|The Phantom Warrior|
© Paul Hair, 2010
If you’ve ever admired the cover of a Robert E. Howard Conan book, you’re probably familiar with artist Frank Frazetta.
Frazetta died in 2010, but for at least a generation of fantasy fans, his oil paintings defined the aesthetic for sword-and-sorcery novels. Think huge, muscular men; curvaceous, creamy-skinned women and horrific beasts that menace both. From comic books to movie posters to the worlds of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, his fierce fantasy depictions remain captivating.
His 1973 painting “The Death Dealer” became his most iconic work, used as cover art for music and books, as well as the basis for at least one novel. The piece also has been adapted into an imposing, life-size statue for III Corps, one of the higher echelon units of the U.S. Army.
III Corps took on “The Death Dealer” as a symbol of the unit in the 1980s: horned helmet, battle ax, wild-eyed horse and all. According to an official statement, “In April 1986, LTG Saint concluded an agreement with the artist, Mr. Frank Frazetta which allowed the Corps to use ‘The Death Dealer’ as a symbol of III Corps, the figure is currently referred to as ‘The Phantom Warrior.’” . . .
Read the entire column (and see more original photographs) at Hollywood in Toto.