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The following is excerpted from Robert E. Howard's Conan of Cimmeria: Drawing and Sketches by Gary Gianni published by Wandering Star. This fascinating new chapbook contains dozens of working sketches and annotations by Gary Gianni himself as he describes the artistic process he used to develop the stunning final images found in the soon to be published Conan of Cimmeria: Volume Two (1934) by Wandering Star. You can purchase a special limited edition of Gary Gianni's Robert E. Howard's Conan of Cimmeria: Drawings and Sketches by Gary Gianni at Wandering Star's web site.

Learn more about Wandering Star's incredible new editions of Robert E. Howard's Conan series at Wandering Star's web site.


There are those who think finished art flows from the fingers of illustrators like wine at a wedding feast, but in truth, most good illustrators require a lot of preliminary work that is tossed aside at the end of the day. It's a shame, because there can be an intrinsic beauty and energy to those drawings, lost in heavily-labored finish.

What you'll find here is a sample of the makings of Conan of Cimmeria: Volume Two which will soon be published by Wandering Star as an illustrated limited edition book. A lot of the drawings presented here were never intended to be seen - some are merely rough ideas on paper - and I hope they will shed some light on the question asked oh so often: "How did you do that?"

If you can come up with a satisfactory answer, please write a book about it - and put me down for 10 copies!

Robert E. Howard went to great lengths to keep his readers in suspense. I decided against using the picture on the right because it exposes the nature of the menace threatening Conan. The author reveals the secret of the monster in his own inimitable fashion.

When I compose a picture with a lot of figures, I like to keep the group together as one big shape. If I concentrate on details in the early stages, the picture becomes fragmented and the focal point - Conan, in this case - loses its emphasis.

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