Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Dime-A-Dozen Projects #7 - Sword & Sorcery, Conan, Frank Frazetta

[Dime-A-Dozen Projects is so named from a conversation with creative friends of mine as we lamented that when we were working full-time for someone else, we get these (in our minds) original "million dollar" ideas, that would, somehow, turn into "dime-a-dozen" ideas when we were out of work and on our own.]

Next up in my Dime-A-Dozen Projects is my move to Sword and Sorcery.  Comic books provided me with one of the richest sources of inspiration. This occurring in the 60's, coincided with the rise of Marvel Comics and the glory days of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and the other comic book masters of that time. My old sketch books are full of original characters modeled after those great Marvel Age creations. Then one day, two new influences entered my artistic life. On the paperback book rack in the local newspaper and candy shop was a cover that just leaped at me, a dagger wielding, dark-haired barbarian atop a red cloaked ape. Thus, artist Frank Frazetta and Robert E. Howard's "Conan" gained a new and loyal fan. This truly "dynamic duo" not only provided endless visual and literary enjoyment but also inspiration. 
I just devoured the Conan paperbacks, the short stories were perfect for inspiring my attempts a portraying Conan.

My sketches and color illustrations lead to me trying some comic pages of a original story to feature Conan. "Scales of the Guardian".  (I later change the character name to Brute)

I changed the character to a original character, Brute, the Iron-Eye, for a attempt at flashing out the story, which went unfinished.

Another unfinished  story, The Temple", featuring another original barbarian warrior, Vols. Some story elements would show up my Blackwolf story (but I'm getting ahead of myself, that is a whole major Dime-A-Dozen Project post). One production note: for some reason I did the arti and lettering with thin rapid-o-graph pen, on thick illustration board, then at  page five, I switched to brush work, bad brush work I might add, before giving up altogether.

I did mention to complete a original story in the sword and sorcery vain as sample page to show Jim Warren, publisher of Creepy and Eerie Magazines.  The main character, Rothtar, of the Tanlor Tribe, was just a one-off, and story a self-contain one to fit the Creepy anthology format.  I've come to think of the story as the original for the my Warrior in the Mist character (another Dime-A-Dozen Project that will get its own post).

These explorations of sword & sorcery lead to my developing my own character, which will be the subject of my next Dime-A-Dozen post, Blackwolf.


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