Legendary artist Frank Frazetta died following a stroke today at the age of 82. You may not know his name, but you might well recognize some of his work. He may be most famous for his painted covers of fantasy novels in the 1960s, like the "Conan" paperbacks published by Lancer Books (see a tame example at left). His name was in the news again last December when one of his sons, Frank Jr., was arrested using a backhoe to break into the Frazetta museum, the culmination of a dispute among each of his three adult children about how to handle his estate. Luckily, a settlement among them was announced on April 23, less than three weeks ago.
I loved those "Conan" paperback covers myself, and so really looked forward to the 1983 movie "Fire & Ice" in which he and legendary animator Ralph Bakshi collaborated to make an animated fantasy movie based on Frazetta's artwork. I thought (and still think) that movie was great. But it wasn't released widely in theaters at the time and was ultimately a financial failure. You can watch the 1 minute trailer on You Tube by clicking HERE.
You can read his obituary in The New York Times HERE.