By Geoff Hoppe
March 15, 2007 - 20:22
can you tell who's using suave and who's using the high priced hair product?
Where Cary Nord and Dave Stewart’s artwork gives Conan an elaborate, even literary, look, Mark Texiera’s rough style highlights the character’s pulp roots. This is not the moody, refined Conan of Gary Gianni or the flawless demi-god of Frank Frazetta. It’s a purposefully unfinished Conan that suits Palmiotti’s interpretation of the character. Texiera’s approach is true to Conan, and a welcome addition to the various artists who have tried to bring the adventurer to life. Texiera’s landscapes are lacking, however. Cary Nord’s exotic temples and spider-haunted ruins are as much characters as the people he draws; Texiera’s backgrounds, on the other hand, fail to stand out.
At his best, Robert E. Howard instilled in the Conan stories the same lush, menacing mystery that is present in the poetry of Mallarme and the painting of Paul Gauguin or Odilon Redon. He can certainly be counted among the great authors of American weird fiction tradition that started with Poe (who, incidentally, was a tremendous inspiration to Mallarme, Gauguin, and the rest of the French Symbolists). Palmiotti and Texiera’s haunted treasure rooms, embittered sorcerers and demonic hordes are a worthy addition to this legacy.
Worth the money? Since it’s five dollars, I’ll recommend this one to Conan fans. If you’re a casual reader looking to get into the Dark Horse Conan, grab a normal back issue first.