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Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Return of Conan

Published Dec 15th 2010
Say Conan and many people think of Arnold Schwarzenthingie but those in the know will opt for Roy Thomas, the man who wrote the series for Marvel Comic during its most iconic period. Now Thomas is back with a twelve issue series for Dark Horse Comics.

The project marks the 40th anniversary of the first "Conan" comic book. Thomas said although he is writing the character using different standards than when he first began, he has been given "carte blanche" with the project.
"After (Dark Horse) took (‘Conan') over, the publisher suggested a year of comics," Thomas said. "It is an episodic story, with the first six issues being one story, about 120 pages or so.
"Why should that come to an end after 12 issues?"
Thomas said Conan, created by Robert Howard in the 1930s, was a pulp-fiction hero who became more popular when the stories were published in paperback in 1965 and 1966.
"The artwork was done by the same artist who had done art for (Tarzan creator) Edgar Rice Burroughs," Thomas said. "I collected them because of the covers.
"I was associated with (Marvel Comics publisher) Stan Lee at the time. Our readers were writing us and asking, ‘Why don't you get the rights to that?' We didn't do it at first because we thought it would be too expensive.
"I was able to talk them into it because they liked the idea of exposing the Conan character to a new audience. It worked out well."

1 comment:

John Sinclair said...

I remember lying in hospital with a broken leg (long story)when my mother brought me in a big stack of comics. Among the stuff (1973 was a classic year - Wrightsons' Swamp Thing, Kalutas' Shadow and numerous Adams Batman issues were in the pile) was an early issue of Marvels' Conan the Barbarian - featuring Moorcock's Elric!
I had never heard of Conan, but Elric was a different matter!
I dived head-first into that issue and haven't come up for air yet...
When I got out of hospital (after 9 months!!) I looked up the few back issues so far published, scooped up the 5 Savage Tales Black and Whites and started picking up the Lancer paperbacks.

Always loved the character, who was well served by the amazing artists employed to illo his adventures! Smith, Adams, Buscema, ALCALA!! Infantino, Nebres, etc. And the paperback covers by Frazetta.....

Must admit I fell by the wayside in the 80s as the comics just seemed to fall into a formulaic rut, but when the series was revived by Black Horse in the 90s, it seemed to give ol'Blue-eyes a new lease of life.

The new Conan film coming out next year might give his sales a fillip too; Stargate Atlantis' Jason Makoa would not be my first choice, but thinking about it, who said that Conan was a Caucasian anyway? He came from a time, Oh My Prince....