Thorne in 2017
|Born||June 16, 1930|
|Awards||National Cartoonists Society award, 1963|
Inkpot Award, 1978
Playboy editorial Award
Thorne began his comics career in 1948, penciling romance comics for Standard Comics. After graduation, he drew the Perry Mason newspaper strip for King Features, which was followed by more comic book work for Dell Comics. He turned out a multitude of stories for Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, The Green Hornet, Tom Corbett Space Cadet, Tomahawk, Mighty Samson, Enemy Ace and numerous others. Thorne drew the syndicated comic strip Dr. Guy Bennett / Dr. Duncan from 1957 to 1963 for LaFave Newspaper Features.
Originally drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith for Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja was transposed from a minor Robert E. Howard 16th-century gunslinger character ("Red Sonya") to a mainstay of the sword and sorcery Conan canon by Roy Thomas. After the character was spun off into a solo feature, Thorne succeeded penciler Dick Giordano in drawing her for Marvel Feature #2 (Jan. 1976), continuing through most of her 1977-79 solo series, Red Sonja.
Thorne subsequently created a number of erotic fantasy comics and characters, alongside other works. His works include creating, writing and drawing the features "Moonshine McJugs" for Playboy, "Lann" in Heavy Metal, and "Danger Rangerette" in National Lampoon, and the miniseries Ribit for (Comico), as well as the Fantagraphics Books graphic novels Ghita of Alizarr, The Iron Devil, The Devil’s Angel, and The Illustrated History of Union County.
Publishing company Hermes Press has reprinted Lann, Ribit! and Ghita of Alizzarr; the latter being reprinted as an archival, nearly full-sized reproduction of the original art.
Prosecutors in the Planet Comics and Science Fiction Store obscenity case in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1995–1996 confiscated Thorne's The Devil's Angel, among other creators' works, as alleged child pornography.
Thorne wrote and produced the documentary Two Lords and a Lady, about Elizabeth Lee “Aunt Betty” Frazee and The Battle of the Short Hills. He wrote the books The Barrington Hall Sketchbook, Drawing Sexy Women, The Crystal Ballroom, and The Alizarrian Trilogy: Nymph, Sprite, Sylph, all published by Fantagraphics Books. His work as a writer-illustrator has appeared in Playboy, Hustler, Golden Magazine, High Times, and Vanity Fair.
Thorne's awards includes a 1963 National Cartoonists Society award in the Comic Book Division, the 1978 San Diego Inkpot Award, the Playboy editorial award for best comic for Moonshine McJugs, Warren Magazine's Best Comic for Ghita of Alizarr, NJ Art Director’s Club.
Thorne was known during the 1970s for attending comic book conventions in his persona as The Wizard judging Red Sonja Lookalike Contests. He was born in Rahway, New Jersey, and as of 2010 lived in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.
- Frank Thorne at the Lambiek Comiclopedia
- Thorne entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Dec. 4, 2017.
- "Newswatch: Planet Comics Prepares for Hearing, Police Raid Retailer's Home". The Comics Journal. No. 183. Fantagraphics. February 1996. pp. 15–16.
- Ronan, John F. (February 1996). "Newswatch: Planet Comics Closes, Case Continues". The Comics Journal. No. 184. Fantagraphics. pp. 7–10.
- "Division Awards Comic Books". National Cartoonists Society. 2013. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- Thompson, Steven (June 16, 2009). "Frank Thorne, Wendy Pini and Me". Booksteve's Library. Archived from the original on October 25, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
- "Union County Historical Society to present a book discussion featuring Illustrator Frank Thorne". NJ.com: "Suburban News". January 11, 2010. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
Frank Thorne was born in Rahway in 1930 and currently resides in Scotch Plains.
- Frank Thorne at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original) Accessed March 20, 2008.
- "Frank Thorne Interview". The Comics Journal (280). Online excerpts from print interview. Archived from the original on February 21, 2007.
- Mike Karsnak (2005-10-13). "At 75, Scotch Plains cartoonist still a major draw". The Star-Ledger Union Edition, In the Towns. p. 1.
- Frank Thorne at Library of Congress Authorities, with 3 catalog records