No man has ever been more able to make pure bad-assery out of ink and canvas than Frank Frazetta. In fact, Rocks Off's initial attraction to his wife owes much to his obsession with Frazetta's pale, almond-eyed, raven-haired heroine in his painting "At the Earth's Core."
The 82-year-old artist who defined sword-and-sorcery illustration with his work on the covers of later editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter
died earlier today of a stroke, The New York Times
reported this afternoon on its ArtsBeat culture blog
. Frazetta had grown increasingly despondent over the last year after the death of his business partner and wife Ellie, and suffered dementia in his last months.
Frazetta rose to fame after a series of acclaimed comic book covers for Buck Rogers
in the 1950s. From there he turned down a recruitment offer from the New York Giants to continue his highly profitable line of work drawing movie posters, starting with What's New, Pussycat?
. Eventually he moved on to the adventure-novel covers for which he is most famous, including the Conan
series begun by Texan Robert E. Howard.