September 8, 2019

Censoring Art (part 2 of 3)

Last month I wrote a post about censorship in the comic book industry back in the 70s. Although, to be more precise, I should say censorship in Marvel Comics and especially in Conan the Barbarian. I was quite pleased to see that Conan the Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus includes several pages of Barry Windsor-Smith’s original art, which allows us to compare what he drew and what was actually published.

The Song of Red Sonja, published in Conan the Barbarian # 24 (March, 1973), “is a milestone issue. It marks the end of an era as the fruitful collaboration between Barry Windsor-Smith and Roy Thomas comes to an end. To say goodbye to the barbarian, Barry Windsor-Smith penciled, inked and colored (and even designed the lettering for the title) of this closing chapter of the saga of Conan”.

The artistic involvement of Windsor-Smith in this final issue was impressive, and he even co-plotted some of the pages. However, in any case, “Once again, the Comics Code struck Conan, requesting a larger towel for Red Sonja in panel 1 and Conan’s hands to be repositioned above the water line in panel 3”. And now after 46 years, you can see the difference between both versions!  

And, of course, in October you’ll get to read the third and last installment on this short series on censorship.
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El mes pasado escribí sobre la censura en la industria del cómic en los 70s. Aunque, para ser más precisos, debería decir censura en Marvel Comics y especialmente en Conan the Barbarian. Me complació ver que Conan the Barbarian: The Original Years Marvel Omnibus incluye varias páginas del arte original de Barry Windsor-Smith, lo que nos permite comparar lo que dibujó y lo que realmente se publicó.

La canción de Red Sonja, publicada en Conan the Barbarian # 24 (marzo de 1973), “es un episodio histórico. Marca el fin de una era, y es que la fructífera colaboración entre Barry Windsor-Smith y Roy Thomas finaliza aquí. Para decir adiós al bárbaro, Barry Windsor-Smith dibujó a lápiz, entintó y coloreó (e incluso diseñó las letras del título) este capítulo de cierre de la saga de Conan”.

La participación artística de Windsor-Smith en este último número fue impresionante, e incluso fue co-argumentista en algunas páginas. Sin embargo, en cualquier caso, "Una vez más, el Código de cómics golpeó a Conan, solicitando una toalla más grande para Red Sonja en la viñeta 1 y las manos de Conan para volver a colocarlas sobre la línea de flotación en la viñeta 3". ¡Y ahora después de 46 años, podéis ver la diferencia entre ambas versiones!

Y, por supuesto, en octubre podréis leer la tercera y última entrega sobre censura Marveliana.

5 comments:

  1. Geez you could barely see anything in the original. Those censors really needed to get a life. To use the argument gun nuts use, kids are going to see that stuff anyway. If it's not in comics they'll just sneak Playboys from their fathers or sneak into R rated movies. Or of course now there's 90% of the Internet dedicated to nudity.

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    1. Yeah, those censors were maniac. But that was also almost half a century ago.

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  2. Now this in an interesting topic, given the current SJW and PC climate we're all facing concerning pop culture. Past is destined to be repeated, they say. And oh, were they right.

    Hope you're doing alright, man.

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    1. Hi Alexander! It's great to hear back from you! It's been such a long time.
      Yeah, all that PC taken to the extreme can be a bit too much!

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