Posted 22 May 2012 - 05:21 PM
What prompted me to get reaquainted with REH and Conan was a desire about six months ago to see again the drawings of Jack Kirby. Last summer's comic book movies and the anticipation of this summer's Avengers, etc. sent me to the library and their Inter-Library Loan System to check out the Marvel Masterworks and Essential series of Thor, Fantastic Four and others. I'm 57 and only read comics from age 8-18. When I originally read these, I had no idea that Jack Kirby would become the artistic icon that he is considered to be today.
So, as I finished the superhero comics, I decided to re-read the Conan stories again. I first read them at age 13 with the Frazetta-covered Lancer paperbacks. A Conan-reading buddy and I created a group of Hyborean characters ourselves, intending to write our own stories but that never bore any fruit. All that remains is our little paragraqph character synopsises. I remember one was named Lanter, an Argossean archer but that's as far as my memory will allow. I started reading the first few Marvel Conan's with Barry Smith but that was right when I entered college and my roomate razzed me for still reading comic books and I stopped, then and there.
In my late 20s I re-read the Conan stories and also read the Kull, Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn and El Borak stories.
When I recently re-read the Conan stories, I was reminded of the old Roy Thomas/Barry Smith comics that I had bailed on many many years prior. Researching on amazon.com, I was amazed at the sheer number of Conan titles! So, that's where I am now, reading all the Thomas/Windsor-Smith/Buscema Conan comic reprint compilations, the Savage Sword of Conan comps and the Kurt Busiek adaptations. I can't believe, at my age, how much I'm enjoying being re-acquainted with one of my all-time favorite fictional characters. I confess to enjoying the Savage Sword of Conan the best; with its fantastic b&w art, it seems to hew closest to the pulp origins of the character.
On a side note, when I was re-reading Thor, when John Buscema took over for Jack Kirby after the King's long run with the title, I felt the like the series really screeched to a halt and I blamed Buscema. Technically good, but he just couldn't move the story or convey the action like Kirby. Once I started reading some Buscema-drawn Conan stories, that totally changed my ignorant initial opinion of him. He's fantastic!
So, closing, I'm about halfway through the Chronicles of Conan, The SSOC and the Busiek Conan stuff and practically giddy with enjoyment. If there's anything I should also check on besides these title, recommend away, I'd appreciate it. Thanks for this forum!