Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Essential Conan!


This drawing of Conan by John Buscema is one of my favorites and possibly the last he drew officially for Marvel Comics. This piece of elegant artwork was used on the cover of maybe the last Conan product from Marvel, the Essential Conan Volume 1.


The monster is a bit peculiar though, looking a tad too "Space Ghosty" for a Conan universe illustration for me. Maybe this is an engrated Hyborian groundhog that the Cimmerian is dispatching before it can make a mockery of Aquilonian weather prediction models. Or perhaps not.


This volume is a great way to get the first twenty-five issues of the classic run cheaply reproduced, if you can find it. For a time there this was a very collectable book, and it does make for a handy reference. And it's pretty handsome to look at. Marvel has changed its Essential design several times and not always for the best, but the earliest volumes were uneven. This one for Conan looks quite sharp I think.

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3 comments:

  1. The artwork in this volume translates well in B/W...Something about the linework and use of heavy blacks...the exquisite beauty of the work really shines. It's a must for ANY fan of CONAN

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  2. I think that towards the end, Conan was not treated very well by Marvel. I would look for the original Magazines. Really great stuff!

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  3. Mikeyboy - I'm sure glad I have a copy. It's a handy read. Those first twenty-five issues by Smith and Thomas really have a sweep to them as young Conan develops quickly. After these issues they slowed it down when it became clear Conan was going to be around for a bit.

    Don - They sure did. They seem not really to have any idea how to market him, and some of the attempts are pretty bizarre. You get the sense they lost respect for the character.

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