Monday 26 December 2011

Frank Thorne

Red Sonja & Ghita by Frank Thorne

(from Dave Sim On Parody & Copyright, Following Cerebus #3, February 2005)
Frank Thorne was very enthusiastic about the Red Sophia and Geet-a parodies, which meant a great deal to me at the time, because he was such a huge success at the time with Red Sonja. Just completely over-the-top in sending me colour sketches and fan letters. I can't even imagine how much mail he must have been getting at the time. I think he singled me out for a little more that an average amount of attention because I had done an interview with him for CANAR back when he was working on Korak, Son Of Tarzan at DC in the pre-Sonja days. He was always seen as the poor man's Joe Kubert, so I think he appreciated my level of interest and, certainly, I took a lot of inspiration back in 1978-79 from the fact that an artist who had been seen as a second-stringer and an also-ran could suddenly have a hit after years of being a marginal figure in the field. [Laughs] It never happened for me, but it did help to keep me going that it was at least possible.
(from the introduction to issue 3 in Swords Of Cerebus Vol 1, 1981)
A struggling professional needs Frank Thorne - be they elf or aardvark. I mean, Frank loves everything... without qualification or inhibition. Phone the guy to talk and he laughs. He laughs when you say hello, he laughs when you ask him if he's rich yet. He laughs when you tell him you haven't got money for groceries and your mother needs an operation (this last part is made up of course). Frank sends you sketches. Bizarre little Pantone and flair jobbies. I got a sketch when I sent him #1. I got a sketch when I sent him #3. I got a cover for #7 just for sending him xeroxes of the first ten pages. I got another sketch when I won the Alley Award. The most recent sketch was for the Ghita parody in #19. I still have to do Son of Tomahawk, Mighty Sampson and Dr. Guy Bennet (who?). By the end of the decade, I'll be able to wallpaper the cat's room with Frank Thorne artwork... and yes, it is true, the wizard was drawn so he looked like Frank.

Buy Frank Thorne books at Fantagraphics Books, Dynamite Entertainment and Dark Horse.
Cerebus #7 (December 1978)
Art by Frank Thorne

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