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Frank Kelly Freas

From Academic Kids

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Kelly Freas publicity headshot

Frank Kelly Freas (27 August 19222 January 2005), called the "Dean of Science Fiction Artists", was one of the most prolific and popular science fiction and fantasy artists. His career spanned more than fifty years. Since "The Piper" cover for Weird Tales in 1950, he did the covers of hundreds of books and magazines, including Astounding/Analog from the 1950s through the 1990s; Mad magazine covers from 1955 to 1962; cover art for DAW, Signet, Ballantine, Avon, all 58 Laser Books (which are now collectors' items), and over 90 covers for Ace books alone. He was editor and artist for the first ten Starblaze books. In a field where airbrushing is common practice, Freas's art is notable for its use of bold brush strokes.

Freas was born in Hornell, New York, United States.

He was commissioned to paint the Skylab I insignia design and posters promoting the space program (used by NASA and now hanging in the Smithsonian Institution); pinup girls on bombers while in the US Army Air Corps; comic book covers; the cover of Queen's first two-million-selling album News of the World; the covers of the GURPS worldbooks Lensman and Planet Krishna; and many others, such as more than 500 saints' portraits for the Franciscans executed simultaneously with his portraits of Alfred E. Neuman ("What? Me Worry?") for Mad. He was very active in gaming and medical illustration.

Freas published several collections of his artwork and frequently gave presentations. His work appeared in numerous exhibitions. Among many other awards, Freas was the first person to receive ten Hugo awards. He was nominated twenty times.

No other artist in science fiction has consistently matched his record. His smooth and luminous images, amiable aliens, and sexy women have become part of today's science fiction visual language.

He died in West Hills and is buried in Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth. Both communities are suburbs of Los Angeles, California, in the San Fernando Valley.

Awards

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A small sample of Freas's awards
Freas's achievements include:

Doctor of Arts, Art Institute of Pittsburgh, December 2003.

  • 11 Hugos (1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, Retrospective Hugo for 1951, awarded in 2001)
  • Frank R. Paul Award, 1977
  • Inkpot Award, 1979
  • Skylark Award, 1981
  • Rova Award, 1981
  • Lensman Award, 1982
  • Phoenix Award, 1982
  • Los Angeles Science Fiction Society Service Award, 1983
  • Neographics Award, 1985
  • Daedalos Life Achievement Award, 1987
  • Art Teacher Emeritus Award, 1988
  • Best Professional, Media, International Fantasy Expo, 1989
  • Chesley Awards 1989 (with Laura Freas); 1993 (Artistic Achievement); 2000 (Artistic Achievement)
  • Numerous Science Fiction Art Show Awards
  • National Association of Trade and Technical Schools National Hall of Fame, 1991
  • AnLab (Analog magazine) Readers' Polls, Best Cover, 1991, 2000

External links

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Freas at his 82nd birthday party

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