Painter Frank Frazetta, best known for his striking fantasy work with characters like Conan the Barbarian, Vampirella and the original Death Dealer, died today at the age of 82.
While Frazetta's direct contributions to video games were unfortunately minimal—a video game based on his Death Dealer character was, at one point, in development at the defunct Acclaim Entertainment—his influence was not.
His dark fantasy style was an influence on Double Fine's heavy metal fantasy game Brutal Legend and Legend of Zelda series illustrator Yusuke Nakano lists Frazetta as an inspiration on his own work. Frazetta's take on Conan was the foundation for the artistic direction of THQ's 2007 video game based on Robert E. Howard's character. Frazetta's lush and moody paintings graced album covers, movie posters and dozens of fantasy publications, including numerous Conan book covers, Eerie, Creepy, Vampirella and Heavy Metal magazine.
Frazetta suffered a stroke following a Mother's Day dinner, reports the New York Times. He died at a Fort Myers, Florida hospital earlier today.
If you're unfamiliar with the works of Frank Frazetta, do yourself a favor and correct that immediately.