From childhood, Roy Krenkel was a fan of Tarzan and the adventure stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs and the accompanying illustrations by artist J. Allen St. John. Krenkel’s interest in this type of fiction and art carried over into science fiction pulp magazines, as well as detective and adventure magazines.
After some art courses, Krenkel started out in comic book illustration but his meticulous, slow pace was not suited for comic production time. Switching from pen and ink to painting, Krenkel picked up illustration work for Ace Books but needed help finishing a few assignments. He asked his friend, artist Frank Frazetta, to give him a hand and suggested that Frazetta get into the field of book illustration also. Frazetta took his friend’s advice and became one of the most famous American fantasy illustrators of all time.