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
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
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.
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.
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.