To measure the scope of Frazetta's legacy, it's worth taking note of both the fickle nature and short memories of the publishing industry and the reading public. All too often "today's super-star" becomes tomorrow's forgotten creator. For most, "Glory days – well, they'll pass you by..."
It's sobering to ponder how close to this fate even the supremely talented Frazetta came.
Despite a no-doubt superlative portfolio, the now-forgotten Frazetta came away with only a few comic book jobs, thanks almost entirely to the good graces of his old EC stable mate and friend, George Evans.
The breakthrough in Frazetta's fortunes came thanks to another caring friend, fantasy legend Roy G. Krenkel, who had scored a series of Edgar Rice Burroughs illustration assignments from Ace books, and was largely carrying on a tradition pioneered by J. Allen St. John.
Always mindful of getting his originals back from the publishers, Frank and his wife Ellie purposefully built the Frazetta legacy. Starting in the mid-60s, the Frazetta legend grew and grew among creative art directors, fans, and collectors alike, thanks to a wealth of posters, fanzines, portfolios, calendars, record album covers and books.
As Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman of Heritage Auction Galleries, aptly notes, "Frazetta was, quite simply, the greatest comic book artist of the 20th Century. Amazingly, he was also a modest soul, and a true gentleman in every way. He will be missed, but never forgotten."