Saturday, September 15, 2012

Conan the Barbarian #8

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Vasilis Lolos

Yes, that really does say 'art by Vasilis Lolos'.  I was pretty surprised to see his name in the Previews solicitation for this comic, as it's been a few years since Lolos has had any work published, and I'm pleased to say that his work has only improved in the interim.

This issue continues the 'Border Fury' arc, which has Conan and Bêlit traveling across Cimmeria in pursuit of someone who has been killing in Conan's name.  Conan is revelling in the opportunity to romp across the land of his childhood again, but it is difficult going for Bêlit, a Southerner who has never seen snow before now.

This issue is really an examination of the relationship between Conan and his pirate queen.  Previously, while they were together, it was in Bêlit's world, where she held all the power.  Now, in his land, she sees how much of a burden she has become, and so she has him continue his pursuit on his own.  I like the way Wood portrays their time together.

Lolos's art is a good substitute for Becky Cloonan (who, it appears, won't be returning to the book any time soon).  They've always shared similar aesthetics, although Lolos's Conan is a little more of a pretty boy.  Lolos's art has changed since his work on Last Call and Northlanders; some of his faces, especially that of the old man in the village, show the influence of Rafael Grampá and perhaps Dean Ormston.  I hope this means that we will see plenty more work from Lolos in the coming months (like perhaps Last Call Volume 2, or even, dare I say it, the conclusion to the excellent Pirates of Coney Island).

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