Saturday, February 20, 2010

By Crom! No, It's By Cary Nord!

According to Dark Horse's website, ex-Conan the Barbarian artist Cary Nord will begin contributing covers to the ongoing Conan the Cimmerian series. His first cover-- to Conan the Cimmerian #24-- hits stands March 24th. Since I live in Japan and the nearest comic book shop is approximately 200 miles away in the heart of Tokyo, I don't often get to buy monthly comics. Factor in my belief that the monthly twenty-four page magazine is a format that's outlived its usefulness.

This means big holes in my collection. Still, I usually pick up a Conan or two whenever I get the chance. It's just that entertaining. Kurt Busiek's run was memorable, but Timothy Truman hasn't let the quality slide one little bit. And Tomas Giorello is a revelation on art. I especially like the "Adventures of Two-Gun Bob" comic strip by Jim and Ruth Keegan. It's usually funny, sometimes poignant and always a little gem of an anecdote. I find the character Conan somewhat crude and even a little childish, but there's no denying the violent appeal his adventures hold for me, especially done up in a fun package like DH's comic.

Anyway, Cary Nord. It took me a few issues to warm up to Nord's interior art. I liked his covers right away, but the sequential stuff initially struck me as rushed and unfinished. Then I began savoring its Frank Frazetta-like painterly qualities. In some of Frazetta's paintings, the figures seem to have a melting quality, with cavernous mouths like dark, dank caves. At his best, Frazetta fills his work with moody atmosphere to the point where the figures and their details are insinuated rather than fully rendered. The more I read Conan the Barbarian, the more I began to enjoy those same qualities in Nord's take on the character and his world.

So even though I've enjoyed Joseph Michael Linsner's brighter, more refined covers, I'm looking forward to seeing what Nord can do... if I get a chance to buy any of these here Conan funnybooks this year. Can he charm me all over again?

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