Ken Kelly, Kiss Album Cover Artist, Reportedly Dead at 76


Ken Kelly, the artist behind the traditional Kiss album handles for Destroyer and Enjoy Gun, has reportedly died at the age of 76.

Numerous sources confirmed Kelly’s passing, together with his friend Danny Stanton, president and founder of Coallier Entertainment.

Born in Connecticut in 1946, Kelly in the beginning started his profession in the early ‘70s, performing on comedian publications and horror journals for Warren Publishing. It was Kiss drummer Peter Criss who put the artist on the band’s radar.

“I experienced often believed it was Gene Simmons, but Criss’s wife claimed it was he who was studying Eerie and Creepy while Gene and Paul Stanley were examining Marvel comics,” Kelly famous to Print journal in 2018. “So I would say Peter Criss was essentially dependable for me ending up staying the protect person.”

Kiss enlisted Kelly to build the artwork for their 1976 album Destroyer. He was given a basic principle and asked to develop an image in 30 days. Thankfully, his knowledge in the journal market experienced well prepared him for limited deadlines.

“Warren was publishing journals just about every couple of months, so the turnaround [for covers] had to be very speedy,” he explained. “You experienced to appear up with a thought, paint it, provide it, and then you have been on to the subsequent a single. So when Kiss came alongside, I was all set.”

Inspite of his readiness, Kelly’s original painting was turned down by the band’s label. “They assumed it was far too violent,” he recalled. “It was 1975, and they didn���t want to start these types of a large undertaking with these a destructive address. I considered my career was more than. That was a person of the heaviest blows I have ever acquired.”

In its place of ending his profession, Kelly was specified the likelihood to rework his portray. The outcome would develop into Destroyer’s now-legendary artwork.

The reputation of that album cover led several a lot more rockers to enlist Kelly’s solutions. Rainbow had Kelly create the artwork for 1976’s Climbing Kiss introduced the artist back to paint the deal with for 1977’s Appreciate Gun Manowar utilized Kelly for six albums involving 1987 and 2007 Coheed and Cambria featured an primary Kelly piece on their 2007 LP No Entire world for Tomorrow and Kelly reteamed with former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley for his 2014 solo album Room Invader.

Outside of rock, Kelly remained steadily utilized for a long time, crafting his exclusive, fantasy-impressed photos for all the things from guide addresses to toy packaging.

“What I want to do is paint stuff that folks like to seem at,” the artist described to The Knoxville Mercury in 2017. “Any subject—fantasy, not-fantasy, toys, organization goods, no matter what the hell it is, I’m going to test to make it seem real good.”

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