Frank Frazetta, at the age of 82, suffered a stroke on Sunday May 9th, and died on Monday afternoon, May 10, 2010, in Ft. Myers, Florida.
Frank Frazetta is one of the most prolific and well-known illustrators of the 20th century, in part because of the variety of media in which his art work has appeared, including comics, posters, album covers, books, and movie posters, as well as because of his recognizable style.
The New York Times noted that “Frazetta was a versatile and prolific comic book artist who, in the 1940s and ’50s, drew for comic strips like Al Capp’s ‘Lil’ Abner’ and comic books like ‘Famous Funnies, ’ for which he contributed a series of covers depicting the futuristic adventurer Buck Rogers.”
In 1952, Frazetta worked as an assistant artist for Al Capp and the “L’il Abner” series, but quit in 1960 over a disagreement regarding salary cuts. He soon turned to paperback cover illustration to pay the bills. While not very lucrative at the time, those illustrations are sought today by collectors, especially his work for Edgar Rice Burroughs titles, which included “Tarzan”, “John Carter of Mars”, and many others. In the mid 1960s, Frazetta joined other former EC cartoonists at Warren Publications, where he created paintings for “Creepy”, “Eerie”, and “Vampirella”.
Comic book and science fantasy/fiction book cover art was the source of most of Frazetta’s fame. His covers of “strikingly fierce, hard-bodied heroes and bosomy, callipygian damsels in distress” were legendary. Some of his well-known art was found on such books as Conan the Adventurer, John Carter of Mars and the Savage Apes of Mars, as well as Tarzan and the Antmen.
Frazetta was married to Eleanor Kelly from 1953 until her passing in July 2009.
His amazing work is instantly recognizable – men with impossibly muscular physique, beautiful women with a mysterious beauty and strength, and hideous monsters that never leave your head.
Frank Frazetta’s work has been, and will continue to be, a source of inspiration to the imaginations of artists of all genres.
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