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Underappreciated Artist Spotlight – Frank Thorne

by  in Comic News Comment

Here’s Scott’s next piece – BC

When I asked other classics fans which artists you’d like to see featured here – one name that popped up was Frank Thorne, and I couldn’t agree more.

Frank Thorne may be best known for his work on Red Sonja and his later ‘Erotic Fantasy’ work. What many people don’t realize is that Thorne has a long and varied career – working for many publishers in almost every conceivable genre. If you love the big busts and chain mail thing, that’s great – but take some time to get to know the rest of Thorne’s work.

To me, Thorne takes inspiration from the likes of Frank Frazetta and Joe Kubert. His layouts are often a joy and there’s a feathery touch to his pencils that is very effective.

I’ve tried to pick some samples of Thorne’s work that from a broad range of genres from different publishers.

The first is a great action page from Korak # 47.


DC did a fine, fine job on the ERB titles and it’s really too bad that they lost the license. The next page is from the short-lived Warren magazine, 1984 featuring Red Son… I mean Ghita.


Thorne also excelled at moody horror artwork, as can be seen from this interesting page from Red Circle’s Sorcery #10.


Now, I love war books (almost as much as westerns) and boy was Thorne ever a great war artist!

Check out the action pack page from a Star Spangled War Stories back-up.


I just love the page lay-out, it really energized the story.

Thorne could also take a more sweeping, cinematic approach as seen in this page from a wonderful Enemy Ace vs. Balloon Buster story from Star Spangled War Stories SWS #183.


Speaking of westerns, I would have loved to have seen Thorne tackle Jonah Hex or Scalphunter in the 70s. Ah well, some things will have to remain dreams.

Keep digging through those dollar bins, you’re likely to come up with an affordable gem featuring Frank Thorne soon or later.