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Conan The Barbarian #3


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#61 amster

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:33 AM

Well, I personally see Belit as a good archer and spearwoman, but - after reading Deuce's comment at post #45 - not as a swordwoman. ;)


Then what is Belit thrusting with?

In one mad instant she was there--a tense white shape, vibrant with love fierce as a she-panther's. The dazed Cimmerian saw between him and the onrushing death, her lithe figure, shimmering like ivory beneath the moon; he saw the blaze of her dark eyes, the thick cluster of her burnished hair; her bosom heaved, her red lips were parted, she cried out sharp and ringing at the ring of steel as she thrust at the winged monster's breast.

...because how I interpret it, she's swinging a sword in a circular arc to keep the monster at bay, so quickly that the movement is blurred, creating the illusion of a "ring of steel", and following through with a thrust. Since she's not a corporal being, it doesn't actually harm the creature, just keeps him off long enough for Conan to free himself. If, like me, you have a sword, at home, then I would urge you to try it (outside, of course). The description simply doesn't work by substituting a dagger, a spear, or Belit's bare hands. If someone has an alternate interpretation of that passage, I would love to hear it.
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#62 Ironhand

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:51 AM

My interpretation of the scene is similar, but not the same, as yours.

When I first read the passage, years ago, I perceived it as "she cried out sharp and ringing as the ring of steel ". I thought it meant that she thrust at the monster with her bare hand. It is even possible that "at" is a typo, and REH meant to say "as". But I shouldn't be trying to re-interpret and re-write REH posthumously, so I'll assume he meant "at". In that case, I picture Belit first appearing with her ectoplasmic sword sheathed in its ectoplasmic scabbard, Then she draws it with a rasping flourish, hence the ring of steel; then she yells and thrusts with the sword, intimidating the monster but doing no damage

Edited by Ironhand, 06 April 2012 - 08:53 AM.

"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

#63 amster

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:58 AM

My interpretation of the scene is similar, but not the same, as yours.

When I first read the passage, years ago, I perceived it as "she cried out sharp and ringing as the ring of steel ". I thought it meant that she thrust at the monster with her bare hand. It is even possible that "at" is a typo, and REH meant to say "as". But I shouldn't be trying to re-interpret and re-write REH posthumously, so I'll assume he meant "at". In that case, I picture Belit first appearing with her ectoplasmic sword sheathed in its ectoplasmic scabbard, Then she draws it with a rasping flourish, hence the ring of steel; then she yells and thrusts with the sword, intimidating the monster but doing no damage


It apparently is a typo on wiki and project gutenberg, since it's as you wrote it in the Del Rey and the Lancer, so I guess it does describe a sound. I wonder how it appears in Weird Tales or the original typewritten text (if it still exists). Still, I stand by my position, mainly because the Belit who doesn't know how to fight is just lame. She's a phony and a hypocrite who sends other people off to die while she stands behind them, unwilling to get her own hands bloody. Why Conan would find such a person remotely attractive is beyond me, because she embodies the worst kind of civilized behavior. I really can't imagine REH purposely creating such a character and expecting his Conan fans to symphathise with her. Luckily, neither Karl Edward Wagner, nor Poul Anderson, nor Roy Thomas, nor most of the artists (including most recently, Mark Shultz) have interpreted her that way, and I'm hoping that neither will Wood and Cloonan. I'll be very disappointed if Belit doesn't do some killing of her own in the next three years.
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#64 ZackDavisson

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:33 PM

... Conan is often likened to a wolf by REH. In the wild, a large, successful wolf pack is often ruled by an alpha pair, a "king" and "queen". And it is often the alpha female who is dominant.

This perfectly sums up how I have always seen their relationship. It doesn't mean that Conan was subordinate as in his suddenly became a little fancy man in a summer dress with a camisole sipping appletinis, or that Belit was ordering him around the cabin and pegging him for good measure.

Just that Conan, as a primal, instinctual figure, understood his role and played it. Belit was the General. Conan her trusted and respected Lieutenant. Of course she valued his opinion, as all good commanders do for the second-in-command. It diminishes neither of them.

Like Ironhand said, they were an alpha pair. But Belit was the slightly more dominant one.

And for Belit to not have any martial skills ... like amster said, that is just ridiculous. If she couldn’t defend herself, if she couldn’t bring it on in combat, she would hardly have had the reputation and respect she commanded. Like Conan and all warriors of the Hyborean age, she was probably proficient in a number of weapons. I would assume you learned to fight with what you had if you wanted to live very long.

And on a grimmer note … as has been pointed out Howard implied that Belit was a virgin until she met Conan. Probably not a lot of virgins in the Hyborean age who couldn’t hold their own in a fight.

#65 Fernando

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:45 PM

Well... after seeing the latest comments, my conclusion is: Belit was a nice spearwoman and archer, and became a nice swordswoman after meeting Conan. Well, at least this is my conclusion by the time being - I'm a eternal apprentice/beginner. ;)

#66 amster

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:20 PM

And on a grimmer note … as has been pointed out Howard implied that Belit was a virgin until she met Conan. Probably not a lot of virgins in the Hyborean age who couldn’t hold their own in a fight.


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#67 Ironhand

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 02:41 AM


And on a grimmer note … as has been pointed out Howard implied that Belit was a virgin until she met Conan. Probably not a lot of virgins in the Hyborean age who couldn’t hold their own in a fight.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

Maybe if they were fat and smelly and hideously ugly.

Edited by Ironhand, 08 April 2012 - 02:42 AM.

"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

#68 monk

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 05:31 PM

Belit a shrinking flower? FLOWER OF THE BLACK COAST?!!!! :angry: :angry: :angry:


fuggery! guess I will have to make that a soy latté machiatto when I read this. bad enough i've had to alter my ritual of bolivar and glenmorangie...
"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."

#69 monk

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 05:40 PM

However, this version that Wood is writing is going to take place over 2 years, and that is a lot of time for the characters and their relationships to develop and evolve. They don't have to just come out of the gate firing on all cylinders like in the original, because here there is more space and time to tell the story. I obviously prefer the original and am not implying that Wood is changing what he is changing to make it better, but if REH had expanded the story himself, who knows what he might have done differently?


KG, I'd be willing to bet a left arm it wouldn't have rolled out like this...

Of course I could be completely wrong, and Wood's intent may indeed be to turn Bêlit into just another submissive babe pining for Conan's affection. If that's the case then I too will rage and cry bloody murder, but whining and wailing that all is lost after only 2 issues is as ridiculous as walking out of a movie in the first 10 minutes and then ranting about how the whole movie sucks. Give it a chance, and if you can't do that then just don't read the comic.



how come everyone always says that. why can't someone say well what do you expect fans to think, they're not getting a good adaptation.

put wood on his own story why muck it up. it's not like conan fans won't support good pastiche. why can't they say stick to the guts of the story you have 2 years to do your own stories inside that story. there's a lot of room.
"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."

#70 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 07:22 PM

i agree with monk and also i find it very hard to believe that CPI told him to mess this story up this bad. i find it more likely it came from Dark Horse or it was his own "creative" idea -_-
either way i don't know why any conan fan is ok with it. to screw up conan in a pastiche fine no harm really to screw this story is almost like saying hey we don't care about REH,s conan anymore we are gonna make a our own.

#71 Ironhand

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:53 AM

i agree with monk and also i find it very hard to believe that CPI told him to mess this story up this bad. i find it more likely it came from Dark Horse or it was his own "creative" idea -_-
either way i don't know why any conan fan is ok with it. to screw up conan in a pastiche fine no harm really to screw this story is almost like saying hey we don't care about REH,s conan anymore we are gonna make a our own.

Somebody has to answer for this: Wood or DarkHorse or Paradox. Whose fault is this?
"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

#72 emerald

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 09:24 PM


i agree with monk and also i find it very hard to believe that CPI told him to mess this story up this bad. i find it more likely it came from Dark Horse or it was his own "creative" idea -_-
either way i don't know why any conan fan is ok with it. to screw up conan in a pastiche fine no harm really to screw this story is almost like saying hey we don't care about REH,s conan anymore we are gonna make a our own.

Somebody has to answer for this: Wood or DarkHorse or Paradox. Whose fault is this?


Geez, Ironhand. Someone has to answer for dramatically increasing the comic's sales.
It seems unlikely that this will be perceived by many people, outside of those of us posting on this thread, as being a "fault"

Down the years there has been no shortage of Conan comics that didn't capture much REH.
This, too, shall pass.
REH will remain.

#73 KG Thunder

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:12 PM

i agree with monk and also i find it very hard to believe that CPI told him to mess this story up this bad. i find it more likely it came from Dark Horse or it was his own "creative" idea -_-
either way i don't know why any conan fan is ok with it. to screw up conan in a pastiche fine no harm really to screw this story is almost like saying hey we don't care about REH,s conan anymore we are gonna make a our own.

I guess the difference is that not all of us are convinced the story is "screwed up" yet. Again, we're only 2 issues in...
I try to be an optimist and I'm just tired of hating/being disappointed by every new thing with Conan's name on it lately. Maybe this is why I'm willing to give Wood a chance to show what he is trying to do and why, instead of complaining that the whole thing is already ruined because Bêlit is less intense thus far. He'd better do it soon, though.

I remember before issue #1 came out and most of us were betting that Wood's script would be fine, but Cloonan's art would stink up the story. Now the reaction seems to be largely the opposite. :wacko:

#74 ZackDavisson

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:26 PM

Geez, Ironhand. Someone has to answer for dramatically increasing the comic's sales.
It seems unlikely that this will be perceived by many people, outside of those of us posting on this thread, as being a "fault"


Indeed. How dare they more than double the sales on Conan comics and generate new interest in the character!

Wood is doing a good job with the comic. It isn't a strict adaptation, more of an interpretation. Are there a few choices I disagree with? Sure. But that doesn't ruin the entire series for me.

#75 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:30 PM

i understand we are only 2 issues in , and i too like to get my hands on all conan things as well. but i guess I'm like an old wolf who likes to grumble about things even as he is buying it, i have many love hate relationships with things, like the 82 film for example i love it for many reasons but also hate it and can pick it to pieces as i watch it.
the art i could live with from the beginning , i have for long time known artists come and go on a series and am ok with it. what my issue with is changing how Belit acts. i can begrudgingly let the dance go, but to not have as a strong fiery pirate queen even when meeting conan seems just so unlike Belit that i read in QOTBC.
and my thought on the sales is the same, once wood is gone and art style changes we will see sales go down, because people are fallowing a writer or artist , maybe they will stay , but I'm not betting on it.

Edited by Gin-Wulf, 09 April 2012 - 10:33 PM.


#76 ZackDavisson

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:36 PM

Well, Wood is committed for the full two year run. Becky is gone as of issue 3, but the new artist looks great as well.

#77 Aquilonia

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:50 PM



i agree with monk and also i find it very hard to believe that CPI told him to mess this story up this bad. i find it more likely it came from Dark Horse or it was his own "creative" idea -_-
either way i don't know why any conan fan is ok with it. to screw up conan in a pastiche fine no harm really to screw this story is almost like saying hey we don't care about REH,s conan anymore we are gonna make a our own.

Somebody has to answer for this: Wood or DarkHorse or Paradox. Whose fault is this?


Geez, Ironhand. Someone has to answer for dramatically increasing the comic's sales.
It seems unlikely that this will be perceived by many people, outside of those of us posting on this thread, as being a "fault"

Down the years there has been no shortage of Conan comics that didn't capture much REH.
This, too, shall pass.
REH will remain.


Only a dozen people care about it all: we in this forum.
All the rest of the people that are buying the book (19.988 more or less) doesn`t have a clue about all the nuances in the original that are being left out of the adaptation.
Personally, up to this point, I don`t feel bothered because there will be no mating dance, etc. I wanna know if the final product will be convincing as a story by itself.
If it is good as a pastiche, an adaptation or whatever, it is good for me too.

Edited by Aquilonia, 10 April 2012 - 02:53 AM.


#78 johnnypt

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:59 AM

Well, Wood is committed for the full two year run. Becky is gone as of issue 3, but the new artist looks great as well.


I thought she was coming back now and then, issue 7 specifically. Any word that that's changed?

The #s for last month's issues are out: CTB #2-17,424, POTS #3-10,070, REH's SS #4-4,466. So CTB gives back a little of its gains, while the other two titles remain where they've been. If they can level off in the 15K ballpark, I think DH would consider that a success.

#79 Ironhand

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:18 AM

I don't think I'm overreacting. I was making excuses for the comic at first. I didn't go bezonkers 'till I read he left out the Mating Dance. That's inexcusable.

And as Gin-Wulf says, Wood's popularity may not necessarily translate into sustained popularity for Conan.

Edited by Ironhand, 10 April 2012 - 03:21 AM.

"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

#80 terryallenuk

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:48 PM


Well, Wood is committed for the full two year run. Becky is gone as of issue 3, but the new artist looks great as well.


I thought she was coming back now and then, issue 7 specifically. Any word that that's changed?

The #s for last month's issues are out: CTB #2-17,424, POTS #3-10,070, REH's SS #4-4,466. So CTB gives back a little of its gains, while the other two titles remain where they've been. If they can level off in the 15K ballpark, I think DH would consider that a success.


She is back on #7

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