Saturday, July 15, 2006

The best CONAN Cover Ever!


The Best Conan cover ever? That is a bold statement. Every Conan fan of the last 20 years has a book that they've read because of the killer cover. The death of Belit? King Conan issue one perhaps? All of the Buscema stuff rules, but nothing measures up to this painted cover from the Black and white MARVEL Magazine. Earl Norem is one of those old School cover painters. He did a great many Men's Magazines back in the 60s before moving to illustration art and comics art in the 70s and 80s. He painted the cover you see here. The Savage Sword of CONAN issue 193. The best cover ever.

What makes it so excellent? The composition is rock solid. A beautiful girl in the foreground, Conan killing some freaky lizard-men in the middle and some headless Lizard-king in the Background. Norem was always a master of anatomy and this Conan looks very much like the Pumping Iron Arnold. You can see how professional he is by the first cover sketch. So much detail in the Sketch and he designs the cover logo as well. I guess the editor ignored his suggestion.

Girls! Lizard-men! Bloody swords! Excellent artistry from a true pro. What do you think? Do you have a favorite Conan Cover?

5 comments:

vince said...

I remember setting up the mechanicals for many Norem covers. The man was the consumet professional. The paintings showed up with a hinged matte which framed what should be the final trimmed area. Lifting the matte you would always see extra painted area for the trim. Logos always fit perfectly and usually we did go with his color suggestions, but he didn't always paint consecutive covers and we were at the mercy of choosing a different color than the previous issue.

Boris Valejo did a couple of nice covers early on and his son painted some good ones later. But I think Norem best captured the pulp origins of the character.

Don Hudson said...

I remember those big paintings in the editors office. Always leaning upright against the wall until the production guys would take them away. Valejo did some great stuff on some early issues of the mag, but Norem had so much texture and more dynamic angles.

gorilla67@aol.com said...

I was the editor on that issue Norem was god-his sketches were tighter than his paintings!!!!! Bob Larkin was awesome too

Mikeyboy said...

Great work Donald

Kid said...

Terrific stuff.