For my ninth “One Minute Later”-themed commission for client Michael Finn (tenth overall) we hurl back in the time machine to 1970 with the Marvel Comics debut of Robert E. Howard’s sword & sorcery barbarian Conan in Conan#1 with cover art by Barry Smith (later Barry Windsor Smith). This over-sized image on 14X17 2-ply board was penciled by artist Keu Cha, a newbie for me (as is the character of Conan). What I found interesting about his rendering style is that there is a multitude of sketchy lines and squiggles which made me harken back to my Black Panther days at Marvel where Sal started out using these what we called ‘non-functional squigglies’ for four issues. Whether Keu intended them for his final pencils as a part of his style or whether they were leftover from his prelim layout I honestly don’t know but I decided to use them regardless. Incidentally, the ‘non-functional’ label is a misnomer of sorts as I used them to assist in defining the forms/planes/objects and where they fell in space and it also added a lot of appropriate texture grit to the subject matter.
I used brush, micronmarkers, Pitt markers, Pitt brush marker, dry brush, and some black ink spatter and finger smudges in the spatter to add bloody gore to the spear and sword attacks. If I have any regret it’s that I didn’t add the squiggly texture line further down Conan’s spear and that I wish I’d worked more on the hair of the barbarian in the bottom left…looks too un-hairlike to me compared to everyone else. I could’ve added some black and white ink spatter throughout the image but IMHO the piece is already so meticulous in detail that that effect probably wouldn’t have helped the work. It was completed on 7/18/12.
Keu Cha’s DeviantArt page: http://keucha.deviantart.com/
Michael Finn’s CAF gallery: http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=916555&GSub=132667