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Obituary for Frank Frazetta, 82, celebrated comic artist and illustrator

"Not that I could ever redo Frazetta on film -- he created a world and a mood that are impossible to simulate," Milius recently told the Los Angeles Times. He added that his goal in "Conan the Barbarian" was to tell a story shaped by Frazetta and composer Richard Wagner.

After a stroke in 1995, Mr. Frazetta, a right-handed artist, continued to work first by penciling, then by teaching himself a left-handed handed brush technique.

His wife of 53 years, Eleanor "Ellie" Kelly, who served as Mr. Frazetta's business partner, died in 2009. Survivors include four children, Alfonso Frank Frazetta, known as Frank Jr., and William Frazetta, both of East Stroudsburg, Pa., Heidi Grabin of Englewood, Fla., and Holly Frazetta of Boca Grande, Fla.; three sisters; and 11 grandchildren.

Ellie Frazetta started a small museum to house her husband's works on family property in the Pennsylvania Poconos in 2000. After her death, the children fought over the custodial rights to Mr. Frazetta's works. In December, Frank Frazetta Jr. was arrested in an attempt to remove 90 of his father's paintings from the family museum.

Mr. Frazetta sided with the other three children, who had formed a limited partnership for estate planning.

He told the Poconos Record that one of the paintings Frank Jr. had removed wasn't finished. In April, the family stated publicly that the dispute was resolved after mediation and that charges against Frank Jr. were dropped.

For an artist whose career was so associated with Conan the Barbarian, Mr. Frazetta made perhaps a surprising revelation when he told an interviewer he never read through an entire Conan book.

"I didn't read any of it," he once said. "It was too opposite of what I do. I told them that. So, I drew him my way. It was really rugged. And it caught on. I didn't care about what people thought. People who bought the books never complained about it. They probably didn't read them."


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