When I was a kid, I did not read fantasy.
OK, I did read the Arabian Nights, Alice in Wonderland, and a few books of folk stories and fables, but when it came to novels, I was a science fiction reader since the tender age of ten, with a side interest in mysteries (and I still am, actually, mostly a SF reader).
Fantasy was basically old sword & sandal movies, and little else, to me and my friends.
The very first time I realized there was this genre of fiction featuring warriors and monsters and beautiful, scantly-clad women in strange exotic locales, was when I discovered the works of Spanish painter and comic artist Vicente Segrelles, and his character, The Mercenary.
I was fourteen or thereabouts. The age of discovery.
For me, Segrelles came before Frazetta, and Buscema, and Adams, and Alcala, and Robert E. Howard.
I saw his paintings, and I was hooked for life1.
What struck me were not, believe it or not, the naked women (and there were lots of naked women in The Mercenary), but rather the incredible detail of the paintings (Segrelles works in oils), and the incredibly exotic landscapes.
That bat-winged giant on top of a lone rock, under the moonlight, the hero flying away on his strange riding beast…
So, this being the weekend and all that, here’s a small gallery for a great, great artist.
To me, this is still what I think about when I think “fantasy”.
- was it the same for you? Who was your fantasy-gateway artist? The comments are open. I love fantasy art and it would be great discovering some new artists. ↩