Comic Books (13th Dimension): “Nearly 50 years after he first brought the Cimmerian to the pages of Marvel Comics, the incredible ROY THOMAS returns to script the SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN! Teamed with the legendary ALAN DAVIS, get ready for an unforgettable chapter in the saga of Conan, as the barbarian leads a mysterious band of adventurers into the Himelian Mountains in search of a lost comrade. But Conan may get more than he bargained for as the startling truth behind the quest is uncovered!”
Art (DMR Books): ERB’s Amtor and Barsoom. Moorcock’s “Old Mars.” Norman’s Gor. Ken Bulmer’s Kregen/Antares. Artist Richard Hescox—who turns 70 today—has painted them all over the course of five decades, making him one of the preeminent living artists in the Sword and Planet field. Richard made his first professional sales to Marvel Comics after Neal Adams gave him a recommendation, doing several covers for Marvel’s black-and-white magazine line.
Art (The Silver Key): But up on the sunlit third floor gallery Tom’s paintings were vibrant and powerful. Tom walked me through pictures of knights in renaissance armor, burning spacecraft, beautiful enchantresses, and scenes from Arizona where he lived for a short stretch in the 1980s. An image of King Lear brooding over his life as he looks into a rapidly fading sunset. Tom also showed me several conceptual pieces which I found particularly arresting, including this one (above, left) of a soul embracing and thus breaking free of the fear of death which looms over all our collective shoulders.
Tolkien (Notion Club Papers): One of the loveliest, most skilful and poignant passages of Lord of the Rings is easily skimmed-over; coming on the journey of Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli; as they ride between Fangorn Forest and the Golden Hall of King Theoden in Rohan. Here Tolkien shows what Fantasy Fiction can do, because the Rohirrim are ‘us’, the readers – especially if we are English; since Rohan does not just represent a version of our Anglo Saxon past; but is also the race of beings from-which modern Men have mostly descended.
RPG (Matthew J. Constantine): If you’re a Keeper for Call of Cthulhu, and you’re thinking about setting your game in Arkham, you should almost certainly get a copy of this. Keith Herber (without any Sasquatch) gives a nice, info-packed guide to the storied city where so many of Lovecraft’s tales of horror were centered.
It starts with a brief history of the city, exploring some of its founding fathers, and the religions and political reasons for them setting up shop on the ‘ol Miskatonic River.
D&D (Brain Leakage): As I mentioned in this post a couple of months back, I’ve always played the game by cobbling rules together from various editions. But I’m going to give Demilich Jim a big hat-tip here for borrowing the perfect term for it from the model-building community. Demilich Jim also wrote an awesome thread about a month ago, one that’s well worth a read for anyone with plans to do some D&D kitbashing.
Cartoons (Entertainment Weekly): “Years ago, it started off as a kids 6-11 show about this little caveman and he has a little dinosaur friend and they have adventures together,” Tartakovsky tells EW. “Then, as my tastes started to grow and I felt like I’m not sure where I’m heading with this, it organically started to develop into something more mature.” The biggest turning point for Primal, shifting away from that kids concept to what it is today, came when Tartakovsky read Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian stories, first published in the 1930s.
Fiction (Gardner F. Fox): By the telling of Mr. Fox’s version of Jean du Dunois’s life, he was a bastard and made a few of them himself along the way. The first chapter has Jean climbing into the room of the man, Raoul D’Anquetonville, that had his father assassinated, only to run into Raoul’s wife. So instead of killing her, he gives her a child, knowing the whole world knows the old Raoul is too old to sire a child, their reputation would be dragged into the dirt. Not a bad way to seek revenge and start a story.
Art & History (Adams Planes): Alex Raymond made a famous mark for himself when he created Flash Gordon in 1934. His groundbreaking use of color and attention to detail are widely recognized as setting new standards in the comic art form. His career was cut short, at age 46, by an auto accident in 1956 but by then he had created three other cartoon strips that also became popular … ‘Secret Agent X-9’, ‘Rip Kirby’ and ‘Jungle Jim’.
T.V. (Closer Weekly): “If there wasn’t a Man From Atlantis, I wouldn’t have
been on Dallas,” Patrick exclusively told Closer Weekly at Nostalgiacon. “For starters, the producer of Dallas, when he was creating the original show, was filming a different one, right next door to me on Man From Atlantis. He requested me to play the part of Bobby; I never auditioned for it. Had he not been there, next door to where I was doing Atlantis, that opportunity may never have presented itself to me. So Atlantis is very important in my career.”
RPG (Matthew J. Constantine): Cyberpunk is a subgenre that’s always appealed to me, for reasons that are often beyond me. I’m not into computers, never was. I’m not much of a tech person at all, really. But there’s something about the aesthetic, the attitude, etc. that’s made me a lifelong fan. From early movies like “Bladerunner” to tertiary works like the TV miniseries “Wild Palms,” or blockbusters as far flung as “The Matrix” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and low budget crap like “Cyborg” and “Nemesis.”
Art (Paperback Palette): Beginning in August, 1978, and ending in May, 1982, Bantam, under the guidance of their legendary art director Leonard P. Leone Sr., began issuing a series of non-Robert E. Howard material continuing and supplementing the much earlier Lancer/Ace Conan paperback series. Bantam numbered their paperback volumes in order of intended publication and only on the spine, but in the event volume 5 was issued after volume 6, and volume 7 was issued without numbering.
Amateur Press (Howard History): If you’re reading this blog, you may be aware of the Robert E. Howard United Press Association or REHupa (pronounced “ray-hoop-uh”), an amateur press association that is focused on Howard and his writing. If you’re not, REHupa is a bunch of people who occasionally send in 35 or so copies of a fanzine that they have produced to an “editor.” The editor combines all the ‘zines into mailings and sends them back out to the members so that everyone gets a copy of everyone else’s work.
Sword & Sorcery (DMR Books): “I guess heavy metal means different things to different people. To me, one of these elements is living one’s life as a free and wild entity and casting off the chains of oppression. Just going beyond the threshold, in general. This is one of the reasons people get into black magick and some of the philosophies dealing with the Left-Hand-Path.”