Ken Kelly–Legendary Horror Cover Artist–Passes Away

by Thomas Tuna

Ken Kelly–the artist responsible for many of the memorable horror magazine covers for Warren Publishing in the 1970s–has passed away at the age of 76, according to a report on No cause of death was announced.

Kelly–the nephew of another artistic legend, Frank Frazetta–landed his first painted cover assignment for Warren, and wound up contributing more than 100 covers for such standout titles as Creepy and Eerie. Kelly reportedly drew more covers for Warren than any other artist.

Kelly also painted the famous cover for the Destroyer album for rock band Kiss, an assignment that changed his career. Frazetta initially was tapped for the cover, but when that deal fell through, Kelly landed the job. “It was (Kiss drummer) Peter Criss who was reading Eerie and Creepy,” Kelly said, “so I would say Criss was responsible for me ending up being the cover guy.”

After painting several album covers for Kiss and Manowar, Kelly returned to comics in the late 1990s for a stint as cover artist on Dark Horses’s Star Wars series.

“What I want to do is paint stuff that people like to look at,” Kelly said during a 2017 interview. “Any subject–fantasy, not-fantasy, whatever–I’m going to try to make it look real good.”

The staff of Horror News Network extends its condolences to Kelly’s family, friends and colleagues.


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