The Fantasy Art world lost one of its greatest icons as Frank Frazetta, one of the premier fantasy and comic book artists, has passed away at the age of 82. His work dates back to the 1940s, when he worked on the Li’l Abner and Famous Funnies comic strips. He also had his own newspaper strip that ran from 1952 to 1953, called Johnny Comet, which was later retitled Ace McCoy.
Frazetta’s artwork has appeared in countless magazines, and he has created illustrations for more than 150 books, album covers and movie posters, including Clint Eastwood’s The Gauntlet, as well as What’s New Pussycat? in 1964. Some of his most brilliant work consisted of pulp heroes the likes of Conan the Barbarian and John Carter of Mars. But he was never too busy to illustrate the album covers for popular heavy metal bands including Molly Hatchet’s Flirtin’ With Disaster and Nazareth’s Expect No Mercy.
Frank Frazetta’s passing comes just as the fate of his astounding collection of artwork seems much more secure than just a month ago.
According to reports, last December, Alfonso Frank Frazetta, 52, of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, known as Frank Jr., was arrested and charged with using a backhoe to break down the door of the Frazetta Museum housing the artwork and removing 90 paintings valued at $20 million.
According to his wife, Lori Frazetta, Frank Jr. was taking the paintings to a secure location for safe keeping, apparently believing his brother Bill Frazetta and his sisters had been trying to take over their ailing father’s property.
The family feud has taken various twists and turns ever since. The Pocono Record has a series of stories on the dispute RIGHT HERE.
However, late last month the dispute was finally resolved, with the entire Frazetta family, including Frank Sr., sons Frank Jr. and Bill Frazetta and daughters Holly Frazetta and Heidi Grabin meeting for two days with a federal mediator and their attorneys to resolve the case before it went to trial.
The Frazetta Family said in a joint statement “All the litigation surrounding his family and his art has been resolved. All of Frank’s children will now be working together as a team to promote his remarkable collection of images that has inspired people for decades.”
Last year, Frank Sr. turned day-to-day management responsibilities for his artwork over to Frazetta Properties LLC, which he wholly owns. The company is managed by his two daughters and son Bill, who is also owner of Frazetta Fantasy Costumes in East Stroudsburg. They will continue to oversee his collection and trademarks..
Read more about the resolution RIGHT HERE.
For now at least, Frank Frazetta’s art can continued to be enjoyed in books and online, but hopefully the originals will once again be available at some central location so it can continue to inspire.