Noted Red Sonja comic book artist Frank Thorne, who drew for both DC and Marvel, has passed away. He left us on March 7, 2021 at the age of 90 – alongside his wife, who passed mere hours later.
Frank Thorne was born June 16, 1930 in Ranway, New Jersey, He began his comic book career in 1948, penciling romance titles for Standard Comics. He lent his talents to several newspaper strips, including Perry Mason, Jungle Jim, The Green Hornet, and Flash Gordon” but moved on to Dell Comics. His big break came in 1975, when Marvel made him the primary artist for Red Sonja.
Red Sonja, like the Charlie’s Angels TV show that premiered about the same time, appealed to both male fans who enjoyed seeing scantily clad females in action, and female fans who were desperate for a strong, complex heroine even as they complained of the ridiculous chainmail bikini.
Thorne went on to draw Red Sonja throughout most of her first eponymous solo series at Marvel, which ran for a total of 15 issues from January 1977 to May 1979. The artist then went on to create several erotic fantasy comics, writing and illustrating Moonshine McJugs for Playboy, Lann for Heavy Metal and Danger Rangerette for National Lampoon. He also created the miniseries Ribit for Comico, as well as a number of graphic novels for Fantagraphics Books, including Ghita of Alizarr, The Iron Devil and The Devil’s Angel. Thorne’s work earned him multiple honors, including a National Cartoonists Society award in 1963, a San Diego Inkpot Award in 1978 and a Playboy editorial award.
His wife, Marylin, passed away a few hours after her husband, presumably of a broken heart. No cause of death has been released yet for either Thorne.
He also wrote and produced Two Lords and a Lady, a film to raise money to preserve and restore Frazee House.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.