I am pretty sure that the first time I saw a Frank Frazetta cover it would have been a copy of "Eerie" or "Creepy" at the PX. The first covers I owned of paperbacks with Frazetta art would have been the Edgar Rice Burroughs paper backs put out by Ace, which is when I would have learned Frazetta's name and start to automatically associate it with his distinctive artwork of half-naked warriors and sensual women in exotic settings, along with his signature (the latter being as iconic a signature for representing an artist's style as you will ever come across). Then, of course, there are all the Lancer paperback reprints of Conan the Barbarian, which certainly comprises his most famous body of work. As for what was the first Frazetta poster I owned, that is easy: "The Frost Giant's Daughter" (a.k.a. the cover of "Conan the Cimmerian").
"Frazetta: Painting with Fire" is a 2003 documentary put together by Lance Laspina that is clearly a labor of love. Laspina combines conversations with the artist himself with home movies and an impressive collection of talking heads that include family members, others artists (from Neal Adams to Berni Wrightson), and fans (including John Milius and Bo Derek). We also get to see the Frazetta Museum on his property in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania as Frank looks at his work and offers his remembrances. The documentary on Disc 1 runs two-hours and has an audio commentary track by Laspina and producer Jeremy J. DiFiore. Primarily what we have here is a combination biography and testimonial to the artist. There are a few attempts to make an appropriate critical appreciate for this technique, but mostly "Frazetta" deals with anecdotes and declarations attesting to his importance in the realm of art depicting fantasy, science fiction, and adventure.
On Disc 2 we get to watch Frank draw a mirror image of the lion from his "Egyptian Egypt" painting left-handed (he has had to switch drawing hands because of a series of strokes), while talking periodically about his artistic process on August 24, 2000. Then there is a lengthy montage of photographs from the life of the artist, which must include pretty much every photo of Frank the Frazetta family owns, set to music from the documentary (this makes for interesting contrasts between the overly dramatic music playing over shots of Frank with his kids at the beach, which then segues to Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" playing while Frank paints Conan, shoots golf, and poses with the likes of George Lucas, Clint Eastwood and Bo Derek). We also have Home Movies of Frank, Elle, the family, and the Frazetta Children, accompanied by a radio interview with Frank conducted in 1994. A section is devoted to Ralph Bakshi's "Fire and Ice," which includes "Evil Ice Lord Memoir," consisting of actor Sean Hannon's notes on the shooting of the production, and a gallery of German lobby cards for the animated film. Then there are the deleted scenes, outtakes and stories from the documentary, but they come across as minor concerns compared to just watching Frazetta's artwork go by on your television screen.
These are multiple gallery tours of rare art on the bonus disc, which are not restricted to a simple series of shots of each work, but often include close ups of key details, for which I am appreciative. Even though these tours of prelims, oils, sculptures, comics and the rest are done as slide shows you can use the chapter stops to move through them at your own pace, which is an unexpectedly nice touch. Besides, seeing the rough sketches that Frazetta did for some of your favorite paintings or pages of some of his comic book art from long again is certainly a treat. A gallery of artwork by Frazetta's peers allows you to judge who succeeds best in the imitations is the sincerest form of flattery department (my votes are for Alex Horley, Sam Wood, and Todd Lockwood). Artist Bios are provided by Brom, Neal Adams, and the rest of the talking heads from the documentary as well. This is a 2-DVD set where either DVD is probably enough to make a Frazetta fan deliriously happy.