BWS RETURNS TO COMICS (1984)

When he walked away from Marvel and Conan in 1974, Barry Windsor-Smith was not quitting comics so much as the commercial comics business. While he was increasingly being drawn to single picture art as a means of expression, he was not planning on abandoning sequential storytelling altogether. In fact, he began a major graphic work called “The Real Robin Hood” with the idea of publishing graphic stories in addition to what he called “easel art” through The Gorblimey Press, but found the divergent processes involved in creating both simultaneously to be too difficult to offer adequate service to either. So “The Real Robin Hood” was shelved at the time in favor of concentrating on painting.

 

Above: A panel from "The Beguiling" (1982)
published in Epic Illustrated #16

To view the complete story "The Beguiling"
with commentary by BWS, click
here.

In the early 1980s, having enjoyed nearly a decade of critical and commercial success with his easel works through The GbP, BWS felt compelled to return to graphic storytelling. He found, however, that years of concentrating on single picture pieces made the transition back to the sequential art of comics a challenge, as each discipline calls for a fundamentally different intellectual and aesthetic approach. There were a few attempts begun but not completed, including “Revenge” and “Sceptor’s Web.” A story that was completed, taking nearly a year to do so, was the sumptuous, medieval themed work “The Beguiling,” which was first printed by Marvel in 1983 in their magazine EPIC ILLUSTRATED #16.
Above: A panel detail from
"The Real Robin Hood" (c.1974)