Sunday, May 18, 2008

Necromantic Primordial Growler


I've been reading the living bajezzus out of The Savage Sword of Conan Volume 1, published by Dark Horse. For those unfamiliar, it collects the first fifteen Conan The Barbarian stories from the Savage Tales and the Savage Sword magazines that Marvel published in the mid 70s. So, we're talking 544 pages of glorious black and white sword and sorcery by Roy Thomas and a host of amazing comics artists. It starts off with Barry Windsor-Smith and after a few pieces by a couple others (including Gil Kane inked by Neal Adams), quickly turns to John Buscema.

The stories are relatively standard D&D faire, which is to say that they're goddamn motherfucking great adventure pieces about big tough dudes with big weapons fighting monsters and dark magick and evil wizards trying to capture and subjugate beautiful young supple maidens and princesses and shit. The art is really something to behold. Whoever put this thing together should win a medal and have it pinned to their chest by Robert E. Howard's conjured up ghost. It's printed on newsprint, and the black and white line art looks incredible for some reason. John Buscema was a goddamn maniac when he threw down on these pages. Hundreds of awesome awesome pages where all the panels are pieces unto themselves, yet it never once hurts the layout or pacing, ever. I think most of the actual magic from these pages really comes from the illustrative and really intense inkers like Alfredo Alcala and Pablo Marco that give Buscema's pencils their full blown face melting due. Seriously, these guys were riffing intense Doom Jams over The Drums of The Dead.

Here's the B and W (original line art: $35 por favor, email for details):

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