Archive for April, 2009

This is the Good Old Stuff, the Solomon Kane comics from the heady 1970s when the dour Puritan was first published in graphic form.  In my opinion, these are first rate stories that capture Kane near perfectly.  Here is the low-down from Dark Horse:


Written by Robert E. Howard, Roy Thomas and Don Glut, penciled by David Wenzel, Howard Chaykin, Alan Weiss and Steve Carr, inked by Neal Adams, Al Williamson and Bill Wray.

From his pulp-fiction origins in Weird Tales to his latest Dark Horse incarnation, Robert E. Howard’s sixteenth-century Puritan adventurer has captured the imaginations of readers for decades. Now all of the Savage Sword of Conan short stories from the 1970s are collected for the first time: equal parts comics adaptations of Howard’s formative tales and inspired new chapters from venerable scribes Roy Thomas (Conan the Barbarian) and Don Glut (Kull the Destroyer). Follow along Kane’s restless travels with pistol and rapier as he is compelled to be a weapon of God, ridding the world of evil wherever it may be found — from the jungles of Africa to the high seas, and whether cannibal, demon, vampire, or pirate!

Contains short stories from various Savage Sword of Conan and Conan Saga issues, and from Kull and the Barbarians #2 and #3, Marvel Preview #19, Monsters Unleashed, and Dracula Lives.

This collection is 416 pages, black and white, $19.95, and in stores on June 3 from Dark Horse Comics.  

This entry filed under Howard Illustrated, Howard's Fiction, News.

Hot on the heels of the devastating news about Steve Tompkins, Howard fans learned of the passing of Joan McCowen. Joan had been bravely battling cancer for over a year and lost that battle last Saturday morning. Needless to say, Death has nothing to be proud about.

Last December, surrounded by her friends, family and group of fans from across the country, a special celebration was held honoring her life and her tireless effort to bring Howard to life for the many visitors to the Howard House. Joan was the docent usually posted outside Robert’s room, ready to regale all who would listen with stories about Robert and the fantastic yarns he spun in that tiny room. I can find some solace in her passing in that she is reunited with her beloved husband Alton who preceded her in death by several years. When I return to Cross Plains this June I won’t physically see her, but she will be there watching over the House and Robert’s room in particular.

You can read two excellent tributes to Joan here and here.

My friend and frequent contributor to TGR, Steve Tompkins died of a heart  attack on March 23rd. News of his passing spread like a wildfire across the  internet over the weekend, shocking and saddening his many friends and fans.  Tributes began popping up on various Howard and fantasy websites and show no  signs of slowing down.

Over the years Steve had written many defining essays on Howard and his  writing.  His work appeared in number of publications including The  Cimmerian, The Dark Man, The Robert E. Howard Companion, The  Chronicler of Cross Plains, TGR, two Del Rey books, Kull, Exile of Atlantis and Grim Lands: The Best of  Robert E. Howard, Volume II, and The Barbaric Triumph.  He also edited the  Bison book titled The Black Stranger and Other American Tales.

While Steve had contributed thousands upon thousands of words to Howard and  fantasy scholarship, at the age of 48 he was just scratching the surface of what  he was capable of contributing in years left un-lived. His keyboard and voice and are now silent, but his many essays and blog postings will live on as long as there are eager Howard fans out there willing to expand their knowledge and join Steve in crossing over horizons yet undreamed.

Here is his Obituary:

Steven Bray Tompkins   
Steven Bray Tompkins passed away suddenly on Monday, (March 23, 2009) at the Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. He leaves his parents, Gerald and Mary Tompkins of West Hartford, CT; a brother David of Marfa, TX; and twin brothers, Jeffrey of Brooklyn, NY and Mark of Los Angeles, CA. Steven was a 1978 graduate of Hall High School and a 1982 graduate of Columbia University. He had been employed by Bank of New York/Mellon Bank in Manhattan. An avid reader, he was fluent in German and published widely online and in print on American genre fiction. Graveside Services at Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford will be held at the convenience of the family.

Links to Tributes to Steve:

Rusty Burke

Charles Gramlich

Leo Grin

Morgan Holmes

Howard Jones

Brian Murphy

Deuce Richardson

Charles Saunders

Steve Trout

Read “Black Stranger, White Wolflord or, Not Out of the Woods Yet” by Steve
(from REH: Two-Gun Raconteur #12).

Good friend of TGR Don Herron keeps busier than a one-legged man at an ass kicking contest. Besides his outstanding Howard scholarship and his world renowned Dashiell Hammett Tour, Don’s always trotting across the country like a grizzled Waldo in a fedora — you never know where he’s going to pop-up.  Check out the news section archive  at his website for his latest adventures and appearances. And be sure and order a copy of his new book, The Dashiell Hammett Tour: Thirtieth Anniversary Guidebook.

This entry filed under Don Herron, Howard Fandom, Howard Scholarship, News.