Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Here's a blast from the past!

Back cover of Marvelmania Magazine #2.
First we had Marvelmania Magazine #2, sporting the original cover for Conan the Barbarian #1, with a column by Roy Thomas who discusses the upcoming Conan the Barbarian comic book. Then we got the actual Marvel comic book begin its historic run. 

Conan's sword was altered for dramatic effect!
John Buscema really left his indelible mark on the fantastic barbarian as well.
Originally published in Savage Tales #2, with a powerful painted cover by John Buscema, comes a tale from Barry Windsor-Smith & Tim Conrad.

Here's Barry Windsor-Smith's classic narrative "Cimmeria" finally completed after thirty years! The following is his marvelous vision you can find on his incredible web site,

Savage Tales #2
I recall only the stillness of that sombre land; the clouds that piled forever on the hills, the dimness of the everlasting woods. Cimmeria, land of Darkness and deep Night.  
Script by original pulp author Robert E. Howard with artwork by Barry (Windsor-) Smith (Conan the Barbarian) & Tim Conrad (Worms of the Earth.)
An illustrated poem written by the great Robert E. Howard., creator of Conan, Kull, Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn and so many more...!

Earl Norem provided many awesome covers for the Savage Sword of Conan magazine.
This Baxter paper edition not only reprinted "Cimmeria", but my all time favorite Conan tale, "Red Nails." I loved "Red Nails" so much I recently purchased the gorgeous Art Archives edition. 

Can't resist showing off the Art Archives edition I just had to have! I haven't see a second volume of this marvelous book.
While it was magnificent to get all of Barry Windsor-Smith's Conan, I was less than enthusiastic with the modern coloring. However, "Cimmeria" was published in its original black & white format.
Subsequently, "Cimmeria" was reprinted in Marvel Comics Savage Sword of Conan #24, Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian #1 & Dark Horse Comics The Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives Volume 2.

Barry Windsor-Smith illustrated new covers for the first nine issues of Conan Saga. That was so sweet!
It's hard to go wrong with a Earl Norem cover!
The poem was also reprinted in Marvel Comics Conan Saga #4 with a gorgeous new cover by Barry Windsor-Smith. Additionally, it was published in issue #33 of the same series.

A variation of the movie poster was used for the cover of this Austrian edition.
There's that favorite signature again! France edition.
Here are some of the foreign editions containing the poem as well. 

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!

Boris Vallejo also provided many classic covers, including for the first issue, of the Savage Sword of Conan magazine series. Brazilian edition pictured.
Artist Dorian (Vallejo, don't believe he's related to Boris) painted the cover used on the Norway edition.
Dorian also did a cover with two Robert E. Howard heroes: Conan & Solomon Kane! This issue of Savage Sword of Conan magazine was one of the few Marvel Comics publications his fine work appeared on. Dark Horse used Kane on their Saga of Solomon Kane trade paperback cover.


  1. I totally sympathize on the Dark Horse coloring, which was just brainless. A BWS Conan in hardcover was a dream for a long time, so I bought it, but can hardly look at it because of all the poor color choices, which were discussed by Tom Scioli here:

    What a wasted opportunity.

    1. As Scioli says he only "got" Song of Sonja when he saw the original 4-color version. The linework is complemented,not laboriously modeled. It's a big mistake to think they can add to the artist. Light and shade do the modeling. I'm a fan of black & white for its clarity and the way it works with sizzling contrast. The photographic "realism" of bad coloring just stifles the litheness of the original. This goes double for hatching where pastel shades are king. For more, see