From time to time frequent TGR contributor Charles Saunders jumps in his wayback machine and brings back some gems from the heyday of the Howard Boom. One of these gems is his classic article “A Mouthful of Feathers” that appeared in The Chronicler of Cross Plains #1 in 1978. The article compares the similarities and differences between two giants of adventure fiction — Conan and Tarzan, particularly in a similar scene that appears in “A Witch Shall Be Born” and Tarzan the Untamed. Since Howard did read Burroughs, it is possible that he was inspired by the vulture scene in Untamed when he was writing “Witch.” However, while a copy of Tarzan the Untamed does not appear on Rusty Burke’s “The Robert E. Howard Bookshelf” list, he could have checked it out from the library or borrowed a copy from a friend.

Here are the classic scenes comparing the two heroes taking that un-tasty bite out of the vultures menacing them:

Conan:

In his dulled ears sounded the louder beat of wings. Lifting his head he watched with the burning glare of a wolf the shadows wheeling above him. He knew that his shouts would frighten them away no longer. Conan drew his head back as far as he could, waiting with terrible patience. The vulture swept in with a swift roar of wings. Its beak flashed down, ripping the skin on Conan’s chin as he jerked his head aside; then, before the bird could flash away; Conan’s head lunged forward on his mighty neck muscles, and his teeth, snapping like those of a lion, locked on the bare, wattled neck.

Instantly the vulture exploded into squawking, flapping hysteria. its thrashing limbs blinded the man, and its talons ripped his chest. But grimly he held on, the muscles starting in lumps on his jaws. And the scavenger’s neck bones crunched between those powerful teeth. With a spasmodic flutter the bird hung limp. Conan let go, spat blood from his mouth. The other vultures, terrified by the fate of their companion, were in full flight to a distant tree, where they perched like black demons in conclave.

Tarzan:

Ska, filled with suspicions, circled warily. Twice he almost alighted upon the great naked breast only to wheel suddenly away; but the third time his talons touched the brown skin. It was as though the contact closed an electrical circuit that instantaneously vitalized the quite clod that had lain motionless for so long. A brown hand swept downward from the brown forehead and before Ska could raise a wing in flight he was in the clutches of his intended victim.

Ska fought, but he was no match even for a dying Tarzan, and a moment later the ape-man’s teeth closed on the carrion-eater. The flesh was coarse and tough and gave off an unpleasant odor and a worse taste; but it was food and the blood was drink and Tarzan was only an ape at heart and a dying ape into the bargain … dying of hunger and thirst.

Exciting, but appetite suppressing stuff. If you have the stomach for more, mosey on over to Charles’s website and read the entire post and while you are there, check out Charles’ take on a Conan vs. Tarzan match-up in “Fantasy Superfight: Conan vs. Tarzan.”

This entry filed under Charles R. Saunders, Howard's Fiction.

I love a mystery. Unfortunately, I don’t really have the time or cash to spend a lot of time in Texas, where all of my favorite mysteries are, but I did manage a trip during the first week of January with my dad. Rather than explore old Texas towns as we usually do, this trip was full of courthouses and documents—those led to old Texas towns, but that wasn’t what we set out to do. The mystery at hand was Robert E. Howard’s vague reference to the “Wichita Falls country” in his circa October 1930 letter to H. P. Lovecraft:

Why, by the time I was nine years old I’d lived in the Palo Pinto hills of Central Texas; in a small town only fifty miles from the Coast; on a ranch in Atascosa County; in San Antonio; on the South Plains close to the New Mexican line; in the Wichita Falls country up next to Oklahoma; and in the piney woods of Red River over next to Arkansas.

This laundry list of locations was repeated close to a year later in a letter to Wilfred B. Talman:

I was born in the little ex-cowtown of Peaster, about 45 miles west of Fort Worth, in the winter of 1906, but spent my first summer in lonely Dark Valley among the sparsely settled Palo Pinto hills. From then until I was nearly nine years old I lived in various parts of the state — in a land-boom town on the Staked Plains, near the New Mexico line; in the Western Texas sheep country; in San Antonio; on a ranch in South Texas; in a cattle town on the Oklahoma line, near the old North Texas oil-fields; in the piney woods of East Texas; finally in what later became the Central West Texas Oil-belt.

Now, let’s connect the dots. Peaster, Dark Valley, and the “Palo Pinto hills” require no explanation. The “South Plains” and “Staked Plains” near New Mexico are references to Seminole, where the Howards lived in 1908. “Western Texas sheep country” must be Bronte, where the Howards lived in 1909. For San Antonio and Atascosa County, we turn to Dr. I. M. Howard’s November 7, 1936 letter to his sister-in-law, Jess Searcy:

I well remember when Robert was only four years old we spent the winter in San Antonio and the spring months in Atascosa County, some thirty miles south of San Antonio.

Robert turned four in 1910, and it is then that we find Isaac M. Howard registered in Atascosa County, mailing address at Poteet. This appears to be the location of the “ranch in South Texas.”

The “piney woods” are located in Bagwell, Red River County, where the Howards lived starting in 1913. The “Central West Texas Oil-belt” is the region surrounding and including Cross Plains. That leaves us with only two unidentified locations: “a small town only fifty miles from the Coast” and the “cattle town on the Oklahoma line, near the old North Texas oil-fields,” i.e. the “Wichita Falls country.” I have yet to do much traveling near the coast, so let’s see what we can find near the Oklahoma line.

“Wichita Falls country” has been a problem for biographers starting with L. Sprague de Camp. In Dark Valley Destiny, he handles it this way:

The Howards’ next move was to a place near Wichita Falls. Although there is no record of Dr. Howard’s medical registration in the District Clerk’s Office in any of the three nearby counties—Wichita, Clay, or Archer—Robert later told Lovecraft that his family had made their home in a little cattle town near the old North Texas oil field, which lies in the Wichita Falls area.

Turns out de Camp was wrong on at least one point, but we’ll get to that later. Some time after DVD was published, Howard fans started focusing on Burkburnett as the most likely “little cattle town.” A quick look at a Texas map will show that it is in Wichita Falls country and certainly near, if not on, “the Oklahoma line.”

Due to its format and intended audience, the next big work, Rusty Burke’s A Short Biography of Robert E. Howard, bypasses the issue completely: “Isaac Howard seems to have been possessed of a combination of wanderlust and ambition that led him to move his family frequently in search of better opportunities. By the time he was eight, Robert had lived in at least seven different, widely scattered Texas towns.” However, in Seanchai 111 (REHupa mailing 197, Feb. 2006), Burke notes the following:

Robert himself seems to suggest that, during at least some part of this three-year period [1911 to 1913], the Howards were living near the Oklahoma line, in what he calls “the Wichita Falls country” in a letter to H.P. Lovecraft, and told Talman was “a cattle town. . . near the old North Texas oil fields.” Thus far no documentary evidence for this has been located.

Burke ends the section with this:

In 1911 the North Central oil fields produced almost 900,000 barrels of oil; in 1912 the figure was over 4 million and in 1913 over 8 million barrels. Either Electra or Burkburnett might qualify in REH’s mind as an “ex-cowtown,” since both had their beginnings in association with large ranches. Unless some other evidence comes to light, we will never really know whether Howard lived in the “Wichita Falls country” at all. If he did, it would have given him his first experience of an oil boom town.

Both Electra and Burkburnett are in Wichita County, with Wichita Falls serving as the county seat. Any investigation of Howard’s claim would have to include a stop in that county, but before we hit the road there’s one more source to check.

The most recent biography, Mark Finn’s Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard, tells it like it is: “The years 1911 and 1912 are somewhat confusing. Howard mentions [. . .] that he lived in the Wichita Falls area up next to Oklahoma.” After recounting Howard’s description of the area, Finn adds the following:

The evidence suggests that Isaac pulled the family out to the burgeoning Burkburnett Oil Field to see if it suited him. When oil was struck in 1912, the town became swamped as a torrent of people invaded the area in what had become the usual boomtown fashion.

Finn goes on to say that the Howards then returned to the Palo Pinto area before moving on to Red River County and Bagwell.

With all the bookwork finished, let’s look at the map. Howard’s use of “Wichita Falls country” leaves lots of wiggle room. De Camp says he looked in three counties— Wichita, Clay, and Archer—maybe by expanding the net to include nearby Wilbarger, Baylor, and Montague Counties, I could find something. Montague County was especially enticing: Dr. Howard had registered there in May 1900, could a return to familiar stomping grounds be the solution? Me and my dad made our plans and hit the road on January 1, 2012.

After spending some time near Waco, we headed up to the Wichita Falls country: first stop, Montague County. After searching several courthouses in the days preceding our arrival, my dad and I were old hands at searching for what we were after. We scoured the land purchases from 1899 to 1915 and found nothing. Neither the County nor District Clerk knew anything about a physician registry. Strike one.

Over in Henrietta, the County Seat of Clay County, our luck changed. We walked into the courthouse and found the District Clerk. She informed us that the County Clerk’s office was located across the street. While we were there, of course, we asked about a physician registry from the early 1900s. “No one has ever asked for that before,” she said, but had no trouble producing it. I opened it up to the section marked “G H” and there it was: “Howard, I. M. – 51.”

Breathless, I turned to page 51 and received part of the answer to the riddle of the Howards’ whereabouts from 1911 to 1913: on December 19, 1912, Doc Howard was standing right there in the Clay County courthouse, presenting his credentials (click thumbnail below).

Now, funny thing about these physician registries: they don’t actually tell you when the physician began practicing in the county. For example, while researching for Dark Valley Destiny, Jane Griffin learned that Doctor Howard had started recording births in Gains County (Seminole) as early as February 1908, but he did not present his credentials to the county until September [UPDATE: A document found in Bexar County indicates that this registration was actually in Coke County, not Gaines]. If this is how things worked, the Howards could have been living in Clay County for a long time before Isaac registered in December, but where in the county? A typed statement signed by Doctor Howard said that his “post office address” was Byers, Texas (a scene from Byers in 1910 heads this post).

I turned to the clerk: “Do you know where Byers is?”

“Sure,” she said. “It’s up north on 79, about five miles from the Oklahoma line.”

As I chatted with the clerk, my dad took several pictures of the book and its pages, with two different cameras. When he was finished, we crossed the street to the County Clerk’s office. No land records for I. M. Howard were found. Next stop, Byers.

The town (above) will require a little more looking into, maybe there’s a newspaper or library, but based on what we saw in our drive-by I doubt it: lots of crumbling buildings and abandoned storefronts. Next stop, Wichita Falls.

I could go on, but there’s nothing more to tell. The Wichita County library and courthouse had no information. The District Clerk looked at me like I was crazy when I asked for a physician registry; the County Clerk had never heard of one but did spend some time looking around, to no avail. From there, we went to Burkburnett and found nothing useful in their library. At Electra (seen below in 1912), we found a superior library, but no information on the Howards. Wichita County was all tapped out.

Despite the lack of evidence in Wichita County, Isaac Howard may well have worked in Burkburnett, too. Without a physician registry, there’s no way to rule it out. He was, after all, always trying to expand his territory, and what’s a county line to a country doctor? But at least we now know—without question—that I. M. Howard practiced in Byers, near “the Oklahoma line,” and we finally have the evidence to back up Robert Howard’s claim that he once lived in the Wichita Falls country.

Now, what towns are fifty miles from the Coast?

“With honors well deserved” is the last line in Glenn Lord’s obituary and refers to the military honors given at a veteran’s graveside. In Glenn’s case, he got quite a send-off. A nine member honor guard was present, with a seven riflemen firing off a 21-shot salute, followed by the playing of taps and the folding of the flag ceremony and presentation of the flag to Glenn’s widow, Lou Ann. When infantryman Lord was slogging his way across the frozen landscape of Korea — tired, wet, cold and dirty — I doubt he could have imagined one day he’d be given such honors. That’s because he would be the first one to tell you he was not in Korea for the glory, he was just doing his job, defending his country.

But now the final note from the trumpet has echoed across the ether, and everyone has given their honors to Glenn, paid in the form of heartfelt tributes and remembrances, what does the future hold for Howard Fandom as everyone turns their attention to other matters?

The answer is Howard Fandom will never be the same. Only one person has a higher standing in Howard Fandom and that is Howard himself. You can’t lose someone that important and have it not affect everything from the top down. This is not to say everyone active in Howard Fandom won’t continue to do what they were doing prior to December 31, 2011, but special care has to be taken to ensure Howard’s Legacy lives on. In other words, the game has to be brought up a notch or two. Make no doubt about it, even though he had not been the agent for Howard’s work in many years, he still worked quietly behind the scenes, particularly in the area of scholarship.

As I noted above, everyone is moving on to other matters and the same is true on this website and blog. While we just wrapped up week of posts paying tribute the Father of Howard Fandom, fear not — Glenn will not be forgotten here on the TGR website. Shortly, a permanent page honoring Glenn will soon be placed online and from time to time you’ll see see posts about Glenn and the incredible contributions he made bringing the many lost Howardian treasures to light.

The future of any legacy is very fragile thing, but worry not – we will be handling it with care here on the TGR blog and will continue to give both Howard and Glenn the honors they so well deserve.

This entry filed under Glenn Lord, Howard Fandom, Howard Scholarship.

In his article “Imagine,” which appeared in Anniversary: Glenn Lord and The Howard Collector, Rob Roehm poses a question: “Imagine for a moment a world in which Glenn Lord didn’t discover the works of Robert E. Howard. Frightening, isn’t it?” Rusty Burke poses the same question in a different way: “When I think of what we might not have had were it not for Glenn, and his dedication to Howard, I’m put in mind of a kind of reverse Ozymandias: without him, a wasteland…”

All of us reading Robert E. Howard have directly received the benefits of Glenn Lord’s frequent forays to obtain and preserve the REH typescripts or copies of his stories and poems. Those benefits go beyond just reading. Many Howard scholars have acknowledged that Glenn Lord’s generous assistance with their REH projects has had life changing results. He inspired many of us to not only read what REH created, but to write about REH “the Man.” Books using Howard’s own words were published, other books on Howard related subjects edited, articles and blogs written and information was gathered as a result.

Reading the tributes to Glenn over the past few days, I found many descriptive adjectives: quiet, self-effacing, kind, incredibly generous, and honest are just some of these. I would like to add that he followed his own passion, did what he loved and dreamed his own dream. On this blog, Damon Sasser gathered the website links for the tributes to Glenn. I went through and extracted something from each of them plus excerpts from some of the many acknowledgements written in almost every volume published about REH. They paint an awesome portrait of Glenn Lord.

Barbara Barrett

To Glenn Lord for his relentless dedication towards the preservation of REH’s own words (The Wordbook: An Index Guide to the Poetry of Robert E. Howard)

Rusty Burke

To Glenn Lord for his many years of championing REH and specifically for his support of this project. (The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian)

To Glenn Lord for his years of effort on behalf of REH and for his hard work in assisting this project. (The Bloody Crown of Conan)

To Glenn Lord, friend and mentor, and Robert E. Howard’s mightiest champion. (The Conquering Sword of Conan)

I wasn’t about to miss the eightieth birthday of one of the most important people in my life. What would my life have been like without Glenn Lord, without his friendship and his mentoring and his patience with my endless requests for material and information? Look over the past 53 years, beginning with Always Comes Evening, and think of all the books he edited or provided content for, all the fanzines he encouraged with his benevolence, all the scholarship that he worked tirelessly and without fanfare to promote. When I think of what we might not have had were it not for Glenn, and his dedication to Howard, I’m put in mind of a kind of reverse Ozymandias: without him, a wasteland, but fortunately we are able to look upon his works and rejoice. (REHupa Mailing #232, “Houston Trip Report,” December 2011)

Bill Cavalier

We’ve just received word that our Friend and Mentor Glenn Lord passed away today. (REHupa website)

Mike Chomko

If you have ever enjoyed any of Robert E. Howard’s creations–Conan, Kull, Solomon Kane, or any of the countless other characters that Howard brought to life–you owe a debt of gratitude to the late Glenn Lord. (PulpFest website)

Frank Coffman

I only met with Glenn in person on three occasions – all at Howard Days events. I’ll always remember him as a kind and friendly and completely approachable man, with none of the airs one might have taken in the position of preeminent scholar, early biographer and literary agent for REH. He was a man of vast knowledge with a keen appreciation of literature – both prose and poetry. (The Robert-E-Howard: Electronic Amateur Press Association blog)

Mark Finn

See, if you’ve read any Robert E. Howard, and it wasn’t Conan the Cimmerian, you have Glenn to thank for that. As the agent for the Howard estate, Glenn published and put publishing deals together from the late 1950s up to the 1990s. He tracked down Howard’s poems and letters. He found original typescripts and tear sheets for Howard’s entire writing career. As a collector, he owns the vast majority of everything that REH wrote. But in his role as Howard’s agent, he generously granted access to his collection in order to get Howard’s work out there, into the world, for all of us to read and enjoy. Even when he was no longer the agent, he continued to help with the ongoing publishing efforts. That’s the kind of guy Glenn was. He was the Source. He was the guy with the inside track, the little scrap of info, that one thing that you needed, and he gave without thinking. (Finn’s Wake website)

 Charles Gramlich

I met Glenn several times in Cross Plains, Texas. Always a kind word for everyone. Always polite and completely unaware it seemed of his celebrity among Howard fans. (Adventures Fantastic website Comment)

Leo Grin

Glenn lived long enough to receive numerous accolades for his work and saw his side win in the big spiritual and critical battle for REH’s legacy over the de Campian crowd…If there’s an afterlife of any sort, then doubtless he finally met the spirit of the guy who fueled his obsession these last sixty years. Maybe Steve Tompkins made the introductions. (REH Two-Gun Raconteur website, from Rob Roehm’s “A Rambling Reminescence”)

  Chris Gruber

I could recite the compositional narratives that he produced in support of his life’s passion, I could list his written promotion of the author Robert E. Howard beginning with his first essays and ending with his work as Director Emeritus of an organization that exists solely due to the efforts of two people: Robert E. Howard, the author whose work is valued by so many, and Glenn, the man who tracked it down and safeguarded it against the twin dangers of Time and Indifference. I could say that he was also a true fan, interested not only in the commercially viable Conan stories but also in the lesser known works that help the rest of us to revel in the full depth and sophistication of an unparalleled imagination. I could say that he was an adventurer whose vision and dedication helped preserve a unique history that continues to shine long after he has passed. I could say that he was supremely dedicated to preserving the legacy of a long dead author the world had almost forgotten about as I recount the many miles, months and years he drove from town to town, spoke with countless people, and tallied for the rest of us the three dimensional life of Robert E. Howard…I could say all that and more and not have gained an inch on the measuring stick of his life and importance to those of us who knew him. I knew Glenn, though I cannot say I knew him half as well as I would have liked… He was likeable, affable and a gentleman. I liked him very much. (The Punch-Drunk Bard website)

 Dave Hardy

Glenn enriched my enjoyment and understanding of REH’s achievements incalculably. He was gracious and helpful to fans and researchers…I was fortunate enough to meet Glenn at Howard Days in Cross Plains years ago. I was a gushing fan. He was courteous and kind. Later that same weekend we chatted a bit, we didn’t talk about Conan or de Camp or the history of REH publishing, but East Texas towns and Houston traffic. Glenn had a life outside of fandom. He served his country in the Korean War, as other generations of the Lord family have served in more recent conflicts. He was a quiet man, given to brief and occasionally blunt statements, but with warm, good humor. I count myself lucky to have been able to thank Glenn for all he did for REH fandom. I last saw him at his eightieth birthday party in November, surrounded by generations of his loving family. (Fire and Sword website)

 Al Harron

Glenn Lord, the World’s #1 Howard Fan and Mentor to so many of us, passed away on December 31, 2011. (The Blog That Time Forgot website)

If you are a fan of Robert E. Howard, Conan, or any of his creations, then you owe Glenn Lord your thanks. If you picked up a Lancer or Sphere or Berkeley in the Howard Boom of the ’60s and ’70s, you can thank Glenn Lord for getting the stories printed across dozens of publishers. If you tore through an issue of Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian, you can thank Glenn Lord for providing Roy Thomas with indispensible advice and assistance, and even then-unpublished stories for adaptation. If you watched Conan the Barbarian in 1982, you can thank Glenn Lord for negotiating the deal to make and film it. If you’ve enjoyed anything related to Kull, Solomon Kane, or the other creations of the Man from Cross Plains, then you owe Glenn Lord for promoting all of Howard’s work beyond just Conan. If you’ve read any scholarly material on Howard or his creations, be it a critical anthology or a wiki site, you can thank Glenn Lord for being the man to start it all (Conan The Movie website)

I’ve always maintained that Howard’s work spoke for itself, and that it didn’t need “saving” from obscurity. It did, however, need – or rather, deserved – cultivating, preserving, promoting. Howard’s works were like the relics of a lost civilization buried under the desert: perfectly preserved and able to withstand the ravages of time, but who could enjoy them when swallowed by the sands? Glenn Lord was the archaeologist, the excavator, the adventurer: searching for clues to every artifact’s location, cataloguing and documenting every lead, and bringing his findings to the world. The world of Robert E. Howard without Glenn Lord is like Egyptology without Champollion: one that can barely be comprehended. (Conan Forum website)

 Don Herron

A living legend for so long, now a legend — I feel sorry for upcoming Howard fans who’ll never get to meet him. A true honor and a pleasure…For the recent tribute book Anniversary I did a small essay in flat-out praise of Glenn, and mentioned that during the first Howard Days I attended we ended up talking for a couple of hours in the midst of the revelers…And then the talk went on, and on. Among the great conversations I’ve had in my day, and I wish more fans could get such a chance. But I guess they’ll have to be content with the stirrings of legend… (Up and Down these Mean Streets website)

Paul Herman

First and foremost is Glenn Lord, whose tireless efforts to find everything, and then to disseminate a great amount of the information, is the touchstone for starting any such project. Glenn provided innumerable details for this volume and can easily take credit for supplying the largest portion of the information… (The Neverending Hunt)

To Glenn Lord, the first and best paladin of Robert E. Howard, the standard that may never be equaled (The Neverending Hunt Dedication)

John Hocking

Mr. Lord sent me a kind, encouraging letter with instructions on how best to contact those who controlled Conan. In its small way, this polite deed says something about the kind of gentleman Glenn Lord must have been. I never knew the man, but between his peerless, foundational work with Howard’s writings and his, in retrospect, remarkable kindness to an uninformed newcomer, I mourn him. (Black Gate website Comment)

Dave Houston

I tell you this as I now realise that it was because of what Glenn Lord had accomplished with Howard’s works, which had led me to this path in life. Without it I would have been caught up in the daily life of riots and death in the streets of my native town Belfast, Northern Ireland. It shaped me and formed my life for the better and without it I would have been worse off no doubt. My father used to say to my mother when she complained of her child playing with demon figures and pentagrams and small barbarian figures, that it is damaging to his mind, and my father pointed out, that least he is where we can see him and not on the streets fighting and getting shot etc. (Comics Centre website)

 Brian Leno

I realized I had stumbled across something pretty unique. On the front of the paperback was another beautiful Frank Frazetta painting but the de Camp and Carter names were missing and Robert E. Howard stood alone on the spine and the cover. It was only when I opened the book that the title page carried the name of the editor—Glenn Lord. That was it. The introduction in Mr. Lord’s book was a very classy opening—a letter from Howard to Lovecraft, where REH had written his thoughts about writing and what it meant to him…By this time I had realized that Glenn Lord was one devoted friend of Howard’s and I truly welcomed his introductions and the notes before each story. Every time I saw Glenn Lord’s name, in fanzines or books, I knew that here was someone who not only treated REH with respect, but was the Howard scholar and knew precisely what he was talking about. (REH: Two-Gun Raconteur website)

 Patrice Louinet

I would like to thank Glenn Lord, for fifteen years of understanding and cooperation, and for being the gentlemen that he is. (The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian)

Thanks to Glenn Lord for his support of this project and his continuous help. These books couldn’t exist without you. (The Bloody Crown of Conan)

Without Glenn, these Conan books would never have been what they are; I can never repay you for your help and patience with my never-ending and sometimes weird requests. (The Conquering Sword of Conan)

[H]e would always include some copies of typescripts and, at first, even bought me the books I needed but had no way to find in Limoges, France. I sent him money at first, but he soon told me that he was not keeping count, and proposed what he called a “gentleman’s agreement”: I was to find him what foreign books and publications he needed, and send them to him…We discovered Howard had been published in virtually every country in the world, most of the time in pirate publications, and many had begun to appear after the collapse of the USSR. I remember tracking those from Estonia, how he would marvel at the sheer number of Conan books published in Russia (nearly a hundred at the time), and the fun we had trying to match the text or cover to a specific story or equivalent of an American edition. Over the next few years I would buy, receive and send him books from I don’t know how many countries. It was more than a fanzine or two this time, but it was — again — terribly inadequate when compared to the sheer bulk of material he was sending my way…I remember Glenn laughing at the World Fantasy Con in Austin, in 2006, when I brought him a page from a transcript of an interview in which the de Camps described him as a truck driver and a man so inferior in social status to them it was almost shocking. I remember him showing that piece of paper to everyone in sight and just chuckling: “a truck driver!”…I remember that evening in Cross Plains when he brought me, among other things, the original typescript to “The God in the Bowl” so I could read it so very close to the Howard house, a few yards away from where Bob Howard had typed it. It was one of those magical moments in my life, and I know he knew perfectly well what it would mean for me. (REH Two-Gun Raconteur website)

  Joe and Mona Marek

No One Knows More About Robert E. Howard! (first line of cover on Glenn Lord’s Ultima Thule)

Dennis McHaney

I was with Glenn just a few weeks ago, at his 80th birthday party. I will miss Glenn like he was a member of my own family. (McHaney’s Robert E. Howard website)

If it weren’t for Glenn Lord, none of us would be here today. There just wouldn’t be any Howard fandom as we know it. No Howard Days, no Wandering Star Press, no Del Rey Library, and no Conan comic books…Without Glenn Lord, Arnold Schwarzenegger would likely never have found the role that turned him into a superstar of action films…Without Glenn Lord, the Robert E. Howard section of our libraries would be unimagineably sparse. Without Glenn’s quest for the lost trunk of Howard papers, all we would have is Howard’s Weird Tales legacy and the inferior L. Sprague de Camp paperback series, and the latter would likely have disappeared with the bankruptcy of Lancer books, if not for the expanded interest in Howard caused solely from the efforts of one man – Glenn Lord. (Anniversary: Glenn Lord and The Howard Collector)

To Glenn, with Love (Anniversary: Glenn Lord and The Howard Collector, Dedication)

Brian Murphy

I never met nor corresponded with Lord but like every other REH fan in existence I’m deeply in his debt. (The Silver Key website)

 John O’Neill

I met Glenn very briefly, at the World Fantasy Convention. What struck me the most was how friendly he was to everyone and how much respect that audience of mostly professionals had for the man. (Black Gate website Comment)

James Reasoner

The way I’ll always remember him, with a friendly smile on his face and an eagerness to talk about Robert E. Howard, pulp magazines, or anything else under the sun. He was one of the most truly decent men I’ve ever known. Rest in peace, Glenn. (Rough Edges website)

Rob Roehm

The vast majority of Howard’s typescripts and manuscripts, or transcriptions thereof, were provided by Glenn Lord. Without his assistance this volume, and many others, would never have appeared. (The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard)

To Glenn Lord – gracious Howard archivist, and genuine Southern gentleman of the first caliber, for giving his blessings to the reprinting of the first three issues of The Howard Collector (West is West)

As with all things related to Robert E. Howard publishing, this collection would not have been possible without the efforts of Glenn Lord. His dedication to tracking down and acquiring Howard materials, and then sharing them with his fellow fans and scholars, has never been surpassed, and he’s been at it for something like fifty years. This collection is a late birthday gift to the Godfather of Howard studies. (The Collected Drawings of Robert E. Howard)

I know that at some future Howard Days, when I’m older and balder, I’ll borrow E. Hoffmann Price’s words, substituting Glenn for Robert E. Howard: “Gentlemen, this is the hand that shook the hand of Glenn Lord! Line forms on the right, quit shoving, and don’t step on the women and children.” (REH Two-Gun Raconteur website)

Damon Sasser

I know at some point down the road I am going to have a Howard question and think of getting in touch with Glenn and that is going to be one strange feeling realizing he’s not here anymore…While Glenn’s flame on this earthly plane has been extinguished, it still burns brightly in each of us — a flame he lit with his life’s work — and it is our duty to carry it forward, bringing that light to others. (REH: Two-Gun Raconteur website)

Keith West

In case some of you don’t recognize the name, Glenn Lord was the person most responsible for helping to get Conan and Howard’s other work back into print in the 1960s and 1970s. (Adventures Fantastic website)

Cross Plains will be colder this year regardless of what the temperature is. (Adventures Fantastic website)

These are just a few of the tributes that I read. Whether they are a few words or a paragraph, they reflect Glenn’s influence in the lives of Howard fans.

Glenn’s influence in my own life began when I discovered REH’s poetry. Not only did Glenn also appreciate and love Howard’s poems, he saved the words for all of us to enjoy. In the Introduction to his book Anniversary, Dennis McHaney writes about Glenn:

In the pages of Weird Tales, he discovered many more examples of Howard’s verse, and realized that there was something more to Howard than just amazing pacing and descriptive brilliance. While Glenn continued to pursue other Howardian prose, he began gathering all of Howard’s verse that he could find.

At the lunch I had with Glenn and Lou Ann Lord in Galveston on Friday, November 18th, 2011, Glenn quoted the last lines of “A Sonnet of Good Cheer,” a poem which was unpublished during REH’s lifetime:

“Fool, fool, you came unbidden to this game,

“And Death that takes you hence shall ask you not.

“From life, this and only this, may you claim;

“Living, to die, and dying, be forgot.”

Glenn Lord set out to make sure that Robert E. Howard is not forgotten. It is fitting that as a man and a Howard fan, Glenn himself will not be forgotten.

What Now?

Years of experience have taught me that time changes everything. Some changes are easier to take and some like the death of Glenn Lord seem to darken and obscure the future. As a Robert E. Howard fan, I have only one question: What Now?

Who is going to be our *point* person, and our Source? Who will be our representative in Howard fandom? Who will be the glue that holds us together? Most of us writing and/or editing books owe Glenn a big debt. He was not only the promoter of REH’s writings; he was the standard by which many of us judged our own work. He was there watching and encouraging us. Behind it all was his passion and enthusiasm for REH’s words and his desire to spread this appreciation to others. Maybe that answers my “what now” question. As someone who deeply appreciates Glenn’s contributions, I can continue his work. In my own small way, I can grab the Robert E. Howard torch he handed to us and, as Damon Sasser says, bring “that light to others.”

This post is dedicated to Lou Ann Lord —
she is not a Howard fan, but she was always there for Glenn.

I learned of Glenn Lord’s passing on the morning of January 1st upon receiving Paul Herman’s email. The shock was heightened by the fact that I received the information at such a moment, just after the New Year’s festivities, or so I thought initially. I was numb, and remained morose and tight-lipped for a number of hours, unable to participate actively in the conversations around me, in the house of the people where my wife Sheila and I were staying. Somewhat later, Sheila explained the situation to them, and they, in turn, asked me who this Glenn Lord person was and why his death affected me in such a way.

It was at this moment I realized it would be hard to explain why the death of someone residing several thousand miles away from me, someone I had met a handful of times in 23 years, could affect me so much. But I knew that I was truly afflicted, much more so than I would have imagined, and I soon realized that the state of mind would not leave me for quite some time, New Year’s Day or not.

I first encountered Glenn’s name in 1983 or 1984, when I read the French translations of the Howard books published in France. The (de Camp-edited versions of the) Conans briefly mentioned his name as an agent for the Howard heirs and someone who had discovered Conan typescripts. The NéO books (REH’s non-Conan books) contained some more, if still sparse, information. I learned that you could reach Glenn at a certain P.O. Box 775 in Pasadena, Texas. I didn’t even know at the time what a P.O. Box was, but understood it to be some kind of postal address that would not let average people know where this important person Glenn Lord actually lived, so he would not be bothered by fans. Reading more of the NéO introductions, I became puzzled as to the source of all those stories that were appearing in the French books, and which were mentioned as having been found by Glenn Lord in a cache in Howard’s home. I had visions of someone discovering some hidden passage in the house, or maybe a loose panel behind which were stacked tons of then-unknown typescripts. For whatever reason, I pictured that man as elderly, and elderly he remained in my mind for a few years, as I had no way to find more about him, in those pre-Internet days. François Truchaud’s introductions sometimes included excerpts from his correspondence with Glenn, such as when NéO published the eleven juvenile El Borak stories a few years before they appeared in the States, and the man came off as friendly and helpful. Perhaps, after all, he was not that unreachable.

It was a few months later that I decided to embark upon what would become my Master’s Degree Memoir on Howard, and that I formed plans to go to Texas for the first time. Truchaud assured me Glenn was the nicest person on earth, at least judging from his letters (as he had never met him), and he encouraged me to write directly to him. Which I did in late 1988 as I was preparing my first pilgrimage to Bob Howard’s state. “Mr. Lord” as I then called him replied promptly to my letter, to my utter joy and pride to have received a personal letter from the man Truchaud called “The Guardian of the Idol.” Preparations were made, dispositions were taken, and a few weeks later I landed at Houston International Airport, where I met Glenn for the first time. The first thing I noticed was that he wasn’t the elderly man I had pictured. He had brought along a few things for me, among which, I remember, a copy of Dark Valley Destiny. He drove me to my motel and we spent a good chunk of time discussing Howard, what else? The second thing I was to notice was that his English and mine were two different languages. It took way more time to adapt to that than to the question of his age. The next day, I was invited to have lunch with Glenn and his family, at their place, little doubting at the time what a privilege I was granted. He had probably pitied that French guy who had really no reason to be in Pasadena other than to talk to him and ogle a few typescripts and rare books. Thanks to Glenn, I was introduced to Rusty Burke, learned about REHupa, about Novalyne Price, about everything I needed and a million of things I didn’t know I needed. He phoned to people in Cross Plains and Brownwood to make sure I would be welcomed and shown around, and because of him, my stay there was infinitely more pleasant and smoother than it would have been otherwise. Suddenly, I had been put into orbit, propelled in the American sphere of Howardom, all thanks to Glenn. All he got from me was a French fanzine or two when I arrived, and my immense gratitude when I left, which was all I could offer him. When I came back to France, I wrote him that I had been wondering if I could join REHupa, but feared I was not up to the skills and knowledge required, to which he replied that I should not worry and go ahead, that this Bill Cavalier guy would be very happy to have me join.

Glenn’s letters would soon become the highlights of my correspondence. Every day, when I went to check my mailbox, I was hoping to find a Glenn letter in there, informing me of what was going on in the world of Howardiana. As I was always in need of material — for my Master’s Degree Memoir at first, my Pre-Doctoral Thesis after, and my personal research and editorial activities later — he would always include some copies of typescripts and, at first, even bought me the books I needed but had no way to find in Limoges, France. I sent him money at first, but he soon told me that he was not keeping count, and proposed what he called a “gentleman’s agreement”: I was to find him what foreign books and publications he needed, and send them to him. Over the years, he would send me thousands and thousands of pages. There was no way the trickle of French publications could compensate the time and money he was spending on those photocopies of typescripts. So I soon started to scour the world thanks to that new thing called the Internet, in search for Howard publications in countries sometimes more exotic than those of the Hyborian Age, it seemed to me. We discovered Howard had been published in virtually every country in the world, most of the time in pirate publications, and many had begun to appear after the collapse of the USSR. I remember tracking those from Estonia, how he would marvel at the sheer number of Conan books published in Russia (nearly a hundred at the time), and the fun we had trying to match the text or cover to a specific story or equivalent of an American edition. Over the next few years I would buy, receive and send him books from I don’t know how many countries. It was more than a fanzine or two this time, but it was — again — terribly inadequate when compared to the sheer bulk of material he was sending my way.

The flood of all those typescript pages was such that I soon preferred to read the Howard stories from the photocopies. I became increasingly familiar with Bob’s practices, idiosyncrasies and began learning how to date those typescripts. Thanks to those pages, I eventually wrote an article for The Dark Man on the literary “birth” of Conan. It was this essay that led Rusty Burke (and Marcelo Anciano) to ask me to edit the Wandering Star Conans a few years later, and which opened the way to all that followed, in the States and in France. Without Glenn, this would never have happened. I wouldn’t have had any typescripts to study and my life would have been different.

And the life of everyone reading these lines would have been different, too. Each and every Howard scholar and reader is hugely indebted to Glenn Lord. He was there first, the one who lit the way and paved the road. And without him, there would have been no road to speak of.

He was there in 1957 when he published Always Comes Evening, partly funding the endeavor from his own pockets, and showing readers that Howard was not all blood and thunder. He launched the very first Howard fanzine, The Howard Collector, in 1961, sharing his treasures with what few Howard aficionados there were at the time: prose pieces and poems of course, but also biographical articles and related essays, a template from which many future Howard publications would take their inspiration. The publication of his bio-bibliography The Last Celt in 1976 was a landmark event, a sum as impressive as it was staggering. When Glenn became the agent for the Howard rightholders in 1965, he made the transition from amateur to professional in a matter of months. Via Donald M. Grant, a series of beautifully produced and illustrated books began to appear, books that would serve for blueprints for the luxurious editions that have appeared since. Glenn would also ensure that Howard’s name was present in anthologies, giving away stories or poems to the fanzine editors. Thanks to his tireless efforts, Howard was soon present everywhere, from fanzines to classy semi-professional booklets, from hardcovers with limited print-runs to massmarket paperbacks. By the mid-seventies, virtually every story Howard had penned was available in one form or another, a mere ten years after he had become the agent for the rightholders. Impressive as this was, it is just a facet of Glenn’s accomplishment as a Howard champion.

Without Glenn, we would probably all be reading the de Camp-edited versions of the Conan stories. The story of his long and arduous battle against de Camp has been recounted elsewhere, but Glenn was instrumental in having the pure-text Berkley editions of Conan stories published in the 1970s under the editorship of Karl Edward Wagner, even going to the point of furnishing the publisher with his own personal copies of Weird Tales to typeset the stories. Years later, when he was no longer agent, he furnished the Wandering Star/Del Rey crew all the material we needed for the books, and continued to do so even though there was some very bad blood between him and the then rightholders.

Perhaps even more importantly, without Glenn tracking down, locating and eventually buying the contents of the long lost “trunk” of Howard typescripts that Isaac M. Howard had sent to E. Hoffmann Price in 1944, as well as buying a number of original typescripts from the Otis A. Kline agency, we would be short of thousands and thousands of pages of original material. No one can say what fate would have been theirs, at a time when no one cared. No one but Glenn.

Without Glenn, a Conan story, several fragments and more than 2,000 pages of drafts and carbons that were so important when publishing the purest edition possible would have been unavailable.

Without Glenn, a Kull volume would contain “The Shadow Kingdom,” “The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune,” and the poem “The King and the Oak.”

Without Glenn, Bran Mak Morn would have starred in “Kings of the Night” and “Worms of the Earth” only.

Without Glenn, the Solomon Kane volume would be missing five stories. Without Glenn, no Cormac Mac Art stories, no “Marchers of Valhalla,” no Post Oaks and Sand Roughs, and hundreds of poems lost to time. Without Glenn, no “Three-Bladed Doom,” not a single story about Dark Agnes, no “Isle of the Eons.” Of the dozens and dozens of Howard’s juvenile efforts, not one would have survived.

Without Glenn, we would know that Bob Howard and H. P. Lovecraft were correspondents, but the 400+ pages of the Howard side would have disappeared.

Without Glenn, people like Harold Preece, Lenore Preece, Truett Vinson or Tevis Clyde Smith would probably have never told what they knew, and whatever material they had would have been lost as well. No Juntos, and probably not a single one of those important letters to Harold Preece.

Writing a biography of Howard would have been almost unthinkable given the scarcity of the material and information that would have survived.

Without Glenn, we would know almost nothing about Robert E. Howard, and his entire known output would have been reduced to what was published in the pulps.

Without Glenn, we would never even dream of finding hidden philosophical meanings and intellectual puzzles in the Conan stories, and we probably would be convinced that Robert E. Howard was crazy and maladjusted to the point of psychosis.

We are fortunate that Glenn was there when he was, before anyone cared. We are fortunate to have had a man who spent years tracking down typescripts, stories, memoirs, information and everything pertaining to Robert E. Howard.

We are fortunate to have had a man who was always there to help from fans to publishers, even when he was assailed by those who held him in low esteem or deemed him an enemy.

Fortunately, he lived to be old enough to see the rewards of his actions. He saw Howard published in pure-text editions and his importance reconsidered. He lived long enough to have people come up to him and thank him for what he did. He saw Dennis McHaney publish a tribute book where everyone involved on some degree in Howard studies and publishing wrote as many “thank you” articles. In the little world of Howardiana, where quarrels and bickerings are the norm, everyone has but an immense respect for Glenn and what he did.

As the impact of the shock slowly fades away, the impossibility to write anything about him fades away as well, and the happy memories slowly come back to the surface.

I remember.

I remember him and Rusty in our motel room in Cross Plains in 2001, discussing the progress on the Conan book for Wandering Star.

I remember Glenn laughing at the World Fantasy Con in Austin, in 2006, when I brought him a page from a transcript of an interview in which the de Camps described him as a truck driver and a man so inferior in social status to them it was almost shocking. I remember him showing that piece of paper to everyone in sight and just chuckling: “a truck driver!”

I remember that evening in Cross Plains when he brought me, among other things, the original typescript to “The God in the Bowl” so I could read it so very close to the Howard house, a few yards away from where Bob Howard had typed it. It was one of those magical moments in my life, and I know he knew perfectly well what it would mean for me.

I remember the next day when I told him I was afraid I had lost the original page to the synopsis for “The Scarlet Citadel.” I was mortified, but he told me it was okay, nothing to worry about. It turned out he had left it on the dashboard of his car.

I remember asking him one day for duplicates of some Howard pics, and my utter shock to discover in his next letter a bunch of 1920s and 30s original photos, with a note saying that I should return those when done.

I remember one time when Paul Herman was interviewing him at the World Fantasy Con in 2006. Paul’s question took him about a minute to formulate, and Glenn’s answer was three laconic words, to Paul’s amused dismay, which episode provoked much laughter from the audience.

I remember the instant sparkle in his eyes when I showed him the original to the famous 1934 Howard picture that had been given me a few weeks before.

I remember him saying he had brought me something which I would “probably find interesting” when he, Rusty, my friend Lionel Londeix and I had dinner on Halloween night in 1990, and which turned out to be the bulk of the Howard/Lovecraft correspondence in typescript.

I cherish what Glenn brought to my life. Those Howard documents and publications first, then his comments and advice on what I was writing and then, increasingly, as he was less and less involved in day-to-day Howardian activities, those special moments I could share with him, rare as they were. Surely there was more I could do than buy him a fanzine or a foreign book.

When Fabrice Tortey and I arrived at George Bush International Airport two years ago, the customs officer asked him the reason of his presence there, for what was a three-day stay only, to which Fabrice answered: “I am here for a birthday.” When asked the same question, I gave an identical reply. The man stared at us for a while, nonplused, and simply added: “Well, that must be one hell of a friend, then.” There is certainly not a single person not part of my family for whom I would have been ready to travel all the way to Houston simply to be present for a birthday party.

I like to think that he knew how much he was appreciated.

I’ll miss you, Glenn.

I received the news of Glenn Lord’s death two hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve, west coast time. I shot off a few emails and returned to the party, trying not to be too much of a downer. The next morning I left for Texas. This was not related to Glenn’s death; my dad and I had planned the trip the week before as something to do during the last of my three-week Christmas break. We covered a lot of ground in Texas, but by the time I found out when the funeral was we were too far out of range to attend.

People who knew Glenn better than I will no doubt have some thoughtful and poignant things to say as time goes on. I knew Glenn only a little, so I’m trying to remain upbeat, though his death has left an empty space: I found a few things on the Texas trip that I would normally have shared with Glenn, either a phone call or a letter, but Glenn doesn’t need me to share anything with him now. And while I know his loss must be terrible to those who knew him well, his family and friends, I’m remembering the bright spots in my brief acquaintance with the Godfather of Howard Studies.

After a year of corresponding, I finally met Glenn face to face at Howard Days 2006. We both showed up at the pavilion before the crowd arrived and I introduced myself. “I was looking for you,” he said. “I’ve got some copies you might be interested in.” He did it again at that year’s World Fantasy Convention in Austin. I didn’t even know I was going until the day before I left. I drove non-stop for 18 hours just to spend a few hours at the convention and hob-nob with the Howard-heads. When I ran into Glenn, he said, “I brought something for you, just in case you showed up.”

Since Glenn was always sharing with me, I started sharing everything with him. After his stroke, his packages stopped showing up for a while, and when they resumed they were no longer accompanied by personal letters. That didn’t stop me from sharing everything I found, though our correspondence was one-sided. More recently, we started talking on the phone occasionally. He seemed genuinely interested in the Herbert Klatt material I’d uncovered, and Lone Scout of Letters may have been the last REH-related book he ever saw—I sent him a copy in early December. I hope he liked it.

My association with Glenn is one of the bright spots in my brief career as a Howard-head. And in a recent email to me, Leo Grin reminded me of a few things we can all be thankful for: Glenn lived long enough to receive numerous accolades for his work and saw his side win in the big spiritual and critical battle for REH’s legacy over the de Campian crowd. Leo closed with this: “If there’s an afterlife of any sort, then doubtless he finally met the spirit of the guy who fueled his obsession these last sixty years. Maybe Steve Tompkins made the introductions.”

Enough. Others will have real things to say about Glenn’s contributions to the field; I’ve rambled on too long already. I’ve only been home from Texas for a few hours now, but catching up on all the emails I missed, I know that at some future Howard Days, when I’m older and balder, I’ll borrow E. Hoffmann Price’s words, substituting Glenn for Robert E. Howard: “Gentlemen, this is the hand that shook the hand of Glenn Lord! Line forms on the right, quit shoving, and don’t step on the women and children.”

This entry filed under Glenn Lord.

Among Glenn’s many achievements was The Last Celt, a bio-bibliography of Robert E. Howard, published in 1976 by Donald Grant. When it appeared it was a long anticipated benchmark event in Howardom. The 416 page volume was much appreciated by the legion of Howard fans who knew no one other than Glenn could have compiled and written such a magnificent book. In the ensuing years there have been other bibliographies, updated of course, but this still remains one of my favorite books.

Of Course, by 1976, Glenn was an old hand at writing and editing.

Glenn’s first publishing effort was Always Comes Evening, a book of Howard’s poetry. He was able to get some financial assistance from August Derleth at Arkham House to get the collection published. Glenn recognized early on the importance of Howard’s poetry and worked hard to get additional volumes of Howard’s poetry into print.

By 1961, Glenn had amassed a large amount of Howard material and wanted to share it with other Howard fans. So, taking a cue from another fantasy author themed fan periodical, The Lovecraft Collector, Glenn launched The Howard Collector. The periodical ran for 18 issues, with the final issue being published in the fall of 1973. Seems Glenn was getting so busy with his literary agent duties, he had to close up shop. But it was for a worthy cause – namely the Howard Boom of the 1970s. About four years ago, Rob Roehm talked with Glenn and wrote up an excellent history of THC on The Cimmerian blog.

Glenn also published the much sought after chapbook collection of prose poems, Etchings in Ivory in 1968.

In 1979, Ace Books published a paperback “best of” collection from the 18 issues of The Howard Collector journal. The book contained roughy half the material from the magazine’s 12 year run.

 

In the 1970s and 1980s, Glenn was active in two Howard related amateur press associations – REHupa and the Hyperborian League (which eventually merged with REHupa) and a Lovecraft APA, the Esoteric Order of Dagon. Glenn’s Hyperborian League fanzine was titled Ultima Thule and in 2000, Joe Marek published a magazine-sized collection of all the issues. In 2006, Rob Roehm produced a second edition, which is still available through Lulu.com. In addition to these APAs, Glen would graciously write articles for various journals and fanzines whenever he was asked.

Over the years Glenn wrote introductions to well over 100 collections of Howard stories and poetry, including many of the foreign editions. And  if he did not actually write an introduction to a Howard book, odds are the information the author used was provided by Glenn.

Last year, to mark the 50th anniversary of The Howard Collector, Glenn edited a new issue (No. 19). Published in June, it is still in print and available. At the time of his death, Glenn was working on a follow-up issue, which will now be published posthumously.

When that appears, it will mark the end of 55 years of Glenn Lord in print. But fear not, the printed word lives on eternal, even after its author has passed on.

I never met Glenn Lord but I have fond memories of him just the same.

Like a lot of fans I came to Howard through the Lancer editions which started in 1967. The introduction by de Camp in Conan the Adventurer informed me that someone named Glenn Lord was literary agent for the Howard estate and had recently discovered “an outline and a first draft” of a story which de Camp had then completed, calling it “Drums of Tombalku.” Conan the Usurper came along and once again de Camp mentioned Glenn Lord, stating this time that in “a cache of Howard papers” the literary agent had come across “Wolves Beyond the Border,” another fragment which de Camp completed.

I was very excited by tidbits like this, but even back then I was wary of the de Camp “collaborations” and was really getting tired of seeing his name trumpeted, in the same size type as Howard’s, on the front and the spine of the Lancers. It even got to the point that on my library shelves I placed those Conan books first that only carried the Howard name and then came the de Camps and the Carters. But then I found Wolfshead at my local bookstore and I realized I had stumbled across something pretty unique. On the front of the paperback was another beautiful Frank Frazetta painting but the de Camp and Carter names were missing and Robert E. Howard stood alone on the spine and the cover. It was only when I opened the book that the title page carried the name of the editor—Glenn Lord. That was it. The introduction in Mr. Lord’s book was a very classy opening—a letter from Howard to Lovecraft, where REH had written his thoughts about writing and what it meant to him.

This Glenn Lord, I felt, was a person who was willing to stand aside and let Howard, the writer, have the credit. Truly different from most of those associated with the Lancer books. As Zebra starting publishing Howard’s books it was a delight because Mr. Lord was introducing me to different characters that Howard had created and always, always, that spine carried only the name of Robert E. Howard.

By this time I had realized that Glenn Lord was one devoted friend of Howard’s and I truly welcomed his introductions and the notes before each story. Every time I saw Glenn Lord’s name, in fanzines or books, I knew that here was someone who not only treated REH with respect, but was the Howard scholar and knew precisely what he was talking about.

Glenn Lord never met Robert E. Howard but they had a true friendship; I’d like to think that even though I never met Mr. Lord that he and I, through Howard, became friends. Thanks to Howard and Glenn Lord my reading habits intensified when I was very young and I never stopped loving books and the richness of reading has been with me my whole life. A simple written “thank you” doesn’t seem enough, but it’ll have to do, because Glenn Lord, the truest Howard fan, is gone.

If someone had told me six weeks ago the first post of the New Year on this blog would be the announcement of the passing of Glenn Lord, I would have advised them have their head examined. On November 19, 2011, a group of family and fans were with Glenn at the Monument Inn in La Porte to celebrate his 80th birthday.  Glenn appeared fine to me as I greeted him — somewhat frail with age — but still with a firm handshake, a smile and a mischievous gleam in his eye — the flame still burned.

I first crossed paths with Glenn  in 1972. I had just discovered the writings of Robert E. Howard in the form of a used copy of Lancer’s Conan the Conqueror and I was soon rounding up other Lancer volumes. Glenn’s name and post office box were listed in several of L. Sprague de Camp’s forewards to the books, along with some information on The Howard Collector. I wrote Glenn and bought copies of the few issues he still had in stock.

I was lucky to find Howard when I did because around that time Glenn was doing what he did best – wheeling and dealing to get Howard into print. The result was the Howard Boom of the 1970’s – a flood of paperbacks and hardcovers containing Howard’s prose and poetry. From the Donald Grant, FAX and Fictioneer hardcover books to the Zebra, Berkley and Ace paperbacks, not to mention the various chapbooks, fanzines and one-shot publications. Indeed it seemed as if the postman was bringing something new every day. But all that Howard material did not just fall into his lap.

Glenn became a fan of Howard’s fiction and poetry after acquiring a copy of Arkham House’s Skull-Face and Others (1946) in 1951. He then began his lifelong search for more Howard material, lucking out when he discovered a bookseller that had a huge stockpile of pulp magazines from the 1920s and 1930s. He was able to purchase a large amount of them fairly cheap and found a treasure trove of Howard stories in them. Next, he intensified the hunt — the flame had been lit.

No one besides Glenn would have gone through the trouble to track down all the typescripts and letters – he logged thousands of miles and spent a small fortune getting all that stuff — including an entire trunk of manuscripts. He also tracked down and interviewed every living person he could find that met Howard or had any connection to him, including two of his fellow Weird Tales writers, Clark Ashton Smith and E. Hoffmann Price. On most of these trips he took along Lou Ann, his bride who had no interest in REH and never acquired one either.

One of the very few positive things de Camp did for Howardom was recommending that Glenn be the literary agent for the non-Conan material. The two ladies who wound up with the rights to Howard’s writings agreed and Glenn represented their interests from 1965 – 1993.

In 1975 I started giving thought to becoming more involved in Howard fandom and, encouraged after seeing a number of successful Howard fanzines in the marketplace, decided to start one of my own — despite a seemingly glut of them. I set about contacting other fanzine editors and I wrote to Glenn with hopes of obtaining permission to publish some Howard stories in my fanzine. He was very helpful, but hesitant at first – perhaps wanting to make sure I was on the level. The two of us started conversing regularly while he was at work at the paper mill in Pasadena. If all the equipment was running smoothly, he could go into his office and give me a call.

We met for the first time at Houstoncon in 1976 and discussed Howard and my wish to get some Howard fiction for TGR. He agreed and allowed me to license a small batch of Howard stories for a nominal fee. We also continued to talk regularly on the phone, with Glenn keeping me up to date on upcoming projects. I used this information in the news section of the fanzine. Needless to say, Glenn became one of the biggest supporters of my efforts, providing invaluable insight into the world of Howard publishing. I lost touch with Glenn around 1980 as I moved away from Howard publishing.

I started contemplating a return to Howard publishing in 2003 and decided to attend Howard Days. Luckily, Glenn was in attendance that year, so we were able to get reacquainted. I returned home inspired and motivated, and soon began publishing new issues of THR. Once again Glenn was a valuable resource for me, answering research related questions and even contributing several articles to the revived TGR. I know at some point down the road I am going to have a Howard question and think of getting in touch with Glenn and that is going to be one strange feeling realizing he’s not here anymore.

While Glenn’s flame on this earthly plane has been extinguished, it still burns brightly in each of us — a flame he lit with his life’s work — and it is our duty to carry it forward, bringing that light to others.

Somewhere out there in the great beyond, I can see Glenn sitting with Bob ’round a campfire beneath a purple sky filled with an expanse of neverending points of light. Warming his hands over the fire, Bob asks, “Wanna hear another yarn, Glenn?” And Glenn smiles and replies “I reckon so.”

November 17, 1931 — December 31, 2011

This week all posts will pay tribute to and provide remembrances of this giant of a Howard fan and scholar who entered the hallowed Halls of Valhalla too soon. So join us as we celebrate the life and work of Glenn Lord.

Obituary

Glenn Lord passed away on December 31, 2011. He was born on November 17, 1931 to the union of LeRoy and Lurline Lord in Pelican, LA.  Glenn served his country dutifully during the Korean War.  He retired from Champion Paper. He was also famous in own right as literary agent for Robert E. Howard.  He is preceded in death by his parents.  Glenn is survived by his wife of 54 years, Lou Ann and son, James Lord and wife Lynn and daughter, Glenda Felkner and husband Andy.  He is further survived by four grandchildren, Stephen Cupples, Alan Nabors, Danielle Smith and Ryan Smith.  Glenn was a member of Spirit Life Church of God. Reverend LeRoy Butts will officiate services and final interment will be at Rosewood Memorial Park with honors well deserved.

Funeral Arrangements:

Glenn’s funeral will be Thursday, 10:00 am, at the Rosewood Funeral Home, 3939 Pasadena Boulevard, Pasadena, Texas 77503. Phone: (713) 920-2171. Website: http://www.rosewood.cc/. There will also be a viewing on Wednesday evening from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Burial will be at Rosewood Memorial Park Cemetery, 2602 S. Houston Avenue, Humble, Texas 77396.

Sign the Guestbook

Links to Online Tributes

Thoughts About Glenn Lord by Mark Finn

Glenn Lord — 1931 — 2011 by Dennis McHaney

The First Scholar Passes by Al Harron

Glenn Lord, 1931 — 2011 by James Reasoner

Glenn Lord, Nov. 17, 1931 — Dec. 31, 2011 by Barbara Barrett and John O’Neill

RIP Glenn Lord by Keith West

Glenn Lord, The Greatest Howard Fan, 1931 — 2011 by Al Harron

Glenn Lord 1931 — 2011 by Dave Hardy

Obituary: Glenn Lord by Steven Silver

Glenn Lord (1931 — 2011) at Locus Online

Glenn Lord: Another Giant Passes by Mike Chomko

Two-Gun Bob: Into the West by Don Herron

Godspeed, Glenn Lord by Brian Murphy

Glenn Lord, Howardian Herald 1931 — 2011 by Chris Gruber

On the Passing of Glenn Lord by Frank Coffman

Glenn Lord the Man Who was My Footprints by David Houston

Robert E. Howard scholar and publisher, Glenn Lord, dies from BFS Website

Glenn Lord, November 17, 1931 — December 31, 2011 from THEBOOKISHOWL.COM

Glenn Lord: 1931 — 2011 by Patrice Louinet (in French)

He was Our Great and Gracious Friend by Bill Cavalier

Listen to an Interview with Glenn Lord

If you would like to send your condolences to Glenn’s family,  you can mail them to:

The Lord Family
P.O. Box 775
Pasadena, TX 77501

Read Glenn’s Biography

Anniversary: Glenn Lord and The Howard Collector

We have Dennis McHaney to thank for this tribute published on Glenn’s 80th birthday. This handsome volume focuses on Glenn as agent, author and editor, and his ground-breaking Howard journal, The Howard Collector. This anthology contains tributes from Don Herron, Morgan Holmes, Roy Thomas, Dennis McHaney, Patrice Louinet, Fred Blosser, James Reasoner, Frank Coffman, Rusty Burke, Leo Grin, Paul Herman, Bill Cavalier, Damon Sasser, Barbara Barrett, and Rob Roehm, plus a history of The Howard Collector with index by McHaney, and five works of Howard fiction from the pages of that journal This book is available in both hardback and paperback from Lulu.com.

Now more than ever, this is a must-have for any fan of Glenn and Howard.

Thanks go to Bill Lampkin of ThePulp.Net for loading up the audio interview with Glenn linked above.
(This post updated 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7 & 1/8)
This entry filed under Don Herron, Glenn Lord, Mark Finn.