The argument from dealers is that if a patron is prepared to pay these sorts of amounts, he must consider the picture is worth it. I can't argue this, obviously. At the 1975 New York Convention I sold an Ic waes to a lovely lady who was enthralled by the picture; she was a Navajo (if I remember correctly) and thought the figure in the picture to be reminiscent of her own race, and I hope she found the images of forever contained within the design satisfactory to her beliefs. Had the price been anything over fifty dollars she'd not have been able to afford it (and rightly so, as it was worth fifty dollars, deemed by me, its creator). She could afford it, and it was a highlight of my five days at the convention, to sell to this person to whom the picture meant, evidently, so much. Perhaps I've yet to learn this system called Supply and Demand.

On to Pandora and The Enchantment, which were published simultaneously. The Enchantment, although not created for this purpose, I hoped would take up the slack of what I expected to be poor response to Pandora. To be quite frank, my faith in Pandora as a commercial viability was virtually non-existent. It was certainly easier to grip than The Ram and the Peacock, but after years of Madison Avenue indoctrination into giving the public what they expect, from more cynical publishers:

  what they deserve, I was still partly lingering in that ultra commercial, and to my taste, insipid mode of thought. I published Pandora, then, thinking it would fail though I thought it my best work to that date. An intensely satisfying learning experience followed as people left, right and centre bought the picture because they loved it. It was joyously enlightening to realize that people liked my work because of me, and not solely because I drew Conan the Barbarian. This may seem a strange admission to some of you, but quite honestly it was a severe hangup with me that some found validity in Conan (for all intents and purposes a friend of mine) and not with Barry Smith. The details were of particular interest: If one was not of the nature to derive pleasure from recognizing the crown in the top left as belonging to King Cophetua (the painting by Burne Jones), then they got off on noticing the stack of all Cat Stevens albums in the bottom right. There are 61 separate articles on Pandora's shelves, behind her, any one of them being interesting enough (given a wide span) to steal from her the curiosity of the golden box, though many of them being foreboding images she still had to open the secrets of her box. It took five months to create, and just like Judgement, I drew it three times before arriving at the finished article. It's greatly flawed in design and drawing mistakes, but it's still my best piece within this one year retrospective.