Friday, August 19, 2011 many names do you need?

I've been waiting for a new Conan movie since the last Conan movie. And finally for better or worse, its arrived. I'm looking forward to it. Back when I was a very young kid, I aspired to be a comic book artist. That dream has long since past, I can draw better than most people, I just have a hard time telling a story with sequential art and I am just not good enough to be a professional artist. But one can dream. Back in the 70's, I remember seeing the images of Conan by Frazetta, I was in awe of those images. They shaped what I liked. Then I found Big John Buscema and his awesome Thor and Conan and Avengers images that further shaped my love of artwork and Conan. I always read the name as a kid, R.E. Howard, and I wondered who this man was that created Conan. It was a long time after all that, that I finally sat down and read his novels and short stories. The writing did not really hook me. It was always the images by Frazetta, Ken Kelley, John Buscema.

In the 1980s, I discovered Bart Sears and Tim Truman. Both of them in much different ways further shaped me. Bart's art style especially. If anything my line work is a poor imitation of couple of his styles.

Those artists led me to Keith Parkinson, Larry Elmore, Brom, Luis Royo. Later came Simon Bisley and Zook.

Frazetta and Buscema have both past away, so has Keith Parkinson who I met at GenCon a couple of times, but I horde books about them that displays their work.

Now both Bart and Tim are doing some Conan, along with a great artist in Tomas Giorello, love that guys work also. It is the only comic that I occassionally read nowadays.

Over the years, I have managed to collect some of Bart's and Tim's artwork. I actually own a few pieces of Tim's Conan art.

The piece to the left is a page of Tim Truman artwork for an issue of Conan that I own.

Tim has a cool style and flair about this work and is a great storyteller. There is usually nothing overly flashy or explosive in his style. Its sort of old school.

The next piece is also by Tim. When I bought this on-line and received it from a reputable dealer, I just sat for a long time staring and studying every line and every little nuance of it.

I love the old school ink washes in it. It is a very cool page in person and shows just how technically talented he is in the medium when it comes to comic style artwork.

And below is something that I did many years ago. Not really a Conan, but a barbarian nonetheless. And its in my best imitation of Bart's style.

Now...if you are paying attention to the details in the above pic, you will probably understand why I so love Tre Manor's sculpting on his barbarians.


  1. WOW reading your post was like reading my own journal, I love Frazetta and think he painted the original and only version of conan that everyone else imitates. I also have almost evry book of his art they published.Now I collect the dark horse comic series, fantastic!

    Nice barbarian, yours that is. I also had, have some small talent with a pencil, might post up some pics one day.

  2. Thanks man. Frazetta's stuff is just awe inspiring, whether its Conan, Death Dealer, the Silver Warrior etc. A lot of people do not realize that Ken Kelly was trained by Frazetta.

    I do like the current Dark Horse work. And I love the fact that they are compiling all of the Marvel Conan stuff in big volumes, especially the stuff by John Buscema.

  3. I still have some old "Savage Sword of Conan" books from the late 70's/early 80's. They are in no shape as far as collecting is concerned, but they were hugely influential in me pursuing art as a career. As far as the new movie goes, one critic said ".....only sheer bloody-mindedness and another gory battle every three minutes." that's a bad thing. Its CONAN for Crom's sake. It only makes me want to see it more.