Frank Frazetta is painting with fire

“Frazetta: Painting with Fire” is a documentary from2003 covering the life and art of fantasy art master Frank Frazetta.

From his childhood to the opening of his very own museum, the
documentary is an in depth look at his career, family, friends and

As a fan of pulp-fiction art, the fantasy genre and comic books,
I’ve always been in love with Frazetta’s work — full of
frothing beasts, muscular barbarians and immensely vivacious women. I
also agree that Frazetta has a place among the all-time American
masters of art.

Yes, his art — mostly oil paintings — is that good.

Sadly, the documentary explains that having served as a commercial
artist for his entire career, he will likely never achieve the critical
status of those who stick to art for art’s sake.

His amazing work aside, the documentary isn’t all that interesting.
His contemporaries heap on the praise. His family heaps on the praise.
Frazetta himself heaps on the praise.

And it’s all dreadfully boring. There’s no controversy (or at least
not enough). There’s no criticism. It is two hours of people cheering
“Frank Frazetta is great!”

Not that I don’t disagree with them, it’s just that it doesn’t make for a terribly interesting documentary.

The one interesting thing I gleaned from “Frazetta: Painting with Fire” is that the official Frank Frazetta museum is about two-and-a- half hours from my house — and  I’m going there soon.


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