Know, O prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when Dark Horse Comics published a title called Conan the Cimmerian and proud artist Joseph Michael Linsner painted its shining covers. Hither came Joel, bald-headed, sullen-eyed, pen in hand, a comics blogger, a doofus, a dork, with gigantic melancholies and miniscule abilities, to tread the jeweled artwork of the Earth under his sneakered feet.
I like Linsner's covers. It's also very cool Dark Horse has been using painted covers on their Conan books. Some of the more recent ones have been reminiscent of Earl Norem's work on The Savage Sword of Conan and those Curtis/Marvel black and white magazines-- you know, the ones that frightened me so badly as a child I rarely slept for fear of zombies or vampires or soldier apes climbing out from under my bed and feeding me to enormous mutant frogs.
Anyway, I tried to give this Conan a Gil Kane flavor rather than simply besmirch Linsner. Why offend one artist when you can desecrate the legacy of another at the same time? The Hellboy is from the recent Hellboy: The Sleeping and the Dead #2, where you can satisfy yourself if you've ever wondered what Hellboy would look like if Warren Publishing had printed it as a four color insert in a mid-1970s issue of Creepy or Eerie and had Alex Toth or Grey Morrow do the artwork. Yes, it's every bit as awesome as that description. Well, almost. It's still pretty darned good, though. More Scott Hampton, please.
He's not fighting the ghost of Hopey Glass. She's just there. Once again, Dani Moonstar makes an appearance and invites violence upon Sam Guthrie. I just made up that lounge singer. Out of my imagination.