Monday, April 15, 2013
Conan The Embellished!
This rugged vision of King Conan of Aquilonia as a giant striding across a landscape filled with grinning skulls, snarling serpents, raging flames, ferocious battles, bat-winged demons, horned-headed mages, and other Hyborian whatnots is by the classic Marvel team of John Buscema and Ernie Chan. This was a great pick by the editors at Dark Horse for the cover of the debut volume of King Conan, reprinting Marvel's second full-color Conan series.
The image is actually the splash page of the very first issue of King Conan. Below is the cover by John Buscema and Ernie Chan, note the initials of both artists.
And here's that muscular splash page image in all its black and white original glory.
The power of the blend of Buscema and Chan is if anything, even more evident in this raw art. I do note that Ernie Chan's name is on this original artwork, suggesting perhaps this is a solo effort. I myself see the distinct hand of Buscema in this layout especially in those warriors to the side. But I'm curious about that signature, which you'll note is missing from the finished artwork.
It chagrins me to realize that Conan is fifty-five years of age in this story, as indicated in the note to the "Inker: Embellisher" . I'm fifty-five right now, with a birthday hurtling toward me in a few months time. I could use some "embellishing".