Sunday, May 24, 2009

Savage Sword of Conan

This is an old cover that I did for Marvel Comics in the early 70's, but it has a funny story behind it.  John Buscema had done the basic drawing of the Conan on the cross figure, but then he did not feel comfortable doing it as a painting. The people at Marvel asked me to add elements to the composition and do the finished painting.  This is the cover as it was published.


Pierz said...

That's great!!! I've always been fond of your older works.

Do you know why John didn't want to paint this cover?

Edward said...

There is such a great sense of mood and atmosphere in this painting. I would have picked it up just for this cover!

Boris and Julie said...

My undrewstanding, Pierz, is that, as great an artist as John was, he did not feel comfortable with oil paint.

Glad that you like the old cover, Edward.


Steve Epting said...

This has always been one of my favorites. Any chance you saved a copy of John's pencils?

Daniel Bejarano Casarino said...

Wow Boris this is a really great painting I wish I could get that magazine now!

Arbiter Chrono said...

I remember that issue! Great stuff!

Luciano said...

I agree with Steve, it must be very interesting to see both pieces.
No se porque te escribo en ingles si se perfectamente que recordas tu idioma natal.
Como siempre, es un gusto ver tus obras, tenia vistas varias de tus tapas para Conan, per esta en particular no la conocía.


Joe Jusko said...

ALWAYS loved this cover! It came up for auction recently but was unfortunately way outta my range.Art dealer Albert Moy owns it now.

Steve, the Buscema pencil was printed on the letters page of that issue, I believe (or one right around there).

John liked to paint, but felt Marvel didn't pay enough to make it worth his while.

Dominic said...

I recall that when Marvel was reprinting the Savage Sword books as "Conan Saga", they didn't reprint this cover as, they claimed, the original art had been stolen or destroyed (I can't remember which). Was the original of this lost for a time?

Joe Jusko said...


It was owned for over 25 years by an old guy named Don Vernon, who recently passed away. He also had several other Conan/Tarzan pieces including the Tarzan calendar cover (which along with the SSOC #5 he had promised to sell me). Then he died and everything went to auction for small fortunes. I was REALLY bummed because those two pieces were instumental in my wanting to become a painter as a kid and I would have loved to have owned them. Boris, I know that as artists we're not particularly fond of hearing how people love our early stuff because we know how much more we'rve learned since then, but those pieces are SO notalgic for me!

I WILL get that piece from Albert one day. lol

Boris and Julie said...

Well, Joe, I am just happy that people like what Julie and I do, new or old.
Many thanks to everybody for the nice comments!
By the way, the pencil drawing that John B. did was on the board itself since he was going to do the painting to begin with. He just changed his mind after he had started.


Joe Jusko said...

Ditto, Boris! :-)

I learned a long time ago that even my really early work is SOMEONE'S favorite and really embrace the compliment!

A. Jaye said...

I had to add my 2 cents : ) Though I was an on-again-off-again Conan reader in the 70's and 80's, I was a great admirer of the legendary John Buscema (and Ernie Chan). And to see this particular cover--which, let's face it, is a dynamic image, is great to see again. You did an awesome rendering, Boris. John must've been thrilled. And to hear all this history behind it. So cool! Thanks for sharing Boris, Joe and everyone!

Patrick j Jones said...

It's fabulous to see this one again, Boris!

I remember it as the second piece of art I had seen of yours after the amazing Conan issue #4 cover.

As you know— but it bears repeating— you inspired me to find a path out of the getto. I can't thank you enough, my friend.

Very best wishes,


Steve Epting said...

Thanks for all the info Joe, and of course thanks Boris for all of the fantastic art.


Esse seu trabalho me influenciou quando joven por 2 decadas ou mais.

Nossa arte chega a lugares onde nunca imaginamos jamais chegar.

Você é um vencedor artista


Celso Mathias

Javier Quijano Llicán said...

Qué bravazo!!! Yo soy hincha de ese tipo de portadas. Como siempre buenísimos tus trabajos.

Salem said...

neat painting, if you go to the the under John Buscema on the first page there is painting that he did of Conan, its like 70s drybrush bookcoverish, it almost looks like acrylic, I think Marvel wanted a more polished smoother look so they picked Boris to paint the cover.

Rayford said...

OH SNAP! I have that issue on my shelf!

Uberzilla said...

It is always cool to see the development of an artist over time. It is a interesting story. I first saw your work in the late seventies. Became an instant fan. Vallejo, Bell, Jusko ... yikes, will save room for other heavy hitters.

I am new to the blog and not in this field of art. It would be cool to hear, what have the biggest changes been (in the field) since you started?

Gary said...

Holy crap!
I still remember those oldskool times when I used to watch CONAN, great times indeed!
The true fact of the matter is that I love Viagra Online Without Prescription as much as this piece of work