. . .

Dennis Dread penned the best tribute to Frank Frazetta that I've seen. Here's an excerpt:

There is no question of "right" or "wrong." There is no hesitation. There is only eternal conflict and the indomitable will to survive. Wimp critics who only see a distorted caricature of the misogynistic male psyche or a D&D nerd's wet dream have missed the point completely. Frazetta's magic is lost on flaccid intellectuals.

I say "penned", because that's Dread's weapon of choice. He's done all his amazing artwork - see list and gallery here - with a ballpoint pen. In his hands, the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Frazetta would have approved.

Dread has compiled a mixtape in tribute to Frazetta. You can download it below. It draws from Frazetta's inspiration and albums with his artwork. Like Frazetta's heroes, the mixtape is fat-free. It starts with a fanfare from Basil Poledouris' soundtrack to Conan the Barbarian. Then it rides forth triumphantly with Dust and Slough Feg before climbing the mountain that is High on Fire's "Thraft of Caanan". At the top, one fights the lumbering behemoth of Cianide's "Mountains in Thunder". Then it's back to slash-and-burn with Slaughter (Can) and Deströyer 666. Celebrate with Nazareth's "Revenge Is Sweet" before hitting the road with Witchkiller, Coven (USA), and Cirith Ungol en route to the final battle with Manowar. Then mourn the fallen with Frank Sinatra's "I'll Never Smile Again", from his ultra-morose 1959 LP No One Cares. It's a perfect journey. Frazetta would have approved.

* BASIL POLEDOURIS: Riddle of Steel/Riders of Doom
* DUST: Learning to Die
* HIGH ON FIRE: Thraft of Caanan
* CIANIDE: Mountains in Thunder
* SLAUGHTER (CAN): Death Dealer
* DESTRÖYER 666: King of Kings
* NAZARETH: Revenge Is Sweet
* WITCHKILLER: Day of the Saxons
* COVEN (USA): Riddle of Steel
* CIRITH UNGOL: Frost and Fire
* MANOWAR: Black Wind, Fire, and Steel
* FRANK SINATRA: I'll Never Smile Again

Dread is also giving away a signed print of his artwork for Darkthrone's Dark Thrones and Black Flags. (Only 50 exist.) This is one of my favorite album covers of the past five years. Its detail and texture are astounding.

For a chance to win the print, simply come up with one - and only one - interview question for Dread, and leave it in the comments box by June 10. (See previous interviews with Dread here.) If you're not familiar with his work, explore his site and his blog. I will forward the 10 best questions to Dread, and pick a winner randomly from them.

— Cosmo Lee

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