Monday, May 10, 2010
Frank Frazatta; Lena Horne
From Paul Kupperberg on Bryant Street this afternoon:
Word just reached me that Frank Frazetta died today. He was 82. A sad day,
that also saw the death of the great Lena Horne, at 92.
Ed here: I first saw Frank Frazetta's work in comic books and was duly appreciative of it. But I have to say appreciation turned to awe when he started doing those Ace Edgar Rice Burroughs covers in the Sixties. There had never been anything like them. Frazetta gave us a world of violence, lust and empires that not even the most skilled prose could capture. There's an hour long documentary about him that's well worth watching.
I own a number of Lena Horne CDs. My favorite period of her work is from the late Forties and early Fifties. She was a woman of parts, a beautiful and talented artist who came up when blacks in every way were second class citizens. She made movies but always had to come in the back door and could never eat with whites. So much for liberal Hwood. Nightclubs were somewhat more tolerant though I remember her saying that in the early Sixties Harry Belafonte and Johnny Mathis still had to eat in the kitchens of the big Vegas palaces. I'm sure Nat King Cole had to, too. There was a biography of her published last year (?) that depicted her (this is from memory) as an angry, isolated and somewhat bitter woman. Given all she'd been through I don't see how she could have been otherwise. To me her "Stormy Weather" is still the definitive one. 1954.