The original contract for A Gent from Bear Creek


REHupan Danny Street has been doing some serious Howardian sleuthing around his home stomping grounds in England, and he has come up with a variety of interesting finds. One of them can now be seen at the REHupa website — the original contract for Robert E. Howard’s first hardcover, 1937’s A Gent from Bear Creek.

Information on this find, and on the other REH secrets from the United Kingdom which Danny has unearthed, will be published soon in an upcoming issue of The Cimmerian. Keep a look out for it.

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!

REHupa #93 (September 1988)

Dateline September, 1988. The Official Editor of REHupa has just disappeared from the a.p.a. without explanation, absconding with the mailings, the treasury, even the friggin’ stapler. The members of REHupa desperately try to reestablish contact with their Editor, to no avail, dude’s not talking. Meanwhile the deadlines pass and no mailing appears. What to do?The beginning of the modern REHupa began with this, its 93rd Mailing. Read as Emergency Officers Vern Clark and Bill Cavalier step in to save the mailing and the a.p.a., an act which directly led to Bill Cavalier taking over the Oeship and instigating a renaissance of competent stewardship that alowed the a.p.a. to recover from previous years of disasterous management. A fairly massive mailing, it contains all manner of goodies — letters from Charlotte Laughlin and Glenn Lord, a zine from Howard pasticher Leonard Carpenter, the blazing return of Don Herron to the a.p.a. after a hiatus of over a decade, a screen treatment of Dark Valley Destiny, essays from Rusty Burke refuting the de Camp claim of a Robert Chambers influence on Howard’s western and pseudo-western stories, a portion of an interview with Novalyne Price, excerpts from Tevis Clyde Smith’s Pecan Valley Days, a reminiscene of E. Hoffmann Price, Howard excerpts from the book Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, a listing of library titles Howard owned with book cover scans, and many other articles about Howard, plus tons of pictures, cartoons, and Howardian artwork.

This mailing is in four sections.

As with most mailings for sale, these have been read, dog-eared, and occassionaly stained by errant drops of coffee. Almost any mailing you’ll ever buy will have such defects; although there are some people out there who have bagged and stored their mailings in mint condition, they aren’t selling.

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.

REHupa #194 — August 2005


The latest REHupa arrived in early August, with the biggest news being that Steve Trout has logged his one hundredth ‘zine in the a.p.a. (his first ‘zine appeared in REHupa #21, a full thirty years ago). It is Trout’s own artwork that graces the cover of this small 142 page mailing. The a.p.a. continues to chug along on a full roster but a middling page count, the sustained anemia of which hasn’t been seen in REHupa for years.

In the Golden Caliph, Official Editor Bill “Indy” Cavalier announced a new member to REHupa’s ranks, Howard Days regular and Cimmerian reader Scott Hall, whose commentary on the event was enjoyed by readers of TC V2n4. Scott’s admission to REHupa’s roster brings it to a full contingent of thirty once again, with no less than three people on the waitlist waiting to get in.


The August issue of REHupa is usually the place to find Howard Days trip reports, and this year is no exception. Gary Romeo’s ‘zine The Howard Sprague Reader #4 gives his own impressions about Howard Days 2005. Much of what he wrote can also be found in edited form in The Cimmerian V2n4. Gary, ever the defender of L. Sprague de Camp and his place in Howard studies, gives a short summation of his goals to Dale Rippke in Mailing Comments:

Studies have shown that people in a group tend to start thinking alike. This causes the group to lose perspective and go into “group think” saying things like “So they take de Camp’s ideas without mentioning him, so what? Who cares?” I’m just trying to keep the breaks on that.

Judging from the ninth-place finish of Gary’s TC V1n1 essay “Napoleon’s Triumph” in last year’s Cimmerian Awards, I’d say he’s building a like-minded following.

Patrick Burger contributes The Fighting Tribes of Cimmeria #36, his somewhat stuffy and academic REHupa ‘zine, one most at home discussing Howard in arch-symbolic terms. It’s Patrick’s 6th anniversary in REHupa (lately the retention rate for REHupans has been quite good) and he reports that he’s leaving Africa for his usual haunts of Canada and Germany. As a result, his ‘zine this time is a two-page assortment of odds ‘n’ ends, what we in a.p.a. parlance call a MINAC (MINimum Activity) ‘zine.

Danny Street, fresh off of his monster fifty-page contribution to the last mailing, takes it easy this time in Isaacson’s Legacy Volume 1 Number 15 with several pages of another staple of a.p.a. hacking, Mailing Comments. This is the section of one’s ‘zine where you provide feedback, commentary, and discussion to other members about their own ‘zines and the opinions expressed in them. Scott Hall for his part fills his first REHupa ‘zine with a nice Cross Plains trip report that is largely different from his commentary in The Cimmerian, and also engages in the ritual bashing of de Camp and pastichers that usually is a mainstay of first ‘zines. It’s always interesting to get new members in REHupa and try to guess how long they are going to hang around (for sure, there are plenty of valid reasons to quit the a.p.a., not the least of which is Getting a Life). Time will tell how long Scott’s tenure will be.

[redacted]’s Outnumbered and Alone Volume IV Issue 4 is next. Mark has taken up the slack left by the drastic downsizing of the ‘zines of myself, Rick McCollum, and Steve Tompkins, and has become somewhat of the heart and soul of the a.p.a. His ‘zines are generally the most informative and positive these days, with lots of Howard-related projects on his plate. This time out he plugs the new Greenwood Press Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and mentions that no less than three REHupans ([redacted], Frank Coffman, and Charles Gramlich) contributed entries to the book. The only thing preventing me from pre-ordering it is the absurd price$350 bucks!

Finn also notes a positive REH recommendation in a recent book, The Big Book of Boy Stuff by Bart King. The new Dark Horse Conan hardback collection The God in the Bowl has a new Finn essay on Howard’s letters, and Finn’s Violet Crown Radio Players are looking into releasing a CD boxed set of The Adventures of Sailor Steve Costigan, hopefully in time for the World Fantasy Convention in Austin in 2006. Finn, as you can see, has been a busy boy. He continues the ‘zine with a longish Howard Days trip report, many excepts of which are also available in TC V2n4, along with lots of pics you can only see in REHupa. He ends by rallying the troops in REHupa, urging them to make sure that Howardian people and projects get nominated for World Fantasy Awards next year.

Charles Gramlich, currently embroiled in the disaster in New Orleans, contributes Razored Zen #77, preserving his unbroken streak of ‘zines in REHupa for over ten years. Motorcycle talk, a Cross Plains trip report, lots of Mailing Comments, and a humorous fictional Howard Days murder-mystery story are all presented. Jimmy Cheung’s Wolraven #14 reprints some fantasy fiction he wrote, while Scotty Henderson’s The Keltic Journal Volume 24 gives his historical research of Frontier Times, a magazine REH once contributed to and probably read frequently. Indy Cavalier’s Cold Steel #116 has his own Cross Plains trip report, and reprints the Brownwood Bulletin article also available on this blog.

Then we get to Mark Hall’s ‘zine Eidolons of El Cerrito Volume 5 Number 4, which if nothing else demonstrates the continued problems The Dark Man is having with maintaining any kind of relevance in the field. Mark has been Editor of The Dark Man for almost two years now, in which time they have released a mere two issues, both of them months late. In this new ‘zine, he has the temerity to rant not only at his critics but also his contributors, insinuating that a part of the failure of The Dark Man to come out regularly is theirs and not the editorial board’s:

The Dark Man is a biannual. Sure we missed it by 3 months for 2004, but did the world end because we missed it by three months? Did Howard fandom wilt away and die because of it? While it may have been irregular in the past, under my watch we are going to try and keep the bi-annual schedule. And yes, the next two issues are being compiled as I work on this!

And for one of you banding about the word “irregular” did it ever occur to you that maybe, if you would follow through on your review as agreed, we might be able to come out on time? It is not necessarily my fault that I am writing for your submission which is late and which you can’t formally tell me via email or a letter is going to be late or not submitted at all. It seems you clearly can’t even respond to an email asking about it. Is it standard practice to read the latest REHupa when someone is not following through on what they agreed to?

Next, as a bi-annual, in terms of the page count, this will mean about 90-120 pages a year. Which leads to my second point….

And for the folks who are complaining about the frequency of The Dark Man, did it ever occur to you that if submissions increase we might be able to publish more than bi-annually? Did it ever occur to you that you might submit somethingeven a letter of comment?[2]

[2] And for those of you wondering, sure, if we publish your letter you get a free issue.

In the spirit of this “Did it ever occur to you…” theme, I can’t resist adding to Mark: did it ever occur to you that to harangue your own contributorswho are giving you material FOR FREEfor not “officially” notifying the editor of a delay, while simultaneously claiming that a three-month delay in releasing the next issue is no big dealeven when subscribers have PAID for that issue in advanceis not conducive to good editor-contributor and editor-subscriber relations? This toxic level of passive-aggressive delusion is the crux of what caused me to leave The Dark Man circa December 2003 and start The Cimmerian. One of the pleasures of editing The Cimmerian is helping frustrated contributors and subscribers migrate to a new REH journal experience, one that puts some much-needed fun and respect back in Howard fandom.

Morgan Holmes’s Forgotten Ages #76 was another low point of the mailing, as he spends his time dismissing out of hand the man who in my opinion remains the greatest movie director of all time, John Ford. Agreeing with an unnamed critic who calls even Ford’s very best work “sentimental cornpone” and “hoary hokum,” he dismisses The Quiet Man with the comment “excuse me while I yawn” and says that casting John Wayne was “Ford’s way of flunking an intelligence test.” He calls Maureen O’Hara a “nervous frigid uber-bitch” and opines that the original pulp stories are far superior to Ford’s adaptations. A rare clunker of a ‘zine by Morgan.

Frank Coffman, the former editor of The Dark Man, includes the latest issue of his ‘zine The Cross Plainsman, which attempts to convert some old pictures of REH into 3-D using a technique called “stereography,” and Frank even provides a plastic set of stereographic glasses to view them with. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the glasses to focus in any meaningful way, and so 3-D Howard continues to elude me.

Jim Keegan’s Red Ruin #23 gives short full-color trip reports on both Howard Days and Comic Con in San Diego, while Steve Trout’s Beltric Writes #100 falls a bit short of the hundredth issues of previous milestoners Rusty Burke and Bill Cavalier, who presented huge retrospectives of their output over the years. Steve gives it a good try, but having read all his old ‘zines I think he gave himself short shrift.

Larry Richter joins Mark Hall and Morgan Holmes in the doghouse this time out, publishing in his latest The Highwayman a rather condescending overview of his Howard Days experience. Everyone rolled out the red carpet for Larry and his wife and made them feel at home during his first Howard Days, yet Larry reports that he found the whole event a “circus coming to town” filled with “drunk-in-the-dark, pavilion-infesting fandom,” then insinuates that of all the attendees only he knows or can know the Real Texas, the Texas of old with hardy pioneers and people who cared about more than money and petty modernities. You’re welcome, Larry.

The Mailing ends with ‘zines from Matt Herridge and Rusty Burke, both of which contain Cross Plains trip reports, a few Howardian-style poems from Steve Tompkins, an errata sheet from David Gentzel for his book The Riot at Bucksnort and other Western Tales, and a MINAC ‘zine of Mailing Comments from Tim Arney.

With the average page-count of mailings having fallen from the 300s to the mid-100s over the course of a few years, and with so many more options for reading Howard information available (The Cimmerian and this blog among them) it will be interesting to see if REHupa can survive in its present form. More than likely it will putter ahead as long as the old-timers of the a.p.a. maintain their memberships, but eventually the new generation is more likely to go online and create, say, a series of affiliated blogs that all talk about Howard.

REHupa #193 – June 2005


The latest REHupa arrived in early June, 156 pages. The a.p.a. is in the middle of a lull of sorts, as a few years ago 300+ pages was the norm. But the membership is full, and the a.p.a. shows no signs of going away.

Longtime REHupans Carl Osman and David Burton both dropped out of the a.p.a., citing personal reasons that are taking up more and more of their time. But several new faces have stepped in to fill the breach. Don Herron, who has been in the a.p.a. twice before (the first time in its infancy, the next time around issue #100) is back yet again to help usher in REHupa’s #200 next August. A new member named Jim Dapkus has made some noise about joining, sending in waitlist money. We’ll have to wait until next time to see if he sends in a ‘zine and becomes a true-blue member.

A buzz has started in the a.p.a. about the two big REH events happening next year, the extra-big REH Days in June and the World Fantasy Con in Austin, Texas dedicated to Howard in November.

Patrick Burger, a member living in Africa, sends in an arch-academic piece on Howard entitled “Zusammenfassung: Progress on my Comparative Literature Dissertation on Robert E. Howard and Ernst Jünger (excerpt).” Gary Romeo offers a rebuttal to Steve Tompkins’ pointed, lengthy criticism of Romeo’s “Napoleon’s Triumph,” which appeared in The Cimmerian V1n1 in April 2004. Regardless of the merits of his arguments, Tompkins loses automatically just by virtue of his rebuttal appearing in the private halls of REHupa where no one who cares will read it. Romeo’s essay, however, has reached hundreds of readers, and in fact was voted 9th Place for Best Essay of 2004 by Cimmerian readers.

Danny Street of England sent in the largest ‘zine this time at fifty pages. He writes a long examination of Howard’s character Cormac Fitzgeoffrey and offers dozens of pages of quotations from the stories about everything from what Cormac looked like to his biography to his personal conduct. Interesting for those people who like to have the details of Howard’s characters extracted and rearranged into logical categories. It brings certain aspect of the character into stark relief.

Charles Gramlich weighs in with some mailing comments, those criticisms and discussion of other people’s ‘zines that forms a large part of the a.p.a. experience. Damon Sasser, publisher of The Definitive Howard Fanzine REH: Two-Gun Raconteur, announces the release of Issue #8 of that magazine, and touches on many aspects of the current Howard boom. Conan books, comics, and movies all are discussed.

Dale Rippke presents the next in his line of fun essays on Howard’s Hyborian Age. Titled “Cartographic Curiosities: Stygia and the Black Kingdoms, Part 2,” he presents an all-new, very cool map of the Southern Continent of Howard’s World (basically prehistoric Africa) complete with representations of a dozen kingdoms most Howard fans have never seen on a map before, along with detailed reasoning for placing everything where he did. Conan fans out there would love to read this stuff, or see such a map in the books. Dale is planning on coming to REH Days in 2006 to give a panel on Hyborian Maps that should prove to be a lot of fun for Conan fans, so if you are coming down to Cross Plains in 2006 look out for that.


Don Herron’s first ‘zine is “The Carter Collector Volume 1 – Number 1,” a somewhat serious, somewhat humorous look at the life and times of Lin Carter, an author well-known to Howard fans via his collaboration with L. Sprague de Camp on pastiches in the sixties and seventies. Chris Gruber’s minac ‘zine has a picture of a Windjammer circa 1927, which is probably what Sailor Steve Costigan’s ship looked like. Indy Cavalier has a trip report of the Windy City Con that was held April 23rd in Chicago, and says he found a copy of the Arkham House Skull-face for $175 sans dust jacket. Not a bad price at all. He also reprints a hilarious letter from an outraged reader in the Science Fiction Book Club newsletter, who can’t believe the SFBC would reprint one of those awful racist authors from the pulps. He wants a warning label to be placed on any material mentioning Howard in their newsletter. William Metcalf is his name, foolishness is apparently his game.

Big Jim Charles, REHupa’s resident Kentucky redneck (and currently the only one of us who is a professional journalist) has a neat little article called “The Barbarian President: REH and Old Hickory” which compares REH’s barbarian characters to Andrew Jackson. Rick McCollum is finally back in the fold after a long hiatus, and offers a Minac ‘zine of mailing comments in his inimitable style. Newer member Jess Horsley talks comics, Morgan Holmes talks Donald Wandrei (Weird Tales author and co-founder of Arkham House). Mark Hall, editor of The Dark Man, gives us an Old English lesson (he’s an archeologist and can translate that language).

James Van Hise offers his usual comics talk and reviews, while Frank Coffman discusses the interesting technology that allows people to make 3-D pictures from 2-D originals, and promises to show some interesting experiments with this technology applied to Howard photographs in the near future. Pretty Cool. He also hints that his book on Howard’s poetry, complete with many Howard poems, is nearing completion. Matt Herridge finishes things off with a warning on assuming that Howard’s writing is more biographical than it is.

All in all a decent mailing, filled with interesting Howard stuff that the majority of fans out there will never see. REHupa’s requirements aren’t very difficult: a mere two pages every four months is the minimum you need to write and send in to remain a member in good standing and receive mailings. Will any fans out there be tempted to give it a go, and in the process gain access to all of this Howard material in the mailings? In Cross Plains, at least two people said they were thinking hard about taking the plunge. Being a member is worth the price of admission, that’s for sure.