Archive for the 'Mark Finn' Category

Patrice Louinet Getting The Black Circle Award

Well, it’s mid-afternoon in Cross Plains and the REH Foundation Awards have already been presented to the winners.  Originally the awards were known as The Cimmerian Awards and the black skulls on marble bases were handed out at the Pavilion after the Friday night banquet. When the awards became the REH Foundation Awards, the wooden plaques were given out at the Community Center immediately after the banquet and it was a somewhat rushed affair, with Howard fans wanting to go to the Pavilion and the locals bolting for the door, not having much interest in the awards. So it was decided to make the awards a bigger deal by having a less rushed and more formal ceremony on Friday afternoon at 2:30.

So without further waiting, here are the winners:

The HyrkanianOutstanding Achievement Print Essay:

Jeffrey Shanks – “History, Horror, and Heroic Fantasy: Robert E. Howard and the Creation of the Sword and Sorcery Subgenre,” Critical Insights: Pulp Fiction of the 1920s and 1930s.

The AquilonianOutstanding Achievement, Periodical:

The REH Foundation NewsletterBill Cavalier, Rob Roehm, Paul Herman.

The StygianOutstanding Achievement, Website:

Brian Leno, Patrice Louinet, Rob Roehm, Damon Sasser, Keith Taylor– REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (Website and Blog).

The CimmerianOutstanding Achievement for Online Essay:

Rob Roehm – “The Business” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (13 parts).

The Venarium AwardEmerging Scholar:

Patrick Burger

The Black River AwardSpecial Achievement (The following nominees have produced something special that doesn’t fit into any other category: scholarly presentations, biographical discoveries, etc.):

Ben Friberg for filming the panels at Howard Days, editing them, and making them available on YouTube.

The Rankin AwardArtistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work (Art must have made its first public published appearance in the previous calendar year.):

Tom Gianni for cover art for Pirate Adventures (REHFP), cover art for Fists of Iron, Round 1 (REHFP), cover art for Robert E. Howard’s Western Tales.

The Black Circle AwardLifetime Achievement:

Patrice Louinet

The Crom Award—Board of Directors Choice:

Paul Herman for scanning the Howard typescripts in the Glenn Lord collection and facillitating their transfer to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin.

Next Year’s Black Circle Award Nominee:

Karl Edward Wagner

Congratulations to the winners and remember, it is not too late for you to step up and find your name on the list next year!

Award-001

The nominees for the 2014 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards have been announced by the REHF Board of Directors. The annual awards honor outstanding achievement in Howard Studies and other Howard-related endeavors. The final nominees were selected by Legacy Circle Members from all the Howard-related work made available in 2013. Ballots have been sent out to all members of all levels of membership (Supporting Members, Friends of REH and Legacy Circle Members) via e-mail. The next step is for all foundation members to cast their votes based on the finalists. Members have until April 30 to submit their choices. The winners will be announced at a ceremony during the 2014 Robert E. Howard Days celebration in Cross Plains, Texas, on June 13.

Here are the Nominees for the 2014 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards:

The HyrkanianOutstanding Achievement Print Essay:

ADAMS, ANGELINE B. AND REMCO VAN STRATEN – “Robert E. Howard: The Lost Celt Fortean Times 296, January 2013.

BURGER, PATRICK R. – “’I ’n’ I A-Liberate Zimbabwe’: Motifs of Africa and Freedom in Howard’s ‘The Grisly Horror.’ The Dark Man Vol. 7, No. 1, February 2013.

FINN, MARK AND JEFFREY SHANKS – “Vaqueros and Vampires in the Pulps: Robert E. Howard and the Dawn of the Undead West.” Undead in the West II: They Just Keep Coming, edited by Cynthia Miller and Bowden Van Riper.

SHANKS, JEFFREY – “History, Horror, and Heroic Fantasy: Robert E. Howard and the Creation of the Sword and Sorcery Subgenre” Critical Insights: Pulp Fiction of the 1920s and 1930s.

The AquilonianOutstanding Achievement, Periodical:

THE REH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER – Bill Cavalier, Rob Roehm, Paul Herman

THE DARK MAN: THE JOURNAL OF ROBERT E. HOWARD STUDIES – Mark Hall

The StygianOutstanding Achievement, Website:

BREAKIRON, LEE, FRANK COFFMAN, GARY ROMERO, AND SCOTT SHEAFFER REHEAPA The Robert E. Howard Electronic Amateur Press Association (Website and Blog)

LENO, BRIAN, PATRICE LOUINET, ROB ROEHM, DAMON SASSER, KEITH TAYLOR- REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (Website and Blog)

THOM, BILL – Howard Works (Website)

The CimmerianOutstanding Achievement for Online Essay:

LENO, BRIAN – “Out of the Shadows—Finally, ‘Kid’ Dula” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (10 Parts)

ROEHM, ROB – “The Business” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (13 parts)

SHANKS, JEFFREY – “La Reina de la Costa Negra: The Mystery of the Mexican Conan Comics” An Age Undreamed Of

TAYLOR, KEITH – “Barbarianism Must Always Triumph” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (3 parts)

The Venarium AwardEmerging Scholar (Vote either “Approve” or “Disapprove”):

PATRICK BURGER – A longtime member of REHupa and the editorial staff of The Dark Man, Patrick had an article published and completed his PhD dissertation on Robert E. Howard in 2013.

The Black River AwardSpecial Achievement (The following nominees have produced something special that doesn’t fit into any other category: scholarly presentations, biographical discoveries, etc.):

CAVALIER, BILL AND MORGAN HOLMES – For discovering and publishing a previously unknown photograph of Robert E. Howard

FINN, MARK – For organizing the REH presence, including panels and exhibits at Worldcon 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.

FRIBERG, BEN – For filming the panels at Howard Days, editing them, and making them available on YouTube

The Rankin AwardArtistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work (Art must have made its first public published appearance in the previous calendar year.):

GIANNI, TOM: Cover art for Pirate Adventures (REHFP), cover art for Fists of Iron, Round One (REHFP), cover art for Robert E. Howard’s Western Tales

GIORELLO, TOMAS & JOSE VILLARRUBIA: Artwork for adaptation of “The Hour of the Dragon” —  King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon issues

KEEGAN, JIM & RUTH: Artwork for “The Adventures of Two-Gun Bob”

PACE, RICHARD: For artwork for adaptation of “Men of the Shadows,” Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword

The Black Circle Award—Lifetime Achievement:

PATRICE LOUINET

Information on the voting process can be found here and a list of the eligible candidates for nomination can be found here.

Congratulations to the nominees and good luck!

2014 01-06 037

As usual, I used part of my holiday break to travel to Texas with my dad. And, while the primary focus of our research this time was not Robert E. Howard or his immediate family, we did find a Howard-related document in Coke County that everyone knew should exist, but no one, to the best of my knowledge, had actually ever seen. But before we get to that, let’s have some background.

The Howards did not spend much time in Coke County, and Robert Howard was just a toddler then, so biographers usually have little to say about the family’s stay there. Here’s de Camp in Dark Valley Destiny:

The Howards soon became disenchanted with the tent city of Seminole and its boom-or-bust atmosphere. In 1909, when the railroad failed, Dr. Howard took his family to Bronte, Texas. Bronte was one of the smallest towns that ever popped up along the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railroad, then being put into operation between Sweetwater and San Angelo. Bronte lies in a hilly area of Coke County, whence the plains roll down to Southwest Texas. In the Howards’ day, it was cattle and sheep country, although there were arable sections in the valley of the nearby Colorado River.

In 1909, when the Howards moved there, the population of the whole county numbered about six thousand souls. [. . .]

From there, we get a lot of de Camp’s “it must have been” and “perhaps” statements. He winds up his discussion of Coke County with this: “The Howards stayed in Bronte only a year; for on January 8, 1910, Dr. Howard presented his credentials at the county seat of Bexar County, giving his home address as Poteet, a few miles from the border.”

More recently, Mark Finn’s Blood and Thunder has this to say:

The Doctor hung his shingle in Bronte, in Coke County, in 1909. Named after the author, Charlotte Bronte, Coke County also boasted a town called Tennyson, named after the English poet. The entire county was in the middle of a cotton boom at the time of the family’s arrival. The railroad tracks were laid in 1907, but the first train didn’t run until 1909. This too would be a short-lived stay.

After a brief discussion of the Howards’ visit to Crystal City, Finn is finished with Bronte: “The family was living in Atascosa County in early 1910.” And that’s about it in the standard biographies.

As we have seen, the order of events is correct, but the timeline is off a bit. And while Doc Howard’s newly-discovered Bexar County registration provides the date for his Coke County registration, errors are not unheard of, so it would be nice to verify the information with the actual registration document; plus, it’s always nice to have clean copies of things. So off to Coke County we went.

1909 04-00 TexasStateJournalofMed

Before our visit to Robert Lee, the county seat of Coke, I’d only found two items that placed the Howards in Bronte. The first was a list of births attended by Doc Howard that someone had transcribed on a genealogy webpage; these births all occurred between January and August 1909. The second was a notice in the April 1909 edition of the Texas State Journal of Medicine. Its “County Societies” column indicates that Dr. I. M. Howard sent in his change of address from Seminole to Bronte between February 15 and March 18, 1909.

At the courthouse, we first inspected the land records—no Doctor Howard. The ladies in the office had never heard of a Physicians’ Registry or Medical Register, and they weren’t going to let me look at their Register of Births, either. When I explained that I was not at all interested in the person who had been born, but only the attending physician, they eased up a bit and scanned down the page in the Register of Births until they found a Dr. I. M. Howard. Now convinced that I was legitimate, they let me look at the far right column containing the information I was interested in. I found two new births that Doc Howard attended that were not on the list I already had, one of these was in May 1909, but the other was in December 1908. Seeing my excitement at the added information, the senior secretary said that we could go downstairs and look in the piles for a Medical Register.

2014 01-06 038

I started looking on one shelf and my dad on another. It didn’t take long before Pop was shoving a book at me. The spine casing was long gone, but someone had written “Medical License No. 1” on the edge that remained. The book was open, and Pop was pointing to a folded-over sheet in the crumbling volume.  That sheet had Doc Howard’s signature on it. We took the book upstairs and revealed our find to the ladies.

1908 09-14 MR 1

The new document (click below) verifies that September 14, 1908, is the day that Doctor Howard registered in Coke County, but it also indicates that he hadn’t settled anywhere in the county just yet. His post office address is still listed as “Siminole,” which is of course Seminole, back in Gaines County. So, using the two new registration documents, we now know that Dr. Howard had arrived in Coke County by at least September 1908 and was gone before November 20, 1909, with the last official record of him being there an August 27, 1909 birth record.

1908 09-14 MR 4

This is the final post for 2013 of the online version of Nemedian Dispatches. This feature previously appeared in the print journal and is now on the blog. On roughly a quarterly basis, Nemedian Dispatches will highlight new and upcoming appearances of Howard’s fiction in print, as well as Howard in other types of media.

In Print:

1455099_698319006860121_1820056067_nWeird Tales (October 1936)
Just published by Girasol Collectables Inc., is the October 1936 pulp replica of Weird Tales featuring the third and final installment  of “Red Nails.”  Part 1 appeared in the July 1936 issue, Part 2 in the August-September 1936 issue, both of which are available from Girasol. 

Western Tales
The REH Foundation Press’ collection of Howard’s western yarns is now available to order. It is the most comprehensive collection of Howard’s straight westerns ever published, including his classic weird westerns. The volume also features a Foreword by western fictioneer James Reasoner, a cover by Tom Gianni and Notes on the Text by Rob Roehm.

Fight Stories  (December 1931)
Adventure House has released a pulp replica of the December 1931 issue of Fight Stories featuring Robert E. Howard’s Sailor Steve Costigan in “Circus Fists.”

41f6kD7xfsLUndead in the West II: They Just Keep Coming
This new scholarly collection kicks off with “Vaqueros and Vampires in the Pulps: Robert E. Howard and the Dawn of the Undead West” by Jeff Shanks and Mark Finn. And that’s just the beginning, the volume has sixteen other essays on topics related to the weird west. It comes at a hefty price, but it is a hefty book, clocking in at over 350 pages. The book is edited by Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper, and features a foreword by science fiction author William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run).

 Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword #6
WriterMatt Kindt  teams with comic-book superstar artist Keu Cha  to bring you a familiar Conan story with a twist! Paul Tobin and Francesco Francavilla deliver the second exciting installment of “Dark Agnes: Sword Woman,” while Ian Edginton and TGR contributor Richard Pace to illustrate why the Picts are such a formidable fighting force in part 2 of “Bran Mak Morn: Men of the Shadows.” This plus much more in this latest issue.

61RT9j1FMCL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Colossal Conan
Finally, a collection gigantic enough for Conan the Cimmerian himself! This massive hardcover volume weighs in at 13 pounds and collects Conan issues #0 through #50 in 1264 pages. Beginning with the early work of Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord through the famous collaborations of Timothy Truman and Tomás Giorello, this huge tome features an introduction from Busiek and an afterword from Truman. It is truly a must have for any Howard comic collector. The many contributors include: Kurt Busiek (Writer), Timothy Truman (Writer), Mike Mignola (Writer), Cary Nord (Art), Tomás Giorello (Art), Thomas Yeates (Art), Greg Ruth (Art), Eric Powell (Art), Rafael Kayanan (Art), Paul Lee (Art), Leinil Francis Yu (Art), Joseph Linsner (Art), Ladronn (Art), Tony Harris (Art), Paul Lee (Art), Dave Stewart (Color), Richard Isanove (Color), JD Mettler (Color), Tony Shasteen (Color), José Villarrubia (Color), and Mark Schultz (Cover)

 Coming Soon: 

boxing2The REH Foundation Press
Fists of Iron, Round 2 is now available to preorder. This is the second of a four volume comprehensive collection of REH’s humorous and straight boxing yarns (volume one was published earlier this year) from the Foundation Press. Also in the works for the near future is a two volume collection of Howard’s humorous western yarns, a book of Celtic adventures (Cormac Mac Art, et al.), an autobiographical book of sorts consisting of Post Oaks and Sand Roughs and various articles and essays written by Howard with a biographical slant, plus several other volumes.

REH: Two-Gun Raconteur #17
After a one year forced hiatus, TGR is returning in 2014 with a new issue just in time for Howard Days in June. You can expect the usual stellar line-up of rare Howard fiction, great artwork and outstanding essays and articles from more Howard scholars than you can shake a stick at. Stay tuned for more details as 2014 progresses.

Hanging Out at the Robert E. Howard Foundation Dealer’s Table

Burke Shanks Louinet

Foundation table (2)

Foundation table 2

Foundation table2

RoehmBurkeIndy8-31-2013

 Out and About in San Antonio

20130831_183646

Copy-of-20130830_221050

DSCN1181-001

Uncle Fezter

IMG_1616

1262543_10200390644921046_783589368_o

1175541_10200400495967316_1862099808_n

20130831_205332

Photos courtesy of John Bullard, Rusty Burke, Patrice Louinet, Dennis McHaney, Rob Roehm, Jeff Shanks, Keith West and probably one or two other folks.

BT1

Pre-Con Bus Trip to Cross Plains

Photos by Barbara Baum

 BT21

BT22

BT18

BT19

BT20

BT4

BT11

BT8

BT10

BT12

BT9

BT13

BT7

BT6

BT15

BT17

Howard Heads on Hallowed Ground

Howard Heads on Hallowed Ground (Left to Right) Kneeling: Keith West, John Bullard, Dave Hardy. Standing Jeff Shanks, Paul Herman, Rusty Burke, Partice Louinet, Rob Roehm, Bill Cavalier and myself.)

Worldcon 71 is history and everyone who attended has made it home and had time to reflect on the experience. Due to my work schedule and other factors I was only able to attend on Friday and Saturday (Worldcon ran Thursday, August 29th through Monday, September 2nd), which were probably two of the best days to be there. But some other folks who were there have filled in the gaps I missed for this wrap-up, so off we go.

photo

The big pre-convention event was Wednesday’s bus trip to Cross Plains (hosted by Rusty Burke and Mark Finn) which was a success despite having only 14 people sign-up for it. Little surprise there since the con PR crew did little to no advance publicity for the trip. In my opinion, they dropped the ball on promoting the convention itself. I did not see any national coverage at all, only some local newspaper and television coverage  — I mean it was the “World Science Fiction Convention” and certainly should been heavily publicized nationally.

Getting back on topic, even though the day trippers were a small group, they were an enthusiastic bunch, touring the Howard House Museum, buying items from the gift shop and eating in the local restaurants — thus giving a shot of revenue to Howard’s hometown. On the return trip to San Antonio, the AV system on the luxury bus screened The Whole Wide World. All in all, the journey made for a fine prelude to Thursday’s opening day of the convention.

I drove from Houston to San Antonio after work on Thursday and met the gang at Dick’s Last Resort on the Riverwalk.  It’s basically a tourist trap where they put paper hats on your heads with insulting sayings written on them, make you wear plastic bibs and generally treat all the customers rudely, hence the  name “Dick’s”  The gang included Rob Roehm, Patrice Louinet, Rusty Burke, Bill Cavalier, Jeff Shanks, Paul Herman and local fan and Legacy Circle member John Bullard. Dave Hardy, his wife Julie and daughter Bridget were also in attendance. After dinner, drinks and some general tormrnting from the staff, we retired to quieter and more pleasant surroundings, namely the bar at the Menger Hotel.

The hotel, built in 1858, is purportedly haunted by the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt; the hotel’s walls are decorated with photos and memorabilia related to our 26th President. Every evening The Menger Bar, which is just steps away from The Alamo, was ground zero for after dinner drinking, hanging out and the general telling of lies.

Talking-Howard-and-swilling-beer-at-the-Menger-Bar

Talking Howard and swilling beer at the MengerBar (Left to Right) Jeff Shanks, Patrice Louinet, Dave Hardy, Paul Herman, Bill Cavalier, Rob Roehm and myself.

Friday morning when I arrived at the convention center, I ran into Rob outside and he showed where to check-in and get my badge and other credentials. I then wandered into the exhibit hall and checked out the REH exhibit, as was pretty damn impressive. Next I headed back to the dealers’ room to visit the REH Foundation’s dealer’s table and was pleased to see they had a nice set-up with a large supply of Foundation Press books. However, they were stuck way in the back of the dealers’ room — but as far as I could tell, it didn’t seem to affect the amount of traffic going by the table.

As for the con-goers, nothing to see there. People dressed in Furries, Steampunk, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Star Trek, Dr. Who, and etc. gear — the usual con crowd; other than the person with a beard, dressed as a woman, whose gender was not apparent to me. Obviously, there was a lot of other activities going at the convention in addition to the Howard related events — usually about 20 panels, readings or screenings going on at the same time. Here is TGR blogger Rob Roehm’s reort on the event:

Due to time constraints I wasn’t able to drive to Texas as I prefer, but air travel has its benefits. I arrived late on Wednesday evening, had a Whataburger, and hit the sack. Thursday morning I drove to Victoria, which is the last Texas town mentioned by Robert E. Howard that I hadn’t visited before. Now I’ve seen them all.

Bill Cavalier and Dave Hardy holding down the fort down at the Robert E. Howard Exhibit.

I arrived at the convention center a little after noon and went looking for familiar faces. The first one I saw was Dave Hardy, who was manning the REH exhibit in the big hall. The exhibit was pretty nice, with lots of comics, a few books, and a couple of Howard’s typescripts borrowed from the Cross Plains Public Library. After a quick chat, Hardy pointed me in the direction of the REH Foundation table in the dealers’ section.

At the table, Paul Herman brought me up to speed on what was happening, as well as how to operate the credit card reader for my phone, and then slipped off to be part of a copyright panel. When he returned, I skipped out for lunch with Rusty Burke, Patrice Louinet, and Jeff Shanks. We went down to the River Walk and had sandwiches and beer at an Irish pub. By the time I got back to the dealers’ room, it was almost time to close it down, so I helped out a bit and then we all hit the town.

Bill Cavalier and Paul Herman setting up the REH Foundation table.

And speaking of the dealers’ room, the best part of WorldCon, for me anyway, was Paul Herman. If he hadn’t been so dedicated to the job at hand, I know that I would have been stuck behind the REH Foundation table selling books the whole time. As it was, I had lots of time to screw around. I *almost* feel guilty about it, but not quite.

The REHF Press Dealers' Table

I only watched one panel that I wasn’t part of, and I only participated in three, so I’m not really sure what I was doing most of the time. The panels I was on were fairly well attended, around twenty folks. And these were mostly *new* people, not the fans that stay up-to-date on Damon’s blog and read the current goings-on in Howard Studies. For many of them, Howard studies began and ended with de Camp in the 1970s. And they were generally receptive to having their notions changed. Of course, some of the more old-time fans and authors had a harder time of it. During Rusty Burke’s horror stories panel-the one panel that I watched-I enjoyed seeing him patiently counter some of Harry Turtledove’s comments.

Horror Stories Panel with Damon Sasser, Rusty Burke and Harry Turtledove.

The same thing was happening at the Foundation table. People were surprised to see the many different books by Howard and were almost always completely unaware of the Foundation and the doings of Howard fans in general. We were happy to fill in the blanks.

Of course, the real fun was just hanging out with friends and talking about Robert E. Howard. And it’s even better when you can do that in a city that Howard loved, and that serves alcohol in its restaurants.

Mark Finn was the head honcho as far as planning all the REH panels and wrangling all the contrary Howard Heads to sit in on them — a monumental feat in of itself. You can read Mark’s complete trip report here. Meanwhile, here is a sampling that focuses on the Howard related convention stuff:

Some of you may have noticed that there were, ah, a few panels on Robert E. Howard and his legacy. This was completely intentional. When I was asked to help out with the programming duties, I was told that there were absolutely zero panels on Robert E. Howard at the last Texas WorldCon, in 1997. This is not surprising. The 1990s are something of a Dark Ages for Howard Studies, with no copies of Howard’s own Conan books on the shelves and no real intentions to do so. It wasn’t until around the late 1990s that Wandering Star entered the picture, with their desire to produce authoritative texts of Howard’s work, in deluxe hardcover editions, and with high end illustrations. That was the start of the REH Renaissance, really. So, a lot has happened in the thirteen years between Texas WorldCons. A lot.

photoqsq

That track of programming was a corrective, and it was extremely successful. We had large crowds for most of the panels (the poetry stuff was a bust, frankly, and no one could find the film programming to come see “Barbarian Days”) and lot of participation. But in particular, I slanted the panels to hit the older fans. When I came down for the big meeting in April, I had two people pull me aside—older men, both—and tell me how pleased and excited they were to see that REH was going to be on the panels this year. They were big fans, they told me, and read all of that stuff in the 1970s. I asked them, “Have you been keeping up with what we’ve been doing in the past fifteen years?” Oh, no, they said. They just read the books and really enjoyed them, but they haven’t looked at them since the seventies. Heh. Okay, guys, this panel’s for you.

"The First Barbarian of Texas" --  Patrice Louinet and Mark Finn, with John Maddox Roberts (far right) and Patrick Nielsen Hayden (far left)

I intentionally loaded the topics to entice the older fans. We had an obligatory Conan panel, and that room was packed. Even better, it was a smashing success. I opened it up to talk about pop culture Conan, and everyone stayed right on Robert E. Howard’s Conan the whole time. Fantastic. And the more we talked about corrupted texts, bad biographical practices, ulterior motives, and the complicated relationship between the fans and L. Sprague de Camp, I saw more light bulbs going on behind these guys’ eyes. Oh, there were a few of them who wanted to debate the point, citing de Camp’s standing as a gifted and talented author, and blah blah blah. I told one of them what I always say, which is that de Camp was great for Conan, but really lousy for Robert E. Howard. That pretty much ended the discussion.We opened a lot of eyes and changed a lot of minds over the four day weekend.

The Robert E. Howard exhibit got a lot of traffic, as did the Robert E. Howard Foundation Table. Lots of books were sold, memberships handed out, and we all had a ton of great conversations with people who were genuinely interested in REH, his works, and what we were doing there. It was everything that we wanted WFC 2006 to be, and more.

“Beyond the Barbarian: Robert E. Howard’s Other Heroes” Panel

“Beyond the Barbarian: Robert E. Howard’s Other Heroes” Panel (Left to Right) Rob Roehm, David Spurlock, Dave Hardy, Mel White and John Maddox Roberts.

Like me, Howard fan and blogger Keith West also arrived in San Antonio late Thursday. Here is an excerpt from his trip report on his Adventures Fantastic blog (He also blogs at the Amazing Stories website):

The next day [Friday] was one of those where there was about twelve hours of programming I wanted to attend, all of it in a three hour block. I went to most of the Robert E. Howard panels, of which there were many. Most of the hanging out I did with friends was with members of the Robert E. Howard Foundation or chatting with folks at parties. Saturday was much the same, but Sunday was a little more relaxed. Among the non-Howard panels I attended were a discussion of C. L. Moore’s “Vintage Season”, the history of firearms in the 1800s, a reading by Jack McDevitt, a discussion on writing that included Michael Swanwick and James Patrick Kelly, a panel of Texas writers who have passed on, and readings by Jack McDevitt and Howard Waldrop. I only caught part of the panel on sword and sorcery since it was up against one of the more interesting Robert E. Howard panels. The autographing lines were either nonexistent or ridiculously long, so I only got a few signatures.

I went to the Alamo Saturday morning with Bill Cavalier, editor of REHupa. He hadn’t seen it, and it had been a while since I had paid my respects. Next to the Alamo is the Menger Hotel. Teddy Roosevelt recruited the Rough Riders in the bar, and it’s something of a mini-museum. I’ll do a write-up of it on Dispatches From the Lone Star Front over the weekend.

I didn’t try to attend the Hugos. I wasn’t impressed with the slate of nominees for the most part. But it’s a popularity contest, and currently my tastes and those of the field are in a state of moderate divergence. The Legacy Circle of the REH Foundation went to dinner Saturday night.

The REH Foundation Legacy Circle Dinner

The REH Foundation Legacy Circle Dinner (Left to Right) Paul Herman, Bill Cavalier, Rusty Burke, Dave Hardy, Damon Sasser, Jeff Shanks, Patrice Louinet, Rob Roehm, John Bullard and Ben Friberg (Keith West is the photographer).

My first panel was Friday at 4:00 pm “Two-Gun Bob: The Somewhat True Tales of Robert E. Howard.” The turnout was pretty good, as were the questions from the audience, though I found the guy wearing the pink bunny ears to be distracting. I had another panel at 8:00, “Nameless Cults: Robert E. Howard’s Horror Stories,” which had a pretty sparse showing of attendees — they scheduled a screening of The Whole Wide World at the same time, which certainly siphoned off of the potential attendees.

"Two-Gun Bob: The Somewhat True Tales of Robert E. Howard

“Two-Gun Bob: The Somewhat True Tales of Robert E. Howard” Panel (Left to Right) Mark Finn, Patrice Louinet, myself, Rob Roehm and Rusty Burke.

On Saturday I was only on one panel: “The Howard Boom” Barbarians, Fanzines and the 1970s,” which was interesting since I was the only one there who actually participated in the 1970s Howard Boom! Later that afternoon, I caught the “Robert E. Howard: The Weird, West and Worms” academic panel. It was one of the best, but there were only six or seven us in the audience. That was a shame because Mark and Jeff presented two of their excellent PCA papers: “Vaqueros and Vampires: Robert E Howard and the Genesis of the Weird Western” and “Evolutionary Otherness: Anthropological Anxiety in Robert E. Howard’s “Worms of the Earth”

Mark, Jeff, Chris, Patrice, Rusty, Rob and others have been working overtime to get Howard the literary credit he  deserves. If we, as Howard fans want to have his writings make some serious inroads into academia, we really have to get behind these guys, show our support and help them any way we can to further the cause. This convention was a good start, but there is still a lot of work left to be done.

When it was all said and done, Worldcon was certainly a big stage to show off Howard studies and just how it’s come in recent years. There were no Howard panels at the 1997 Worldcon, which was also held in San Antonio, The World Fantasy Con in 2006 corrected that slight somewhat, but Worldcon 71 blew the doors off with its great Howard presence. It looks like the future of Howard’s literary legacy is so bright, we all are going to have to wear shades.

Watch for “Worldcon 71: A Photo Gallery” coming soon!

Photos courtesy of Barbara Baum, Rusty Burke, Patrice Louinet, Dennis McHaney, Rob Roehm and Keith West.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwo weeks from tomorrow, Worldcon 71 kicks off in the Alamo City. The event is being hosted by LoneStarCon 3 and, of course, will have a large number of Robert E. Howard panels and programs on the schedule. And the Howard events even get a jumpstart on the convention with a bus trip to Cross Plains to visit the Howard House Museum the day before Worldcon officially starts!

The Wednesday bus tour, hosted by Rusty Burke and Mark Finn, is virtually identical to the one from the 2006 World Fantasy Con. Acting as your guides, Rusty and Mark will be pointing out places of interest along the way. Once in Cross Plains, the first stop is the historical Robert E. Howard House Museum, next is a lunch break, and lastly a quick tour of the Cross Plain Public Library and downtown Cross Plains, and then it’s back on the bus for the return trip to San Antonio. While the trip takes twelve hours, you’ll find the time will fly by since you will be riding in a luxury bus, which should have a DVD player, so there’s a good chance you’ll see The Whole Wide World on the way back, plus Mark will have some Violet Crown Radio Players CDs with him to entertain you as well.

As for the Howard related panels and events beginning Thursday the 29th of August, here is the rundown:

Worldcon REH-Themed Panels

Note: This does not include the panels that are about larger topics that would include REH, such as the Texas Gothic panel and the Weird Texas Author panel. Nor does it include other panels that Howardists will be on. This is the list of concentrated REH panels.  The Worldcon Robert E. Howard program is three times the size of the program at the 2006 World Fantasy Convention.

Thu. 12:00 – Thu. 13:00, Location: 008A
The First Barbarian of Texas: Conan the Cimmerian (Literature, Panel)

Thu. 13:00 – Thu. 14:00, Location: 101B
You Don’t Know Jack about Bob: What’s New in Robert E. Howard Studies (Authors, Panel)

Fri. 10:00 – Fri. 11:00, Location: 102B
Beyond the Barbarian: Robert E. Howard’s Other Heroes (Literature, Panel)

Fri. 13:00 – Fri. 14:00, Location: Conference 1 (Rivercenter)
Barbarian Days: Starring the BNFs of Howard Fandom   (Screening)

Fri 16:00 – Fri. 17:00, Location: 102B
Two-Gun Bob: The Somewhat True Tales of Robert E. Howard (Panel)

Fri. 18:00 – Fri. 19:00, Location: Exh A – Literary Beers
The Robert E. Howard Poetry Slam! (Poetry, Open Mike)

Fri. 20:00 – Fri. 21:00, Location: 006B (160AV)
Nameless Cults: Robert E. Howard’s Horror Stories (Literature, Panel)

Fri. 20:00 – Fri. 22:00, Location: 007CD
The Whole Wide World (Authors, Film / Video) (Screening)

Sat. 10:00 – Sat 11:00, Location: 007CD
The Weird Western: A Celebratory Explanation (Literature, Panel)

Sat. 12:00 – Sat. 13:00, Location: 102B
The Howard Boom: Barbarians, Fanzines, and the 1970s (Fannish, Panel)

Sat. 15:00 – Sat. 16:00, Location: 003B
The Poetry of Robert E. Howard: The Dark Bard of Texas (Poetry, Panel), (Academic/Poet)

Sat. 17:00 – Sat. 18:00, Location: 006B
Robert E. Howard: The Weird, West, and Worms (Academic, Talk)

Sun. 13:00 – Sun. 14:00, Location: 102A
The Wild, Weird, and Wonderful Westerns of Robert E. Howard (Literature, Panel)

Sun. 18:00 – Sun. 19:00, Location: 006A
Robert E. Howard at the Ice House (Literature, Panel)

Mon. 13:00 – Mon. 14:00, Location:102A
“An Age Undreamed Of…”: World Building with Robert E. Howard (Literature, Panel)Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

The convention is being held in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, located in downtown San Antonio and just a short distance from the world famous River Walk. The Convention Center has two halls (each over 120,000 square feet), large ballrooms, and scores of smaller meeting rooms. The Marriott Rivercenter and Marriott River Walk are the host hotels, with the nearby Hilton Palacio Del Rio handling the overflow of guests. You can enjoy the Rivercenter Mall with dozens of shops and restaurants, along with other venues for food and shopping situated on the River Walk. The mall, hotels and convention center are linked by the Paseo del Rio (River Walk), a portion of the San Antonio River.

It is going to be a Labor Day weekend to remember for Howard Heads, with a who’s-who’s of Howard aficionados in attendance and participating on the panels.

Eight of the nine boxes containing Howard's typescripts.

Eight of the nine boxes containing Howard’s typescripts in the holding area for new acquisitions at the Harry Ransom Center.

On Friday, July 26th, I was privileged to be among the select few present at the pretigious Harry Ransom Center on the University of Texas Campus in Austin when the Lord family formally donated the 14,000 pages of Robert E. Howard typescripts Glenn had collected throughout his lifetime. To say it was a momentous occasion would be an understatement. The entire collection fit into nine boxes (eight of which are shown above) and contains stories, poems and letters. In addition to Glenn’s wife Lou Ann, son James, daughter Glenda and his three living granchildren, myself, Jack and Barbara Baum, Rusty Burke, Mark Finn, Paul Herman and Dennis McHaney were also in attendance.

Left to right: Damon Sasser, Mark Finn, Jack Baum, Barbara Baum, Dennis McHaney, Glenda Felkner, Lou Ann Lord, Danielle Smith, Rusty Burke, Paul Herman, Stephen Cupples, Ryan Smith and James Lord.

Twenty years before his death, Glenn Lord was pondering what to do with his massive collection of original Howard typescripts when he would eventually pass away. That was 1991 and Paul Herman was attending law school at the University of Texas and while visiting with Glenn one day, Glenn asked Paul what he should do with his vast collection, which included thousands of pages of Howard’s original manuscripts. Glenn considered the Houston Public Library. While the library is a fine organization, it is not a world-class archival facility. They wouldn’t know what to do with such a valuable and rare collection. A light bulb went off above Paul’s head and he suggested the Harry Ransom Center. While he had never been to the facility, he knew of it and they work that was done there to preserves valuable, historical items. So he got in contact with Dr. Richard Orem, who was and still is the head librarian for the Center. What is the Harry Ransom Center you may ask? Here is a brief description from the Center’s Wikipedia webpage:

The Harry Ransom Center is an archive, library and museum at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the collection of literary and cultural artifacts from the United States and Europe for the purpose of advancing the study of the arts and humanities. The Ransom Center houses 36 million literary manuscripts, 1 million rare books, 5 million photographs, and more than 100,000 works of art. The Center has a reading room for scholars and galleries which display rotating exhibitions of works and objects from the collections.

Paul asked Dr. Orem if he knew who Robert E. Howard was. Dr. Orem replied he did and further stated the Center had a collection of his books. Then Paul asked him if he had ever heard of Glenn Lord. Dr. Orem replied in the affirmative and said the Center had a set of The Howard Collector. Next Paul laid out the proposal for Glenn to donate the Howard typescripts when he passed on. Dr. Orem enthusiastically agreed and arranged for Paul to take a behind the scenes tour of the facility. Impressed, Paul soon returned with Glenn and they were given the grand tour. And so it was settled – when the time came, Howard’s typescripts would be donated to the Center, preserved and maintained for future generations to view, study and use for scholarship.

Lord-Box2

Rusty going through one of the nine boxes that was brought up from the holding area while myself and Ben Friberg look on. Luckily Ben had his camera with him in case Rusty tried to pull a Sandy Berger.

Well, that time has come. The formal announcement was made today and soon Howard fans and scholars will have complete access to Howard’s manuscripts.

Lord-TS

Typescripts for “Guns of the Mountains” and “Nekht Semerkeht.”

It took a bit of doing to get the boxes of typescripts ready to donate, as described by Paul over on the Robert E. Howard Forums, but the collection is right where it belongs — saved for posterity just as Glenn wished it to be. An invaluable legacy that will live on forever.

Here is a video from Austin television station KXAN on the donation of the Lord collection to the Harry Ransom center filmed by Ben  Friberg.

Photos courtesy Barbara Baum, the Harry Ransom Center and Dennis McHaney.

PulpFest 2013It is that time of year again — PulpFest is just around the corner.  The event kicks off the evening of Thursday, July 25th and runs through Sunday, July 28th. The themes for this year’s convention revolve around Doc Savage, Pulp Heroes of 1933, the centennial of Sax Rohmer’s Dr. Fu Manchu and the Yellow Peril Genre of Pulp Fiction. PulpFest 2013 is being held again this year at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Last year it was Conan’s 80th anniveresary, this year it’s time to celebrate Doc Savage’s 80th and also the 80th anniveresary of everyone’s favorite giant ape (no, not Mark Finn): King Kong! The first issue of the Doc Savage pulp was on the newsstands in March of 1933. That same month, RKO Radio Pictures premiered “the eighth wonder of the world,” King Kong, at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and the Roxy. To celebrate these twin anniversaries of “The Man of Bronze” and King Kong, Will Murray, author of The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage, paired the two characters in his novel, Skull Island.

On Saturday, July 27th, at 2:00 pm, PulpFest 2013 will host a special “New Fictioneers” reading of Murray’s bestselling novel by Radio Archives’ reader Roger Price. A longtime entertainer on television, radio and the live stage, Mr. Price has appeared on a number of Radio Archives’ pulp audio-books. He has also worked with a wide variety of clients as an announcer and voice actor, specializing in character/cartoon voices and dialects.

There will be a panel called “The Pulps After Fu Manchu,” which will be of interest to Howard fans — “Skull-Face” was his vision of the  orential super villain.

Maybe Kaiser Wilhelm did coin the term “yellow peril,” but it was Sax Rohmer who took it to the bank. Little wonder that countless pulp writers, from Walter B. Gibson and Norvell W. Page to Robert E. Howard and George Worts, turned to Rohmer’s Fu Manchu for inspiration for their lurid pulp tales.

To begin PulpFest‘s celebration of the 100th anniversary of Sax Rohmer’s infamous creation, Rick Lai looks at “The Pulp Descendents of Fu Manchu,” beginning at 8 PM on Thursday, July 25th in the Fairfield Room located on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency Columbus.

Of course, the above is just the tip of the iceberg — there are a plethora of pulp lectures, panels, features, awards, film screenings and much, much more. And the convention is an excuse for Howard Heads to get together, talk Howard tell lies, attend a REHF luncheon and buy REH swag, particularly original issues of Weird Tales.

Get the complete details for PulpFest 2013 here.