RIP Frank Frazetta: A look at his ten most striking cover illustrations

Yesterday the art world bid farewell to one of its most badass and cryptic members when Frank Frazetta died of a stroke at the age of 82. His dark and often gruesome work will be missed. His comic artwork alone contributed to many of our own doodles of death-dealing knights and broadsword-wielding barbarians on notebook covers and scraps of paper.

His passing inspired us to pour through some of our favorite album covers, book covers and movie posters he'd done. After the jump, we've selected some of our favorites, all of which manage to showcase and embody the strengths of his work. At first glance he may have seemed a one-trick pony, but after digging through his archives, we've found him to be far more versatile than we originally assumed.

10. Molly Hatchet - Molly Hatchet We can still remember the first time we ever saw this album cover. It's the type of record you can't help but stare at with complete and total admiration and fear.

9. The Gauntlet This cover to the 1977 film, written and directed by Clint Eastwood, is so absurdly badass that we can't help but wonder why on Earth we've never seen the movie. Between the busted up bus and the prostitute on Eastwood's leg we can only assume this one's a cult classic.

8. The Fearless Vampire Killers Roman Polanski's 1967 film has a rather absurd premise, and the story and poster artwork follows suit. This one captures Frazetta's ability to display the absurd in a perfectly normal and acceptable manner -- and don't worry, cleavage and long legs make their obligatory appearance. Just remember to take special note of the warning: Not suitable for children.

7. Wolfmother - Wolfmother Sea demons and babes -- this one's got it all. It also gives Wolfmother the unfortunate air of being way more hardcore than it actually is -- a sure disappointment to many after first listen. This one also happened to be the cover of a book by Laurence Yep called Seademons.

6. L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Say what you want about L. Ron Hubbard and his wacky religion, Frazetta's cover art for his books is well worth joining any religion to check out.

5. Nazareth - Expect No Mercy A giant brain in the background of a picture of a barbarian about to get pummeled by a devil? Count us in. This one could inspire nightmares as quickly as dreams of riding horseback through Cimmeria.

4. Luana No, your eyes are not deceiving you, that is a woman on a panther with dudes laying on the ground with guns. If this isn't one of the coolest posters of all time than we have no idea what is.

3. Robert E. Howard's Conan the Adventurer Seeing as how Conan is pretty much the perfect fit for Frazzeta, it's no surprise one of our favorites is one of the book's covers. It's not necessarily his most interesting work -- but it captures the very essence of what Frazzeta does so well, it's hard not to take note

2. Mad Monster Party The goofy-over the top-ness of this poster makes a pleasant dovetail between the many styles of Frazetta. This one looks more like a Mad Magazine parody than the sinister and serious art we associate with Frazetta, which happens to make this particular one all the more delightful.

1. Herbert D. Kastle's The Reassembled Man We've spotted this cover at various times throughout used book stores across the country, and its difficult not to stare at it for long periods of time, taking in it's absolute awesomeness. This one is easily our favorite of his media covers.

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Thorin Klosowski
Contact: Thorin Klosowski