Comic Book Legends Revealed #448
COMIC LEGEND: Barry Windsor-Smith’s Freebooters series was an adaptation of his Archer and Armstrong series.
STATUS: Basically False
Here is the second suggestion by Fred Van Lente, writer of the current Archer and Armstrong series for Valiant.
Barry Windsor-Smith is well known for re-purposing older projects for newer ones (why let a good story go to waste, right?).
Fred, meanwhile, wondered if that wasn’t what happened with Barry Windsor-Smith’s Freebooters series he did for Storyteller…
Could it be based on Barry Windsor-Smith’s Archer and Armstrong?
As it turns out, though, it was actually the REVERSE!
Barry Windsor-Smith explained it all to Gary Groth in a great Comics Journal interview in 1996:
Because I thought I would never get to the stage where I thought that the Freebooters, which had a different name in those days, called The Journals of Aran, or something, I never thought I would ever get to the stage in my career where I would be able to pull this sort of thing off all on my own. When I was doing Archer and Armstrong I just started to adapt from a 10-year-old set of characters — characters from what is now called The Freebooters. I thought this was the only way I could get that kind of material out in front of the public, this sort of humorous stuff, fairly sophisticated adult-oriented humor. So I’m actually sorry that I cannibalized myself on that. !
So it was more a matter of Windsor-Smith using the visuals he had developed for the Journals of Aran stories (specifically the main character’s look – the sort of older, fatter Conan) for the Archer and Armstrong stories more than anything else.
Thanks to Windsor-Smith and Groth for the information!
Happy Fred Van Lente Day everyone!
Check out the latest edition of my weekly Movie/TV Legends Revealed Column at Spinoff Online: Did viewer protests change the original ending of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?
Okay, that’s it for this week!
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