Rafael Kayanan seemed to be following in Pat Broderick's footsteps when I
first noticed his art. In the early 80's, Raf took over the pencilling
duties on the Fury of Firestorm when Broderick left, and again in the
late 80's, he replaced Broderick on Captain Atom. However, it
was his work on the sequel to the classic Conan story, "Red Nails", in
Savage Sword of Conan that really turned my head. The most striking
thing about that work is the attention to detail in not only the human figures
but in the backgrounds as well -- something that brings to mind Barry Windsor-Smith's stunning work
on "Red Nails". However, I feel that Raf is an excellent artist in
his own right. Though it's apparent that Windsor-Smith's work on
the character was a major inspiration on Raf's Conan, Raf is by no means
merely imitating him. I've heard that Raf is interested in computer
generated artwork, but he's still picking up pencilling jobs. He
did a nice job on the latest incarnation of Turok and has been doing
a great job pencilling the last issues of Amazing Spider-Man.
I can't wait to see what he does next!
- Savage Sword of Conan #211 p.12:
This is probably my second most favorite page from this particular storyline
(the editor snatched my favorite!). This page exhibits all the reasons
I like Raf's art. The human figures are appealingly drawn, there's
detail in the weaponry (check out the sheath to Conan's sword), and it almost
seems like every single leaf and piece of detritus on the forest floor has been
illustrated! Very few comic book artists can even attempt this kind of
work, but as you can see here, Raf's results are stunning. (Inks: Rafael
- Savage Sword of Conan #211 p.6:
Here's another example of Raf's attention to detail. You can almost feel
the tall grass brushing against your legs and hear the squeal of the boar that
Conan is hunting. Now this is "virtual reality". (Inks:
- Savage Sword of Conan #213 p.22:
Conan can be a pretty bloodthirsty guy as is shown here. In an echo
of the bloody battle in part two of Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith's
adaptation of "Red Nails", here we see Conan and his antagonist, Aondo, both
totally drenched in blood. It's amazing how vivid the imagery is without
resorting to any excessive gore. (Inks: Rafael Kayanan)
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