Dark Horse’s Conan Art Contest

Thanks to Zach Davisson for the heads-up on the cover art contest:

Conan the Barbarian returns in the most beloved tale of his career next month when Conan the Barbarian #1 by Brian Wood and art by Becky Cloonan hits shelves, and we want you, with a sword in hand–or pencil or paintbrush–to draw, paint, or collage a Conan Cover to rival all Covers. Stoke up the savage fire, Amp up the action shot and bring Conan to life in your own hand.  

We want you to Create a Conan cover like we’ve never seen before.  Think hard, get some inspiration and bring Conan to life! Send us your entry at Contests [at] darkhorse [dot] com. 

If your Conan Cover is the strongest, manliest, sexiest, and most savage piece we recieve we will print your art in the back of an upcoming issue of Conan the Barbarian. If you think you’ve got what it takes to bring Conan to life, show us. Never bare a weapon unless you intend to use it. Ladies and Gentleman, show us what you’ve got.

All Entries are due upon the Jan 31st, 11:59pm Deadline. We’ll choose a winner on Feb. 1st, 2012 and announce it on this blog post within several days after. And look for an Album on our Facebook Page of all entries. 

Winner will receive a complimentary copy the issue with their artwork as well as The Savage Sword of Conan Vol. 9 TPB, Conan vol 10: Iron Shadows in the Moon TPB , Conan Vol. 9 Free Companions TPB and a Conan Limited Edition Action Figure.
The fine print: No purchase necessary. One online entry per person (one e-mail address per person/address). You must be eighteen years of age or older to enter. Contest entries only accepted if submitted by midnight (PDT), Jan 31st, 2012. Winner will be selected based upon the quality of submitted art (as determined at Dark Horse’s sole discretion) from all applicable entries and will be notified by February 1, 2012. Entry becomes the property of Dark Horse upon receipt. Entry constitutes agreement by winners to be publicized and permission to use each winner’s name for the purposes of promotion of the Contest without further compensation. Contest void where prohibited. Odds of winning dependent on number of entrants.

(Don’t forget to read the fine print!)

Cromrades, this could be an excellent opportunity to show your stuff. But if you’ll endulge me…

There’s a lot of great Conan art out there, no question. Be it the inimitable Frazetta or a youngster on DeviantArt, you can find some true quality artwork out there. However, as with any subject, there tends to be a great repitition of themes. Conan will usually be either fighting, or posing contemplatively; he will be clad in a fur loincloth, Greco-Romanesque regalia, or some Heavy Metal-style partial armour. Women will usually be clutching – or be clutched by – Conan, lounging around seductively, or cowering in fright; they will almost always be near-nude. Any other figures will either be half-naked savages in a chaotic throng, soldiers of the Ancient World, or a horde of beast-men. The monster, of course, will be apish, serpentine, cthulhoid or draconian, and Conan will always face it heroically.

Wouldn’t it be nice to try something different? Conan is a man of gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, a man who’s experienced stark terror: let’s see those emotions in action. Dress him in something different – eastern hillman garb, desert nomad attire, mercenary armour, pirate regalia. Depict a female who isn’t fawning or lounging or half-naked. Draw something other than an action scene. Maybe even pick a scene directly from the stories. There was more to the Conan stories than the action, sex and violence, and it would be awesome to see more of that in evidence.

Or just do another picture of Conan with a girl and a monster, they seem to go down well. If you want to stick to action scenes – it’s what Howard did best, after all – then give it all you have.