Frank Frazetta (born Frank Frazzetta; February 9, 1928 – May 10, 2010)was an American fantasy and science fiction artist, noted for comic books, paperback book covers, paintings, posters, LP record album covers and other media. He was the subject of a 2003 documentary
Frazetta was inducted into the comic book industry’s Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999.
In 1944, at age 16, Frazetta, who had “always had this urge to be doing comic books”,began working in comics artist Bernard Baily’s studio doing pencil clean-ups. His first comic-book work was inking the eight-page story “Snowman”, penciled by John Giunta, in the one-shot Tally-Ho Comics (Dec. 1944), published by Swappers Quarterly and Almanac/Baily Publishing Company.It was not standard practice in comic books during this period to provide complete credits, so a comprehensive listing of Frazetta’s work is difficult to ascertain. His next confirmed comics works are two signed penciled-and-inked pieces in Prize Comics’ Treasure Comics #7 (July 1946): the four-page “To William Penn founder of Philadelphia…” and the single page “Ahoy! Enemy Ship!”, featuring his character Capt. Kidd Jr. In a 1991 interview in The Comics Journal, Frazetta credited Graham Ingels as the first one in the comic book industry to recognize his talent, and to give him jobs at Standard Comics in 1947.
On December 9, 2009, Frazetta’s son, Alfonso Frank Frazetta, 52, known as Frank Jr., was arrested for attempting to steal approximately 90 paintings from the Frazetta museum. He was accompanied by Frank Bush, 49, and Kevin Clement, 54.His wife, Lori Frazetta, told state police that Frank Jr. and Ellie had run the family business until Ellie’s death, when infighting over the paintings began. The son maintains he was trying to prevent the paintings from being sold, per the wishes of his father, who he says had given him power of attorney over his estate. After siblings Billy Frazetta, Holly Frazetta Taylor, and Heidi Grabin filed a lawsuit against Frank Jr. in March 2010, claiming misappropriation of their father’s work, which they said the artist had transferred to a company controlled by those three, the family issued a statement on April 23, 2010, that said, “all of 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 … collection of images….” The Monroe County district attorney later that day said he would drop theft and burglary charges against Frazetta Jr. at the request of family members.
Frazetta died of a stroke on May 10, 2010, in a hospital near his residence in Florida.