Roy Krenkel -- Page 1

In science fiction, fantasy and comic illustration, there are many artists we think of as great.  Books, museums, magazines abound featuring their works. But as great and entertaining as they may be, there are very few the equal of Roy Krenkel.

Roy knew how to do two things very well -- draw and collect. Whether it was pencil, ink, marker, watercolor, or oil...he could bring the world of fantasy and bygone times to life on paper. He was a master at conveying action to a illustration. This talent and a life-time interest in J. Allen St. John, made him a natural for illustrating the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, for which he is most famous.

The photo above is taken at a convention in New York in the early 1970's. I think it was my table.  Frank Brunner is in the foreground.

Not that he felt he was any good. Roy would constantly lament that he wished he was good, as I would "ooh and ahh" over some piece. He'd would examine some art by a then-new upstart -- such as Berni Wrightson -- then shake his head and say, "Now, he can draw..." He'd then launch into an esoteric discourse on why Berni's pieces always worked, whereas his never did.

His other talent...researching and tracking down obscure and not-so-obscure artists and their work was legendary. He would write letters all over the world to track down Norman Lindsay prints; Czech Zdenek Burian's illustrations or books; works by Joseph Clement Coll; or others who had caught his eye. Living in New York, one of the truly great collectors' city of the world, he was constantly taking the subway and walking to little and big shops for books or works by artists he admired. Or reference material for his drawings. Or pictures of women with a "...bit of meat around their calf."

And Roy was eccentric. He lived only to draw and collect --- nothing else mattered, except -- perhaps -- for the crumb cake he always picked up around the corner on the way home. When I first met him, he had lived in the same house for 40 years with his mother -- not counting some time in the Army during WWII. His mother took care of all the mundane chores, while he doodled and collected. After she died, he tried to take up the slack, but sometimes the gas bill was just too much trouble to deal with and the gas would be turned off.

What's Coming Up
  • Mike gives Roy some artist's Markers
  • Now Berni, he can do drapery

  • Roy and Research

  • He was the guy with the sneakers and a cigarette in his mouth

  • Roy's Minatures

Please  drop me a note and let me know what you enjoyed of this tribute site and what you'd like to see.

 Write Me info AT Roy.Krenkel.org

This is a work in progress, as is my life.  Sometimes things go like planned; other times is is all out of control.