The Sensuous Frazetta
"A woman can be sensuous and erotic in typical, mundane movements, and I try to capture that precise motion or pose when she is at her most sensuous."
- Frank Frazetta
Throughout the 1950s Frazetta worked for Al Capp on his successful comic strip, Li'l Abner. Frazetta introduced a bit of his personal style into a few of the early dailies, but his style didn't fully bloom until he left the comic industry. After quitting his well-paid position as a"ghost" artist on Li'l Abner in the early 1960s, Frazetta had a tough time securing another full-time illustration job. He wasn't completely out of work, though. His freelance work for the year of 1961 consisted of contributions to a handful of men’s magazines and paperback book covers, which were a match made in heaven for his erotically-charged drawings and mastery of the female form.
Frazetta broke into illustration for magazines and paperbacks with the help of one gentleman named, Marshall Dugger. Dugger was the editor for Cavalcade Magazine and an art director at Tower Publishing, who published the racy, Midwood paperbacks. Frazetta recalled his time with Dugger in a 1994 interview with Gary Groth, "I was just making my rounds. Dugger was the art director up at Tower, and he really loved my stuff - he was the only one who loved my stuff! And he gave me work, and even that started getting all kinds of response. They loved it."
Aside from Cavalcade and Midwood, Frazetta also worked for magazines such as GENT and DUDE, producing eye-catching spot illustrations to punctuate the stories. In August 1962, GENT Magazine, Volume 6 published The Gent's Zodiac By Hans Holzer, illustrated Frazetta. One month later, DUDE magazine published Frazetta's illustration for Fredric Brown's story, "Cattin on The Couch."
"I have a very personalized woman, as you know. You’ve seen my women, they kind of look alike. I’ve tried to escape from that and I was never happy. I’d make a perfectly nice rendering of a female and it would just make me unhappy. “I don’t love her.” She’s got to have a certain look, those eyes that I love."
Although brief, this very erotic period in Frazetta's career was pivotal.
This is the period he created his, "Frazetta Girl."
Frazetta's women were so well-received that in the
early 1970s, a newsprint fanzine collected 21 of Frazetta's 26 men's paperback illustrations under the title, The Sensuous Frazetta. It was an instant hit. Later in the 1990s, Eros Comics published a collection titled, "Baby You're Really Something!"