Toth Does Conan
So we’re back with another art gallery post this week. I hope to resume regular long-winded funnybook discussion soon, but the day job’s just taking up too much of my time right now. Gotta make a living to buy them funnybooks, after all.
But I hope the quality will make up for the lack of verbiage here, because I’ve got a collection of Alex Toth pieces I didn’t even know existed before this weekend. Farting around online during lunch, I stumbled across a drawing that kind of blew my mind:
“Huh,” I thought. “That looks kinda like Toth. But Toth never did any Conan, so…”
Then I saw the signature.
(Yes, I actually said this. Out loud. Funnybooks will rot your brain, kids!)
A little digging turned up another piece.
And then I got serious and did some real research.
It seems that the editors of the old Savage Sword of Conan black & white magazine commissioned Toth to do a gallery for them. There were ten drawings in all, near as I can tell, and I think they all appeared in Savage Sword #64.
(Not a Toth cover, sadly, but pretty crazy-looking nonetheless.)
I have no idea if Toth had ever read a Conan story in his life before doing these. Some of them look like he must have (at least one features Belit, I think), but others…
…don’t look much like something you’d ever see in a Robert E Howard story.
Some of them are better than others, as well. Those last two, for instance, lack the detail and rendering of others.
They’re all pretty great, though, because Toth never half-assed a drawing in his life. Even the simple ones are solid from a design perspective. And the ones in the middle ground still show his flawless eye for composition, character, and design.
So, yeah. This was a fun discovery for me, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it, too. I do have one last drawing to share, though. It’s not from Savage Sword, and it’s not even officially Conan. But I thought it still fit the mood:
Hmm, those are gorgeous- hopefully they might turn up in the Savage Sword of Conan Omnibus that features that issue; they seem to be including any portfolios/one-page illustrations from them. This Savage Sword issue should be included in a volume 5, should we get it- I don’t believe its been announced yet (volume 4 coming next January). Fingers crossed, anyway.
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