Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Black and White Wednesday: The Savage Barry Windsor-Smith

Happy Holidays, Groove-ophiles! How 'bout some Barry Windsor-Smith to groove to as we wind down from our big Christmas day? The early issues of Savage Tales were filled to the brim with Barry's sensational stylings--from the scintillating splashes of "The Frost Giant's Daughter" and "Red Nails" to the pieces of Conan art used to decorate ads, articles, and such. Wanna see?


  1. I love the Barry the Barbarian info.

    I wonder if the Medusa poster which I've seen about, which Barry did was part of the try-out material he sent to Stan which prompted his first stab at comics work?

    I love the enthusiastic energy of his early work, as clumsy as it could be.

    Rip Off

  2. Smith's style is very much his own. I struggle to think of anyone who really looked like they are influenced by him.
    Apart from early Dave Sim's early Cerebus and that was intentional.

    1. Raphael Kayanan (sp?) did a very nice BWS riff on issues of Savage Sword of Conan in the late 80s/early 90s, and again with Conan the Adventurer in the early 90s. Homage or not, I dunno, but it was quite magnificent!

    2. Doh.
      Now that you mention it, I remember seeing some of those.
      He had a number of styles.
      Skipped over to his web presence and was surprised to see he also choreographs fights for TV shows and movies.

  3. I enjoyed his early '70s comics quite a bit as he began to make artistic stride after stride, and his subsequent poster work (shown in THE STUDIO) in the latter part of the decade. But it seems that the desired transition from comics to painting didn't take sufficient hold, and BWS had a superb comeback to Marvel comics in 1983 with a cover painting, painted story, and other material in EPIC ILLUSTRATED magazine. A better showcase for his talents couldn't have been put together.

    Sadly, his subsequent experiences (legal, financial, editorial, & sometimes artistic) with commercial comics, as detailed on his own website, have left a bad taste in the respective parties' mouths. I have no idea how he makes a living now. Doing commissions, I suppose. His dream of becoming 'a serious rock musician' never panned out.

    Chris A.


    Some rock lyric references are here with some off-the-wall material on BWS and REH.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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