Wednesday, 24 February 2016

KID'S KLASSIC KOMIC KOVERS - CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1...


Image copyright ROBERT E. HOWARD ESTATE

With CONAN The BARBARIAN #1, British comics artist 
BARRY SMITH had at last begun to divest his art style of the
KIRBY influence and was finally forging ahead with a look more
his own - and thank goodness for that!  As a mere Kirby-clone
he was second-rate, but as himself he was simply first class.

******

(Oh dear, I've done it again!  I've already featured this cover
in a previous post in this series.  Never mind, it's worth seeing
once more, but I need to get myself some memory tablets.)

11 comments:

moonmando said...

I think it was Conan that took me from being a mere child,reading the Beano,Dandy and Sparky et.al,into the glorious world of epic fantasy as a genre. Of course,there was Spider-Man,Fantastic Four etc,of which I was also spellbound,but they inhabited a world of their own which to me was fascinating but nonetheless a comic creation.Hyperborea,on the other hand,was to me believable,in a disbelievable sort of way,(I think they call it suspension of disbelief!).It was a world in which I could truly travel,in my mind at least,and become a warrior slayer,ever on an endless quest to who knows what or where.
It was also through Robert E Howard's books that I developed a love of reading,to which previously I had no inclination whatsoever.

Kid said...

Funnily enough, Moony, although I enjoyed reading REH's Conan in book form, I only ever read one, and that was back in the late '70s or early '80s. I've still got the book, and 'though I think I did re-read it at some stage many years ago, I plan on doing so again before I fall off the twig. May even hunt down a few more. I remember you were right into the British Conan comic and may even have had the full 18 issues. Now get to your work, you lazy buggah!

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I finally bought an REH Conan collection on November 2nd 2009 - it was the first time I'd ever bought any of the original REH stories. I remember the date so well because my mother died suddenly three days later. I didn't realise the Marvel adaptations had been so faithful to the original stories - my favourite Conan story was "Iron Shadows In The Moon" which I first read in the Conan Treasury Edition in November 1978 (I'd missed it when it was in Savage Sword #1 a year earlier) and the REH story was almost word-for-word, scene-for-scene identical to the Marvel version (not that I'm complaining as both were terrific).

Kid said...

The strange thing is, CJ, that, apparently, when he did the same sort of thing with Marvel's Tarzan, the ERB Estate objected, saying that it was too close to the books. Figure that one out, 'cos I can't. That Iron Shadows adaptation has some great Buscema/Alcala art.

Phil said...

Those treasury editions got me into Conan and Barry Smith. The large format helps everyone's art.

TC said...

Did the ERB Estate ever complain about Gold Key's Tarzan comics? As I recall, those were reasonably close to the novels.

I could see ERB suing Otis Adelbert Kline because Jan of the Jungle was an obvious copy of Tarzan, or the ERB Estate suing Marvel Comics because Ka-Zar and the Savage Land were too similar to Tarzan and Pellucidar, but I don't know how a licensed adaptation can be "too close" to its source.

And, conversely, Burroughs himself always complained that the Tarzan movies were too different from his books.

Kid said...

Yeah, Phil, the Treasury Editions were great - I dunno why Marvel and DC abandoned the format.

******

TC, apologies, but I had to 'cut and paste' your comment after correcting an oversight in mine (I'd said DC's Tarzan when I meant Marvel's), in order to keep them in sequence. I don't know what the ERB estate thought of Gold Key's Tarzan, but their attitude to Marvel's was bizarre. Roy Thomas left the book, if I recall rightly, because ERB's Estate were virtually accusing him of plagiarism. How can you plagiarize something you're adapting? I still can't work it out. Weird, eh?

Rip Jagger said...

I've done about a half dozen posts on this cover myself. I adore it.

Rip Off

Kid said...

Thanks, Rip. You no doubt intended to do half a dozen posts 'though - I simply forgot I'd already featured the cover. I think I'm going senile. Old age, eh?

Dunsade Dave said...

I'd say this is my favourite ear of Barry Windsor-Smith's art. Not so keen on his early Kirby-clone days, and while his 80s work is certainly striking (especially the Machine Man series he drew over Herb Trimpe's breakdowns), I wasn't so keen on his late 80s/90s work. I felt that most of the faces he drew tended to look the same (with the obvious exception of Rune). Great storyteller though- you could take all the lettering off a BWS page and still be able to follow the story.

Kid said...

What's that old saying about little acorns and mighty oaks again, DD? Some of Smith's back page pin-ups on Fantastic were pretty underwhelming, and his X-Men story is quite awful, but look how much he'd improved once he got into Conan. Buscema may have put the Barbarian into Conan, but Smith had the Sword & Sorcery down to a tee.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...