Thursday, April 4, 2013

Big John's Barbarian!

"Big" John Buscema is sorely missed. His brawny, bold draftsmanship took otherwise mild material and transformed it into something powerful and provocative. So it's no wonder that when he got his  mitts on something as potent as the Conan stories of Robert E. Howard that he'd make the most of the opportunity.Buscema's sullen-eyed Cimmerian has become in many ways definitive. 

I had the poor judgment to ignore much of Buscema's Conan work during the 80's and 90's. I'm getting the chance to rectify that oversight and enjoy though those stories now as Dark Horse reprints them in various collections in more recent years. It's a vast trove of "new" Buscema work for me to savor.

Indicative of what Buscema could do with the character is captured in the plates in this portfolio.Not all of them are represented here, but enough are for even the casual onlooker to get a glimmer of the connection between artist and subject matter. Like Frazetta before him, Buscema found something special in the Hyborian world, something he could identify with perhaps, and something he could share.

Here's a poor shot of the complete portfolio. I'd love to own it some day.

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  1. I'd have loved to have seen Buscema's Conan ornately inked by Smith. Wouldn't that have been something?

  2. When I read the Conan stories, this is the Cimmerian I see in my head.


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