Frank Frazetta is dead.  Possibly the greatest fantasy artist of all time and certainly one of the most influential, Frazetta's been spared the sight of his family squabbling over his artwork and gone to paint in a better place.

My first encounter with Frazetta was when I was eleven, the Conan covers.  This was swiftly followed by volumes 1, 2 and 3 of The Art of Frank Frazetta and the realization that none of his contemporaries came close in terms of ability.  I know less than nothing about Frank Frazetta's art education but he always seemed to my eye to be grounded in study of classical paintings.  His figures had the life and solidity of a Michelangelo and his paintings had the atmosphere and reality of a Rembrandt.  And oh his pen work.  Frazetta was a painter and an artist first and a fantasy artist second and it showed in every brush stroke and pen line.

I miss him already.