You can feel the way Bob Peak's movie posters for EXCALIBUR and ROLLERBALL touched Bill's mind when looking over his CONAN pieces. The way light exists not as a source, but a voluminous, ghostly apparition bouncing off steel in multiple directions captured by a lens or mist in the air. This effect must have been imprinted on Peak's own mind after studying cinematography advancements in the 60s and 70s.
Bill appears to be pushing through the limits he felt from his black-and-white pen-and-ink world of MOON KNIGHT to explore painterly realms which he would finally apply to comics in the form of ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN. These CONAN works serve as preparation for that latter endeavor. In ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN Bill brings a wider range of visual techniques, but his painterly facility and foundation were established doing works of this kind.
I love Bill's paintings here and I love that they are based on the CONAN: THE BARBARIAN movie John Milius directed. They are a great tribute to the great Ron Cobb, concept artist and designer for the film, who passed away a week ago.