Okay, this is one of those things that looks like it costs a lot of money… and really does. A page of Barry Windsor-Smith original Conan artwork. Heritage Auctions, as part of their Sunday & Monday Comics, Animation, Video Games & Art Weekly Online Auction #122101 are auctioning off the original artwork from back in the day when he went by Barry Smith. And it's currently bid up to over $50,000 with one day to go. And no, I won't be bidding above that, though some of this might.
After early work in the sixties for Marvel, the first British comic book creator to seek work from the big American comic book publishers. Roy Thomas had Windsor-Smith provide art for a sword and sorcery story, Starr the Slayer, in Chamber of Darkness #4, published in 1970 which saw Thomas offer Windsor-Smith the job as penciler for Marvel's adaptation of Conan, starting with Conan the Barbarian #1 in the same year. This helped Windsor-Smith move to the United States, having been granted a work permit, become involved in writing the Conan comic book and with Roy Thomas adapted a number of R.E. Howard short stories, The Frost-Giant's Daughter, Tower of the Elephant, Rogues in the House and Red Nails. They also worked on original adventures and characters based on R.E. Howard's characters – most notably Red Sonja, loosely based on a character from one of Howard's non-Conan stories, who has now become a major comics character in her own right. He would later quit the series ( a number of times before it stuck) stating that he was dissatisfied with the work and how the comics business worked. However, he left a legacy on the character that remains the most classic portrayal of Conan to this day, and also provided the material for the origins of Cerebus The Aardvark. Here's the full listing for the auctioned page,
Barry Smith, Tom Sutton, and Tom PalmerConan the Barbarian#8 Splash Page 20 Original Art (Marvel, 1971). The early Smith Conan issues rarely had splash pages beyond the customary first page, but this one wrapped up Issue #8 in style! The lady with the Cimmerian is the duplicitous Jenna, arguably the most memorable of the female companions from the early days. From Barry Windsor-Smith's classic run (when he was known simply as "Barry Smith"), it's a gorgeous page with dynamic action and incredible detail. Produced in ink over graphite on Bristol board with an image area of 10" x 15". Slightly toned, blue pencil editorial markings, marginal notations, production oil staining, discolored tape and residue staining on the top and bottom edges, with light smudging and handling wear. In Very Good condition. Included is a copy of the comic.
Currently sitting at $52,500 with one day to go.