View Full Version : Death of a legend: Kelly Freas

2005-Jan-02, 10:56 PM
Frank Kelly Freas, one of science fiction's most prolific artists, died in his sleep, at approximately 4:46 this morning. He had been in and out of the hospital for the past six months. He was 82 years old.

Science fiction fans will be familiar with his beautiful cover artwork. He designed at least one mission patch for NASA (and did other illustrations for NASA) and designed the Alfred E. Neuman face for Mad Magazine. He is survived by his wife, Laura, and his daughter. His first wife, Polly, died about 20 years ago.

I had the privelege of being one of his friends for the past 20 years. I wish that the rest of you could have met him, for he was a charming storyteller, a kindly mentor, and one of the finest people I've ever met. I will miss him very much.

The world needs a few more like him.

2005-Jan-03, 12:50 AM
That's sad news. He was one of my favorite illustrators/artists. His style was unmistakable. One of the earliest examples of his work that I encountered was this cover of Astounding Science Fiction back in April of 1954:

http://img102.exs.cx/img102/4142/astoundingphilosopherfreas8tk.th.jpg (http://img102.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img102&image=astoundingphilosopherfreas 8tk.jpg)
The cover has the typical Freas dynamic to it, as well the trademark greens in the partial shadow areas. He really didn't need to sign his works, his fans could tell at a glance who the artist was.

Thank you, FKF, for entertaining and enriching our eyes and minds!

:( =D>

Van Rijn
2005-Jan-03, 01:08 AM
I have that issue, just looking at it now, and September '54:

Martians Go Home (http://www.vinylzart.com/cgibin/webc.cgi/st_prod.html?p_prodid=64&p_catid=23&sid=5OGKtK10PM 3Z0U5-01104412098.86)

I collect Astounding/Analog so I am very familiar with his work. He was an incredible artist with a very distinct style. He'll be missed.

2005-Jan-03, 02:16 AM
I'm sorry to hear that. I have numerous Analog Magazine covers from the 1970's that feature his artwork. And IIRC, he also did the Skylab patch.

He will be missed.

2005-Jan-03, 02:56 AM
Sounds like the Way, my Step-Grandfather Died.

After an End like that, there are No Tears ...

Only Heartfelt Wishes, upon a Fulfilled Life.

Nowhere Man
2005-Jan-03, 03:11 AM
Just a correction... The canonical Alfred E. Neuman portrait used by Mad Magazine was done by Norman Mingo, based on an earlier postcard painting. But Kelly did do quite a number of covers and other paintings for Mad.

But now there is sad truth in the statement, "Gremlins do not exist." :(


2005-Jan-05, 09:31 AM
Artist created pop culture icons (http://www.presstelegram.com/Stories/0,1413,204~21474~2632581,00.html)

"Kelly Freas created the future in his paintings, sleekly delineating a style that has influenced two generations of designers as the technology became available to make his fantasies real," said Paul Levitz, the President of DC Comics, which publishes Mad Magazine. "And with the impish grin he gave Alfred, he winked and warned us not to take it all too seriously."

His other illustrations included the official patch of NASA's 1973 Skylab 1 orbiting space station, as well as the covers of such Mad paperbacks as "Son of Mad' and "Ides of MAD."

A public memorial is scheduled Sunday at the [Los Angeles] Church of Scientology Celebrity Center and Manor Hotel.

2005-Jan-05, 10:14 AM
A public memorial is scheduled Sunday at the [Los Angeles] Church of Scientology Celebrity Center and Manor Hotel.
Oh no... #-o :evil: