Oliver Frey – Life Before Crash and Zzap

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Many of us have been fans of Oliver Frey’s work since when we were kids. We remember the copies of Crash or Zzap or Amtix, or Fear etc that dropped through our letterbox each month, and became hooked on the mesmerising imagery that lay before our eyes, During the 80s I was in my teens, so Crash magazine for the ZX Spectrum was really the first time I bumped into Oli’s work. Having got to know Oli over the years, it has become very clear that he was doing art way before Crash and way before I knew of his name (he is somewhat older than me!).

One such venture that Oli pursued in the mid 1970s was painting comic strips for the ‘Look and Learn’ weekly magazine that was published between 1962 and 1982. One strip in particular was called ‘The Trigan Empire’, a series that initially ran from 1965 to 1982 and dealt with the long-past events of an empire on the distant planet of Elekton and was heavily influenced by mythological tales.

A number of the boards that Oli painted have appeared lately for sale on E-bay and a site called ‘The Book Palace’ – https://bookpalace.com. The postman today brought me one of those boards and the next time I see Oli I will ask him to sign it for me.

Take a look at the following pics of Oli’s painting – it’s rather large and the colours are still vibrant even though this one, printed in November 1976, is over 40 years old.

I’ve become a fan of Oli’s paintings all over again.


3 comments for “Oliver Frey – Life Before Crash and Zzap

  1. Roger Kean
    31st January 2018 at 8:26 am

    The inks have kept their colour very well!

  2. Chris Wilkins
    31st January 2018 at 10:10 am

    I was surprised how big the board was. How long would Oli have taken to paint this Roger?

    • 31st January 2018 at 10:17 am

      He did two boards like that every week, as well as fitting in OUP work and other commercial bits and pieces like Walls lollypop wrapper designs.

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