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Crom The Barbarian


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#1 monolith

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 11:41 PM

1950's AC Comics "Crom the Barbarian"

Wonder where they got this idea.

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#2 finmaccool

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 01:58 AM

Gardner Fox....


I have seen the original. Somewhere, I have a page saved from it on a web link or somesuch.
It was written by Gardner Fox who, in addition to being the co-creator of Hawkman was a big fan of REH. He wrote several Conan like novels in the seventies, most featuring a post apoccalyptic barbarian named Kothar. Some of them were adapted by Roy Thomas and John Buscema in their run on the Conan comic.
Crom the Barbarian had short blonde hair and looked a lot like Flash Gordon in John Carter drag, by the way.
Back in the fifties Gil Kane and Gray Morrow both wanted to do a Conan comic book decades before Roy and Marvel did it.

#3 PainBrush

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 04:21 AM

Back in the fifties Gil Kane and Gray Morrow both wanted to do a Conan comic book decades before Roy and Marvel did it.

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I recall reading that somewhere too years ago . Morrow did some Sword & Sorcery in the '60's in the Warren horror mags. Kane had to wait until his stint doing Conan for Thomas in the '70's .

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#4 korak

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 05:14 AM

Gil Kane went ahead and did his concept of a mass market paperback comic, but he changed it to BlackMark. (He later returned to Conan in the eighties for a pretty good run, I can't remember, 10 to 20 issues, but they are not written by Thomas. ) Marvel then decided that Kane's idea was pretty good, so they had BWS draw up an adaptation of Kull Exile of Atlantis for their own S&S paperback book, but it never quite materialized and so then was published the art in SSOC. (As was the unpublished sequel to Blackmark.)

Morrow ended up doing the last two decades of the Tarzan Sunday strip.

#5 theagenes

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 02:55 PM

According to Overstreet the first Sword and Sorcery story in comics was "Crom the Barbarian" in the one-shot Out of this World published by Avon in June 1950. The story was written by Gardner F. Fox, who is best known for his work at DC, and drawn by John Giunta, probably best known today as the mentor of the young Frazetta. "Crom" is non-too-subtle knock-off of Conan and contains several familiar themes and names (starting with the name Crom of course). I have no doubt that Fox was a fan of REH's work, probably from the original pulps as the only other place Conan had been published by early 1950 was in Skull-Face and Others with a pretty small print run (of course the Conan the Conqueror pb and the first Gnome book would also come out in 1950). Although Fox is best known for his comic book work, he did write some prose S&S fiction, even contributing to Dragon magazine in the 70's.

Whether or not "Crom" is really the first S&S story is probably debatable. There are certainly some earlier fantasy strips but mostly they are Arthurian in nature like Prince Valiant or mythological characters acting like superheroes (Hercules, Samson, etc.). I have heard there are some S&S-like stories in Weird Comics and Atomic Comics, but have not had a chance to check them out yet. It does seem likely though that "Crom the Barbarian" is the first true Howardian S&S story in comics.

Out of this World is a pretty rare book even by Golden Age standards (a Gerber 8 for those that are familiar with that scarcity index), but a while back I managed to pick up a cheap coverless reading copy. Since it's already a beater I didn't mind throwing it on the scanner. I though you guys might enjoy reading what many consider to be the first sword and sorcery comics story.

NOTE - Like all of Avon's comic stories, this work is now in the public domain and these images are my personal scans.


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#6 theagenes

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 02:55 PM

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#7 theagenes

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 02:57 PM

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#8 theagenes

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 02:57 PM

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#9 theagenes

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 02:59 PM

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#10 Hipster

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 03:21 PM

Damn photobucket and those pesky red Xs in white boxes! :(

#11 theagenes

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 03:46 PM

Damn photobucket and those pesky red Xs in white boxes! :(


Can you not see the images?

Here are the direct links:

http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom01.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom02.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom03.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom04.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom05.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom06.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom07.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom08.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom09.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom10.jpg
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#12 deuce

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 04:03 PM

Damn photobucket and those pesky red Xs in white boxes! :(


Can you not see the images?

Here are the direct links:

http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom01.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom02.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom03.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom04.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom05.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom06.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom07.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom08.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom09.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom10.jpg


Thanks, Theagenes! Luckily, I can see see 'em fine. :D

BTW... There's basically no doubt that Fox was an early REH fan, though I don't know of a direct quote to that effect. "Howardian" influences are obvious very early on in his fiction (he wrote for several pulps). Later, he wrote novels featuring Conanic heroes like Kothar and Kyrik. Tim Truman is a long-time Gar Fox fan.

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#13 theagenes

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 04:53 PM

Thanks, Theagenes! Luckily, I can see see 'em fine. :D

BTW... There's basically no doubt that Fox was an early REH fan, though I don't know of a direct quote to that effect. "Howardian" influences are obvious very early on in his fiction (he wrote for several pulps). Later, he wrote novels featuring Conanic heroes like Kothar and Kyrik. Tim Truman is a long-time Gar Fox fan.


I knew about his prose fiction, but I've never actually read any. Is it any good?
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#14 Roquefort Raider

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 06:22 PM

I knew about his prose fiction, but I've never actually read any. Is it any good?


Oh, yes; it's good, honest fun. Fox's "Kothar the barbarian" series doesn't have the depth of Howard's imagination or the elegance of his prose, but neither does it have the ponderousness of Lin Carter's "Thongor of Lemuria" or Jakes' "Brak the barbarian".

One of the Kothar novels was adapted by Roy Thomas in Conan the barbarian #46-51, and it meshed seamlessly with the rest of the series.

By the way, for more info on early S&S comics, I recommend the three issues of Alter Ego that are devoted to the genre. They're quite interesting, and there were quite a few attempts before the successful experiment with Conan.

#15 deuce

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 06:34 PM

By the way, for more info on early S&S comics, I recommend the three issues of Alter Ego that are devoted to the genre. They're quite interesting, and there were quite a few attempts before the successful experiment with Conan.


I totally agree, Raider. B) All three issues are excellent and worth the money, especially considering the truly great art therein. :)

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#16 theagenes

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:25 PM

I just got the first two issues in the mail a couple of days ago - I didn't realize there was a third. doh! The first one was a great read - haven't gotten to the second one yet.
I was interested in finding out more about the La Reina de Costra Negra comics after seeing the one godzilladude posted. I'd love to find one of those.
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#17 docpod

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:43 PM

I thought it was two issues of ALTER EGO also. I have all the Gardner Fox stories in WEIRD TALES and science fiction pulps. I don't have his westerns and sports stories in pulp magazines and there are more of those than science fiction and fantasy. I did a blog post on his story "Heart of Light" from AMAZING STORIES at rehupa.com.
There are about 3 or 4 stories by Fox in PLANET STORIES that read like a cross between Robert E. Howard and Edmond Hamilton, "Sword of the Seven Suns" especially. Fox seemed to like H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith also.

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#18 PainBrush

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:07 AM

pretty cool stuff T. . thanks for taking bthe time to scan & post those for us to get a gander at , it's unlikely a lot of us would ever get a chance to see those ever otherwise .

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#19 deuce

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:17 AM

I just got the first two issues in the mail a couple of days ago - I didn't realize there was a third. doh! The first one was a great read - haven't gotten to the second one yet.
I was interested in finding out more about the La Reina de Costra Negra comics after seeing the one godzilladude posted. I'd love to find one of those.


The third one has the Kayanan painting of BMM. Roy Thomas keeps treating us right. :D

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#20 Hipster

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 09:00 AM

Damn photobucket and those pesky red Xs in white boxes! :(


Can you not see the images?

Here are the direct links:

http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom01.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom02.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom03.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom04.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom05.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom06.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom07.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom08.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom09.jpg
http://i156.photobuc...ulps/Crom10.jpg

Thanks for doing that for me theagenes but unfortunately for some reason my computer just doesn't like photobucket whichever way I try to access it. :(