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The "Look" Of A (Possible) New Conan Cable Series

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#1 monk

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:14 PM

MOD EDIT: All of the posts regarding the "look" or "production/props bible" for a cable series (and associated gripes) have been split/moved to this thread from the original "Conan Cable Series". Despite the thread title, discussions about the non-visual/literary contents of any "series bible/guide" are quite welcome and on-topic. :)




In another thread, a cromrade made a list of the contents of what I called, "the Bible."

The Bible, as we will be using the term, would be a work of very detailed research that would be an indispensable aid in bringing any iteration of conan to any screen- big screen or small screen. It would also inform any pastiche- printed or comic. In our fantasy Conan world where we cromrades can pretend the production will happen as we would want it to, this Bible would need to be read by everyone in charge of anything to do with the movie, and must be adhered to. This would instantly ramp up the quality of any pastiche and create a respectful framework for adaptations. If I were in charge of the property, this would have been the first thing I would have commissioned. I would have hired 5 or 6 of the known and respected scholars- many of whom post here- to execute this project, and everything from video games to other creative efforts would need to be informed by this.

Other productions that have successfully brought a vision of an original literary work to screen have used such devices to keep the productions anchored. Howard himself used his own essay, to lend a visceral realism to his stories that allowed people to quickly invest in the stories cast against this backdrop. I don't know if he wrote it before Phoenix, someone will have to say, or after...but it's clear it's not a fluff piece but something he put a lot of thought into and as such he became a world builder, one of the first and providing one of the most visceral backdrops against which to tell stories.

300 for example, basically had Frank Miller's graphic novel as their story board...even saying: "The characters stood and they looked and they talked like the graphic novel, and that you felt the graphic novel. That was the most important thing to me because I felt like the story was there, was sort of the heroic nature of the film. But, the tone of it, the where it came from, I wanted you to feel it. So in that way, I used the graphic novel as a thing that informed the tone of the movie. That's my favorite thing about the movie is that I feel that."

So in the Bible, we would obviously want all the original stories. Maybe even color coded texts, or even annotated like a real Bible sometimes is.

We will also obviously want the essay that was the framework for it all, the Hyborian Age.

I think also a pictorial dictionary- showing exactly what the suit of armor Conan wore as King in Phoenix, in Black Colossus...what does a scale mail hauberk look like, what was it Howard was looking at for his inspiration. One of our other Cromrades was complaining that critics were not offering their own view and this seems a bit cheeky since for a lot of it there is already one correct view and that is the author's own. Any opening in that armor can be viewed as a chance for one's creativity, yes, but the rubric is there already. We can't have adult Conan taking down 3 Picts and have 12 yr old Conan kill and behead 4 like it's nothing. If Howard never once had Conan wearing a romanesque or greek chest plate why would we put him in a magic suit of armor that was a leather breast plate. At least, wait until the pastiche period lol.

Can someone add in some important letters...add in, cromrades, add in...essays from all our illustrious scholars with opposing critical viewpoints should be included...definitive versions of each story with a publication history...

I dunno...I'm just musing I guess. If something like that were to come out I think I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#2 Konorg

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 02:33 AM

In another thread, a cromrade made a list of the contents of what I called, "the Bible."

The Bible, as we will be using the term, would be a work of very detailed research that would be an indispensable aid in bringing any iteration of conan to any screen- big screen or small screen. It would also inform any pastiche- printed or comic. In our fantasy Conan world where we cromrades can pretend the production will happen as we would want it to, this Bible would need to be read by everyone in charge of anything to do with the movie, and must be adhered to. This would instantly ramp up the quality of any pastiche and create a respectful framework for adaptations. If I were in charge of the property, this would have been the first thing I would have commissioned. I would have hired 5 or 6 of the known and respected scholars- many of whom post here- to execute this project, and everything from video games to other creative efforts would need to be informed by this.

Other productions that have successfully brought a vision of an original literary work to screen have used such devices to keep the productions anchored. Howard himself used his own essay, to lend a visceral realism to his stories that allowed people to quickly invest in the stories cast against this backdrop. I don't know if he wrote it before Phoenix, someone will have to say, or after...but it's clear it's not a fluff piece but something he put a lot of thought into and as such he became a world builder, one of the first and providing one of the most visceral backdrops against which to tell stories.

300 for example, basically had Frank Miller's graphic novel as their story board...even saying: "The characters stood and they looked and they talked like the graphic novel, and that you felt the graphic novel. That was the most important thing to me because I felt like the story was there, was sort of the heroic nature of the film. But, the tone of it, the where it came from, I wanted you to feel it. So in that way, I used the graphic novel as a thing that informed the tone of the movie. That’s my favorite thing about the movie is that I feel that.”

So in the Bible, we would obviously want all the original stories. Maybe even color coded texts, or even annotated like a real Bible sometimes is.

We will also obviously want the essay that was the framework for it all, the Hyborian Age.

I think also a pictorial dictionary- showing exactly what the suit of armor Conan wore as King in Phoenix, in Black Colossus...what does a scale mail hauberk look like, what was it Howard was looking at for his inspiration. One of our other Cromrades was complaining that critics were not offering their own view and this seems a bit cheeky since for a lot of it there is already one correct view and that is the author's own. Any opening in that armor can be viewed as a chance for one's creativity, yes, but the rubric is there already. We can't have adult Conan taking down 3 Picts and have 12 yr old Conan kill and behead 4 like it's nothing. If Howard never once had Conan wearing a romanesque or greek chest plate why would we put him in a magic suit of armor that was a leather breast plate. At least, wait until the pastiche period lol.

Can someone add in some important letters...add in, cromrades, add in...essays from all our illustrious scholars with opposing critical viewpoints should be included...definitive versions of each story with a publication history...

I dunno...I'm just musing I guess. If something like that were to come out I think I'd buy it in a heartbeat.



I like your idea.

They also do the same thing for The walking Dead,though they do add a few things into it that you will not be expecting but not in a way that does not fit with the story line.


The aveage civilized man is never fully alive;he is burdened with masses of atrophied tisse and useless matter.Life flickers feebily in him;his senses sre dull and torpid...In devloping his intellect he has sacrificed far more then he realizes."

#3 Dark Mark

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 02:38 AM

They also do the same thing for The walking Dead,though they do add a few things into it that you will not be expecting but not in a way that does not fit with the story line.


The Walking Dead suddenly veered far from the source material to it's detriment.

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#4 Ironhand

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:21 AM

Whatever expense was incurred in producing this bible could probably be recouped by selling copies.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#5 theagenes

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 11:52 AM

Al's Encyclopedia Hyboriana will no doubt be an incredibly helpful reference. Morgan has a lot of great articles on the various Hyborian nations that appeared in the REHupa mailings and that need to be published more broadly.
The area of research I'm focusing on is Howard as a world builder, looking at his creation of the Thurian and Hyborian Ages and his sources and influences and trying to show that it's not just an invented fantasy world like Narnia or Oz or Elfland, but an attempt to create plausible alternative prehistoric world--I have a couple of articles along these lines that will out this year. Dale has of course done a lot of good work, though I would caution against using his ideas unquestioningly (as some publishers have done) due to the fact that he sometimes mixes in pastiche material and his own speculation with genuine REH without qualification.

But the point is, the research is being done and the knowledge is out there. It just needs to be put together and heeded.
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#6 deuce

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 01:26 PM

Regarding a "Bible", Al Harron is putting together an Encyclopaedia Hyboriana (I prefer "Hyborica") as we speak. THAT, plus the Del Reys would suffice as a "Bible" in any pastiche situation.

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#7 deuce

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 01:30 PM

Here's one thread:

http://www.conan.com...=1


I definitely KNOW there is another thread relating to Conan on HBO, but the software freaks below four characters. :)

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#8 theagenes

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 04:44 PM

Regarding a "Bible", Al Harron is putting together an Encyclopaedia Hyboriana (I prefer "Hyborica") as we speak. THAT, plus the Del Reys would suffice as a "Bible" in any pastiche situation.


Yeah, I mentioned that above, but I think what monk means is a guide written specifically for filmmakers/writers using things like Al's proposed encylcopedia (and the texts of course) as it's source.

I'll bump the HBO series thread.
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#9 monk

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 04:53 PM

I didn't know Taranaich was putting something like that together- that's going to be awesome. but yes building on what theagenes is saying, this would primarily be for industry people and it's point would be to provide a working text which would inform not just pastiche, but adaptations as well because we have zero reason to trust anyone to adapt these stories- cases in point being the films made so far.

howard writes "aquilonian broadsword" and we get the j. samson "atlantean," and now we have a sword attached to Conan when nothing could really have been further from the truth, then we get god only knows what the hell they were thinking with these last few swords. the Father's sword ok I kinda see it as alright but right there any weapon maker associated with any future production could access, say, a chart broken down by story to see what Conan was kitted out with, and what actual examples of those kinds of weapons really look like, so we don't get some kind of midget two-hander, smithing techniques and blade making information would be annotated to each weapon so we don't get any more adam west style batman and robin death traps with molten metal.

This would REALLY really help a lot of the cover artists for DH for example, who routinely come up with whacky swords I guess because, they think they look cool, but actually look kinda foolish.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#10 PaulMc

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:30 PM

I'll merge when I'm not typing from an iPhone. Unless the hurricane knocks out my power first.

edit: merged and bumped, thanks deuce & theagenes

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#11 monk

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 06:27 AM

another thing that I think should be packed into the Bible, and it would be sick if this could be cross referenced as well, would be all the different writings which proved to have such strong influence on Howard- Lamb, London...
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#12 monk

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 09:32 AM

Posted Image

something like this, with multiple examples of actual armor (always thought Henry the VIII's kind of fit a King Conan sort of look) would really help make Conan more properly visually anchored and would have prevented the Marvel (and Darkhorse) depictions of Black Colossus and Aqui-Roman stylings...a diagram like this could easily be created, as well as stories listed that include Conan in such armor...and this should be done for every story.

At her command they brought harness to replace Conan's chain-mail--gorget, sollerets, cuirass, pauldrons, jambes, cuisses and sallet. When Yasmela again drew the curtains, a Conan in burnished steel stood before his audience. Clad in the plate armor, vizor lifted and dark face shadowed by the black plumes that nodded above his helmet, there was a grim impressiveness about him that even Thespides grudgingly noted. A jest died suddenly on Amalric's lips.

"By Mitra," said he slowly, "I never expected to see you cased in coat armor, but you do not put it to shame. By my fingerbones, Conan, I have seen kings who wore their harness less regally than you!"

Conan was silent. A vague shadow crossed his mind like a prophecy. In years to come he was to remember Amalric's words, when the dream became the reality.


"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#13 monk

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 07:22 PM

in order to set the realistic tone of a fully developed world, and another failing of both CtB and CtB reboot, is a lack of languages.

When klingon Khal Drogo does his revenge spiel, it's in dothraki, and it resonates...via subtitle he had the audience.

so in the Bible, we'll need some linguistic development, and I think some languages need to be 'invented' to give place to the various characters. let's hear conan speak kothian with a barbaric accent.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#14 Kortoso

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 03:14 AM

in order to set the realistic tone of a fully developed world, and another failing of both CtB and CtB reboot, is a lack of languages.

When klingon Khal Drogo does his revenge spiel, it's in dothraki, and it resonates...via subtitle he had the audience.

so in the Bible, we'll need some linguistic development, and I think some languages need to be 'invented' to give place to the various characters. let's hear conan speak kothian with a barbaric accent.


I been trying to get people going on this for years. A little money would grease the wheels, my friend. yes? ;)
BTW, I am not 100% comfortable with the name "the Bible", and I am far from Christian. :)

#15 monk

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 04:32 AM

Conapedia?

I loved in Game of Thrones when Daenarys was learning Dothraki and they made her subtitle go all Chinglish.


But what makes a world realer faster than languages?


Here are some gorgeous swords out of albion's museum line, having this included in our Conapedia would basically instantly save us from the steady diet of lame fantasy swords which not even frazetta painted.

http://www.flickr.co...57625142972212/

Posted Image

create the weapons in Conan's world just as Howard did, by surveying real historical weapons and going from there. MORE than enough room to be really, functionally, creative.

Tulwars:

Posted Image

ceremonial tulwar:

Posted Image
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#16 Ironhand

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 04:33 AM

I thought "Bible" was what they called such a document in the industry; it creates a feeling for how seriously such a document needs to be taken. What else would you call it? The golden plates of Moroni? The 210 Commandments? The Conan Khoran?
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#17 Kortoso

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:04 PM

So we're talking about the Conanopedia or Bible now, not the Cable Series? I'm confused. <- subtle moderator's hint

#18 Libaax

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:07 PM

Im confused about bible talk too, im thinking where did this bible talk come from ? Conanopedia since when ? Where ?

#19 monk

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:17 PM

Im confused about bible talk too, im thinking where did this bible talk come from ? Conanopedia since when ? Where ?



two threads were merged.

an existing thread about bringing conan to an episodic in nature cable show/series and then a call to put together a book or collection of information that could be used to craft such a series faithfully- in this regard a "bible' is just a form of jargon because such a document, from the standpoint of the producers and creatives behind the production, would be given the respect and adherence worthy of the material- like a Bible. For example, the books written by Martin are the "Bible" for Game of Thrones, the books written by Tolkein are Jackson's Bible for the LotR movies. It's just a metaphor. It doesn't exist yet, but it should exist. I think Taranaich is working on something like it, but I don't know how in depth it will be and probably is in a more consumer friendly format.

so if you look back into the thread you should see what we're talking about- it was two threads merged into one.

Edited by monk, 29 August 2011 - 06:20 PM.

"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#20 Kortoso

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:33 PM

I know that; we now have two separate discussions going on. I'm not sure how it helps either. :)





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