Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Grooviest Covers of All Time: Conan by Barry (Windsor) Smith

Ol' Groove has made no secret of how much I love the art of one Mr. Barry (pre-Windsor) Smith. His mind-blowing style and eye for detail has given me hours 'pon hours of inspiration and delight. I was gonna pick my favorite cover from his original run on Conan (1970-1972), but there is no way I can narrow it down to one. I had enough trouble narrowing it down to the half-dozen-plus-one you see below! Click 'em and enjoy, Groove-ophiles! (And thanks to the Grand Comics Database for the cover scans!)


  1. These are great covers...great comics and stories. I used to own them all. I have them now as CBR but I never think of digital media as "owning" the thing but it is the best I can do not.

    Have you uploaded the art for Red Nails??? I have the version that was reprinted in some annual but I have been searching online a long time for the superb b/w art. If you have it can you send me the link to:


    I recently got in a BT from Demonoid of a magazine called House of Hammer... Hammer movie comics! And I got in almost all the freaky Eerie Publishing titles. I recall I hated those when I was younger as I compared them to...well... Barry Smith and Neil Adams. But they are well drawn and extremely graphic.

    Thanks for the great work. Sorry I do not comment more.

    Bill http://uraniumcafe-the.com

  2. Between the Iron Jaw #4 post a couple of days ago and today's Conan covers, you're making my inner barbarian very happy!

    These covers are magnificent! Thanks for posting them!

  3. You do such a great job covering REH and all the rest, Reis, so I'm glad you're enjoying my little barbaric diversions! I still have some Red Sonja, King Kull, etc., etc. to share--not to mention Wulf, Dagar, Blackmark...

    Willie, I do have scans of Red Nails in B&W--I'll send 'em your way first chance I get. No need to apologize for not commenting more--I'm in the same boat; I read your blog every time it's updated, but I'm so busy keeping stuff going for my blog (as well as, y'know, real life...) I don't comment nearly as much as I like, either!

  4. Baz's Elric was awful, but it was hardly his fault, so we'll let it slide.

  5. My personal favorite Conan cover is the one to Conan King Size #1.

  6. Mine, too, Pat! I was focusing on the regular Conan comic for this round, though--plus, that King Size cover has been plastered (and rightfully so) all over the 'net. Just me tryin' to be different!

  7. Crom I liked the intricate BWS art work for those issues.

  8. Thanks for the Red Nails info. I just cannot locate that online. It was mind blowing when I first saw that one. Barry Smith was in a field of his own (and still is).

    I am trying to make rounds lately. Check out sites and leave some comment, but I feel silly too sometimes. I do not want to go "hey, great post! Be sure to come by my site now and leave a comment!" Then I feel weird though when I spend days on one post and get zero or 2 comments from the same people and then somebody just posts a pic of a gal in a bikini and gets 20 comments. Guess I ain't in that club.

    I have a folder actually with just downloads form your site. I tend to have to resize them all. The scans are too large sometimes and I see all the ink dots. If people have this issue they simply have to reduce the size a bit and the image will come together.

    Good job. In fact, I just did a comic post on the Cafe (may as well do a plug) you may or may not know about. A Brian Bolland story from The House of Hammer magazine. I have all them now on my drive. Feel free to snag it and repromote it. It is awesome looking


  9. Hey, Bill, have you got a g-mail account, or can you make one? The attachments you can send and receive via g-mail is twice what yahoo will allow, which would let me send you the whole Red Nails story in 4 files instead of 8 or nine. Let me know, okay?

    I know what you mean about comments. Seems like the ones you work the hardest on are the ones that get the least comments, and the ones you toss off get all the attention. I don't worry about that (though I'd like a few more hits, myself).

    Yeah, the pics I post are huge--I like it that way for several reasons, the main one being that you can really see the detail in the art, plus it reminds me of the tabloid/treasury sized art I love so well!

    I am a dedicated reader of the Cafe (though am guilty of not commenting enough) and have loved those HoH posts. That's stuff I've never gotten to see (hard to get British comics in the sticks I live in--though I have managed quite a few Warriors and 200A.D.s), so I really, REALLY appreciate 'em!

    Keep on truckin', baby!

  10. CROMMM!!!!

    Beautiful artwork, I can remember as a 8 year old, being blown away by BWS's art! This is coming from a #1 Jack'THE KING" Kirby fan too. I would have loved to have seen that issue of What If Conan met Thor issue drawn by BWS!I'd still love to see his version. Also for him to draw a original Capt.Marvel/Shazam book. With the Elders/Gods playing a major role!

    I can tell you one thing. If I ever,EVER win big in the lottery I'm going to try everything. To make contact with Mr.Smith. To draw a few commissions for me. Those stories I just mentioned, my fantasy/adventure books I've written & my biography! Yes my bio, because my real life mirrors something you read in a comic book! Hey what do you expect with a 20 plus LB mainecoon cat named Zeus! Whose's all muscle! LOL! If I ever get another mainecoon one day. I'll probably name him Conan or Thor! Thanks for starting my day off on a high note! Mr.Smith's art is only second to the King's in my book!



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Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!