James Bama Death, Legend American Artist James Bama Has Sadly Passed Away

James Bama Death 1926-2022 – Cause of Death: James Bama, a legendary and super talented American Artist/Painter, who painted Doc Savage, Frankenstein, the crew of the Enterprise and so many other fantasy/sci-fi subjects, has sadly and unexpectedly passed away on Sunday, April 24, 2022, leaving his entire family, close relatives, and groups of friends in total devastation and sadness.

An interview with artist James Bama – Part 1… - The Men's Adventure  Magazines BlogJames Bama

James was born James Elliott Bama on April 28, 1926, in Washington Heights, New York, which makes him just four days shy of his 96th years old birthday at the time of his peaceful passing. No Possible cause of death was immediately released by closer relatives or constituted authorities. He grew up copying Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon comic strip. He had his first professional sale when he was 15, a drawing of Yankee Stadium in the New York Journal-American.

James graduated from New York’s High School of Music and Art and entered the Army Air Forces, working as a mechanic, mural painter, and physical training instructor. When he was discharged from the military and returned to New York City, he studied drawing and anatomy at the Art Students League. For 15 years, beginning in 1951, he worked as an illustrator at New York’s Charles E. Cooper Studios.

James’s death news has been circulating online since on Monday, April 25, 2022, and since then close relatives, friends and love ones has left loads of tributes, reactions, and memories about him on their different social media platforms.

This sad news was shared in a Facebook publication by user, Tony Puryear who wrote; “James Bama, the great American painter of Doc Savage, Frankenstein, the crew of the Enterprise and so many other fantasy/sci-fi subjects, died today. In this, his most famous image, he renders Doc (from the model Steve Holland,) with zero fill light and the most impossibly wrinkled shirt ever committed to canvas.

Doc Savage was “The Man Of Bronze,” a pulp precursor to Superman’s “Man Of Steel,” and like him, a potent power fantasy for pre-pubescent boys. Bama didn’t shy away from the homoeroticism implicit in the unsmiling zaddy of the books, and his covers for the 60+ novels made those pulpy tales leap off the shelves. Many of them were awful as stories or even as English prose, but most of us bought them for the covers anyway. God knows I had my share. A huge influence on all of us. RIP”

Nelson Nye’s A Bullet for Billy the Kid was his debut paperback cover (1950). He had a 22-year career as a successful commercial artist, creating paperback book covers, movie posters, and illustrations for publications such as Argosy, The Saturday Evening Post, and Reader’s Digest, as well as the New York Giants football team, the Baseball and Football Halls of Fame, and the United States Air Force.

Beginning with The Man of Bronze (1964), he created a powerful set of 62 Doc Savage Bantam Books paperback covers, frequently employing actor Steve Holland, star of TV’s Flash Gordon (1954–55), as a model. He also created the box art for Aurora’s monster model kits, such as King Kong, Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Mummy. His work is collected in The Western Art of James Bama (Bantam Books, 1975) and The Art of James Bama (1993). Brian M. Kane’s James Bama: American Realist (Flesk, 2006) has an introduction by Harlan Ellison.

In 1964, James married Lynne Klepfer, a New York University graduate with a major in art history. In June 1966, the couple traveled west as guests of artist Bob Meyers at his Circle M ranch near Cody, Wyoming. Meyers had left his successful Manhattan illustration career with magazines such as True and The Saturday Evening Post to run his ranch and paint.

After returning to New York in 1967, the Bamas left and settled into a cottage on Meyers’ ranch in September 1968. Bama started painting modern Western topics during the day and freelancing illustrations in the evenings. He remembered, “I never came here with the intention of becoming a Western artist. It just happened, which is how it should be.” Bob Meyers was killed in 1970, and his widow Helen left the ranch. In 1971, the Bamas relocated to a house on Dunn Creek, Wapiti, 20 miles outside of Cody. In May 1971, He met with a New York dealer, inspiring him to stop illustration and devote his full attention to the development of easel paintings.

James was inducted into the Illustrator’s Hall of Fame on June 28, 2000. At the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, when he was the first Honored Artist at the Buffalo Bill Art Show in 2003, Bama commented, “Everything I’ve done the rodeo, the trappers, the mountain men has been done around here. The fact that I’m from Cody makes this very significant to me. They’re really honoring Cody and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.” He was also inducted into the Monster Kid Hall Of Fame at The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards.

Another Facebook user, Curt Chiarelli also shared the news in another publication, writing; “I just received word that the legendary illustrator, James Bama passed away. He was 96 years old. James Bama’s iconic box illustrations for the original Aurora monster model kits were amongst my first acquaintance with the power of the image. What my mom dismissed as “that morbid crap” riveted my attention like no other. In fact, as soon as I clapped eyes on Bama’s work, I became an inveterate fan of his well before I ever found out who painted those images!”

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Note to readers; This is a developing article, and it does not includes James’s funeral details. James obituary which will include funeral services, dates, and burial arrangements will be published online by his family in the nearest future.

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