Children of artist Frank Frazetta renew asset feud

By Mitch Stacy
Associated Press / December 16, 2010

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—A son of late fantasy artist Frank Frazetta has filed a lawsuit in Florida that rekindles a nasty family feud over his pioneering body of work, estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

Frank Frazetta Jr.'s action, filed against his three siblings Wednesday in Fort Myers, is just the latest legal blow landed in a dispute that once saw him use a back hoe to break into his father's museum in northeastern Pennsylvania and attempt to steal 90 paintings. He insisted he was trying to safeguard the art from his scheming siblings.

The family announced in April that the siblings and their father had settled the dispute over the estate. The elder Frazetta died the next month at the age of 82 after suffering a stroke.

Frazetta Jr.'s latest complaint alleges that his siblings -- Billy Frazetta, Holly Frazetta Taylor and Heidi Grabin -- had violated the terms of the settlement by failing to pay him the 25-percent share of the estate his father intended him to have. He also claims they have not provided an accurate accounting of the business dealings involving his father's art and have not involved him in their decisions as agreed.

"It's been continuous pleading with them to try to figure out what's going on," said Frazetta Jr.'s Miami attorney, Diana L. Fitzgerald. The suit was filed in Florida because Frazetta Jr.'s sisters live here.

A Boston attorney for the three siblings did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail messages Thursday.

Frazetta Sr. was celebrated for his sci-fi and fantasy art, creating covers and illustrations for more than 150 books and comic books as well as album covers, movie posters and original paintings. His work on iconic characters including Conan the Barbarian, Tarzan and Vampirella influenced generations of artists.

In July, a 1971 Frazetta painting, "Conan the Destroyer," was sold to a private collector for $1.5 million, the highest price ever paid for one of his works.