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Conan By Brian Wood And Becky Cloonan *(JUST the Cloonan run)


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#501 JainkhulTamhair

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 04:55 AM

I tend to think that this dicussion on manga and Cloonan style is absolutely bunkers to say the least guys. All art is interpretive in a sense that it has a message to tell, weather from East or West. I personally have been reading Conan all my life practically. I have seen it go from artist to artist and they bring their own style and all artists have been influenced by other artist across the globe since the smaller world became a reality with the internet! If Cloonan has been influenced by Eastern style, I couldnt care less, as I have seen great artist start off weakly and turn out good standard of Conan artork as they progressed. I believe even BWS had a patchy start before doing some amazing art pieces on Conan like these below:

Link 1

Some of his work could be termed mangaish in style?

link 2

I for one like Cloonan's portrayal so far and can't wait to see how she progresses doing Conan in the future. The reason for me to think this is looking at Monks link for the 2nd comic. Man that looks well, especially the arrow scene as Monk mentioned earlier. My favourite panel is his eyes were wide open ready to let loose the arrow into the bitches heart, Cloonan made sure that she left little black pupils to be covered by fantastic BLUE EYES, as the dam film should have had!! ;)

So fo me, all art has similarities in a smaller world. Every bloody superhero artist today learned everything from Buscema book How to Draw comics, my friends are so similar to John's art it is becoming the norm, and that's why you want your Conan like that....because it is the norm. Normal makes you feel safe and feeling safe makes you hate the other styles.......


Dave I have to disagree this time with you :

Barry Wondsor Smith's style is absolutely not manga-esque but is heavily influenced by pre-raphaelite and art nouveau styles. He himself talked about it, and to top it off I don't know one educated Conan comics fan who doesn't agree with this. The manga clichés I cited earlier are totally absent from his work .

Speaking of Buscema's legacy is one red hot subject, Dave, for example we have BEnito Gallego who not only draws tributes to Buscema but imitates him in the least of his details, to a point where one asks himself if it isn't unreleased material (but it isn't) . I'm -not- a fan of pure imitation for the sake of imitiation .
You're objective when you say that old school Conan comics fans have similar tastes but it's not right to put all these Conan the Barbarian and Savage Sword lovers in the same bag as Buscema purists who "hate" everything else.
I for example, consider myself an old-school SSOC fan but I appreciate as much Buscema as Zuniga, Severin, Norem, Jusko, Adams, Larkin, Kwapisz and many others.
For example, Kwapisz' Conan is hairy , never dresses like Buscema's Conan, in one word differs a lot from the Buscema stereotype, not to speak of the settings , the architecture in the Hyborian Age cites and such: radically different.
Old school SSOC fans generally hold in high esteem Ernie Chan, while he is on the bottom of my favourite list if I had to put one down on paper, considering his not so hot solo (pencils and ink) work.
Forget those lousy clichés of dumb Buscema fans: "extreme" Buscema followers do exist, but there's no conspiracy preventing other artists from entering the Conan "ring" with harsh word from mouth.

Look at Giorello's work, his Conan differs from Buscema's, but nevertheless his classicism makes him appreciated by SSOC fans.
If speaking of new approches and modern minimalistic style, look at Mignola's covers for Dark Horse, they're a bit "special", but I'm not against it, I find it interesting and refreshing, after all, SSOC had a couple of extremely lousy covers and some Mignola art could have prevented that void in the past (but Marvel didn't consider him for the job).
Mignola's covers are leagues better than these pieces of you know what that look like medium quality fan art (I'm being kind) drawn by Leandro Fernandez (Conan the Barbarian #2) or the oddly anorexic Conan featured on Conan the Barbarian #1 cover by Cloonan. Conan is NOT Bruce Lee, Dave, he's been described numerous times by REH . Although they share great speed and impressive muscle definition, the similarities stop there.

Edited by JainkhulTamhair, 05 March 2012 - 05:00 AM.


#502 JainkhulTamhair

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 05:14 AM

I would add that there is some hope at least for the covers, since Conan the Barbarian #3 seems promising in terms of cover art:
Carnevale offers -surprisingly- something good and not anatomically weird, and the alternate by JP Leon is top notch.
If I were working at DH and had the possibility to choose an artist (with the imposed option that he/she shold absolutely not draw in a classical, a la Buscema and consort) , I would have taken that JP Leon.
Leon's cover is classy, SOBER and very mature in it's composition. A lot of gusto in this cover:
Posted Image

His way of rendering shadows would please Mignola fans and those who appreciate Zuniga's odd pixel inking... and even fans of Jay Lee (who never worked on Conan but in various series for Marvel).
J.P.Leon was the right guy for the job on QotBC, not Cloonan, IMHO.
Perhaps he'll be drawing interior art in a Conan comics direct (more direct than what we've seen lately, COUGH) adaptation from REH's stories, VERY SOON????

Edited by JainkhulTamhair, 05 March 2012 - 05:18 AM.


#503 Dave the Rage

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 03:58 PM


I tend to think that this discussion on manga and Cloonan style is absolutely bunkers to say the least guys. All art is interpretive in a sense that it has a message to tell, weather from East or West. I personally have been reading Conan all my life practically. I have seen it go from artist to artist and they bring their own style and all artists have been influenced by other artist across the globe since the smaller world became a reality with the internet! If Cloonan has been influenced by Eastern style, I couldnt care less, as I have seen great artist start off weakly and turn out good standard of Conan artork as they progressed. I believe even BWS had a patchy start before doing some amazing art pieces on Conan like these below:

Link 1

Some of his work could be termed mangaish in style?

link 2

I for one like Cloonan's portrayal so far and can't wait to see how she progresses doing Conan in the future. The reason for me to think this is looking at Monks link for the 2nd comic. Man that looks well, especially the arrow scene as Monk mentioned earlier. My favourite panel is his eyes were wide open ready to let loose the arrow into the bitches heart, Cloonan made sure that she left little black pupils to be covered by fantastic BLUE EYES, as the dam film should have had!! ;)

So fo me, all art has similarities in a smaller world. Every bloody superhero artist today learned everything from Buscema book How to Draw comics, my friends are so similar to John's art it is becoming the norm, and that's why you want your Conan like that....because it is the norm. Normal makes you feel safe and feeling safe makes you hate the other styles.......


Dave I have to disagree this time with you :

Barry Wondsor Smith's style is absolutely not manga-esque but is heavily influenced by pre-raphaelite and art nouveau styles. He himself talked about it, and to top it off I don't know one educated Conan comics fan who doesn't agree with this. The manga clichés I cited earlier are totally absent from his work .

Speaking of Buscema's legacy is one red hot subject, Dave, for example we have BEnito Gallego who not only draws tributes to Buscema but imitates him in the least of his details, to a point where one asks himself if it isn't unreleased material (but it isn't) . I'm -not- a fan of pure imitation for the sake of imitiation .
You're objective when you say that old school Conan comics fans have similar tastes but it's not right to put all these Conan the Barbarian and Savage Sword lovers in the same bag as Buscema purists who "hate" everything else.
I for example, consider myself an old-school SSOC fan but I appreciate as much Buscema as Zuniga, Severin, Norem, Jusko, Adams, Larkin, Kwapisz and many others.
For example, Kwapisz' Conan is hairy , never dresses like Buscema's Conan, in one word differs a lot from the Buscema stereotype, not to speak of the settings , the architecture in the Hyborian Age cites and such: radically different.
Old school SSOC fans generally hold in high esteem Ernie Chan, while he is on the bottom of my favourite list if I had to put one down on paper, considering his not so hot solo (pencils and ink) work.
Forget those lousy clichés of dumb Buscema fans: "extreme" Buscema followers do exist, but there's no conspiracy preventing other artists from entering the Conan "ring" with harsh word from mouth.

Look at Giorello's work, his Conan differs from Buscema's, but nevertheless his classicism makes him appreciated by SSOC fans.
If speaking of new approches and modern minimalistic style, look at Mignola's covers for Dark Horse, they're a bit "special", but I'm not against it, I find it interesting and refreshing, after all, SSOC had a couple of extremely lousy covers and some Mignola art could have prevented that void in the past (but Marvel didn't consider him for the job).
Mignola's covers are leagues better than these pieces of you know what that look like medium quality fan art (I'm being kind) drawn by Leandro Fernandez (Conan the Barbarian #2) or the oddly anorexic Conan featured on Conan the Barbarian #1 cover by Cloonan. Conan is NOT Bruce Lee, Dave, he's been described numerous times by REH . Although they share great speed and impressive muscle definition, the similarities stop there.

I dont want to drag up the past artist list of greats on Conan as this discussion would get derailed abit if we did that. I have to say that you have some good educated thoughts on this that I tend to agree with. Though when you state that BWS art is styled on Romanesque European style, maybe you read this in a forum or book or watched the video on him stating this, but all art even back to the cavemen tells a story in its form and all artists are influenced by who they like. I see BWS art as maybe more post modern in style, just because it is brightly coloured and stained glass looking does not make it Romanesque, it just resembles it as the artist was influenced by the styles of his teachings etc. I see some manga'ish (if that is a word ;) ) style in BWS because similarities exist everywhere in art, even the masters look similar when I walk around the museum, only differing on techniques. Cloonan is pencil and ink like all other Conan artists, so her style can not be compared in my eyes to Romanesque or Eastern etc as her style is a combination of them all if she was influenced like all others.

This piece can be put along side this piece as you did earlier to show a point that I think BWS can be shown to have been influenced by this style or other:

Link compare

The styles can be compared as with yours earlier choices, grabbed out of the ether to make a point. That is what I meant that the art is interpretive of what your minds eye sees. I was not saying that you were incorrect, just your point was from your own angle of judgement.

I love all styles of art, but on one note we do agree it seems as I have stated in earlier posts that Conan seems to have a road map of artist that have been heavily based in realism art, some of the artist you mentioned in Conan's past are of that same ilk. The character has had re-imaging that has not went down the road of manga and anime as others have, or turned into Asterix type art, which is good in my eyes, but I would not think that this would not be successful if attempted tbh, as who am I to judge what others would like, but only give my subjective reasoning as a fan. Even in the marvel days they kept the Conan artists from a stock that could deliver realistic drama and captured that barbaric tone of REH character. For instance we had Buscema (BTW who I love 2nd to Fraz) do the comic strip in newspapers, man who in them days would have foretold that a comic strip with realistic cartooning being included in a daily that was not something styled like the Beano and Garfield. Shows you the in roads that can be mastered if the style fits the character. So I do tend to agree with your sentiments on this, but to say that Cloonan is not worthy of an attempt to add her name to a historical figure like Conan ( :) real to me) is crazy. There has been worse attempts in my past at Conan, but they fail to leave a mark like Buscema and Alcala, so if Cloonan style does not modernise the character like Jason Momoa's film modernising the image of Conan, is their any lasting damage, as the posters that hang in my hall or not by lesser known artists but by Buscema and Smith!

The Bruce thing was meant to suggest that people thought he was small and big muscle bound freaks could pummel him, but he was fast and deadly like a small cobra and Conan is not a muscled bound freak as portrayed by so many artists nowadays, he moves like a panther and strikes like a wild lion in power and strength and cunning that leaves all civilised man wondering what happened when they reach Valhalla! Conan is Bruce Lee in the message that is portrayed to the masses, style over size and speed over power can win the day. :)

Edited by Dave the Rage, 05 March 2012 - 04:23 PM.

?I do not accept as matter of belief certain things in this history, or rather fiction; for some things are diabolical superstitions, some are poetical inventions, some have the semblance of truth, some have not; and some are meant for the entertainment of fools.? Book of Leinster ? 12th century

#504 JainkhulTamhair

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 05:30 PM

I dont want to drag up the past artist list of greats on Conan as this discussion would get derailed abit if we did that. I have to say that you have some good educated thoughts on this that I tend to agree with. Though when you state that BWS art is styled on Romanesque European style, maybe you read this in a forum or book or watched the video on him stating this, but all art even back to the cavemen tells a story in its form and all artists are influenced by who they like. I see BWS art as maybe more post modern in style, just because it is brightly coloured and stained glass looking does not make it Romanesque, it just resembles it as the artist was influenced by the styles of his teachings etc. I see some manga'ish (if that is a word ;) ) style in BWS because similarities exist everywhere in art, even the masters look similar when I walk around the museum, only differing on techniques. Cloonan is pencil and ink like all other Conan artists, so her style can not be compared in my eyes to Romanesque or Eastern etc as her style is a combination of them all if she was influenced like all others.

This piece can be put along side this piece as you did earlier to show a point that I think BWS can be shown to have been influenced by this style or other:

Link compare

The styles can be compared as with yours earlier choices, grabbed out of the ether to make a point. That is what I meant that the art is interpretive of what your minds eye sees. I was not saying that you were incorrect, just your point was from your own angle of judgement.

I love all styles of art, but on one note we do agree it seems as I have stated in earlier posts that Conan seems to have a road map of artist that have been heavily based in realism art, some of the artist you mentioned in Conan's past are of that same ilk. The character has had re-imaging that has not went down the road of manga and anime as others have, or turned into Asterix type art, which is good in my eyes, but I would not think that this would not be successful if attempted tbh, as who am I to judge what others would like, but only give my subjective reasoning as a fan. Even in the marvel days they kept the Conan artists from a stock that could deliver realistic drama and captured that barbaric tone of REH character. For instance we had Buscema (BTW who I love 2nd to Fraz) do the comic strip in newspapers, man who in them days would have foretold that a comic strip with realistic cartooning being included in a daily that was not something styled like the Beano and Garfield. Shows you the in roads that can be mastered if the style fits the character. So I do tend to agree with your sentiments on this, but to say that Cloonan is not worthy of an attempt to add her name to a historical figure like Conan ( :) real to me) is crazy. There has been worse attempts in my past at Conan, but they fail to leave a mark like Buscema and Alcala, so if Cloonan style does not modernise the character like Jason Momoa's film modernising the image of Conan, is their any lasting damage, as the posters that hang in my hall or not by lesser known artists but by Buscema and Smith!

The Bruce thing was meant to suggest that people thought he was small and big muscle bound freaks could pummel him, but he was fast and deadly like a small cobra and Conan is not a muscled bound freak as portrayed by so many artists nowadays, he moves like a panther and strikes like a wild lion in power and strength and cunning that leaves all civilised man wondering what happened when they reach Valhalla! Conan is Bruce Lee in the message that is portrayed to the masses, style over size and speed over power can win the day. :)


Dave, you're entirely right when you say that when we have some art resembling stained glass, it doesn't force the comparison with pre-raphaelite or art nouveau (for example, euro artist Druillet has drawn many ultra modern styled panels in his comics that could be compared to stained glass , google around and you'll find a couple easily)
But with BWS, I noticed (and one of my friends who trained professionally ) that the FACES and the manners of BWS' characters were heavily pre-raphaelite. Look at the Conan with a peacock at his side contemplating a lost city, how the colors and settings are arranged typically art nouveau, or Conan riding a horse passing by a wall with severed heads, notice how he leans his head, the position of his body, and especially his FACE in the color Marvel comics is more then influenced by those melancholic eyed elongated faces (NOT in japanese fashion, neither slanted nor wide-eyed) , slender bodies and positions adopted by pre-raphaelite painters, and the settings go fairly well in the same style with some art nouveau embellishments in his later art (Conan vs Rune, his painted Conan covers and posters). It's not only me, it's an undisputed consensus on BWS' style.

I see also WHY you say there's something "manga-ish", according to you. You guessed "kind of right" in a sense (even though BWS' characters have absolutely no japanese comics clichés to them) because in the 70's some japanese artists became fond of art nouveau and many other euro and US art styles, imitating them with a lot of taste with a slight japanese touch, as in the 70's anime Kanashimi no Beradona ("Belladonna" in english, a Klimt style anime about a sorceress) or in Yoshitaka Amano's style which is slightly more japanese this time ( the faces are closer to japanese standards in a way) but still heavily influenced by western styles to a point where one would ask himself if some of his paintings are really by a japanese, there's a load of Art nouveau in the composition of his pieces.
Probably you've seen some japanese comics or art books in this blended style and it must have made you think BWS had something "manga", while in fact we have artists -with no know connections whatsoever- who found inpiration in the same art nouveau and pre-raphaelite sources.

When I took the example of "what if" one day we had a serious Conan adaptation made in Asterix' style, I implied it wouldn't work as well because Asterix, while all due respect to it's excellent satiric style, is indeed a ...satiric and comedic cartoonish comic.
IFConan had to be drawn this way one day, it should NEVER be concerning a direct adaptation of REH's work such as QotBC, but rather intended to go with a fun pastiche or a caricature of blended classic stories, of course never placed in the middle of an on-going serious toned series such as DH's Conan the Barbarian comicbook reboot and such.

There's nothing wrong with giving a modern touch but as I said, look at J.P. Leon's cover, it's modern sober and classy. Cloonan's style is too particular, has a few connections to styles with which MANY old school -but open minded- Conan fans would NOT agree with, especially when we see how she deformed Conan's appearance in some panels and the first comic cover she offered.

Dark Horse , instead of fishing out of the dark some new Conan comics readers, shold have asked themselves who could possibly give a modern twist to Conan art without irritating strongly the old-school Conan comics fans. They've asked Mignola for some covers, why didn't they ask him to do a job for QotBC's adaptation?

On another hand I find Wood's script adaptation from REH's story a bit flat and a tad monotonous (aiming for a younger public??) while Marvel's was very close and almost blabbering at times, at least Thomas' rendering comprised the essential quotes from the original story even if it crammed a bit the panels (but that didn't bother me that much).
Thomas' method was to make the panels "live" by including as many verbatim quotes from the original story as possible while stuffing them with additional vivid and short interactions between the main characters or with the surrounding "extras", as it was the custom in young-adult / adult oriented Marvel magazines from the 70's 80's. You had something to READ. (It should be noticed that Thomas' QotBC ark "sandwiched" some pastiche material with Zula, Amra, Red Sonja, Kalanthes and co. right in the middle, but if you ignore the enormous pastiche part -many CTB issues- and take the QotBC-only material , it's a damn good adaptation)

Now, Dark Horse seems to want to have the panels "breath" more with less text and simpler adaptations, but why keep the typewriting typo then? It's NOT REH writing the comics adaptation!
We'll have to see what the heck is going to happen at the end of QotBC #2, something has been announced as fishy by other fans , I'll check it out in due time.
I hope Wood will not orient the adaptated script by making it deviate substantially from the original...or else I will not buy further adaptations by DH.

Edited by JainkhulTamhair, 05 March 2012 - 05:38 PM.


#505 monk

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 05:43 PM

They've asked Mignola for some covers, why didn't they ask him to do a job for QotBC's adaptation?


i've often wondered about that myself.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#506 Aquilonia

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:45 PM


They've asked Mignola for some covers, why didn't they ask him to do a job for QotBC's adaptation?


i've often wondered about that myself.


You are all kidding, right?

#507 ZackDavisson

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:25 PM

You are all kidding, right?


I hope so. Mike Mignola hasn't done work-for-hire stuff for years and years. He does the odd cover now and then, but I can't remember the last time he actually drew someone else's story.

But what the heck! Let's get Barry Windsor Smith back to draw some Conan as well!

#508 mario

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:49 PM

I see cloonans got a hardcover dracula on its way out too from what i have seen looks very interesting.

#509 monk

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:57 PM

well who would have thought that roy would be back?

i think though the actual point is that there are a lot of artists who could be tapped that would light fire to the book.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#510 ZackDavisson

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:26 PM

I wasn't surprised by Roy's return. He is in the "retired" portion of his career, and just takes projects that interest him. When I talked to him, he was still enthusiastic about his love for Conan and would love to write Conan again.

And yes, there are other artists, but just because someone physically exists doesn't mean they are available. Mignola would never turn away from his beloved--and profitable-- personal series in order to do a work-for-hire on a licensed property like Conan. At most he would contribute a cover or an interior sketch.

Any of us could put together our Dream Team to work on Conan. Personally I would love to see Busiek, Nord, and Stewart back for another run. That is much more of a possibility than someone like Mignola. But even then, that star team returning wouldn’t generate nearly as much buzz as Wood and Cloonan.

Both Wood and Cloonan are in that perfect realm of “hot-up-and-coming” while still not so in demand that they can write their own tickets. They draw attention. They get people to sit up and notice them. They bring something new. And their newness works better than if Dark Horse brought on an established veteran. Because people are not only checking out Conan, they are checking out “Brian Wood” and “Becky Cloonan” who they have heard about but not read.

And if a few die-hard Howard fans grumble and groan well … them’s the breaks. They can afford to lose a few old fans in favor of all the new readers coming on. That is just simple math.

Like it or not, that is reality.

#511 VenariumDisease

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:17 AM

That preview for #2 is looking very good to me. There was elements of the first issue I really didn't like but others I found to be very innovative. This preview already seems to address those elements I didn't care for and I think this team will hit a powerful stride. It's really an honor that Mr. Wood posts here, and I'm looking forward to the next issue.

#512 Dave the Rage

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:24 AM

Dave, you're entirely right when you say that when we have some art resembling stained glass, it doesn't force the comparison with pre-raphaelite or art nouveau (for example, euro artist Druillet has drawn many ultra modern styled panels in his comics that could be compared to stained glass , google around and you'll find a couple easily)
But with BWS, I noticed (and one of my friends who trained professionally ) that the FACES and the manners of BWS' characters were heavily pre-raphaelite. Look at the Conan with a peacock at his side contemplating a lost city, how the colors and settings are arranged typically art nouveau, or Conan riding a horse passing by a wall with severed heads, notice how he leans his head, the position of his body, and especially his FACE in the color Marvel comics is more then influenced by those melancholic eyed elongated faces (NOT in japanese fashion, neither slanted nor wide-eyed) , slender bodies and positions adopted by pre-raphaelite painters, and the settings go fairly well in the same style with some art nouveau embellishments in his later art (Conan vs Rune, his painted Conan covers and posters). It's not only me, it's an undisputed consensus on BWS' style.

I see also WHY you say there's something "manga-ish", according to you. You guessed "kind of right" in a sense (even though BWS' characters have absolutely no japanese comics clichés to them) because in the 70's some japanese artists became fond of art nouveau and many other euro and US art styles, imitating them with a lot of taste with a slight japanese touch, as in the 70's anime Kanashimi no Beradona ("Belladonna" in english, a Klimt style anime about a sorceress) or in Yoshitaka Amano's style which is slightly more japanese this time ( the faces are closer to japanese standards in a way) but still heavily influenced by western styles to a point where one would ask himself if some of his paintings are really by a japanese, there's a load of Art nouveau in the composition of his pieces.
Probably you've seen some japanese comics or art books in this blended style and it must have made you think BWS had something "manga", while in fact we have artists -with no know connections whatsoever- who found inpiration in the same art nouveau and pre-raphaelite sources.

When I took the example of "what if" one day we had a serious Conan adaptation made in Asterix' style, I implied it wouldn't work as well because Asterix, while all due respect to it's excellent satiric style, is indeed a ...satiric and comedic cartoonish comic.
IFConan had to be drawn this way one day, it should NEVER be concerning a direct adaptation of REH's work such as QotBC, but rather intended to go with a fun pastiche or a caricature of blended classic stories, of course never placed in the middle of an on-going serious toned series such as DH's Conan the Barbarian comicbook reboot and such.

There's nothing wrong with giving a modern touch but as I said, look at J.P. Leon's cover, it's modern sober and classy. Cloonan's style is too particular, has a few connections to styles with which MANY old school -but open minded- Conan fans would NOT agree with, especially when we see how she deformed Conan's appearance in some panels and the first comic cover she offered.

Dark Horse , instead of fishing out of the dark some new Conan comics readers, shold have asked themselves who could possibly give a modern twist to Conan art without irritating strongly the old-school Conan comics fans. They've asked Mignola for some covers, why didn't they ask him to do a job for QotBC's adaptation?

On another hand I find Wood's script adaptation from REH's story a bit flat and a tad monotonous (aiming for a younger public??) while Marvel's was very close and almost blabbering at times, at least Thomas' rendering comprised the essential quotes from the original story even if it crammed a bit the panels (but that didn't bother me that much).
Thomas' method was to make the panels "live" by including as many verbatim quotes from the original story as possible while stuffing them with additional vivid and short interactions between the main characters or with the surrounding "extras", as it was the custom in young-adult / adult oriented Marvel magazines from the 70's 80's. You had something to READ. (It should be noticed that Thomas' QotBC ark "sandwiched" some pastiche material with Zula, Amra, Red Sonja, Kalanthes and co. right in the middle, but if you ignore the enormous pastiche part -many CTB issues- and take the QotBC-only material , it's a damn good adaptation)

Now, Dark Horse seems to want to have the panels "breath" more with less text and simpler adaptations, but why keep the typewriting typo then? It's NOT REH writing the comics adaptation!
We'll have to see what the heck is going to happen at the end of QotBC #2, something has been announced as fishy by other fans , I'll check it out in due time.
I hope Wood will not orient the adaptated script by making it deviate substantially from the original...or else I will not buy further adaptations by DH.


I had a long reply as I think I owe that to you, but my f&*kin PC is doing some strange sh&t lately, and it just decided to go back a page and I lost it all. Trying to remember the gist of what I wrote.

Yip, BWS faces were unique as you say and I think you can draw comparison with the old styles no doubt. Then again modern styles are only modern because of the advances in applying materials to the page. BWS uses modern apparatus in doing his pencils and inks and he draws as he was influenced as all artist are. I think he was one artist for me that did draw Conan uniquely, and you'll hate me for saying this, but Buscema in his early days did not. I can recall one story, not sure of the name; might have been Treasures of Tranicos I think, dont quote me on it, that Conan jumped out on a guy and the guy looked like him, but as I turned the page I thought the guy running was Conan?! He had that generic pattern on his men and dare I say his woman, but he did progress and get better, to become my fav artist of Conan. So I think Cloonan should be given several episodes to improve and I think she will leave a lasting mark, a positive mark in time will tell?

I stand corrected on the manga styles, as I never took that western art styles would influence Eastern tbh. I see were your coming from in regards to styles crossing over asynchroniously with each other. Then that would explain why I see BWS in the modern manga style, as we influenced them, good point. My other fav character is Afro Samurai and he was deffo influenced by American styles and culture (Takashi Okazaki). Honestly I cant see it in Cloonans Conan though? I can only see the European tint and think her work is very modern style and not manga'ish.

Link 1 ( http://www.google.co...WDw5XQCw&zoom=1 )

When it comes to a comic that has a selling of over 10,000 a month, we should look at instilling more sales dont you think? If Cloonan and Woods can do that then they succeeded in keeping Howard's creation alive for a while longer. I have seen so many titles fold over the years and never return to high heights. I think conan still has a place on the top shelf of any comic store with Cloonan doing the job as lead artist. Currently I get my Conan off the bottom shelf in my local store and also get the back covers from under the counter, they dont even place them out on the old comics rack!! (BAsterds :) )

Maybe the old styles need to be updated dont you think? Just to see if they can rejuvenate the Conan line. I love the Truman and Gio comic, but with the effort they put in I thought surely this will do well, but selling just over 11,000 for the great work they put in is dam right horrible and soul destroying for me! So is the old style killing Conan? Should we be looking at other artists to rejuvenate him? I am with DH on this at the moment and I have to eat my own words that Cloonan is 'cartoony' in the end if the sales are as good as expected. If not then we'll see how it plays out in the end no doubt soon enough.

I find her stuff more European styled and even go as far to say down right scandanavian. (If there was a style called that lol :) )
http://s3.amazonaws....K89w%2BP2QZo%3D

http://www.allposter...rs-unit-study-2

Do you buy pastiche? I do and I think we all probably have at one point or other. QotBC to me so far is a adaptation of the original, not a visual portrayal of it as fans wanted. I dont mind seeing something that expands on Conan's expeditions in the black coasts. I actually look forward to it, as I did when I read the Amra stories by Thomas and other adventures in the dark jungles and valleys of Kush. I want some spin offs from the original tale, I look forward to woods hopefully expanding the arc into some retro stories that keep with the faith of REH though. Expand on Hyboria and fill me with wonder I say. They can always revisit REH in the future and do another faithful QotBC if they choose with the old style Conan on the cover when they improve the sales, and no doubt I'll buy this also. But for now they have me on the oars of the Woods ship hunting that biatch Cloonan down, and I look forward to the next episode.

Edited by Dave the Rage, 06 March 2012 - 12:33 AM.

?I do not accept as matter of belief certain things in this history, or rather fiction; for some things are diabolical superstitions, some are poetical inventions, some have the semblance of truth, some have not; and some are meant for the entertainment of fools.? Book of Leinster ? 12th century

#513 KG Thunder

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:27 AM

YEah, like Bruce Lee weak and ordinary sized man, tst. Skill and courage make the man not muscle and abs. Cloonans Conan has depth and a mixture of youth and newness that I can take too. Gimme more of this, than steroidal freak show Conan with no intellect anyday! :)

And each to their own.

I get your point, but Conan was described as big and muscular, not tiny but very skilled, like Lee.

For the most part, I'm okay with how she's doing it (so far), but it wouldn't hurt to add just a bit more muscle. Conan's size is part of what sets him apart, but maybe the general audience was too distracted by that to look deeper and see the richness and intelligence of the character, so Dark Horse felt they needed to slim him down for people to finally look past the muscles and actually check out the stories.
I guess that's one good thing about this new direction; people will now have a harder time dismissing Conan as nothing but a roid freak with a sword.

#514 Dave the Rage

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:38 AM

I wasn't surprised by Roy's return. He is in the "retired" portion of his career, and just takes projects that interest him. When I talked to him, he was still enthusiastic about his love for Conan and would love to write Conan again.

And yes, there are other artists, but just because someone physically exists doesn't mean they are available. Mignola would never turn away from his beloved--and profitable-- personal series in order to do a work-for-hire on a licensed property like Conan. At most he would contribute a cover or an interior sketch.

Any of us could put together our Dream Team to work on Conan. Personally I would love to see Busiek, Nord, and Stewart back for another run. That is much more of a possibility than someone like Mignola. But even then, that star team returning wouldn’t generate nearly as much buzz as Wood and Cloonan.

Both Wood and Cloonan are in that perfect realm of “hot-up-and-coming” while still not so in demand that they can write their own tickets. They draw attention. They get people to sit up and notice them. They bring something new. And their newness works better than if Dark Horse brought on an established veteran. Because people are not only checking out Conan, they are checking out “Brian Wood” and “Becky Cloonan” who they have heard about but not read.

And if a few die-hard Howard fans grumble and groan well … them’s the breaks. They can afford to lose a few old fans in favor of all the new readers coming on. That is just simple math.

Like it or not, that is reality.

Yip, nough said.
?I do not accept as matter of belief certain things in this history, or rather fiction; for some things are diabolical superstitions, some are poetical inventions, some have the semblance of truth, some have not; and some are meant for the entertainment of fools.? Book of Leinster ? 12th century

#515 monk

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:00 AM

well there are several ways to play the marketing. so far, not much effort has been made to rope in the passionate missionaries that already exist, if you ask me. look at DH's forum, it has got tumbleweeds. Why don't they host meet and greets on their forum? Live chats with the teams. that cover contest was a great idea. mobilizing an existing fan base isn't something that should be so readily dismissed, especially with creatives who have reach, and it's very possible to bring in freshness AND keep your main players happy and sated. in the mission to gain new fans you can lose a lot if you aren't careful.

not every fresh attempt is going to resonate, and DH has definitely felt the heat from disappointed fans (see RoK), as has the movie...this is an interesting situation now, because they have giorello et al on PotS, and this going too.

i'd lay good odds that one of the things that is helping here is the "controversy" for lack of a better term.

Personally after reading more and more of northlanders I have a better sense of wood's deal, he's got a lot going in his story telling that I like, but there is also a lot i'm not that much in favor of. cloonan just needs to give conan a little more oomph and I don't see what is wrong with striking a happy medium and this is where the editorial staff needs to step in- shytecan the emo, keep the emotion, but give the man his proper weight. no beefcake.

what's really the problem with that.

i know for a fact that there are more than a few artists who would jump at the chance to draw for conan, so it's not always about availability it IS also about who you approach and there I can tell you DH is sleeping on a few names with major weight they could harness.

at least with cloonan I can feel comfortable calling her work 'art'.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#516 Dave the Rage

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:01 AM


YEah, like Bruce Lee weak and ordinary sized man, tst. Skill and courage make the man not muscle and abs. Cloonans Conan has depth and a mixture of youth and newness that I can take too. Gimme more of this, than steroidal freak show Conan with no intellect anyday! :)

And each to their own.

I get your point, but Conan was described as big and muscular, not tiny but very skilled, like Lee.

For the most part, I'm okay with how she's doing it (so far), but it wouldn't hurt to add just a bit more muscle. Conan's size is part of what sets him apart, but maybe the general audience was too distracted by that to look deeper and see the richness and intelligence of the character, so Dark Horse felt they needed to slim him down for people to finally look past the muscles and actually check out the stories.
I guess that's one good thing about this new direction; people will now have a harder time dismissing Conan as nothing but a roid freak with a sword.

I think she is getting the angle of him as shown in part 2.

He is seen as a freak at times even by my family members (Even after 30 yrs of me talking abut him!), which erks me no end. My daughter actually read the full comic through and said it was good, and he was COOL lol. She loves anime (Not manga, I changed this for her), and thinks it is not similar at all. Then again, manga is seen as retro and the in thing (she says anime in my ear!!), but that would be a step too far for me, but I never say never for change for the better if it puts thumbs to paper on my favourite character.

Edited by Dave the Rage, 06 March 2012 - 01:04 AM.

?I do not accept as matter of belief certain things in this history, or rather fiction; for some things are diabolical superstitions, some are poetical inventions, some have the semblance of truth, some have not; and some are meant for the entertainment of fools.? Book of Leinster ? 12th century

#517 ZackDavisson

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:09 AM

. that cover contest was a great idea.


It was also, if you recall, a complete disaster. Dark Horse's PR guy posted saying that he would never do something like that again. While trying to run a fun contest he ran into a wall of lawyers.

Because with a property like Conan, there are many fingers in the pie, all trying to get their way on what they think is best.


And I have said it before, and will likely say it again, but there is no such thing as "anime" or "manga." These are just terms made up by Americans who then try to force an entire countries artwork into certain standards.

#518 JainkhulTamhair

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:48 AM

I can recall one story, not sure of the name; might have been Treasures of Tranicos I think, dont quote me on it, that Conan jumped out on a guy and the guy looked like him, but as I turned the page I thought the guy running was Conan?!

He had that generic pattern on his men and dare I say his woman, but he did progress and get better, to become my fav artist of Conan. So I think Cloonan should be given several episodes to improve and I think she will leave a lasting mark, a positive mark in time will tell?

I can only see the European tint and think her work is very modern style and not manga'ish.

Link 1 ( http://www.google.co...WDw5XQCw&zoom=1 )

When it comes to a comic that has a selling of over 10,000 a month, we should look at instilling more sales dont you think? If Cloonan and Woods can do that then they succeeded in keeping Howard's creation alive for a while longer. I have seen so many titles fold over the years and never return to high heights. I think conan still has a place on the top shelf of any comic store with Cloonan doing the job as lead artist. Currently I get my Conan off the bottom shelf in my local store and also get the back covers from under the counter, they dont even place them out on the old comics rack!! (BAsterds :) )

Maybe the old styles need to be updated dont you think? Just to see if they can rejuvenate the Conan line. I love the Truman and Gio comic, but with the effort they put in I thought surely this will do well, but selling just over 11,000 for the great work they put in is dam right horrible and soul destroying for me! So is the old style killing Conan? Should we be looking at other artists to rejuvenate him? I am with DH on this at the moment and I have to eat my own words that Cloonan is 'cartoony' in the end if the sales are as good as expected. If not then we'll see how it plays out in the end no doubt soon enough.

I find her stuff more European styled and even go as far to say down right scandanavian. (If there was a style called that lol :) )
http://s3.amazonaws....K89w%2BP2QZo%3D

http://www.allposter...rs-unit-study-2

Do you buy pastiche? I do and I think we all probably have at one point or other. QotBC to me so far is a adaptation of the original, not a visual portrayal of it as fans wanted. I dont mind seeing something that expands on Conan's expeditions in the black coasts. I actually look forward to it, as I did when I read the Amra stories by Thomas and other adventures in the dark jungles and valleys of Kush. I want some spin offs from the original tale, I look forward to woods hopefully expanding the arc into some retro stories that keep with the faith of REH though. Expand on Hyboria and fill me with wonder I say. They can always revisit REH in the future and do another faithful QotBC if they choose with the old style Conan on the cover when they improve the sales, and no doubt I'll buy this also. But for now they have me on the oars of the Woods ship hunting that biatch Cloonan down, and I look forward to the next episode.


Dave, that goof you're talking about in Treasure of Tranicos, well this kind of goof happened a few times and was adressed by fans in their letters to the editor in SSOC. I don't know if this one was pointed out, but in SSOC #21 ("Horror from the Red Tower ") we have on page 49 upper left corner , Conan being "freed" by a black shaman, Zehbeh, who claims Conan is chosen by the gods and whatnot (the shaman was ordered to do so by Sakumbe, Conan's pal ), then on page 59, Amalric, a blond with a torn tunic, who was in Ghazal while Conan was captured at the time but has now joined Conan by pure chance moments ago, slays the traitorous Zehbeh (who managed to have his master Sakumbe murdered) and screams "You saved my life once and I'd let you live, but you caused Sakumbe to die..."
I mean wasn't it Conan who was supposed to be bound and freed by Zehbeh in the past? Almuric was fooling around with a blond girl in the meanwhile, plus Sakumbe was Conan's friend, not Amalric who was only presented to him moments before his murder... that's an ENORMOUS goof.
But wasn't it Marvel's job to double check the art in the making , the lettering, the spelling etc? Can't really blame Buscema for that, perhaps he was in a hurry and the script handed to him had Amalric saying this sentence, who knows.

Back on topic, giving Cloonan some time to improve is fair enough, but she has bad habits that will be difficult to ignore, such as representing Conan almost ill and anorexic, with no fire in his eye, and giving some kind of comedic aspect to some scenes which weren't in the story. We'll see if things will be going worse , stay afloat somehow or improve but I have SERIOUS doubts , honestly.

Thanks for the comparison link, the first one is right on, but the second one, well, drakkars are out of topic, Dave ;)
There is indeed something a la Thorgal by Rosinski (you were looking for some scandinavian aspect to Cloonan's art) , but neither Thorgal's features nor the norse warrior in your link share facial similarities with Cloonan's Conan, eyes and face have a distinct japanese comic style to them,they're wide and slanted and his chin extremely pointy, cheeks almost caved in at times (as in the #1 issue cover).
I don't know at all what DH's intentions are, if they wish to mimick Marvel's approach by "sandwiching" pure pastiche material in the middle of QotBC or if they'll simply go into fine details , expanding only the original story with additional "posthumous" details but no pastiche adventures added. I hope Cloonan will simply not be a regular artist with DH and will depart after the Belit arc.

Is the "old style" killing the actual series of Conan comics? I don't think so. I think what could make fans loose interest would be covers such as the wraparound one for DH with funny looking pinkish dudes stabbing each other and a stiff Conan lost in the background (I already forgot the artist who painted that atrocity), or if Conan is simplified, alterated to fit new "teen" tastes of the 2010'. this kind of public changes mind very quickly, so it's not wise to run after them with an anorexic Conan for a change, kind of like begging them to read barbarian themed material but with washed down characters and dummified prose to fit "geeky" tastes.
I' m with you for refreshing new material, but refreshing in the sense of good taste and apepaling to old school fans even if the style is modern, a la Mignola or as in JP Leon's cover, not so much like Cloonan if you see what I mean.

#519 monk

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:09 AM


. that cover contest was a great idea.


It was also, if you recall, a complete disaster. Dark Horse's PR guy posted saying that he would never do something like that again. While trying to run a fun contest he ran into a wall of lawyers.

Because with a property like Conan, there are many fingers in the pie, all trying to get their way on what they think is best.


granted, point being there is A LOT they could do...they got that idea from running all the fan art in the letter pages, previously they had a great idea with getting different artists to do those covers but it's who they chose that got them afoul of fans, that wraparound cover for example. their problem seems to be in execution of the idea and the shape it takes.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#520 JainkhulTamhair

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:15 AM

I wasn't surprised by Roy's return. He is in the "retired" portion of his career, and just takes projects that interest him. When I talked to him, he was still enthusiastic about his love for Conan and would love to write Conan again. And yes, there are other artists, but just because someone physically exists doesn't mean they are available. Mignola would never turn away from his beloved--and profitable-- personal series in order to do a work-for-hire on a licensed property like Conan. At most he would contribute a cover or an interior sketch. Any of us could put together our Dream Team to work on Conan. Personally I would love to see Busiek, Nord, and Stewart back for another run. That is much more of a possibility than someone like Mignola. But even then, that star team returning wouldn’t generate nearly as much buzz as Wood and Cloonan. Both Wood and Cloonan are in that perfect realm of “hot-up-and-coming” while still not so in demand that they can write their own tickets. They draw attention. They get people to sit up and notice them. They bring something new. And their newness works better than if Dark Horse brought on an established veteran. Because people are not only checking out Conan, they are checking out “Brian Wood” and “Becky Cloonan” who they have heard about but not read. And if a few die-hard Howard fans grumble and groan well … them’s the breaks. They can afford to lose a few old fans in favor of all the new readers coming on. That is just simple math. Like it or not, that is reality.


you're absolutely right saying Mignola's personal series were extremely profitable, but you're dead wrong when you claim never having seen him do a job for a story he didn't write: the four episodes of Fafhrd drawn by Mignola were adapted by Chaykin and Fafhrd is not an invention of Mignola, it's by Fritz Leiber. I'd even add that they've been republished by Dark Horse a few years ago .

You say it's impossible to see Mignola do a one-off job for Conan? He's been with Dark Horse for decades drawing Hellboy, that's probably why DH asked him for a few Conan covers, I don't see why he could not draw a graphic novel or a small arc, even though it's about a character he didn't create. He drew Fafhrd remember? There isn't a better sales pitch than that!! From Fritz Leiber back to the roots of Sword and Sorcery: R.E. Howard! Speaking of sales, I'd wager anything all fans, old schhol and the youngest altogether would pick up Conan material by Mignola.

I'm not against bringing in new talents not at all, but the casting should be done in a more efficient way and not take someone who imitates panels directly from recent BERSERK material(look at the panels I posted on the forum where I compared some of Cloonan's material with some Berserk stuff). What's funny is that Berserk is published and translated by Dark Horse too....

Look at what happened to Conan with Marvel when they chose some "new talents" for SSOC covers # 185 #199 or #201, I mean these covers would make any conan fan puke, old school or not, it reeks of bad taste and resembles bad and pueril fan art.
Look at Leon's cover for SH's CTB reboot issue #2, THAT is new and refreshing and I didn't hear a single fan saying he hated it, or that Conan seemed skinny, nor roided nor anything negative. JP Leon's "stencil" style would be interesting, it would shock some old school fans but they'd quickly get a kick out of a whole arc, trust me, I kow a whole lot of collectionneurs who'd buy a whole series in that style. I understand what yo mean , there are some always hungry "novelty" seekers, but I think it's more a matter to please and chase geeky teens who never heard of Conan before , if I understand DH's tactic.
Perhaps they judge sufficient to keep a large portion of the old days fans with PotS at least, drawn by Giorello, unless they start goofing up and straying from the original story, which I hope will never happen.


I hope so. Mike Mignola hasn't done work-for-hire stuff for years and years. He does the odd cover now and then, but I can't remember the last time he actually drew someone else's story.

But what the heck! Let's get Barry Windsor Smith back to draw some Conan as well!


BWS back on Conan as well, Zack? I'm with you there, man!!It's a shame BWS left us off with Conan vs Rune, when he drew Conan -and painted by hand interior art (which is rare nowadays)- at his best. It wouldn't be outrageous to call him back on one of his favorite characters. Imagine the sales , they'd blast the rooftop, even for a single one-off !!
Perhaps you were joking, sadly.

Edited by JainkhulTamhair, 06 March 2012 - 02:16 AM.