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Lawsuit and theft charges dropped as Frazetta family settles differences

by  in Comic News Comment

The family of famed fantasy artist Frank Frazetta has settled a bitter, and very public, feud that was marked by criminal charges and a lawsuit.

According to a statement posted online early this morning by publisher Vanguard Productions, all litigation involving Frazetta’s children and art “has been resolved.” The Pocono Record reports the agreement comes after the family — including Frazetta, sons Alfonso Frank Frazetta (Frank Jr.) and William Frazetta and daughters Holly Frazetta and Heidi Grabin — met with their attorneys and a federal mediator for two days to resolve the legal battle before trial.

Theft charges will be dropped against Frank Jr., who was arrested in December after he allegedly used a backhoe to break into his father’s museum in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, to steal 90 paintings worth about $20 million. Frank Jr. claimed his father told him “to enter the museum by any means necessary to move all the paintings to a storage facility” to protect them from other family members — something 82-year-old Frank Sr. denies.

The lawsuit filed last month against Frank Jr. also will be dropped. His three siblings, who manage Frazetta Properties, accused Frank Jr. of violating their father’s trademarks and copyrights by selling lithographs, books, clothing and other items, and misrepresenting himself as the “authorized representative” of Frank Sr.

The dispute over Frazetta’s artwork reportedly began in July 2009 after the death of his wife Eleanor “Ellie” Frazetta, who ran her husband’s business for years.

According to the online statement, “Frank, his four children and his management team are thrilled to put any past differences behind them and look forward to working together as a family to preserve and promote the art and legacy of one of America’s greatest artists.”

The release also reaffirms that Frazetta’s art and intellectual property are owned by Frazetta Properties, and that Robert Pistella and Stephen Ferzoco continue as “the exclusive representatives” for sales, licensing and marketing.

“All of Frank’s children will now be working together as a team to promote his remarkable collection of images that has inspired people for decades. Frank wishes to thank all of his fans around the world for their loyal and enthusiastic support since the passing of his beloved wife of over 50 years, Ellie Frazetta.”