Maybe Not A Boom, But A Drumbeat

I thought about inaugurating this blog by pointing out just how mistaken Patrice Louinet, the prolific and otherwise perceptive Howard scholar, is in his belief that Monica Bellucci would make a better Dark Agnes de la Fere than would the French actress Virginie Ledoyenmais non! Bellucci would be hard pressed to get out of the way of her own mammaries while fencing. But instead I’m going to revisit TC V3n5, which is fondly remembered in Tompkinsian precincts as The Special Apoplexy Issue. Gary Romeo’s “Viagra for the Soul,” Richard A. Lupoff’s “Long Ago and Far Away,” and Leon Nielsen’s “Pseudo Boom” all contained assertions that had me glimpsing the world through an echt-Howardian crimson mist for hours after I encountered them.

Each and every paragraph of Nielsen’s “Pseudo Boom” could not be more sincere in its concern, from a bookseller-cum-collector’s perspective, about How Well Howard Is Doing. Such a perspective is of course valid and valuable, but hardly panoptic — monitoring eBay transactions can tell us a lot about copies sold, but next to nothing about worlds rocked and doors opened. Nielsen overlooks or under-esteems significant developments while bizarrely fawning upon the Baen Books Howard paperbacks of the mid-90s, which he applauds for their “higher degree of textually pure versions” and “Ken Kelly’s splendid cover paintings.” (Splendid? Seriously, splendid? Like I said, Special Apoplexy Issue) He contrasts the scads of reprintings of the Lancer/Ace/Sphere Conans — Gary Romeo used to hand them out at homeless shelters and Vegan restaurants once a month — with the lone printing of the Baens, but we need to keep in mind that the latter were packaged with covers representing Kelly at his worst rather than those that represented Frazetta at his best, and were unified as a series only by their author, not by a gigantomorphic protagonist.

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New Cimmerian issues on website


Finally got around to updating the website with the May and June issues of The Cimmerian. Subscribers have had the May ish for a few weeks now, and the June issue will ship in the next few days, having debuted at the 2006 Robert E. Howard Days. Next up, the July issue and the Awards issue, due in a couple of weeks. The crazy centennial schedule proceeds apace.

Cimmerian Slipcases
Slipcases are also down to their last few copies, due to several sales at Howard Days. The Complete Deluxe Sets I put together are even starting to sell. It’s only a matter of time before whole issues start going totally out-of-print. If you are a Howard collector who lamented that you missed things like The Howard Collector, Amra, or the Cryptic chapbooks back when they were relatively cheap and freely available, here is another chance to collect something before it goes out-of-print and the prices reach outrageous levels.

January 2006 ish of The Cimmerian is out


This is a special centennial issue of The Cimmerian. For details on the contents, visit here.