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Monday, May 24, 2010

And now for something completely different... CONAN!!!

(click for larger view)

I did this painting of Conan The Barbarian for an upcoming issue of Conan edited by Philip Simon for Dark Horse Comics.

Even before the opportunity to do my Conan arose, I had already been reading a lot of the old Savage Sword of Conan comics, and I especially love the stories drawn by John Buscema and Alfred Alcala.

Most Savage Sword of Conan covers are the same scenario: Conan defending a scantily clad woman from some kind of monster. (here's one by Boris Vallejo) So, I took all the elements of that concept and decided to amp it up into the goriest Conan image I could make. And of course more scantily clad ladies! I wanted Conan to be buck-naked, too, but that doesn't fly with the publisher. So, you'll just have to use your imagination.

I had a ton of fun drawing this and it kinda makes me wanna do more of this kind of illustration work... That's a big hint to all you editors out there! Why hasn't anyone asked me to do something for Marvel's Strange Tales? Or a cover for the newly revived Creepy Comics? Or anything else... Hire me people!
Incidentally, I was working on inking this Conan on the morning I found out Frank Frazetta died. I was sad to hear this news. I've always been a fan of his illustration, especially the work he did for Creepy magazine. I thought I should dedicate my Conan to Frazetta because he did so many great Conan covers. But after reading a few interviews with him, I found out that he is no fan of gore in art. And since my Conan is so gory, I don't think it would be an appropriate dedication.

However, the back cover of my latest book was my homage to Frazetta's cover to Creepy #3.

R.I.P Frank Frazetta


dylan sparkplug said...


tom Neely said...

All of it!

David Ryan said...

Dark Horse is scared of dink.

Awesome painting! Prints maybe?

Craig Collins said...

Wow! That's the most fantastically insane image I've seen in some time.

It's the expression on decapitated head 3 (of 4) that makes it for me!

tom Neely said...

"Dark Horse is scared of dink."

Well, I asked if nudity was okay, and they said bare breasts are okay, but no genitalia. Which is pretty much what I expected the answer to be.

I've run into that same issue with many publishers. That's part of the reason I self-published The Blot- the original publisher didn't want any "cartoon cock."

I was looking at a book about Frazetta and saw that the original cover art for Black Emperor had a naked man. Even though the cock was in shadows, the published version had the man wearing shorts.

tom Neely said...

At least Dark Horse was okay with all the blood and guts! I don't wanna sound like I'm bad-mouthing DH or anything. That's just the way things are sometimes. No big deal.

tom Neely said...

I wonder if enough people would be into buying this as a print to justify making them...

Sammy said...

any idea on which actual issue or whatnot this will be a part of?

tom Neely said...

i think it's like #25 or something? I'm not sure... I guess I should find out. It will also include pin-ups by Farel Dalrymple and Zack Soto and some other awesome indie cartoonist dudes.