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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Vintage Comics - The Savage Sword of Conan

Published in May 1980 this is issue 31 of Marvel UK's monthly title, The Savage Sword of Conan. This particular issue features the first part of the story, A Witch Shall be Born as well as a short standalone story,  Dragonseed.

I picked up this issue today in the excellent Troutmark Books, which resides in a magical corner of Cardiff's Castle Arcade. I also found the subsequent issue, No 32, which completes the storyline from this issue. They cost me £1.25 each which is a steal. Okay they may have cost just over three times their original cover price but then it ain't 1980 anymore.

The Savage Sword of Conan was aimed at the more mature comic reader, hence the price - at a time when most British comics were around 12p,  then 40p was a hefty price indeed.  It only contained two stories, and the supporting story was told over a mere nine pages it meant that the main storyline, the Conan story, boasted just shy of forty pages, which meant that the story could remain incredibly faithful to the Robert E. Howard story while not skimping on the eye popping action.

The artwork on the main story is by John Buscema and it's amazingly detailed, though in black and white given that this is a UK reprint of American material. Still the monochrome images suit the style and somehow  make the blood seem all the more red. The storyline is by the legendary Roy Thomas and these two issues are the only ones I've got of this title, but I'll certainly be looking out for more.

One thing I always look for in old comics is the letters page - a lively letters page can be fascinating and this magazine boasts a double page spread of lively letters.

Click on any of the images here to see a larger version.

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