Friday, January 29, 2016


Back to Conan the Barbarian, as portrayed by stunning artwork of Barry Windsor-Smith. I can go on all day gushing over his amazing art. Another exciting Conan the Barbarian issue for me was issue #24, fully introducing us to the intoxicating she-devil, Red Sonja. 

The censored version of page 3, from Conan the Barbarian #24

Conan the Barbarian #24  The Song of Red Sonja!
"The Song of Red Sonja"
In Makkalet, Conan and Red Sonja start a bar-fight, bathe in a fountain, scale temple walls, break in and steal a snake-tiara and fight a magical snake. In the end, Sonja tricks Conan, leaving for further adventures in Pah-Disha.
Written by Roy Thomas with Barry Windsor-Smith (as Barry Smith) art.
Last issue of the Conan the Barbarian comic book done by Barry Windsor-Smith. 

Such a wonderful magazine series, with so many marvelous covers! This one is by Bob Larkin.


This story has been reprinted many times over the years, in Conan Saga #8, Marvel Treasury Edition #15 (panel 3 of page 6 appears here in its original uncensored form as it was redrawn upon original publication in Conan the Barbarian #24 due to Comics Code objections) & Savage Sword of Conan #82. In book format it has been reprinted in Essential Conan #1, The Chronicles of Conan #4 & The Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives #1.

Loved Conan in the Treasury Editions! Both favorites of mine, "Red Nails" & "The Song of Red Sonja" are reprinted in that series! Fabulous format for those Barry Windsor-Smith stories.

I prefer my super-heroes in color, but to me, Conan is best presented in black and white!

Red Sonja story continues in Savage Sword of Conan #1. "Curse of the Undead-Man" Written by Roy Thomas (freely adapted from the short story "Mistress of Death" by Robert E. Howard) with John Buscema & Pablo Marcos art. Conan and Red Sonja put an end to the undead sorcerer Costranno. This magazine also includes a stunning Red Sonja story illustrated by Esteban Maroto and began reprinting Gil Kane's Blackmark!

Original Barry Smith concept for the cover of Conan the Barbarian #24.

Red Sonja bookmarks from Barry Windsor-Smith's Gorblimey Press!
More recent Barry Windsor-Smith Conan artwork!
Definitely a high point in Conan the Barbarian for me. I immensely enjoyed the Barry Smith run on the comic book. He embodied the spirit of Conan in his younger years. He's the artist I first think of when I look back at Conan in the comics.  
Pin-up from the esteemed Esteban Maroto!

Red Sonja illustrations over the years!
Another favorite of mine, Howard Chaykin illustrating Red Sonja.

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You! 
Not familiar with this comic book, but I like the cover!
This crossover I liked most for the Michael Turner covers.
Favorite trade series featuring the original Robert E. Howard stories of Red Sonja and so much more!
Great Ken Kelly cover for this paperback !
Original Red Sonja novel with a stunning Boris Vallejo cover!


Thursday, January 28, 2016


The standard-setter for science-fiction/adventure, Flash Gordon debuted in 1934 under the legendary hand of Alex Raymond. Ever since, Flash, along with his gorgeous girlfriend Dale Arden, scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov, and his archenemy, Ming the Merciless, have ignited reader’s imaginations.

Buster Crabbe showed up years later on the Buck Rogers TV series!

Alex Ross cover for the Flash Gordon Saviour of the Universe Edition DVD which included great special features. Features showcased Alex (Marvels) Ross and screenwriter Lorenzo (Batman) Semple, Jr. along with an episode of the Flash Gordon 1936 serial and a trailer for the Sci-Fi TV show! There was also a reproduction of the Alex Ross sketch of the cover inside! 

A classic that spans the media ranges, Flash Gordon has inspired the perennially popular live-action film serials starring Buster Crabbe, a radio show, a TV show, novels, comic books, animated cartoons, a 1980 live-action movie that has become a cult classic, and a wide range of licensed merchandise. He has even appeared on his own United States postage stamp. King Features Syndicate, the owner of the property and distributor of the comic strip, continues to expand the domestic and international licensing portfolio in support of the Flash Gordon franchise.

Flash Gordon #7 
Mac Raboy cover.
"In The Human Forest"
Nowhere in Mongo has Flash Gordon encountered such strange creatures as those in the human forest. 
"Flash Gordon Meets the Evil Genius of the Cosmos" 
Flash decides to track down and solve the strange mystery of the wandering visitor from space.  
Art by Mac (Captain Marvel, Jr., Green Lama) Raboy.
Stories told with dialogue in text with no word balloons. 
Secret Agent X-9 back up feature written by Gary (Battle of the Planets, Mandrake the Magician) Poole. 

Reprinted in Dark Horse Comics Flash Gordon Comic-Book Archives Vol. 2. Thankful for us, there have been five terrific volumes spanning from the Dell Four Color through the end of the Gold Key/Whitman series.

More of Mac Raboy's stories have been reprinted in Mac Raboy's Flash Gordon Volume Two, from Dark Horse Comics as well. Bruce (Ka-Zar, Conan the Barbarian) Jones provided the introduction.

Foreign editions of Flash Gordon #7.

Flash Gordon continues to live on, but the King Features series will always be my favorite. This was where I first enjoyed Flash Gordon in the comic books. Great stories! Great artists! Great times!

Stunning tribute to Alex Raymond by the esteemed Esteban Maroto.


Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!

Flash Gordon artists through the decades.

Alex Raymond Flash Gordon comic strip.
All Williamson cover for the Flash Gordon album featured in an ad from Flash Gordon #7!
Frank Frazetta sketch of Flash Gordon.
Boris Vallejo Flash Gordon painting for one of the novels.

Liberty Meadows creator Frank Cho Flash Gordon.