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FRAZETTA: KING OF PAINT Chapter 10: 1972 (Part 2)

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FRAZETTA: KING OF PAINT Chapter 10: 1972(Part 2)


by Paul Vespignani

LAND OF TERROR(1972)(oil painting)/LAND OF TERROR(aka MONSTER OUT OF TIME)(date unknown)(oil repainting)(copyright date 1972) 

For the repainting of the cover art for LAND OF TERROR Frank completely repainted the water in the foreground and added some spontaneous and expressively brushed foliage above the water. The water in the repainting is far darker and more aggressively agitated and for Frank to brush in the foliage so quickly and still get it absolutely perfect design and drawing wise is the sign of a true master. Still I miss the beautiful water lilies and lovely aquatic hues from the somewhat more peaceful waters of the original. Too bad one had to be sacrificed for the other. The 1st painting is more beautiful, but the repainting is more impactful. I like them both. 

LAND OF TERROR(1972)(oil painting)

The repainting 1st appeared in FRANK FRAZETTA: BOOK TWO(1977) and was released as a poster at this time. This book also revealed that the novel titles for LAND OF TERROR and MONSTER(FROM) OUT OF TIME(1970) had been directly transposed for their poster titles by Frank and Ellie. It is still an open question whether they did this deliberately or if it was just an accident. After all, the painting for LOT indeed DOES feature a monster(or at the very least an oversized alligator-like creature) while the cover for MFOOT does NOT have a monster. So maybe Frank and Ellie thought the transposed titles matched up better with the visuals of the paintings. It is also a mystery if changing MONSTER FROM OUT OF TIME to the more pithy MONSTER OUT OF TIME was intentional or not. If the transposed titles and dropping 1 word from 1 of the titles were simply mistakes they have persisted for the past 46 years. THE FANTASTIC ART OF FRANK FRAZETTA (1975) also contained a couple of transposed titles but these were clearly errors and were isolated to that book itself. 

The Conan Properties owners(prior to 2001) refused to let Frank and Ellie sell their Conan posters using the Conan book titles(which was the final nail in the Conan coffin for Frazetta doing more Conan paintings since he was irked by their obvious ingratitude). The Frazetta faithful have CPI to blame for the cavalcade of alternate titles we have seen over the years. The current owners of CPI have since rectified this by partnering with the Frazetta estate to use the correct titles. However the ERB estate had no problem allowing Frazetta Prints to use their novel titles for the poster titles. There was no actual reason that LAND OF TERROR needed to be switched with another title. 


LAND OF TERROR(aka MONSTER OUT OF TIME)(date unknown)(oil repainting)(copyright date 1972)


THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT(1972)(oil painting)(copyright date 1981)/THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT(aka CAPTIVE PRINCESS)(date unknown)(oil repainting)

THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT(1972)(oil painting)(copyright date 1981)

I have to frankly and candidly confess that before I did the initial research for the FRAZETTA: KING OF PAINT project in the Spring of 2023 I had no idea that Frank had ever repainted THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT. I have viewed both the 1972 original AND the repainted version countless times over the last 50 years and never did I put 2 + 2 together and realize I was looking at 2 different paintings. Just goes to show you can be a Frazetta fan for 55 years like me and STILL learn new things about his art.

I do distinctly remember the 1st time I flipped through FRANK FRAZETTA: BOOK ONE(1996) in 1997 I was surprised that Ellie(who was credited as editor of this book, one of her few official credits) had included TPTTF since it had already appeared only 11 years earlier in FRANK FRAZETTA: BOOK FIVE(1985). In the spring of 2023 I looked at these 2 repros for the 1st time side-by-side and lo and behold I could see EXACTLY why she included it in the 1996 book. The painting in BOOK FIVE was the 1972 original. The painting in BOOK ONE was the repainting. Seeing them right next to each other it was OBVIOUS that they were 2 very different paintings!

The 1972 original had a 1981 copyright date added to it in 1981 when it appeared in the 1982 Frazetta calendar. The repainting has a copyright symbol but no year so we don't know for sure when it was repainted. My educated guess is the 1st half of the 1990s. My even more specific educated guess is 1994 which was a year when Frank was taking stock of his past failed paintings and giving them some much needed artistic rehabilitation(yes, I'm talking about you JONGOR OF LOST LAND(1970) and THE ETERNAL CHAMPION(1970)).


Frazetta said in his unofficial interview in the equally unofficial THE FRAZETTA TREASURY(1975) that he painted TPTTF in only 2 hours. If someone ever comes up with a subgenre of art for 2 hour paintings this one might be the very best one done in the history of mankind. However compared to the generally brilliant paintings from Frank's 2nd wave of ERB paintings this painting always looked like what it was: hasty, rushed, and incomplete. If ever a Frazetta painting needed some extra TLC and a good repainting this one was it. Luckily Frazetta came around to seeing it that way himself a couple decades after he 1st painted it.

Comparing the 2 paintings these are the improvements I'm seeing in the repainting:

A) The apeman on the viewer's far left has received a triangular shaped forehead and a somewhat different fur formation on his neck and shoulder area and he is a little darker in tone.

B) The foreground log has extra colors and more precise(and brighter) highlights.

C) The woman's left foot is given greater detailing with each toe clearly differentiated. The 1972 left foot was an almost abstract shape with only the large toe slightly defined. Ace Books was apparently so disturbed by that abstract foot that they literally CROPPED IT OUT of the book cover, knocking Frank's carefully balanced composition slightly out of whack. The Frazetta faithful would have to wait until the 1982 calendar to see that foot in all its abstract glory.

D) The oversize tree behind the woman is given darker shadows, more definition, and the pattern of the wedge shaped mushrooms has been a little altered. Where this tree meets the top of the composition Frank adds a large black mass of foliage.

E) The most noticeable aspect of the repainting is on the viewer's upper left side of the composition where Frazetta adds a dark triangular area of hanging vines. This leads the viewer's eye right back into the main grouping of the woman and the apemen. In the 1972 original this area was just an abstract area of pretty blue which looked nice but didn't help the design in any way and let the viewer's eye slip right off the top of the painting.

Frazetta Prints produced the repainting as a poster in the 1990s.

THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT(aka CAPTIVE PRINCESS)(date unknown)(oil repainting)

LUANA(circa early 1970s)(oil painting)/SAVAGE PELLUCIDAR(2)(1972)(oil repainting)(copyright date 1974)

  LUANA(circa early 1970s)(oil painting)

LUANA, THE GIRL TARZAN(1968) was originally released in Italy. In the early 1970s the movie company that produced it decided to dub it into English and release it in the USA. They hired Frank to do the movie poster art. Frazetta did 3 paintings for this movie: a vertical rectangle, a horizontal landscape rectangle, and a smaller vertical rectangle. The 1st 2 were definitely done in oils, the smaller looser piece might be in watercolor. After Frazetta completed these 3 paintings the USA release was put on temporary hiatus, although Frank had the mistaken impression that it had been completely canceled. It was eventually released in the USA in 1973 with the shorter title of LUANA and all of FF's poster art for it was released at that time.

Purely inspired by the Frazetta connection I watched the English dub of LUANA for the very 1st time 3 days ago on YouTube. This is NOT a good movie. Generally speaking it has very little action and no real sense of excitement. The fatal flaw is the bizarre concept and writing for the title character of Luana. She has very little overall screen time, absolutely zero dialogue or character development, and doesn't DO much of anything interesting throughout the whole movie. She spends most of her time surreptitiously following behind the hero and his girlfriend and closely observing them like some kind of creepy voyeur.


  At least 1 writer used the word "nudie" in connection with this movie, but there is no actual nudity in it. Although Luana is seemingly topless her long dark hair is always carefully and strategically placed to fully cover her naked breasts. You only see her bare back. For all practical intents and purposes she could just as easily be wearing a bikini top or a bra. This sort of faux pseudo-nudity was a well worn gimmick during the 1960s. There are a few camera shots where it looks like her rear end is naked, but closer inspection reveals she is wearing a miniscule G-string so no nudity here either technically speaking, but pretty close. Luana is played by Mei Chen who is really quite lovely. So there might be some minimal "girl watching" value for some males who are so inclined(sort of like watching Linda Blair in EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC(1977) or ROLLER BOOGIE(1979)).

Frank did an excellent job on his LUANA poster art pieces, but his fine work here was being blatantly exploited to sell a cinematic piece of junk to people. This movie didn't even deserve ONE Frazetta painting let alone THREE.

There have been conflicting reports of whether Frank was actually paid for his LUANA paintings when he 1st painted them, but surely he WAS paid by 1973. There are 2 things we know for sure: in 1972 when Frazetta was working on his initial group of 2nd wave ERB paintings for Ace the horizontal landscape LUANA painting was in his personal possession and at this time he thought the USA release of LUANA was as dead as Julius Caesar. He really liked the horizontal LUANA painting and got the idea of repurposing it for the cover of SAVAGE PELLUCIDAR. Of course one obvious problem was converting the horizontal rectangle into a vertical rectangle. Frank solved this by literally chopping off the right and left sides of the landscape and reportedly selling off these discarded art remnants for cash(hey, waste not, want not).

Although using the LUANA painting was ostensibly a labor saving solution, Frazetta did a LOT of repainting on this piece to transform it into the SP(2) classic we all know and love. He did so much repainting it almost qualifies as a new painting(ALMOST):

1) Luana's face was slightly repainted.

2) Frank added a very handsome and complex triangular shaped metal decoration to her hair.

3) He painted out the bikini top and made her topless(although the positioning of her right arm provides the just right amount of modesty).

4) The black panther was painted out and replaced by a saber tooth tiger. 

5) The monkey was painted out.

6) The gray rock outcropping next to the monkey was painted out. 

7) The gnarly horizontal tree in the foreground and the surrounding landscape elements were somewhat repainted.

8) A vertical rocky mountain formation was added to the viewer's left side.

9) Some smaller gnarly branches were growing out of the formation to echo the foreground tree.

10) Finally FF made the background pure white brilliantly offsetting all the colors of the composition. This can also be seen as a possible in-joke for the Frazetta faithful since the classic SAVAGE PELLUCIDAR(1)(1964) painting featured a striking vignette design and a pure white background. 

SAVAGE PELLUCIDAR(2)(1972)(oil repainting)(copyright date 1974)


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