Those of you who subscribe to The Cimmerian‘s indispensable print journal have been privy to an abundance of material relating to Conan’s seventy-fifth anniversary in 2007.
It all started with the fourth entry in our Cimmerian Library series, Yours for Faster Hippos, which reprinted the historic critical broadside in the battle for Conan’s legacy, Don Herron’s “Conan vs. Conantics,” along with much other primal matter relating to the world’s most famous fictional barbarian.
For those of you who value the work that L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter put into popularizing Howard’s creation, V4n1 of TC presented “The Would-Be Cimmerian,” Ben Indick’s article on de Camp. Meanwhile, Gary Romeo looked at the way REH’s Conan laid the base for the S&S genre in V4n3’s “The Father of Sword-and-Sorcery.”
In V4 numbers 4 and 5 we covered all the major Conan events held this year. There was the Howard Days which featured a guided trip to the birthplace of Cimmeria, Enchanted Rock State Park in Texas. And the Windy City Pulp Con that featured Conan’s seventy-fifth birthday as its theme. PulpCon honored REH legend Glenn Lord as the Guest of Honor. And Gen Con in Indianapolis held a “Robert E. Howard Day” which was overrun with panels, booths, games, and tributes to REH and his irrepressible hero.
In October, we had an interview with one of the premier heirs to Conan’s S&S throne, Charles Saunders, whose Cimmerian-inspired hero Imaro roared back into print last year, and who is planning to get the rest of the series published soon, via print-on-demand if necessary (you heard it in TC first).
Of course, all year The Lion’s Den has presented tens of thousands of words worth of debate on all aspects of Howard’s epic creation, ranging from Darrell Schweitzer’s gutter disdain for Howard’s world-building skills to the Himalayan heights of respect that other fans achieved by leading us on a tour of the realistic realpolitik inherent in the Hyborian Age.
And throughout 2007 the TC blog has been packed with all sorts of posts detailing Conan’s impact, legacy, and mythic resonance in the fantasy field. Check out entries such as:
Which Conan Are We Celebrating, Again?
Honoring the Howard Collector
Conan Movie News
Thoth-Amon, Voldemort, Lord Voldemort, Thoth-Amon
Now that the end of Conan’s Semisesquicentennial is upon us, The Cimmerian is bringing the curtain down on this important milestone with an appropriate panoply of items. December’s V4n6 is now available, and it features a full-bore Conan at 75 Symposium. History, scholarship, collecting, comics, poetry — it’s all there. Readers will be treated to a great verse written especially for the occasion by Fred Phillips, the unveiling of a newly discovered Conan typescript that is bound to cause a bit of revision to the Wandering Star/Del Rey Conan series, an essay that provides an engrossing front-row seat at the genesis of Conan in the pages of Weird Tales, another essay that brings to light the little-known first authorized appearance of Conan in comics, and much more. It’s our way of putting a towering exclamation point on a full year’s worth of anniversary memorialization among Howard’s vast readership.
I’ve also finished at long last the Index issue for V3. Once you take a look at it you’ll see why it took so long. The breadth of subjects covered by our twelve-issue Centennial blowout is scarcely to be believed. If you missed out on that Volume, you are light-years behind the rest of the crowd in terms of knowledge about REH, period. This is evidenced online on a daily basis, as various fans ask questions or make speculations about things that have long ago been methodically detailed in the pages of The Cimmerian. Thirty issues in four years — that’s 1200 pages of Howardian research and scholarship that the fence-sitters and wallflowers have missed out on. There’s only a couple dozen copies of V1n1 and V1n2 left, and once they trickle away, acquiring a complete set of TC becomes a whole new ballgame. I’d hate to be one of the guys a couple years down the road, finally figuring out what he missed and desperately looking to play catch up. Belatedly getting with the program will soon become an extraordinarily expensive endeavor.
And although we’ve sometimes staggered and swayed during that time, we’re not done yet. Volume 5 is ramping up as I write this — coming soon: new TC issues, new Cimmerian Library chapbooks, and the ballots for the fourth annual Cimmerian Awards. Let’s make 2008 another great year to be a Howard fan.