This cover art has thought me a lot of things about illustration. At first I was simply amazed by the imposing figure of Conan, but hen I looked at it again, and again... Man, after all these years, It still speaks to me as an illustrator. This is one of the best, most accurate portraits of any hero. Its all there, all the concept, all the character's mythology, in all of its glory, with the use of very few elements.
Frazzetta painted the ultimate Conan battle scenes, at the absolute dramatic climax of them. But this one, this is the ultimate "(anti)hero thriumph" depiction.
Everytime I look at this, I can hear the loud drums of the original Conan movie (1983) soundtrack. Every single time.
One of the all time best shots of Conan, still great all these years later! This shot brings out the savage - and it's pretty rare to see it done so well, even now. The raw power, the cool stare, the methodical cleaning of the sword, and an almost patriotic background... Great work!
Man!!!!!!!!! This cover is amazing! I can say your artwork (along with Buscema's) was the main inspiration for me to become an artist! I grew up reading Conan magazines wanting to be able to do artwork like this. And this cover to me is one of the best ones. You are truly a legend.
Oh god! One of my favorite images of Conan and one of my favs of yours joe! Love the shadows, his muscles, everything about it. I've never seen it so clear. No one can paint like you can Joe. You really know how to get the full scope of what you are painting. You really hit the subconscious mark! His stance, his expression, the iron hard muscles that rip the sun's glare. You say, here's a man who's never had an ice cream sunday, but you also would never see him in sum wannabee muscle contest of his time. He's ripped, and dangerous, and mean, and full of life because he's lived a life of constant battle, travel, deep living, and wandering a world far far more theatening than we could imagine.
Memories !!! I still have a huge box with all my old Savage Sword of Conan mags. I used to be itching each month to go to the general store to pick up my copy. The owner would special order them just for me.
Yesterday, I've read some news about the new Conan movie and possible actors for the role of the Barbarian... All of them had great bodies but when they smiled, they were too soft despite all the muscle they carried... In fact, I think Conan's body should not be not perfectly shaped, like a professional body builder... I'd rather see a body like some of the guys in "300" or "WWE" had...
and today, looking through my favorites, I came across this piece again... Now, dear people in Hollywood: This is the expression and attitude you should look for... Not some sweet smiling face or most handsome one... When people see Conan, they must feel uncomfortable...
and a little critic; seen this one countless times but I notice the blood for the first time.. It is not like natural blood but first class wall paint.. However, it doesn't seem awful since the colors generally are bright...
Wow Joe, brings back memories when I was young and use to read SSC. Alway admired your work, if I remember correctly, I belive you did a few covers on The Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu as well , but I could be wrong. I wanted to go into comics when I was younger, but was discouraged after talking to Joe Kubert; he basically said that talent wasn't what Marvel was looking for, but a style that stood out,; anyway...great work Joe...
Wow,i have this one.There is a nostalgic air about those Conan's covers for me . When I bought some SSC issue I asked myself "why all the magazine isn't coloured as the cover is ? It's not fair!! ". Unfortunately , I was just a stupid little boy and did not give a shit for a certain John Buscema( i told you , stupid !!! ) , that sometimes appeared on Conan . I only collected them by the covers , I liked that vigorous colours and i think that they had a great part in my studies .
Here in Brazil that issue came with a poster. When I was 10 this poster where hunging in my room`s wall. I ever created a comic history of conan with 10 pages because of that. i tryed to copy that art as a cover for my little comic. Man, so many memories, I barely belive that you are that accessible, answering every comment of us. You are a real great artist and a great influence to a generation, how many can say the same? Thanks for all the indirect support Jusko. I will try to find that copy I made and post it for you to see.
Wow ¡¡ I remember this cover, on my country, this cover appears in La Espada Salvaje de Conan el Barbaro (reprint of Savage Sword ) No 88 round there of 1992, then it was when I started reading to Edgar Rice B, J R R Tolkien, C S Lewis and of course Robert E Howard, in these years, your covers, the histories of Roy thomas and Ernie Chan's art were a ticket to the hyborian age, Oh Sir... this are a good memento.