Frank Frazetta, an illustrator whose vivid colors and striking brushstrokes conjured up fantastic worlds of musclebound heroes fighting with broad swords and battle axes to defend helpless women from horrible beasts, died on Monday in Fort Myers, Fla. He was 82.
The death, caused by a stroke, was confirmed by Rob Pistella and Steve Ferzoco, his business managers. In a telephone interview, Mr. Pistella said that Mr. Frazetta, who had a history of strokes, had returned from a Mother’s Day dinner with his family on Sunday night and complained of feeling ill. Emergency medical services were called and Mr. Frazetta was rushed to the hospital, where he died.
After working on daily comic strips like “Buck Rogers,” “Flash Gordon” and “Li’l Abner,” Mr. Frazetta moved onto comic books in the 1950s. He drew the movie poster for “What’s New Pussycat?” in 1964, and hit his stride executing detailed illustrations of pulp heroes like Conan the Barbarian and John Carter of Mars for their comic magazines and books. His realistic renderings of otherwordly scenarios (and barely clad women) made him the ideal candidate to illustrate the album covers for popular heavy metal albums like Molly Hatchet’s “Flirtin’ With Disaster” and Nazareth’s “Expect No Mercy.”
In November, Wired.com reported, Mr. Frazetta’s cover artwork for the paperback reissue of “Conan the Conqueror” by Robert E. Howard sold to an unnamed collector for $1 million.