Sunday, October 12, 2008

National Cartonist Society Profile: Frank Kelly Freas

Well, its been a year of posts on my original comic art blog, and I hope you've all enjoyed some of the articles about my favorite hobby. Here is another in a series of profiles on the NCS artists from a few years ago, written by the creators themselves. Featured today is one of the most prolific and loved of science fiction illustrators, Frank Kelly Freas... Cartoonist, illustrator, cover artist, pin-up painter, caricaturist, educator. Kelly Freas is universally recognized as one of the most prolific and popular sci-fi and fantasy artists in the world. His work has graced the covers of hundreds of books and magazines, and illustrated stories of hundreds of authors, all of whom agree on his ability to express the inner meaning that makes a story something special. "I illustrate for readers - and for writers" says Kelly, "no story is so good that it can't be made better with good illustration."

Freas was born in Hornell, New York on August 27,1922. He was one of MAD'S premier cover artists for nearly seven years, doing most of the covers: front, inside-front, and (his favorite) the back cover with it's fake and satirical ads. His more serious work has earned him numerous awards in many areas, such as the a NATTIS Hall of Fame; Starlog's List of the 200 Most Important People in Science Fiction; and ten HUGO Awards for Best Professional Artist of the Year. Freas is the author of three published volumes of his collected works: The Astounded Fifties, The Art of Science Fiction, and A Separate Star. He resides in the Los Angeles area with his illustrator and radio host wife, Laura Brodian Freas.


Edward said...

Sadly, Kelly died on 2 JAN 2005. His style is unmistakable, unique, and his humor is very much missed.

kfreasstudio said...

Really nice tribute to my late husband. Thanks so very much. You may be interested to know that the last cover in the piece, done for the book "New Eves," was painted by me.
Best wishes for a joyous New Year.
Laura Brodian Freas

Dave Karlen said...

Laura, thanks for your posting. Kelly will be greatly miss by his many fans worldwide.

Bobbie said...

I just happened to come across this article today. It caught my eye when I seen Hornell ny . I live in Hornell ny and am so glad I happened upon it. I learned a little history about my home town and of an artist I’d never heard of . Now I have something to add to a conversation about history of Hornell and have u ever learned about a artist from Hornell that did the covers etc for mad magazine named kelly freas ? I can say , I know about it and him . Thanks for the article and information. I truly enjoyed it.

Dave Karlen said...

Thank you for your comment.