Ken Kelly, one of the most successful fantasy artists who is responsible for many album covers for rock bands such as KISS, RAINBOW and MANOWAR, has reportedly died at the age of 76.
Kelly‘s passing was confirmed earlier today by his friend Danny Stanton, president and founder of Coallier Entertainment. Stanton wrote simply: “RIP KEN KELLY. You will always be a legend in the KISS world. Such a great guy, artist, friend.”
Over Kelly‘s 50-plus-year career, he has focused in particular on paintings in the sword and sorcery and heroic fantasy subgenres.
Early in his career, he was able to study the paintings of Frank Frazetta in the latter’s studio, but Frazetta never let out his trade secrets. In the early 1970s, he did a couple of cover paintings for Castle Of Frankenstein magazine. Throughout the 1970s, he was one of the foremost cover artists on Warren Publishing‘s Creepy and Eerie magazines.