The work of legendary fantasy artist Frank Frazetta is showcased on Scottsdales new coin series

An absolute legend in the fantasy art world, Frank Frazetta produced a body of work that is absolutely unequalled in the genre. The field is full of brilliant artists, some with a technical ability even higher than Frazetta’s, but Franks work is so full of power, realism and emotion that it simply sits head and shoulders above his contemporaries. If you’re going to pick an artist to showcase on some silver coins, Frazetta is certainly an inspired choice.

Scottsdale Mint has taken up the challenge with its new The Frazetta Monsters Collection, a series of one-ounce silver coins issued for the Republic of Ghana and of which the first pair we’re looking at today. To get the obverse out of the way first, the Republic of Ghana is a Commonwealth country and has the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on it, surrounded by all the necessary inscriptions, something we approve of wholeheartedly here. As for the reverse designs, there are two to choose from.

First up is Werewolf vs The Count, a piece of work depicting a battle royale between two icons of the genre – Wolfman and Dracula. Just the two characters and their immediate footing is coloured. The awesome background of a derelict church is cleanly struck, helping to accentuate the foreground battle. The series title is placed here, perhaps something we’d like to see absent on future releases.

Second coin is another famous work called Beyond the Grave, an image used on a comic called Creepy (No.10). This one has a little more colour coverage and a cleaner background – an echo of the original work. Both pieces of art used here were, and possibly still are owned by Metallica guitarist, Kirk Hammett, who in 2010 paid $1m for a Frazetta work depicting Conan the Barbarian..

Each coin comes in a coloured box (see above) and has a mintage limited to just 1,000 pieces of each. While that’s fairly typical of this kind of coin these days, the popularity of Frazetta’s work should create a fair bit of interest in these. For all their limitations, a coin has a permanence a print doesn’t, and these could well prove popular outside of the traditional coin collector market. You should start to see these come up for sale over the next day or so.

2017 FRANK FRAZETTA MONSTERS COLLECTION SILVER COINS

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Frank Frazetta was an American fantasy and science fiction artist, noted for comic books, paperback book covers, paintings, posters, LP record album covers and other media. He was inducted into the comic book industry’s Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999. Born in Brooklyn, New York City, at age eight, he attended the Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts, a small art school run by instructor Michel Falanga.

In 1944, at age 16, Frazetta began working in comics artist Bernard Baily’s studio and his first work was inking the eight-page story “Snowman”, penciled by John Giunta, in the one-shot Tally-Ho Comics. Frazetta was soon drawing comic books in many genres, including Westerns, fantasy, mystery, and historical drama. In the early 1950s, he worked for EC Comics, National Comics, Avon Comics, and several other comic book companies.

In 1964, Frazetta’s painting of Beatle Ringo Starr for a Mad magazine ad parody caught the eye of United Artists studios. He was approached to do the movie poster for What’s New Pussycat?, and earned the equivalent of his yearly salary in one afternoon. Frazetta also produced paintings for paperback editions of adventure books. His interpretation of Conan visually redefined the genre of sword and sorcery, and had an enormous influence on succeeding generations of artists. From this point on, Frazetta’s work was in great demand.

After this time, most of Frazetta’s work was commercial in nature, including paintings and illustrations for movie posters, book jackets, and calendars. Primarily, these were in oil, but he also worked with watercolor, ink, and pencil alone. Frazetta’s work in comics during this time were cover paintings and a few comic stories in black and white for the Warren Publishing horror and war magazines Creepy, Eerie, Blazing Combat and Vampirella.

Once Frazetta secured a reputation, movie studios lured him to work on animated movies. In the early 1980s, Frazetta worked with producer Ralph Bakshi on the feature Fire and Ice, released in 1983. The realism of the animation and design replicated Frazetta’s artwork. Bakshi and Frazetta were heavily involved in the production of the live-action sequences used for the film’s rotoscoped animation, from casting sessions to the final shoot.

Frazetta’s paintings have been used by a number of recording artists as cover art for their albums. Molly Hatchet’s first three albums feature “The Death Dealer”, “Dark Kingdom”, and “Berserker”, respectively. Dust’s second album, Hard Attack, features “Snow Giants”. Nazareth used “The Brain” for its 1977 album Expect No Mercy. The U.S. Army III Corps adopted “The Death Dealer” as its mascot. Frazetta retained the original Conan paintings, and long refused to part with them. Many were displayed at the Frazetta Museum in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. In 2009, Frazetta’s “Conan the Conqueror” painting, the first to be offered for sale, was purchased for $1 million. Frazetta died of a stroke on May 10, 2010, in a hospital near his residence in Florida. (Source: Wikipedia)

SPECIFICATION

Art Mint ad
NAME 2017 FRAZETTA MONSTERS
DENOMINATION 5 Cedis (Ghana)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 38.6 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS Selective colour
MINTAGE 1,000 per design
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
SCOTTSDALE MINT