Fantasy hero illustrator Frank Frazetta dies at 82

Frank Frazetta art for a John Carter of Mars notes the passing of renowned and iconic fantasy illustrator and artist Frank Frazetta, who died on Monday at age 82 in Florida.  In a career starting in newspaper comics during the 1940s-50s, Frazetta achieved his greatest fame starting in the mid-1960s depicting muscular, brawny heroes and scantily clad sirens in eye-catching paintings for book covers devoted to Conan the Barbarian, John Carter of Mars and Tarzan among others.

The New York Times reports, “Mr. Frazetta, who had a history of strokes, had returned from a Mother’s Day dinner with his family on Sunday night and fell ill. Emergency medical services were called and Mr. Frazetta was rushed to the hospital, where he died.

Frazetta’s work continued to sell on the album covers of metal rock bands like Nazareth and Molly Hatchet, and a 1977 book collection of his work sold in excess of 300,000 copies. Frazetta’s original art pieces remained in high demand by collectors, with Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammond reportedly paying $1 million in 2009 for the reissue cover art of Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Conqueror.

Though ill health claimed his life, Frank Frazetta’s virile, robust, dynamic heroes and heroines will ensure his immortality in American popular culture from the 20th century.


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