Comic creator Frank Thorne has passed away, publisher Dynamite Entertainment posted on Twitter.  He was 90 at the time of his death on March 7.

Thorne started working in comics in 1948(!), but was best known for his work on Red Sonja, a character he started drawing in 1976, at a time when the character was being developed in the Robert E. Howard Conan universe by Barry Windsor-Smith and writer Roy Thomas.  Thorne provided most of the art for the Red Sonja solo series, which ran from 1977-1979.

Thorne also created some of his own characters, including Ghita of Alizarr in an original graphic novel, Lann in Heavy Metal, Danger Rangerette in National Lampoon, and others.

Thorne worked for Standard Comics and DC in addition to Marvel; did newspaper strips, including Perry Mason; wrote a number of books for Fantagraphics Books; and did magazine illustration work for Playboy, Hustler, High Times, and Vanity Fair.

Former DC publisher Paul Levitz called Thorne " artist who progressively developed his style into a more and more personal expression," and "a man of talent, charm and great wit," in a post on Facebook.

Hermes Press has released a number of collections of Thorne’s creator-owned work in recent years.  Dynamite Entertainment is the publisher of Thorne’s Red Sonja work.