REHupa #141 (October 1996)

Presented in three sections, the 141st mailing of the Robert E. Howard United Press Association has much to offer. Part of its historical value lies in the fact that it was the first mailing in which Garrett Romaine appeared. Romaine was the editor of an online Howard zine, one of the very first on the Internet, called The Howard Review, the archives for which you can read at Ed Waterman’s Barbarian Keep website. At this time, in October 1996, Beyond the Borders had just appeared in bookstores. This completed the Baen series, now considered the first shot fired in the current Howard boom.Section One kicks off with a letter from L. Sprague de Camp, who offers a challenge to REHupa members to write their own version of the history of Howard publishing if de Camp had not been involved. As he says, “Others — notably Glenn Lord — were in a position to do what I did at that time. But as far as I know, none of them did.” This aspect of the history is delved into at length in The Cimmerian‘s forthcoming May 2006 issue (V3n5), wherein the fortieth anniversary of Conan the Adventurer is celebrated. De Camp also announces the release of his autobiography Time and Chance, a book which has a lot of insight for Howard fans interested in the way de Camp handled Howard in Dark Valley Destiny.

Garrett Romaine includes a copy of his The Hyborian Review Vol. 1 No. 5, which has a list of “Great REH quotes,” a website link to scans of REH cover art, a review of Conan and the Amazon by John Maddox Roberts, as well as a look back at other Roberts contributions to the Conan saga.

James Reasoner presents Rough Edges #2, Which looks back at some of Howard’s serious westerns such as “The Last Ride.” He also mentions a conversation he had with Glenn Lord about anachronisms in Stephen King’s Green Mile books, and gives a glowing review of David Gemmell’s Legend, which various REHupans (notably Steve Tompkins) had been recommending to the readership for a few years. He also prints some information on Novalyne Price and a school she worked at, which was later reprinted as “Small World” in The Cimmerian. So this marks the first ever publication of that information, making REHupa #141 that much more valuable.

David C. Smith includes Vol. 2 No. 4 of his zine Bocere, wherein he tackles such esoteric subjects as possible Czechoslovakian editions of the Red Sonja novels Smith authored with Dick Tierney, and he also gives lots of Mailing Comments which touch on various aspects of Howard’s career.

Morgan Holmes’ Forgotten Ages #23 has an essay titled “The Enigma of the Picts” which fans of Howard’s Bran Mak Morn stories will find interesting. It includes a lengthy list of the Picts in literature and historical sources. Charles Gramlich’s Razored Zen #24 has his usual array of Howardian observations in thirty-three packed pages, including a long interview, many reviews, and lots of other Howard tidbits.

Section Two begins with with a deplorable handwritten zine from Jim O’Keefe, arguably the worst member REHupa ever had. He would submit illegible handwritten zines that were an utter waste of time. Dan Preece’s Bloody Pulp! #3 is much better. He includes a long defense of de Camp against the years-long haranguing he endured at the hands of Rusty Burke and the infamous Memphis Mafia faction of REHupa. Regardless of what side of the debate you are on, it’s interesting reading such arguments, for their historical value if nothing else.

Rob Preston’s Service for a Vacant Coffin has a PulpCon 1996 report, complete with price lists of what various issues of Weird Tales were going for at the show, including many “newsstand fresh copies.” Interesting stuff.

James Van Hise presents The Road to Velitrium #15, which includes the first appearance of his color cover used for The Fantastic Worlds of Robert E. Howard, infamous because it doesn’t illustrate an actual Howard story, but one of the Conan pastiches, which are vilified in the book itself. He also includes his usual bitching at everyone else for not doing things as well as he thinks he does them, along with lots of reprints and scans of other people’s work without any regard to their copyright. Finally, he announces the forthcoming Conan TV series, which would ultimately bomb.

Big Jim Charles’ zine is much better, giving a defense against Rusty Burke’s recently published purist manifesto and making a case for pastiches being good or authors in terms of keeping their work viable. Richard Toogood also presents a MINAC (Minimum Activity) zine dedicated to pastiches. Indy Cavalier’s Cold Steel #63, and talks not only about the release of Beyond the Borders but also the Chicago ComiCon that year. Rick McCollum wraps up the second section with The Ossuary of Acheron, which gives a long report on his June trip to Cross Plains. Such reports are always nice to have, and contribute much to the historical record. He also has lots of Mailing Comments and reviews.

The last section of REHupa was a “late mailing” by Steve Tompkins, so the whole section is his own stuff. It features a color cover of Boris Vallejo’s art for Charles Saunders’ Imaro series. Inside is “The Wound and the Spear” a long essay about the Imaro series, along with “Dark Valet Destiny,” a thorough destroying of S. T. Joshi’s general views of Howard via a discussion of Robert Silverberg’s risible story “Gilgamesh in the Outback.” He also presents his usual array of Mailing Comments.

All in all, a great mailing, with lots to offer the Howard fan and collector.

REHupa #140 (August 1996)

It’s been fun getting word that various people are griping that the first two REHupa mailing auctions I’ve held were both won by Howard collector Mark Corrinet, who many people are referring to as a “rich lawyer” who has cornered the market on REHupa mailings for all time. How dare he outbid the people who themselves were prepared to outbid everyone else for exactly the same reasons? The fact is, anyone out there could have outbid Mark if they wanted the mailings in question bad enough. It is, after all, how I myself acquired them in the first place: I bid high, not what I thought they were worth today but what I thought I would be willing to pay for them even if it was more than the general fanboys said they were worth. Apparently Mark is smart enough to do the same thing. After all, REHupa mailings are not getting any more plentiful, and once a mailing contains a first printing of a Howard item or some other treasure, it will be the first printing for all time. These things are only going to go up, up, up in value as the years go on, despite the people today who ridiculously claim that Mailings are worth no more than ten or twenty dollars, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. What rubbish. Such people either have never purchased mailings and don’t know what they are talking about, or else they don’t understand the collecting mindset.

As it so happens, Mark buys the mailings for his father, Howard fan extraordinaire Jay Corrinet, the same man who owns Howard’s original typewriter. Now in poor health, his Howard collection is one of the few things that continues to bring him great joy, and so Mark’s high bids for mailings comes from the most laudable of motivations, a son’s love for his father. Those of you out there who want to convince me that Mark is an opportunist, someone so very different from noble souls like yourselves, will have a tough road to hoe on that score.

Another complaint I have heard is that Mark is buying up duplicates of mailings, which is supposed to mean he cares not about reading them, but only hoarding them like Smaug the Terrible. Not true. Mark replies, “As a matter of fact I just arranged to purchase the majority of REHupas that were part of de Camp’s collection, combined with the ones I have, gives me over 70 of them. So there are a lot that I have no interest at all in. So tell the “fans” that I am going to start bidding up front with one bid. If I bid they better damn well plan on spending serious money. If I don’t bid up front its all theirs and as I said there are a lot of them I no longer need.” If Mark does have duplicates, most likely they are from having to purchase entire collections as a set, and the dupes will hit the market again someday.

So there you have it. A great many of the ones I’ll be selling are of no interest to Mark, so the people not willing to pay what the mailings are worth will have a shot at stealing them. But somehow I’m guessing that even with Mark out of the picture on some items, there will still be bidding wars as people try to snag what are clearly essential parts of any Howard collection worthy of the epithet “great.”

I’ll be posting new REHupas on eBay at a fairly snappy pace from now on, probably one a day, so there will be many opportunities for everyone to bid on the ones they want and possibly come away with a few of them. Keep an eagle eye on eBay, you never know what else is going to come up.

The next mailing on the agenda is REHupa #140 for August 1996. Coming in two meaty sections which combined total over two hundred pages, it offers a lot of interest to the Howard collector.

Section #1 has some great cover art by then-REHupan Dan Preece. Morgan Holmes was the OE during this time, and the a.p.a. was still recovering from the most sordid event in its history, the first time a member had been expelled. Western writer James Reasoner (whose blog you can read by clicking on the link under the BLOGROLL on this very blog) joined the a.p.a. in this issue. James is no longer a member, but here you can read his very first ‘zine. At this time, the a.p.a. had only nineteen members, giving you an idea of how rare this mailing is compared to the issues that sported thirty-plus members (and hence around thirty-six copies, including the six spec copies the OE normally requests). Honorary Members (a thing later discontinued) were still in play during this time, and that roster sported the names L. Sprague de Camp, Novalyne Price Ellis, Glenn Lord, and Roy Thomas. If you recall, this mailing occurred right after the 1996 Howard Days, and so has some trip reports of that event. In addition, The Whole Wide World was getting set to be released; in fact, some of the members had seen advance footage of the film at Howard Days. Therefore, this mailing is interesting on a number of fronts.

L. Sprague de Camp contributes a letter that shows him at his most bawdy, commenting in graphic terms on Robert E. Howard’s sex life or lack thereof. Glenn Lord offers an interesting two-page letter that gives some of the sordid details surrounding Howard publishing at that time. Remember, this was when Glenn had been forced out as agent to the heirs and there was tons of legal wrangling and mudslinging going on. You can’t read about it anywhere else but here.

There’s also a reprint of a Howard article that ran in Texas Monthly, some quotes about Howard from The Fantasy Fan news section, a scathing review of Conan of Aquilonia by Adrian Cole, an obit for the son of Tevis Clyde Smith, who died prematurely young in 1965, a Howard Days trip report by Reasoner, another by Dan Preece, a third by David C. Smith (author of the Oron books an a current REHupa member at the time), a reprint of a long Karl Edward Wagner interview, and lots of art, reviews, mailing comments, and tidbits about REH that you won’t find anywhere else.

Section Two begins with an absolutely silly article about the ruination of trees for paper use by Steve Trout, fun to read simply for its unintentional humorous value. J. D. Robinson begins redeeming this section with a nice article about Blood & Thunder in the silent movies of Howard’s era. Indy Cavalier presents Cold Steel #62 (to this day Indy has never missed a mailing since he joined REHupa) that has a great trip report of Howard Days that year, complete with lots of pictures. He even includes some newspaper articles published about the event and about Jack Scott. Rusty Burke’s zine Seanchai 78 has a lot to offer, including comments on Howard Days and several pieces that would later find their way into The Dark Man, making these appearances the first printings of these items. He also presents an expanded version of the article about de Camp’s editing that later appeared in Fantastic Worlds of REH.

Rick McCollum also presents a long trip report from Cross Plains in his own inimitable manner, including many good quality pictures and newspaper articles. He also has a nice weird comic with Howard as a character, the “Lost Ashley Dust pages,” Ashley Dust being a professional comic he once drew that featured Howard among others. Steve Tompkins weighs in with a large Expecting the Barbarians, with long essays on Howard’s “The Vale of Lost Women” and Charles Saunders’ Imaro books, plus lots and lots of mailing comments.

All in all, a very substantive mailing with lots of reading and collecting magic between the covers. Let the e-list dinks squawk all they want, but I thought these mailings were easily worth $100 a copy even when I bought them a few years ago, and several years has not changed my opinion in the least. REHupa has a ton of rare Howardia within the 30,000+ pages that have been printed over the last 34 years. For the serious Howard collector, a decent run of these mailings is an absolute must. Simple as that.

Happy bidding…

REHupa #94 (November 1988)

Well, the auction for #93 is over, with Mark Corrinet taking home the prize for $46.00. Given the rarity of these mailings and the prevailing prices of many Howard items these days — pulps, first editions, etc. — I’d say Mark got a deal. Those of you who underbid will be waiting a loooooong time before another #93 comes up for sale again.

Which brings us to our next auction, the one for #94 (November 1988).

This mailing is only in two sections compared to #93’s four, yet it nevertheless holds much of interest for the Howard collector. The previous Official Editor, Mark Kimes, is dropped from the a.p.a. with the words, “All Fled, All Done…”; REHupa would never discover what caused Mark to abandon his post and jump ship without any explanation. Indy Cavalier performs the Emergency OE duties for the very first time, giving out an assortment of interesting news. Charles Hoffman and Marc Cerasini, the authors of the Starmont Reader’s Guide to Robert E. Howard join with this mailing (they wouldn’t stay long), as does Tim Arney (who would stay long, indeed to this very day). Also, this is the first mailing that Bo Cribbs participated in — the very copy you are buying belonged to Bo, and was purchased by me several years ago.

Section #1 has cover art by Indy Cavalier, and contains among many other things nice letters from L. Sprague de Camp, Glenn Lord, and Karl Edward Wagner. Don Herron’s zine presents the first appearance of his essay “Swords at the Academy Gates” — Rusty read the essay here and asked Don if he could use it to anchor the premier issue of The Dark Man, at this time still several years in the future. Steve Trout has a little article called the “Howard Library Poetry Corner,” Marc Cerasini prints his essay “Come Back to Valusia Ag’in, Kull Honey!”, there is a huge “bibliography of the Cthulhu Mythos” by one Chris Jarocha-Ernst, Charles Hoffman gives much Howard commentary plus a map of Kull’s world, something you don’t see a lot.

Section #2 has some nice art on the cover by Rick McCollum, and contains a long trip report by Rusty Burke on NolaCon II, and another long one by Indy Cavalier. Vern Clark includes a huge listing of the books Howard owned, including many cover scans, and many ultra-rare pictures from a banquet where Novalyne Price gave a speech on Howard. And of course, there are dozens of book reviews and mailing comments about everything under the sun. All in all, a fun mailing with several first printings and a lot to read.

According to the Table of Contents, apparently there were several items franked (i.e. included by a member as an extra bonus) in this mailing that are no longer here. One was a copy of Dennis McHaney’s The Howard Review #8 (still available from Dennis, I think, or if not then from eBay for those who are patient). The other franked item that is no longer there was a bunch of Weird Tales and Amra flyers which it says were franked by Darrell Schweitzer. I’m pretty sure I don’t have these misplaced in the huge pile of mailings I have, but if I ever do run across them I will send them along to whoever wins this auction.

But as if to make up for that deficiency, this mailing has something special that no other copy has: a personal letter written from REHupan Steve Trout to new REHupan Bo Cribbs (who owned this mailing). I found the letter stuck in Section #2 in front of Indy Cavalier’s zine Cold Steel, and that’s exactly where you will find it if you win the auction. It talks about various sundry matters, and serves to give this copy a personal touch and provenance that no other copy will have. For the collector interested in such details, a very nice touch.

Happy bidding!

The Value of Collecting REHupa

Most Howard fans who pride themselves on the size and scope of their collections think that their holdings are impressive simply by virtue of owning many hardcover first editions and fanzines, along with perhaps one or two bits of authentic Howard via an original letter or typescript. The truth, however, is that there is a sizable amount of ephemera that must be hunted down before one can boast one of the best Howard collections in the world. Near the top of this list is a Holy Grail achieved by only three or four people over the years: a complete collection of REHupa mailings.REHupa stands for The Robert E. Howard United Press Association, an organization that has served as the intellectual center of Howard studies and research since its inception in 1972. Every two months for thirty-four years, REHupa has released a “mailing,” i.e. a printed, stapled 8 1/2 x 11 publication ranging anywhere from a half dozen to 500+ pages in length. These mailings contain “zines,” small fanzine publications written and published by individual REHupa members. The quality and content of each zine varies depending on the author and luck of the draw, but over the years a vast store of Howardia has been published within REHupa’s pages. Some mailings contain never-published Howard letters, or constitute the real first printing of various Howard stories or poems. All manner of essays, indexes, articles, trip reports, and pictures have been printed in REHupa, which together form a virtual history of Howard fandom for the last thirty-four years. Rare artwork, REH calendars, bookmarks, buttons, and other miscellany have been handed out with the mailings. Any Howard fan who has seen a complete collection of REHupa in person doesn’t soon forget it. Stacked up together, they would stretch almost to the ceiling of your room. All told there are nearly thirty thousand pages of material between the covers of all those mailings, with the authors reading like a laundry list of Howard notables.

And perhaps the most important thing of all is how rare REHupa mailings are. For most of its history there has been a limit to how many members can be in REHupa, and hence for most mailings only thirty or so copies were made and distributed. Allowing for damaged and lost copies over the years, the potential collecting universe is small indeed. Mailings are seldom sold or traded, making it hard for an interested Howard collector to begin acquiring them, even if they have lots of money to burn. It’s a collecting nightmare, yes, but the challenge can be a fairly pleasant one.

Mailings do come up on eBay or at Howard Days often enough to tantalize collectors without becoming a common sight like so many other Howard treasures. But while it’s fairly easy to get a hold of some issues of REHupa, amassing a complete collection is next to impossible. Perhaps only a half-dozen copies of the first fledgling issue was printed. Still, such issues have been known to come up as old fans die off or sell off their collections, and so the hunt for a complete collection of REHupa can be thrilling, while not nearly as frustrating as acquiring, say a Herbert Jenkins Gent From Bear Creek. It behooves hardcore Howard collectors to consider starting a collection of REHupas, one that will grow over the ensuing years into an impressive array of mailings.

To those who accept the challenge, many fascinating discoveries await you. Some mailings have never-before-published REH pictures, documents, and writings. Luminaries like L. Sprague de Camp and Glenn Lord contributed to REHupa for decades, offering many insights about REH that have not otherwise seen the light of day. Lengthy, wide-ranging discussions about Howard are preserved in REHupa in fascinating detail, offering the collector hours of fun reading. Thousands of drawings of REH and his characters have appeared in REHupa, both on the covers and in the interior pages, including rare sketches and roughs from artists such as Frazetta, Krenkel, and Gianni. All of this should convince collectors that a sizable holding of REHupas is a cornerstone to any REH collection wishing to call itself great.

Over the last six years, I have acquired and enjoyed the collections of several vintage REHupans, as well as the mailings I myself appeared in as a member. Not a collector myself, my main reason for snapping them up whenever I saw them on the market was so I could read their contents. Now, having read every REHupa in total, and with my interests in Howard turning into other directions (namely the producing of The Cimmerian every two months) the time has come for me to sell off my REHupa holdings, and allow some other collector to relish them for awhile. Starting now in March, I’ll be offering issues on eBay fairly consistently over the next few months. The cumulative size and scope of this offering is unprecedented — never have eBay collectors had the opportunity to acquire so many issues of REHupa over such a short period of time. For fans convinced of the necessity of a REHupa collection, and wishing to start one of their own, this constitutes an extraordinary opportunity to snatch up an impressive array of issues quickly. Even better, since the mailings will be offered one at a time, you don’t have to worry about one huge cache being priced way out of your league — you can pick and choose which issues to fight for. I’m hoping that by the end, several fans will have gotten a healthy start on building their own REHupa collections, initiating a hunt that will bring you many years of collecting pleasure.

Howard manuscript to be auctioned

This kind of thing doesn’t come up too often. Heritage Galleries and Auctioneers, the world’s largest collectible auctioneer, is going to be selling the manuscript to one of Howard’s best stories,"The Grey God Passes," along with the rejection letter the story received from Weird Tales. Something like this could go for anywhere from $5000 to $30,000, depending on the players and heat.


Here is the relevant information from their website:

Robert E. Howard Typed Manuscript and Rejection Letter for: The Grey God Passes. This lot features the original typed manuscript of The Grey God Passes, and the rejection letter it got from Weird Tales magazine. The rejection letter states in part, "I am sorry to return your story, THE GREY GOD PASSES. The story itself, the plot, seems very slight, and the weird element is not as strong as I would like it to be." The manuscript itself is 36 pages long and contains editorial marks and occasional notes. Accompanying the manuscript and letter is a typed letter from the original consigner which explains the provenance of the manuscript. Robert E. Howard is best known for his creation, "Conan the Barbarian!" Conan got his start in Weird Tales magazine, so this lot is significant in that it features both the work of a great science fiction author and the magazine that gave his most popular character his start.

The manuscript is in good condition, with some minor problems. The paper is beginning to yellow and turn brittle. There is already some mild flaking around the ages and some rust stains from a paper clip on the first page. The letter is also yellowing slightly, and has rust stains from a paper clip on its upper edge. Bring the axe down on this lot today! *****  

The Consignment Deadline for this auction has passed, but we are always accepting quality consignments. E-mail us at if you are interested in information.

Auction Information 
Location:   Dallas, TX
Auction:   2006 February Dallas Books, Autographs and Manuscripts Auction "New York City" #626
Internet Bidding Begins   February 1, 2006
Auction Dates:   February 20-21, 2006
Note:   Internet Absentee Bidding Ends at 10 PM CDT the night before the floor session of any particular lot. See the individual lot page for specific times. 

Tiger Auction Completed

The copies of The All-Around Magazine went for $911.01, and the winning bidder was "acidgothic."

Considering that original Howard letters have gone for about that in the past, it’s a sign that REH collecting is really heating up. With the centennial looming, that’s great news. 

Weird Tales REH


Girasol Collectibles, the outfit who has made a name for themselves by selling facsimiles of golden age pulps (and who released the REH book of public domain stories Blood of the Gods and Other Stories in Canada) has announced they will be releasing facsimile copies of all of the REH Weird Tales stories in several hardcovers, to be released late this year or early next year. Finally, REH fans will have a way to buy all of these “tear sheets” in one fell swoop, without having to collect thousands of dollars of rotting pulps. Hopefully they will also collect all of the REH-related letters in The Eyrie, but that is likely too much to ask.

“Tiger” shining on eBay


The eBay auction for the original copies of "The All-Around Magazine" from the files of Tevis Clyde Smith is heating up, with the price at a healthy $660 with a day and a half left in the bidding. Yet another sign of how collectible REH has become. Tune in to eBay around 6pm Pacific Time on Wednesday to see the final brutal bids duke it out.

Under the Great Tiger


There’s a rare Robert E. Howard publication being auctioned on eBay. From the description:

Here is an original copy of an extremely rare item, the All-Around Magazine, printed by Tevis Clyde Smith on a hand printer given to him by his parents. (Little handmade "boys’ magazines" were popular at the time. We have an extensive collection.) The whole run of "Volume 1"–which includes number 1, number 2, the combined number 3 and 4, and number 5–is included in the sale. (That’s four issues in all.) I believe this one "volume" is the whole extent of the All-Around that was ever produced. In the combined number 3 and 4 is the beginning of "Under the Great Tiger," cowritten by Smith and Howard; the story is finished in number 5. This item comes from the estate of T. C. Smith; except for two copies that the estate has sold to private collectors, the All-Around exists nowhere else (to the best of my knowledge). The cheap paper is naturally yellowed and brittle, and a bit frayed on some edges, but untorn. A fragile bit of rare ephemera, and an indispensable addition to the serious Howard-Smith collection.

This is basically a one-of-a-kind item, it is doubtful any more copies of this mag still exist. It will be interesting to see how much money it ends up going for. The seller has many more items relating to Tevis Clyde Smith at his eBay store.