Frank Thorne (born 16 June 1930) is an American comic book artist-writer, best known for popularizing the Marvel Comics character Red Sonja.
Frank Thorne was born on June 16, 1930, and 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. He turned out a multitude of stories for 'Flash Gordon', 'Jungle Jim', 'The Green Hornet', and many more."
Originally drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith for Conan the Barbarian, Sonja was transposed from a minor Robert E. Howard 16th century gun-slinger character ("Red Sonya") to a mainstay of the sword and sorcery Conan canon by Roy Thomas. Having featured in half-a-dozen issues of Conan the Barbarian (with art by Smith and John Buscema), Sonja graduated to a starring role in other comics, and it was then that Thorne took over from Dick Giordano in drawing her for Marvel Feature (Jan 1976), continuing through most of her 1977-79 solo series, where he established her characteristic image as a ferocious and beautiful female barbarian wearing a chainmail bikini, which later became a popular fantasy literature archetype.
He "left 'Sonja' in 1978 to create his own woman warrior 'Ghita of Alizzar'", and has subsequently created a number of erotic fantasy comics and characters, alongside other works. His most notable works include being the creator/artist/writer of "Moonshine McJugs" for Playboy magazine, as well as Ghita of Alizarr for Fantagraphics Books, "Lann" for Heavy Metal magazine, Ribit for Comico, The Iron Devil and Devil's Angel for Eros Comix, and Danger Rangerette for National Lampoon and High Times.
His published works include two autobiographies, Drawing Sexy Women and The Crystal Ballroom, as well as a novel, Nymph. All are published by Fantagraphics Books.
Among his awards are a 1963 National Cartoonists Society award in the Comic Book Division, The San Diego Con Inkpot Award, and the Playboy editorial Award for best comic: Moonshine McJugs.
On a personal note, he was known for dressing up as a wizard/mage on Halloween.