Showing posts with label frazetta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frazetta. Show all posts

Sunday, July 05, 2009


It isn't often that you get to compare the work of your favorite artists in some way that can lay claim to being objective. Maybe the closest you could get to a fair contest would be one in which both artists attempted to illustrate the same story, without being able to reference each other's work. Well, that's what we have here: Frazetta and Wood illustrating the same story. There's no stylistic similarity, so I'm guessing that neither saw how the other handled the story.

Hold your hats, it's going to be a battle royal!

I can't put up every page of the story, so I'll just put up highlights of what each artist did with the beginning, middle and end. The finished, inked page way at the very top is by Wood. The pencil page immediately above is by Frazetta. Frazetta's pages only exist in pencil because the magazine folded before he could start on the inking.

That's one of Wood's middle pages above. The story goes something like this: a lonely bachelor is staying at his hunting lodge in the woods. A beautiful girl knocks on the door requesting help. Her car broke down, and she was pursued through the woods by someone or something intent on capturing her. The bachelor takes her in and offers her his protection. They start chatting and discover that each is the other's ideal mate. They fall deeply in love.

That's one of Frazetta's middle pages above.

Here's (above) the next Frazetta page. As their love deepens an announcement is heard on the radio.

Above, the next Frazetta page.

The radio announcer says a beautiful blonde mad woman has escaped from the local asylum. The announcer warns that she's very beguiling, but is not to be trusted. She's a homicidal maniac who slowly cuts up and horribly mutilates her victims. Under no circumstances should anyone let her into their home.

The bachelor is horrified. He kicks the girl out, locks the door, and spends the night upright in a chair, holding a rifle. Outside the girl begs to be let in.

She says they both found the true love of their lives in the cabin. She says he needs to trust that, and not the radio. She says the maniac is approaching. How, she asks, could he leave the girl he loves defenseless, in the hands of a fiend? With great difficulty the bachelor listens to blood-curdling screams all night. Finally the screams stop and the sun comes up. With gun in hand he opens the door to the porch.

That's Wood's page above.

The bachelor opens the door and discovers....the hacked, mutilated body of the girl he loved, and who he kicked out of the cabin. The girl, the love of his life who had pleaded for help, had been telling the truth all along.

That's Frazetta's final page, above. So who do you think won the competition? Who did the superior version of the story?

BTW, the format of the second version is different because it was undertaken later when the Congressional hearing on comics forced EC to recast their comics stories in magazine form. The reasoning was that magazines are assumed to be for adults and are therefore less vulnerable to censorship. The public didn't go for it. Sales of the magazine format declined (Mad excepted) and the horror titles fizzled out. Poor Frazetta was ordered to seize work on the magazine story before he could finish it.

I assume that he never saw the earlier Wood version because there's no similarity in the approach.

Also BTW: Thanks to Milt for bringing this to my attention and providing the artwork.