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:
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.