Monday, May 10, 2010

Breaking News: Frank Frazetta Dead at 82

In a scenario becoming all too familiar to comics fans, Comic Book Resources is reporting that one of the greatest comic artists of all time has left us, as Frank Frazetta had died at the age of 82.

Though Frazetta is best known for his magnificent fantasy paintings, dozens of which graced the covers of various novels over the years -- Frazetta's work was especially synonymous with Conan the Barbarian books -- he began as a rank and filer in during the Golden Age of comics. He quickly became a mainstay of the industry thanks to his detailed and lush linework, with his science fiction and fantasy art at EC garnering rave reviews during the mid 50's. A decade later, he began making the move to full time commercial painting, a decision that greatly expanded both his fan base and his wallet.

In recent years Frazetta had suffered a number of strokes, and according to The New York Times, a stroke is also believed to be the cause of death. Whatever the cause, however, the fact remains that another pioneer from the early days of comics has departed us. Some small solace can possibly be found in the fact that unlike many of his lesser known contemporaries, Frazetta's work has gained the kind of mainstream acclaim denied most comic artists: one of his paintings sold last year for a million dollars.

Here's a look at perhaps his most famous image, 1973's "Death Dealer." And be sure to click on both this and the above cover of Weird Science-Fantasy #29, long considered by fans to be one of the great comic book covers of the Golden Age, to see them at a more appropriate size.

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