fantasy illustrated 1

Frank Frazetta was born in 1928 and left this world in 2010. He was survived by a career and legacy in fantasy illustration and painting. His renderings of heroes like Conan the Barbarian became a cultural image of fantasy we still retain today. This article could be about the work of Frazetta and his monumental impact on the realm of fantasy art. Unfortunately, it is not. Rather this article is about his magazine, which was released in the late 90’s. Adorned with his full name, The Frank Frazetta Fantasy Illustrated…

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MOUSE GUARD – The Black Axe


This is a review of the third volume in David Petersen’s Mouse Guard. It also may be a possible summary and introduction for others not familiar with one of the more interesting fantasy comics in recent years. If one hasn’t read this story, stop here and go out and read it. I am going to be discussing the plot of the story and wouldn’t want to ruin anything for you. On the surface, Mouse Guard is a simple story of medieval life and warfare just on a tiny scale with…

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Let us just preview what Warlord is all about. Huh. Fighter Pilot gets shot out of the sky. Alright. Plummets through the center of the earth. Sure. Arrives in a mythical land where prehistoric beasts, pirates, half naked women, and wizards all have crazy ass adventures. Yes. I am already on board with this and this is just the first page.  Warlord came at a special time when just about anything could be done with comics. Before things became dark and gritty for young adults, comics in the 1970’s were…

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Well. Holy shit. If there was a comic that could capture the essence of Hollywood Metal, I think I have found it. If there was a comic that could also capture the spirit of genre bending, I think I have also found it. Atlantean viking scifi historical fantasy activate. I know it is difficult to believe but the world outside of the United States has comics. Sometimes the most popular are ones you have never heard of. Enter Thorgal, a fantasy comic that has been dominating the French/Belgian market since…

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Alright. We have reached Forgotten Realms. Though all fantasy is pretty much in the same neighborhood, I feel certain places are way further than others. If Game of Thrones is here, then Forgotten Realms is way over fucking there. Yeah, you see that castle in the distance surrounded by swamp hydras? Yeah, beyond that. When explaining fantasy, I try to imagine I’m trying to explain it to someone who has no grasp of fantasy and is quickly losing interest. Oh, a more realistic fantasy story with lots of action and…

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Elfquest 25th anniversary

Yes, this is Elfquest. And yes, the people are suppose to look like that. With Savage Sword of Conan, I mentioned briefly the rise and quiet fall of underground comics, sometimes spelled with an X (yes, comix). While originally created to shield children from sex and violence, the Comics Code Authority, which was meant to keep comics “wholesome,” eventually created an underground counter-culture based in small print publishing and alternative book stores. Underground comics sometimes spelled with an X stood on the border between art, sociopolitical commentary, and, oddly enough,…

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While there are newer titles available, I feel that there was a golden period for fantasy comics that hit right around the 70’s into the 80’s. This golden period, in my opinion, was specifically related to the subversion of the Comics Code Authority, established more than a decade prior. While comic books were under strict guidelines of content and theme, comics that ran in magazine publications could do whatever the hell they wanted. Much in the same way underground Comix were sold in head shops and artsy bookstores, fantasy magazines…

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Brendan: Do you want to start doing some reviews on Fantasy comics? …[echo]… Are you into them? Despite the seemingly sparse existence of contemporary fantasy comics, there existed, at one point, a proliferation of mature themed series that ran in magazine sized publications. Following the success of Heavy Metal, other magazine-style fantasy comics blossomed and existed for a short period including Questar, Ares, The Savage Sword of Conan, and Epic Illustrated. Epic Illustrated was an imprint of Marvel and proposed the same theme as Heavy Metal. While Heavy Metal is,…

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