Conan and Cobb

the title card

the title card

Conan himself

Conan himself

the Wheel of pain

the Wheel of pain

concept on top actual set on bottom!

concept on top actual set on bottom!

some village key frame art

some village key frame art

King Osric's palace

King Osric's palace

the temple of serpents

the temple of serpents

what a brilliant imagination!

what a brilliant imagination!

Serpent tower and surrounding village

Serpent tower and surrounding village

village and castle architecture

village and castle architecture

and my fav those awesome sword designs!

and my fav those awesome sword designs!

Cobb's cameo in Conan, He is a drug dealer selling black Lotus

Cobb's cameo in Conan, He is a drug dealer selling black Lotus

Wow this week is flying by!!! I might have to add more entries on these two as time goes on because I don’t think a week will do them any justice. So lets Start the Day with Mr. Ron Cobb and his good friend Conan!!! I am Racing the clock at work this morning so short text and a lot of pics!!! Conan came out the Summer of 1982 (the greatest Summer of movie releases ever) It was actually the first of the big films to open the season and I had been waiting for this one for many years.  The film starts out with a young Conan being taught the Riddle of Steel by his father followed by a gorgeous opening title sequence of the creation of Conan’s Fathers’s Sword with an incredible score by Basil Poledouris, (this Soundtrack is a must have in it’s complete 2 disc form). The film takes you through the journey of Conan’s young life as he witnesses his family and village destroyed by the evil Thulsa Doom, sent to be a slave Conan is strapped to the wheel of pain which is a giant grain press that Conan pushes in a circle for probably 10 years,, Ron designed the ultimate all in one exersise machine with this one!! anyways Conan is sold and trained to be a fighting champion for his owner, retiring undefeated his wealthy master set’s Conan free and his quest for revenge against Doom completes his adventure in what was to be a multi sequel film. As far as I am concerned Conan 2 doesn’t exist!!! It was a horrible film,, except it costarred the lovely Olivia D’abo, so scratching #2 the series ended with this one adventure! It was a beautifully designed film but my fancy for the look passed with all the big beautiful sci-fi movies that followed in the upcoming week’s. It wasn’t until I got a copy of Ron’s book “Colorvision” that I was made aware of Ron’s involvement with Conan!!! A whole new interest came and I went out and bought the VHS and as a guilty pleasure I have to update my collection every-time a new release comes out,,(Laserdisc, Regular DVD, DVD with Extra’s, DVD anniversary Collection, ETC) The film gets more broad in design the more I see it. Ron created not only the sets and environments for the film but he created the culture and the history. The look is rich with layers of storytelling in the illustrations, For those that did not know of Ron’s work on Conan, your in for a real treat. ENJOY

All pictures courtesy of Ron Cobb, and his book Colorvision

After looking at these pictures again I see how Ron still has an influence thru Osmosis in what and how I envision things thru an illustrated eye,,, Just dug these drawings up so you can see the Cobb inspiration. thank’s Ron You have been one heck of a teacher.


here is Ron’s page,, it’s under construction but boy will it be a goodie when it’s up and running!!!

T'pol's home town

T'pol's home town

extinction #55

extinction #55

Kronos from DS9

Kronos from DS9



desert settlement  from episode #24

desert settlement from episode #24

28 Responses to “Conan and Cobb”

  1. 1 Mark A-C
    April 23, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Hi John,
    Wow, i had no idea Ron Cobb was involved in Conan, lovely drawing of his, somewhat Tolkien-esque.

    Thanks for posting so many of Ron Cobb’s fabulous sci-fi concepts…I love his design for the Nostromo bridge..have’nt seen it for years and now a copy lives on my laptop, so thanks mate, you made my day.

    As a long-time fan of Ron Cobb’s designs, I always hoped a bridge like his would pop up on Star Trek or somewhere, you know lots of monitors but big open windows looking OUT too. I know it may not help fly through face, but it looks cooool!

    Thanks again for the Cobb posts, keep them coming as long as you like, I can’t get enough.

  2. 4 Mark A-C
    April 23, 2009 at 6:34 am

    I meant fly through space….Doah!

  3. 5 Freak
    April 23, 2009 at 6:38 am

    I love Conan, such a visual rich film and with a great story.
    The sets they used on this film was mind blowing to see as an eight year old kid.
    It was also my first into duction to Arnold and James Earl Jones.

    I agree the Second films was no where as good as this one. I still hope that one day they will finaly get round to making King Conan.

    The more of Ron’s work you post the more I get blown away. He is turely one of the greats.

  4. 6 johneaves
    April 23, 2009 at 6:46 am

    He came in our trek office one day and hung out for a while, after he left we taped a square around where he stood and jokingly called it ron’s box. It was our version of a star on Hollywood Blvd.

  5. 7 johneaves
    April 23, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Doug’s desk was just a few short feet away from the box and after Ron’s visit Doug’s quality of work went thru the ceiling, I know that area was strong with the force!!!HAAA!

  6. 8 deg
    April 23, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Subotai: This better not be hagga.

    Cobb: I would sell hagga to a slayer such as you?

    I was telling Daren a coupla days ago, being a life-long Conan reader and collector, I was on pins-and- needles waiting for the film, hoping they wouldn’t chooch it up, and it delivered, in spades, and then-some IMO. Cobb and Milius and Poledouris NAILED The Hyborian Age. It is my most-watched film, upward of over 80 times at this point. I have a count card.

    I knew Cobb at this point from Alien, and was thrilled he was on Conan, and well as William Stout. I was teetering between being thrilled to death to finally see my beloved hero come to the silver-screen, and dreading that they would screw the pooch and turn my beloved REH hero into some cheesy barbarian film-fare, the likes of which had come before it (and later, with the Conan TV series with Ralf Moeller did years later).

    But they delivered! And man-o-man did they deliver! They only thing that was off was the fact that the Thulsa Doom character is actually King Kull’s (Robert E. Howard’s Atlantean barbarian king pre-dating Conan, portrayed in the 1997 movie Kull the Conqueror by actor Kevin Sorbo) nemesis and Milius liked the sound of his name more than Conan’s actual arch-wizard nemesis, Thoth Amon. But that was OK, I could live with that small concession, as the film was just brilliant, and finally an S&S film done RIGHT!

    Conan the Destroyer, Richard Fleischer’s ’84 follow-up turn at the character, while no-where near the brilliance of Conan the Barbarian, had a certain comic-book charm to it. But yeah, it was no-where near the film CTB was.

    I only wish Arnald would have come back and given us the Conan: Cross of Iron film about King Conan. Those were the greatest years of Conan’s life, with REH’s one full Conan novel, The Hour of the Dragon. That could have been a great epic film, along the lines of LOTR if done right.

    On a side note: Check out the ’96 film: The Whole Wide World. It’s the story of the life Robert E. Howard. It stars Vincent D’Onofrio as Howard, and Renée Zellweger as his hit-and-miss love interest, who wrote the original story telling her story of know Howard. Brilliant film. And D’Onofrio is brilliant as Howard. Zellweger, upon winning her Oscar for Chicago, thanked D’Onofrio in her acceptance speech for sharing his brilliance with her as an actor.

    Howard has said, he never “wrote” Conan tales (of which he only penned 18 short stories and on novel), but rather said that Conan was sitting in the room with him, telling him his tales, and he merely wrote them down and chronicled his tales of adventure. This aspect is portrayed in the bio-film.

    Anywho, could go on and on eh, as like I said, life-long Conan reader and collector. Thanks for sharin’ these wonderful inks John. Conan the Barbarian could never have been what is was without Cobb. I still have the MEDIASCENE (a newspaper-like “magazine” rather periodical) that featured the first ever published look at the film, printing production artwork. It’s buried out in the garage in the stacks and towers of boxes and boxes with all my ol’ sci-fi mags.


    • 9 johneaves
      April 23, 2009 at 7:22 am

      You know it all, young Deg thanks for all the insight and references!!! I’ll have to pursue what you have here further.

    • 10 Jay
      April 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm

      The movie was featured in a couple of issues of Cinefantastique back in the day which are worth tracking down if you haven’t already.

      But, yes, as I think we talked about on Daren’s blog, one of my favorite movies. Obviously not one to watch for the acting (although James Earl Jones’ Thulsa Doom is one of my favorite screen villains and Max Von Sydow is fabulously broad and Falstaff-esque in his cameo), for me the movie is all about the production design, the cinematography, and the career-making score by the late Mr. Poledouris. It has to be one of the best scores ever written for film. The dialogue is really secondary to the music telling the story. And Mr. Cobb’s brilliantly insightful and intellectual approach to the design of practically *everything* you see on screen is nothing short of amazing. John said it exactly right – its not just the designs, the sets and costumes and weapons. Its the real sense of a world that it all cumulatively creates; a place you’re not quite sure didn’t exist. When I saw the movie as a kid in that magical summer of 1982, if the film had included the credit “filmed on location in the Hyborian Age” I would have probably believed it. That’s how good Ron’s work is.

      And as I’m sure deg knows, the sword features the inscription “suffer no guilt ye who wield this in the name of Crom” 🙂

      Great post, John, and a very praiseworthy talent to feature. Suffer no guilt ye who stand in the Ron Cobb box.

  7. April 23, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Wow dude,those are just as brilliant as Ron’s dude. You gots mad-skillz, man-o-man you do! 🙂


  8. April 23, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Uaaaaa, and THAT elk’s-head sword alone, Conan’s father sword! That is THEE best sword ever made! I collect a few, for weapon’s training in my past, and I looked for an issue of that sword, even a fake one, as “works of art” swords aren’t REAL swords in the true sense of sword smelting, but I could never find one. Maybe They have one out at this point, as it has been a while since I looked.

    Arnald has the original in his office. Of course, wouldn’t you too? I believe Milius gifted it to him. 😀


  9. 13 DeanneM
    April 23, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Now I’ll have to take another look at this film soon! Being architecturally oriented, I really like the Temple of Serpents scene. Great details and I love the night setting and the angle…I want one for my wall!

    Never looked at the sword detail, fabulous!! I want a better look at the sword on the right, but it won’t let me open it in a new tab 😦

    Maybe you should set that great exercise machine up, since you mentioned the Doughboy on FB. 😀

  10. 14 evil_genius_180
    April 23, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Dude, I forgot all about this movie. *makes mental note to buy the DVD* It’s a great movie and I agree, it has no sequels (kinda like Highlander.) I absolutely love Ron’s art and your work inspired by it is suhweet. 🙂

    I almost bought one of those swords years ago but never did. Now I’m kinda bummed because I don’t have money for stuff like that these days.

    If you’ve got more than a week’s worth of this great stuff, we definitely need to see it. I can stare at Ron’s great concept art (and yours) all day and still find new things each time I look at a piece. 🙂

  11. April 23, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Ron Cobb (and Chris Foss) was a big influence on my interest in concept art. I am a big fan of Dark Star and his work in Alien and Conan. Who knew he had a cameo! I remember the scene – that was such a great movie – the wheel of pain was amazing.

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. April 23, 2009 at 9:58 am

    The title of this entry conan and cobb, reminds me of; corn-on-the-cob. Mmmmmmm, corn. :9

    Corn! Come buy my corn! Corn!


  13. 19 Matt Boardman
    April 23, 2009 at 11:19 am

    :: laughs nervously :: Sadly…I’ve never seen this movie. It’s been on that “I need to see that movie!” list for a very long time. Considered me inspired – Netflix here I come! 🙂

    Love the artwork! It’s very captivating and in a way, takes your mind to that place. Yours has that same effect, John!

    • 20 johneaves
      April 23, 2009 at 11:29 am

      It’s a lot of fun,,, it’s one of Arnold’s first films and his dialog is pretty comical, and somewhere in the film I am sure the director said to Arnold: OK! no more speaking for you Conan, We will have your co-actor here do the crying and speaking for you, your job is to just make big muscles and fight & kill everything!! OK action!

  14. 21 Don B
    April 23, 2009 at 1:33 pm


    On Drex files you mentioned an old 35mm Minolta camera. Which model was it that bit the dust?

    “just dug out all those big binders of all the sets and there are at least 15 huge albums of all those first day of construction-to finished set shots!! Wholly smokes there are a lot of pics. That old Minolta 35mm finally bit the dust a year back and got a new one off ebay but it doesn’t shoot nearly as good as that one I had on Enterprise!”

  15. 23 Jay
    April 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    *sigh* now I’m gonna have to go watch it again.

    • 24 DeanneM
      April 23, 2009 at 6:47 pm

      Hey Jay, I don’t own this (as is sadly the case with too many good movies), so I was hoping you could stream it and a bowl of popcorn over my way! 🙂

      BTW, I saw emails of two of your posts, but only one shows up here. (?) I’ve got it in an email though…nice post.

      • 25 Jay
        April 25, 2009 at 5:53 pm

        Ha! Well as soon as Mike and Doug iron the kinks out of that replicator tech, I’ll send the movie and the popcorn on over 🙂 I realize its not a movie that everyone is going to think is great, but regardless, I think its well worth at least viewing once just to let your eyes and ears feast on it. Anybody who watches “Conan the Barbarian” and isn’t genuinely impressed by the production design and the music, I will personally give a Sean Connery-esque smack in the mouth. Unless they’re a woman. Or a child. Or noticably bigger than me.

      • 26 DeanneM
        April 25, 2009 at 6:28 pm

        Jay, I’ve only seen all of it once, and after this blog everything is new again! So much to look at and take in.

        Connery? Did you say Sean Connery? I always thought a smack “ON the lips” from the true James Bond would be good! 🙂 I’m sure you’re a gentleman and smart enough not to smack a lady or a child (or a man who is bigger than you)!!

  16. 27 CX
    April 23, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    That last one makes me think of Pesert Punk for some reason. 😀

  17. 28 Nate
    May 20, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Hello, there!

    Awesome pics of the Conan sword designs, John! Could I possibly request a bigger more detailed scan of Rob Cobb’s Conan sword designs sent to my email? I’d be most grateful.

    Thanks, again for deplaying these awesome pics. I wish I had a replica of the Atlantean sword. What an awesome weapon!

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April 2009

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