Conan The Rogue

One of the best examples of Big John Buscema's Conan is probably the one that has been seen by fewer fans than any other. In 1991 Marvel released the graphic novel "Conan the Rogue" which was a story that was plotted, penciled, inked and coloured by Big John Buscema. He got his long time collaborator Roy Thomas to script the story, which he had plotted and oh what a job these two did on this book! It had a relatively low print run and was never really promoted from what I understand.

One of the best examples of Big John Buscema’s Conan is probably the one that has been seen by fewer fans than any other.

Conan the RogueIn 1991 Marvel released the graphic novel “Conan the Rogue” which was a story that was plotted, penciled, inked and coloured by Big John Buscema. He got his long time collaborator Roy Thomas to script the story, which he had plotted and oh what a job these two did on this book! It had a relatively low print run and was never really promoted from what I understand.

I never saw this book when it originally came out. It was published right around the time that I sold my entire collection and got away from comics for a good decade or so. This is one of the gems I discovered upon my return.When I discovered that Big John had passed away, and Jack Kirby was also gone, I began and still am trying to find all the issues these great artists had done in my absence. This was a joy to behold.

The story followed the typical formula for a Conan story: bars, broads and battles with the inevitable super natural element, but John had worked on and reworked many pages to this book. There are a few of the original art pages that were not used in the book that surface occasionally and I for one have not been able to scoop one up…yet, but my eyes are peeled for them! Apparently Big John put a few years into this beauty and it shows.

To say John had a way with Conan that brought this barbaric world to life is an understatement. Everything from the costumes, the horses and the supporting cast all fit together perfectly to transport you to another time and place. The cities themselves were dirty, dark, and almost delightfully wicked.

I always especially enjoy when he inks himself. I have attached a page of original artwork from Savage Sword of Conan #61 pg 16 which gives you an idea why I like him inking himself. He, in this page, evokes Hal Foster and Prince Valiant. If you get a chance pick up both of these books to see some really fine Buscema artwork!

Conan SSOC #61 pg16

If you are a fan of Big John’s work you can see quite a few different pages that are mostly inked by him at my website www.comicdenn.com under original comic book art and My Personal Collection. The site is almost completed and if you enjoy original art as much as I do, I am sure you will find it interesting.

You can find NM copies of Conan the Rogue on eBay and Amazon for around $125-$150.

It is definitely worth checking out!

Happy Collecting!

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Dennis De Pues
Dennis is an admitted "Son of the Silver Age", having grown up with the influences of Silver Age greats: Kirby, Colan, Romita and Buscema.Three decades later, he is the creator of Crash!! and Galloway Park. More is definitely on the way.
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4 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more Walt.Buscema inking was a little different on this one as well. I believe he used more pen than usual, as he preferred to ink in brush. The example from SSOC # 61 was definitely all brush. What beautiful line work, and he usually used a #2 brush, which is a pretty good sized brush for such fine line work. It takes a steady and controlled hand to get the results he did.

  2. I just got a copy in decent condition from EBAY. I have to say that while art was great, I was let down by the story. It was suitable as a mediocre SSOC story, but not even close to the epic standards set by previous Conan MGNs. Still, I don’t regret the exorbitant price I paid, as I now have all Conan MGNs, which is neither cheap, nor easy to obtain.

  3. Richard, it is nice to hear that you have completed your Graphic Novel hunt.I found the story, like most Conan stories to be rather formulaic, but the artwork to me is one of my most favorite issues in the long run of SSOC, Conan the Barbarian and all the almost countless tales of the Hyborean Age that are available.If you have never seen SSOC # 61 before, it is probably ranked highest on Big John Buscema inked Conan stories by many of the rabid fans of the Cimmerian.

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