Back in 1968, Barry Smith (he added the Windsor later, as a tribute to his mom, Lena Violet Windsor) came to America and headed for the top company of the time: Marvel Comics. Enduring a number of adventures eluding INS officials and sleeping in the 1960s' notoriously dangerous Central Park, he secured assignments writing and drawing X-Men #53 (scripted by Arnold Drake), Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D #12 (script by Steve Parkhouse), Daredevil #50-52, (script by Roy Thomas) and a slew of Kirbyesque covers for Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Sgt Fury, and others.

After being booted back to merry old England by the U.S. immigration authorities, Windsor-Smith drew two issues of The Avengers and some short stories for Marvel’s “horror” line. Then, in 1970, he received his first shot at a long-term commitment on Conan the Barbarian, originally created by Robert E. Howard. Here he shined, even though the art was sometimes immature and stiff. Within a short time, however, Windsor-Smith had not only received acclaim for his work on Conan, including the seminal Red Nails, but for his romantic-symbolist work through The Gorblimey Press, formed in 1974. With Gorblimey, Windsor-Smith chucked his comics style and created densely lyrical art prints. These visionary works kept him busy on and off for over ten years, and the output is legendary among collectors.

Left: A panel from Red Nails, 1973