Conan Graphic Novels
I’ve come down with an odd recurring fever. I’ll be perfectly miserable for hours, then it will break, and I’ll think I’m on the mend… only to have the damned thing come back. It’s really messing with my ability to get writing and house work finished. Also it’s uncomfortable.
The one bright spot is that I’ve finally been able to read the old Marvel Conan comics, written/adapted by Roy Thomas. The local library has a pretty complete collection. I never read these when I was a kid (no idea why) so I’m coming upon them very fresh, and it turns out that they’re really fun sword-and-sorcery comics.
I started reading with volume 6, which is when Roy Thomas himself writes that he felt like he really had a handle on what he was doing.
You know, I came upon Harold Lamb and Robert E. Howard backwards from the way people normally do — I’d read thousands of pages of Harold Lamb before I ever seriously read Robert E. Howard. And I’ve come to these Thomas Conan comics backwards as well, because I started by reading the year’s worth of Conan comics he wrote for Dark Horse. I thought them better conceived than most of the other graphic novel collections from the new Dark Horse line (as a matter of fact, they’re two out of only three of those Conan graphic novels that I’ve kept).
So I figured I might enjoy these others, written decades before, and I am. When I woke last night with more aches and chills and couldn’t sleep, I just sat down to enjoy another tale of my favorite Cimmerian. After polishing off two collections I think I can safely say that Roy Thomas is one of the best REH pastiche writers we’ve had. It doesn’t hurt that John Buscema drew the stories with such vigor and detail, either.