The Ram and the Peacock, another picture that concerned Cadence Industries, and The Four Ages were projects that involved considerable effort and tolerance, though glancing at them now I wonder how that was so. The Peacock, being the largest thing I had done and in full colour was, naturally, our showpiece at the July 4th Comic Art Convention (which was our official opening in ' 74, and has become our official birthdate). It took 2 1/2 months to draw and paint. The concept of a barbarian standing over a slain wizard is hardly invigouratingly original. I consider the picture a success in itself, but a failure as a communication. My audience (at that time) I believe were so embroiled in the Conan hero treading the jewelled thrones of Earth under his sandalled feet that they failed to recognize that had he the fortitude, the "Wizard" (The Peacock) in that picture should have been standing triumphant over the barbarian. The images in the picture, where the heathen is but an intruder, were that of intellect and sophistication: a cultured garden; wind chimes with a butterfly device; the actual Peacocks themselves and symbols of Time and Space either side of the protagonists: the sundial and the prism.


The wizard is actually a fallen hero. Peacocks and Butterflies I took from the Aesthetic era of the late nineteenth century, which came to an ignoble end with the Oscar Wilde trial in 1895. Although the Marquess of Queensbury was the antagonist persona, I, for one, had always considered it to be the public, the great British public, boorish and idle minded, that killed off Oscar and the Aesthetes in and about his circle. It was entirely coincidental that the initials of the company, GbP, were also that of the Great British Public, thinking it a cosmic chance not to be ignored, I inscribed (drew) GbP on the base of the barbarian's blade.

Originally, to be more instructive toward the respective character values of each figure, I drew a book (Yellow) obviously owned by the now dead man, fallen on the pathway, but considered it perhaps banal and took it out somewhere along the way. Maybe I should have left it there, perhaps it would have made no difference. I know the public doesn't really consider the heathen (in any circumstances) a hero, I just didn't make my point clearly enough, Beauty and the Beast analogies are ten a penny among gargoyles.