A Tribute to the of

Here is the interview I enjoyed with Frank Thorne:

Bryan D. Stroud: According to my research you started in 1948 at Standard Comics doing romance work. True?

Frank Thorne: My ignoble career started in the pulps, before Standard.

BDS: Comics wasn't the most respectable profession back in the day. What led you there?

FT: All I ever wanted to be was a cartoonist.

BDS: Did you attend an art school? If so, which one?

FT: The Art Career School, atop theFlatiron Buildingat 23rd and 5th inManhattan.

BDS: You've been a penciler, inker and writer. Are any of those roles a favorite?

FT: I prefer to do it all.

BDS: What other artists have influenced you?

FT: Alex Raymond,Hal Foster, and Neil O'Keefe.

BDS: You've worked for virtually everyone in the business, fromDCand Marvel toDell, Warren, Gold Key, Seaboard, Archie and Dynamite. Where did you feel most comfortable? How did the companies contrast?

FT: I NEVER worked for Dynamite. They just reprinted all my Sonja stories, without permission or recompense. I did but one series for Marvel--Red Sonja.

BDS: When you worked at Marvel were they giving you Marvel style scripts? If so, how did you like those as compared to a full script?

FT: Never worked in the "MarveI Style." Always a written script.

BDS: Did you have any favorite collaborators as far as writers?

FT: Roy Thomaswas the best.

BDS: How about editors?

FT: Roy Thomas andJoe Kubert.

BDS: Are the legends about Robert Kanigher true?

FT: Don't know any, but he was a damn good writer.

BDS: You've worked in many different genres, to include adventure, war, mystery, horror, sword and sorcery, jungle and western. Do you have a favorite?

FT: I LOVE drawing women.

BDS: Much likeRuss Heath, you've not done any superhero work. Is that a conscious decision?

FT: I don't like superheroes.

BDS: The list of characters you've worked on is pretty impressive. Flash Gordon, Green Hornet, Conan,Red Sonja,Dracula,Moby Dick,Tarzan,The Phantomand Enemy Ace to name just a few. Were there any restrictions with how you could portray them or did you feel pretty free to do what you wanted?

FT: They always gave me leeway.

BDS: You've done syndicated strip work onPerry Mason. How did that come about?

FT: I was 20 years old and walked in to King Features with my samples, andthey gave me thePerry Mason Dailyand Sunday.

BDS: Was it a good gig? A strip seemed to be the Holy Grail back in the day.

FT: The pay was huge! We bought a house and a yellow convertible.

BDS: What was your typical production rate?

FT: I knocked out the daily and Sunday (which I hand colored) each week for near two years.

BDS: Who were your friends in the business?

FT: Hy Eisman, who writes and drawsPopeyeand the Katzenjammer Kids these days, andFred Frederickswho writes and draws Mandrake.

BDS: The lifeof a freelancer can be tough, but you've hung in there for decades. Any regrets?

FT: Better hand-to-mouth than 9-to-5.

BDS: Are there any characters you'd have liked to work on, but didn't get the opportunity?

FT: "Buffy" by "Dementia!"

BDS: Do you think the industry will survive? Sales seem to be slumping.

FT: Comics will always be around, in some form or other.

BDS: What do you think of the television and movie adaptations ofcomic book characters? Have you seen good or poor examples, in your opinion?

FT: Superman 2was good,Hellboygreat, Spiderman so-so. I don't watch manycomic book movies. I love "The Whole Wide World." a semi fact tale of REH.

BDS: Do you still attend conventions and are you stillThe Wizard?

FT: Haven't attended a con in decades. Nobody but Bryan Stroud would remember me. I've hung up my wizard's hat.

BDS: Are you doing commission work?

FT: Yes, Mighty Nib is my agent.

BDS: What job has given you the most satisfaction?

FT: "Moonshine McJugs" (Playboy) is my favorite. I've been contributing to Playboy since 1980.

BDS: Did you expect this to be your career, meaning as an illustrator?

FT: I hoped it would be, but even if illustrative I'm ever a cartoonist.

BDS: Do you use the computer at all or are you still working by hand?

FT: I work by hand, but the computer is the greatest research tool in the Universe!

BDS: What are your preferred tools of the trade?

FT: Strathmore 2 ply 500 series vellum, Hunts 102 crow quill pen points, and Dr. Martin's TECH dyes.

BDS: What's your process when composing a page?

FT: A CLOSE-UP on every page makes them work.

BDS: Any advice for those who want to break in today?

FT: Keep drawin' realistically, and THEN head for Henti, or whatever, preferably your own style.

BDS: Any plans to retire?

FT: Never hadda job, so how can I retire?

2011 by B.D.S.

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