Super sad news for comic book fans as artist extraordinaire Richard Corben has passed away. He was 80. Corben was known primarily as a comic book illustrator for a multitude of comics and magazines.
Corben passed away on December 2nd, following heart surgery, his wife announced the sad news today via his Facebook page.
Corben was probably best known for his work in Heavy Metal magazine and his artwork adorned Meat Loaf’s 1977 Bat Out Of Hell album cover. That album has sold over 43 million copies to date.
What brought Corben to my attention was his work in the horror and fantasy comics from the 1970s. He worked for Warren Publications horror comics such as Eerie, Creepy, and Vampirella, through which he broke into the industry in the ’70s.
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.
Much of Corben’s art was highly sexual in nature (which is what drew me to his work in the first place, lol.) and on some occasions his work was labeled as pornographic, which he vehemently denied.
In the 2000s, Corben worked at Marvel drawing a range of superheroes including Punisher, Luke Cage and Ghost Rider.
Richard Corben was born on a farm in Anderson, Missouri, and went on to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute, in 1965. At the same time, he trained in bodybuilding, but eventually retired from the art with few accomplishments due to a lack of time to dedicate himself to it.
After working as a professional animator, Corben started doing underground comics, including Grim Wit, Slow Death, Skull, Rowlf, Fever Dreams and his own anthology Fantagor – Wikipedia
Corben is survived by his wife of 55 years, Madonna “Dona” Corben.
Corben’s horror art caught my eye at a very young age. His art was like no other artist working in the industry and I just loved it. His art is one of the reasons I got into horror in the first place. I can’t even measure just how much his art influenced me to love the creepy and gothic. That is something that I can never repay and will always be eternally grateful for.
Richard Corben may be gone now but his artwork will live on long into the future and will influence many artists to come. He will be missed greatly and we wish him Godspeed to his final resting place.
Rest In Peace Richard Corben: Born November 1, 1940 – Died December 2, 2020