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Comic illustrator Kelly Freas, Jan. 2
Kelly Freas, the artist who helped create the Mad Magazine mascot and sometimes presidential candidate Alfred E. Newman, is dead at age 82. He died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2005. "He always wanted to be a science fiction illustrator, and the life of a science fiction illustrator led him to so much more," his wife said. "Life with a Mad artist was never boring." In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Freas illustrated the covers or the pages of books by writers including Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, A.E. Van Vogt, Poul Anderson and Frederik Pohl. His science fiction and fantasy illustrations included emotive images of pained robots, insidious aliens and exotic women. Beginning in the 1950s, he spent seven years as the main cover artist of Mad, creating stylishly detailed portraits and helping to make famous Alfred E. Newman, the freckled, front-tooth-deprived purveyor of the phrase, "What? Me Worry?"
January 11, 2005