A Means to Freedom and the Kane Hardcovers: Get ‘Em While You Can

TC editors advertising (I refuse to use the term “pimping”) their personal literary items for sale has a long history here on the blog.  Check out this post by Leo Grin (and several subsequent).

Times are dire here in serpent-haunted SEK. Musing on such, a decision was reached by yours truly. Time to lighten the load for the journey into the future.

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A Shout-out to Missions Unknown and San Antone

Regular readers of The Cimmerian might recall my post about Missions Unknown; the website by, for and of the San Antonio “weird fiction/art” community.  An excellent blog, MU recently celebrated its first anniversary. Paul Vaughan, Sanford Allen, John Picacio and others have done a fine job of making San Antone a hub for imaginative art in all its expressions and forms. San Antonio was REH’s favorite city. I think he’d be proud. Y’all should stop by Missions Unknown now that reading TC won’t be taking up your blogospheric time.

Charles R. Saunders Gives Props to Frazetta

Over on his Drums of Nyumbani blog, Charles R. Saunders has posted an entry entitled, “In Memoriam: Frank Frazetta.” Mr. Saunders reminisces about his discovery of Frazetta’s work, depictions of blacks in Frank’s art and also speculates about what a Frazetta cover for an Imaro novel might have looked like. CRS does an admirable job covering the latter two topics, but I have few more factoids and opinions to add. Feel free to click the link above, read the post and click back here.

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George H. Scithers and Amra

On April 19th, George H. Scithers (pictured above, circa 2001) passed away. On April 20th, Damon Sasser wrote a post for the REHupa blog summarizing Scithers’ accomplishments in the fantasy/sci-fi field. Damon did a fine job and I see no real need to write another eulogy as such. I do, however, want to acknowledge the debt I owe Mr. Scithers. He and Amra, the fanzine he edited, had a profound effect on my reading choices these past thirty years or so.

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Tarzan the Rebooted

History is littered with examples of brands trying to reinvent themselves to appeal to a new generation, but for one of literature’s most successful franchises, all that’s required is a return to its roots – literally. Since he first swung onto the world stage in 1912 the bare-chested, savage yet principled character of Tarzan has struck a chord with generation after generation as he fights to protect the jungle, its resources and its inhabitants. Now, almost a hundred years later, a partnership between the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate and one of Britain’s hottest writers is set to bring Tarzan the Eco Warrior to the PlayStation generation, with a new series of Tarzan novels.

Above is the first paragraph of an article posted on Bill Thom’s Coming Attractions website last weekend. I assume it all originated as a press release from Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. The ERB estate would seem to have big plans in store for the iconic Lord of the Jungle.

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Another Frazetta Painting Up for Auction

Heritage Auction Galleries is handling the consignment of a Frazetta painting that is probably well-known to most Sword-and-Sorcery art devotees. Here’s the description from the website:

Warrior with Ball and Chain, Flashing Swords #1, paperback cover, 1973

Oil on board

23 x 19 in.

Signed lower right

This stirring, savage, and superb Frazetta masterwork, sometimes titled Warrior with Ball and Chain, first appeared on the cover of the sword and sorcery anthology edited by Lin Carter, Flashing Swords #1, Dell Books #2640, 1973.

One of the top Frazetta paintings in private hands, Warrior with Ball and Chain was purchased in the February 1993 Guernsey’s auction, and according to its listing there, is one of the largest Frazetta covers ever painted. Some aficionados feel his piece may have been originally created for the Lancer Conan series of the late sixties, but not used there, since the Conan figures of two of the Lancer covers are so similar to the Warrior.

A copy of the Flashing Swords #1 paperback is included with this lot.

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McVicker Holding the Line on Conan 3

As mentioned a few weeks ago, bookseller (and REH fan) Terry McVicker is giving special consideration to readers of The Cimmerian in regard to the new deluxe edition of Conan of Cimmeria, Volume Three. Here’s an update from Terry:

CONAN 3 has just arrived and I am much relieved and delighted to inform “The Brotherhood” that the book is absolutely beautiful, and a perfect match for the previous two volumes – in all its states! Last call at the in-print price of $225 (California residents must add $18 Sales Tax, Shipping & Insurance included). I am not trying to intimidate anyone, but the book is nearly out-of-print and if you want a copy I will hold on Layaway for “Cimmerian” readers at $50, even if the book goes out-of-print.

As Mr. McVicker notes, time is running out. Anyone who wishes to complete their set better act now. As always, Terry can be reached here:

Terence A. McVicker, Rare Books
1745 W. Kenneth Road
Glendale, California 91201

Maliszewski’s Grognardia Turns Two

My, how time flies. It seems just the other day that I became aware of Grognardia, the fine site owned and operated by James Maliszewski. Suddenly, I find that Grognardia is celebrating its second anniversary and that the industrious Mr. M has cranked out thirteen hundred and nineteen posts in those seven hundred and thirty-one days. As a fellow bloviator, I can testify such is no mean feat.

As I’ve noted before, Grognardia is not just for those who enjoy old-school RPGs. James’ “Pulp Fantasy Library” series of reviews should be read by any fan of the sub-genre. His most recent review (and one of his best) looks at REH’s own “Dark” Agnes de Chastillon. You can see [redacted]’s comments below the review.

Happy birthday, Grognardia.

CRS and the Empire of Gold

In welcome news, TC just learned that Charles R. Saunders has a fresh blog entry posted at Drums of Nyumbani, his website. The title of this post is “The First Ghana.” Much like his article, “The Epoch of Kush,” this piece by Saunders explores the rich history of sub-Saharan Africa. Another similarity betwixt the two is that both were written during the ’70s by CRS for one of the fantasy/S&S fanzines that proliferated during that decade. Fear not, Saunders’ scholarship still holds up.

Mr. Saunders reveals the history of the first Ghana (modern-day Ghana shares little but a name with its namesake). Called Aoukar by its own people, the kingdom was given its common name by Arab chroniclers, who derived it from one of the titles of the Ghanaian ruler (a situation similar to the one in which the “Inca” empire received its name from the Spanish). Reaching its height in the eleventh century AD, Ghana was a veritable sub-Saharan Klondike, exporting gold to Europe and Asia. Such riches invited envy and aggression. Eventually, Ghana succumbed.

Medieval Ghana was very likely the source of the name which REH bestowed upon the “Ghanatas” seen in the unfinished Conan yarn referred to as “The Tombalku Fragment.” Serious students of Conan the Cimmerian might also recall that he wielded a “Ghanata knife” when infiltrating black-walled Khemi in The Hour of the Dragon. Clues left by REH point to the Hyborian Age Ghanatas being a tribe situated somewhere betwixt Stygia and Tombalku, and that said tribe had notable iron-working skills. All things considered, that matches up fairly well with the Ghanatas’ (probable) historical inspiration.

I’ve been studying sub-Saharan Africa for more than twenty-five years and CRS’ post still taught me a few things. As I stated earlier, Saunders’ scholarship (like his fiction) has stood the test of time.

More Remembrances of Tompk

The Cimmerian wasn’t the only site that paid tribute to the legacy of Steve Tompkins today.  Not by a long shot.

Damon Sasser had a post up bright and early this morning at his REH: Two-Gun Raconteur site entitled “One Year Gone, One Year Missed.”

Over at Jim & Ruth Keegan’s Two-Gun Blog, the two gave props to Mr. Tompkins in their essay, “Remembering Steve.”

This afternoon, Morgan Holmes reminisced about Tompk in “Corporate Deathburger” at the REHupa blog.

Finally, Mr. Sasser posted a fine wrap-up of the day’s testimonials with “Steve Tompkins: Tribute to a Fallen REHupan” at, fittingly enough, the REHupa blog.

Steve Tompkins was not forgotten.