Barry Windsor-Smith · Connections · Illustration Art · Look Here

Connections: Gustave Doré and Barry Windsor-Smith



In The Studio (Dragon’s Dream, 1979), on pages 103 and 104, Barry Windsor-Smith provides a brief account of the genesis of Whithering:

“In the spring of 1975 I was working on a pen and ink drawing of trees, just trees. It was inspired, in part, by a wonderful painting of old Hampstead Heath by John Constable. At that time I didn’t think my audience was ready for — or let’s say interested in — a new work by me that was ‘just trees.’ Constable himself had a witticism about painting some of his pictures with ‘eye salve.’ What he meant was that he would make a picture as commercial as possible if he needed to sell it. As I wanted the fantasy market to see my tree drawing, I took a tip from Constable and applied a little ‘fantastic eye balm’: right in the middle of the picture I drew a shrouded figure of Death — a skull-headed man — and off in the distance a dark, foreboding mansion. This made the trees seemingly incidental. I called it Whithering (p. 110)… a deliberate non sequitur.” […]

“One night I got a frenzied call from an associate in London. He’d just shown a reproduction of the picture to a much respected fellow artist whom I’d never met, and whom my associate had only just met. Over the crackling transatlantic line I heard him say, ‘Hey! Guess what!… I just showed Whithering to so-and-so and guess what he said, — ‘Ahh, Constable; those trees. Barry just stuck that dead bloke in there so he could get away with drawing trees, didn’t he’?… He knew! There were a few cackles of laughter and then he hung up; that was the end of the call. I was suffering from insomnia at the time, I recall I slept that night and glowed the next day.”

Does Windsor-Smith’s reminiscence rule out the influence of Doré’s composition on Whithering? I don’t think so, but if you check out the comments section of this post, you’ll find a reader who disagrees with me.


Three paintings of “Hampstead Heath” by John Constable:

Barry Windsor-Smith · Comics · Look There

Look There: Barry Windsor-Smith’s “Cimmeria” (1973 – 2010)



The Bronze Age of Blogs: “Cimmeria,” poem by Robert E. Howard, art by Barry [Windsor-]Smith and Tim Conrad, Savage Sword of Conan #24 (November 1977).

Barry Windsor-Smith Unofficial Blog: “Cimmeria,” poem by Robert E. Howard, art (in pencil) by Barry [Windsor-]Smith, Savage Tales #2 (October 1973).

Barry Windsor-Smith · Heads Up! · Here, Read · Interviews · Jim Steranko · Look Here

Look Here, Read: An interview with BWS from 1978

From a 33-year-old catalogue of “original art for sale” entitled Cartoonists and Illustrator’s Portfolio Volume Three (Wyomissing, PA: Supergraphics, 1978), here’s a short interview with Barry Windsor-Smith, conducted by the catalogue’s publisher, James Steranko:


As I’ve noted previously on this blog, BWS has a new print available for purchase from Glimmer Graphics. Also, just to give you a little heads up, I should note that 2011 will see the re-publication, in hardcover, of X-Men: Lifedeath.

As of today at, here are the details:

X-Men: Lifedeath [Hardcover]

Arnold Drake (Author), Chris Claremont (Author), Barry Windsor-Smith (Illustrator)

List Price: CDN$ 27.99
Price: CDN$ 17.55 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
You Save: CDN$ 10.44

# Hardcover: 152 pages
# Publisher: Marvel (July 20 2011)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0785155244
# ISBN-13: 978-0785155249

Product Description

Revolutionary artist Barry Windsor-Smith takes on the Uncanny X-Men! The original X-Men go toe-to-toe against Blastaar, deadly menace from the Negative Zone! Storm and Forge find themselves trapped on a primitive paradise world with no hope of escape! Spiral and Lady Deathstrike target Wolverine for death! And Dazzler is hunted by the Marauders, with only the X-Men to save her!

“Arnold Drake (Author)”? Funny, I bought the LifeDeath comics, back in the day, and I don’t remember that at all… but anyway, it’ll be nice to have the work on my bookshelf in hardcover form… I just hope they don’t screw up the colour too badly…

Barry Windsor-Smith · Illustration Art · Look Here · Look There

Look Here (and There!): New Print by Barry Windsor-Smith

On 05 March 2010, Glimmer Graphics, known to readers of this blog as the publisher of an ongoing series of first-rate prints and posters by Jeffrey Jones, will release Poetry (see above image), a lush new 22 x 15 inch limited-edition giclée print by Barry Windsor-Smith. Each of the 375 prints that make up the edition will be signed and numbered and will be presented in a foil-stamped linen folder with a tipped-on colour plate. The unit price is US$135, shipped and insured, and you may pay in full or with installments. To place your order, click here.

This is NOT a paid advertisement. If the money BWS makes from the print enables him to complete work on his long-awaited Monsters graphic novel, that will be payment enough. The previews on BWS’s site are gorgeous!


The Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives Volume 1 HC (Publication Date: 13 January 2010) — “now presented as they were intended, remastered using the original color palette!”

The Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives Volume 2 HC (Publication Date: 19 May 2010) — “The two Barry Windsor-Smith archives collect all of the historic and influential Conan the Barbarian comics drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith,” including his adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s “Red Nails”!