Richard Corben (1940-2020)

Artist Richard Corben, 80, died December 2, 2020 after heart surgery.

Though best known for his comics work and album art (most famously for Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell, 1977), Corben also created numerous SF book covers, including for titles by Edgar Rice Burroughs, L. Sprague de Camp, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Harry Harrison, Damon Knight, and more. He produced interior art for magazines, and for fanzines devoted to Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, and H.P. Lovecraft. His books include Richard Corben’s Funny Book (1976), New Tales of the Arabian Nights (1979, with Jan Stmad), Richard Corben: Flight into Fantasy (1981, with Fershid Barucha), and Richard Corben’s Art Book (1991). In 2009 he was named a Spectrum Grand Master, and in 2012 was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame.

Corben was born October 1, 1940 in Anderson MO and grew up in Sunflower KS. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute, graduating with an art degree in 1965. He got his start as an animator, and soon developed an interest in underground comics, working on numerous titles. He began working professionally with SF and horror illustrations for Warren Publishing in 1970. He went on to publish extensively in Heavy Metal, including a series of fantasy comics later collected as NeverWhere (1978). He was prolific throughout his career, producing artwork for major comics publishers including Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse, as well as book and album covers.

He is survived by his wife Madonna (née Marchant), married 1965.



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