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. Continue reading