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Iconic artist Richard Corben dies at age 80

Paintings by Richard Corben
(Image credit: Richard Corben)

Illustrator Richard Corben has died at the age of 80, according to his wife Dona Corben. Corben died December 2 following heart surgery. His exact cause of death has not been disclosed.

"It is with great sorrow and loss that I must share the sad news that Richard Corben died December 2, 2020 following heart surgery. He will be missed tremendously by his family, his friends, and his fans," reads Dona Corben's statement, posted to the Corben Studios official Facebook page.

(Image credit: Richard Corben)

"Richard was very appreciative of the love for his art that was shown by you, his fans. Your support over the decades meant a great deal to him," the statement continues. "He tried to repay your support by working diligently on each piece of art going out to you. Although Richard has left us, his work will live on and his memory will live always in our hearts."

"I will continue to conduct sales of Richard's art through the Corben Studios website at corbencomicart.com," the statement concludes. "I will also be managing the ongoing process of publishing his work internationally. Please give me and my family a little time to collect ourselves and we'll get back with you in 2021."

Corben was best known for his work on Heavy Metal magazine, as well as Warren Publications horror comics such as Eerie, Creepy, and Vampirella, through which he broke into the industry in the '70s.

Corben's art struck a chord with sci-fi and fantasy fans, standing out from other comic book influenced art with hyper-detailed anatomy inspired by his time as a bodybuilder, and use of a wide range of artistic techniques.

Corben also worked on several mainstream superheroes including Hulk, Luke Cage, and Ghost Rider, as well as John Constantine, Hellboy, and Conan. He also painted the cover to Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album, and the film poster for Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise.

In 2012, Corben was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. In 2018, Corben was awarded the Angoulême Comics Festival Grand Prix award, as well as the symbolic Presidency of the 2019 festival, which featured a wide-ranging gallery of his work.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)