Comics · John Buscema · Look Here · Original art vs. printed page

Look Here: Four Conan pages by John Buscema

From Conan the Barbarian Movie Special #1 (October 1982), here are four consecutive pages, with art both pencilled and inked by John Buscema, along with the original art for each page:

Unlike many of the inkers who were hired to embellish his pencils over the years, John Buscema never had a reputation as a gifted technician with a quill or a brush, though he did have an instantly recognizable style. His simple, vigorous brushstrokes could suggest fur and grass and hair realistically enough, but look carefully and you’ll see that very similar strokes also delineate musculature, armour, leather clothing, rocks, trees, shadows, etc., etc. Realistic details and textures were simply not Buscema’s strong suit. This was partly because the artist didn’t enjoy research — as he said in several interviews, one big reason he loved to work on Conan was because he could rely on his memory and imagination for everything — and partly because he viewed any “extra” time spent slaving over his comics work as money out of his pocket! But that’s not a bad thing, because what you do get when Buscema inks his own work is nothing less than an object lesson in basic form and gesture by a master draughtsman. And that’s more than enough.

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