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Pre-Frazetta Conan Art

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#1 ollonois

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:56 PM

interesting and very curious the illustrations of Conan before Frank Frazetta established the visual canon of Conan and sword and sorcery, it's an interesting topic. what image of the cimmerian had Howard in mind whne he was writing his adventures? the old ones in the line of the covers and illustrations of Weird tales or the more aggressive modern by Frank Frazetta or Boris Vallejo?
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#2 Ironhand

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 09:49 AM

I wonder what REH thought of those Romanesque-looking illustrations? I do recall him complaining that some artist, whose name I forget, made Conan too Italian-looking.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#3 Fernando

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:15 PM

I wonder what REH thought of those Romanesque-looking illustrations? I do recall him complaining that some artist, whose name I forget, made Conan too Italian-looking.


The artist was Napoli, and REH complained about Conan's Italian-look in his letter to P.S. Miller.

Hope that helps. :)

#4 Axerules

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 09:41 PM


I wonder what REH thought of those Romanesque-looking illustrations? I do recall him complaining that some artist, whose name I forget, made Conan too Italian-looking.


The artist was Napoli, and REH complained about Conan's Italian-look in his letter to P.S. Miller.

Hope that helps. :)

Indeed. Here's the quote:

Letter to P.S. Miller, March 10, 1936

Yes, Napoli’s done very well with Conan, though at times he seems to give him a sort of Latin cast of the countenance which isn’t according to type, as I conceive it. However, that isn’t enough to kick about.


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#5 deuce

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:53 PM

Dennis McHaney has some images of Conan from Weird Tales here:



http://mchaneyrobert...d-weird_18.html

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#6 deuce

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:15 PM

Some Google images of the Gnome Press covers:

http://www.google.co...359l359l3-1l1l0

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#7 monk

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:09 PM

Some Google images of the Gnome Press covers:

http://www.google.co...359l359l3-1l1l0


this one's my favorite from that series....

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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."

#8 Almuric

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 02:33 AM

Ack! It's Joker Conan! :wacko:
"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


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#9 Guest_Bront_*

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:19 AM

A 1954 reprint. This has to go down as one of the worst pre-Frazetta Conan covers in history.


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#10 theagenes

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:25 AM

How about a blond Viking Conan. These are some of the Mexican comic Reina de la Costa Negra from the 50's and 60's with Belit as the star and Conan as her sidekick.

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#11 deuce

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:28 PM

Some Google images of the Gnome Press covers: http://www.google.co...359l359l3-1l1l0

this one's my favorite from that series.... Posted Image

Right on. I've read people bitching about the grin (REH mentioned "gigantic mirths" up-front in TPotS). I've seen people whine about the hair (REH wrote of Conan's "tousled mane").

Compared to the other Gnome Press covers (or ANY pre-Frazetta covers), this painting is on steroids and rolling down rails on a rocket. Actually, it beats out all but a handful of Vallejo's terminally static/posed/painted-from-a-photo creations in terms of dynamism. THAT is what we love about REH, right? Movement and power?

Frank Kelly Freas (until 2005) was a living legend in the sci-fi art community. He got the cover for Weird Tales when he was still in HIGH SCHOOL. Record albums with his art on them have outsold those with Frazetta's art on them (check out News of the World). Freas was the first artist to bring some true talent, class and prestige to Conan (yeah, I know Wally Wood did a cover).

A good link: http://www.bpib.com/...strat/freas.htm

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#12 Almuric

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:29 PM

A 1954 reprint. This has to go down as one of the worst pre-Frazetta Conan covers in history.


Posted Image


Nay! This image throbs with primal, savage vitality!
"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


--- The Dark Man, by Robert E. Howard

#13 deuce

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:52 PM


A 1954 reprint. This has to go down as one of the worst pre-Frazetta Conan covers in history.


Posted Image


Nay! This image throbs with primal, savage vitality!


:P :lol: :lol:

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#14 Officer Aggro

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:29 PM


A 1954 reprint. This has to go down as one of the worst pre-Frazetta Conan covers in history.


Posted Image


Nay! This image throbs with primal, savage vitality!


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#15 Guest_Bront_*

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 05:32 AM

If you liked that, try this Margaret Brundage cover from 1935.

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#16 Ironhand

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:12 AM

If you liked that, try this Margaret Brundage cover from 1935.

Posted Image

Better than the 1954 cover.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#17 Almuric

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 04:53 PM

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"Alms? Alms for the poor?"
"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


--- The Dark Man, by Robert E. Howard

#18 KG Thunder

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 01:07 AM

If you liked that, try this Margaret Brundage cover from 1935.

Posted Image

Why is she holding that torch like a flashlight? That's just dangerous.

#19 Kortoso

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 01:10 AM

What would you say is the best of this batch? (Easy enough to criitcize this art.) :)

#20 KG Thunder

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:17 AM

This one by Wally Wood (1957) isn't too bad, despite the fur diaper and hair cut. At least he's kicking some ass...
Posted Image
...in Rome, apparently.

Edited by KG Thunder, 02 February 2012 - 11:26 AM.






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