Collecting The Cimmerian

Each volume of The Cimmerian represents an entire year’s worth of the best in Robert E. Howard fandom and scholarship. Click on the links below to explore the hundreds of essays, articles, letters, reports, interviews, and other features that TC had to offer, and to learn valuable information about how many copies made it out into the real world before September 1, 2009, when all unsold back issues were destroyed.

For those wishing to collect The Cimmerian, my advice is to keep an eye out on eBay and like venues. The Robert E. Howard Museum in Cross Plains, Texas might also have a few back issues left in their gift shop — email them for a list and prices. I have also seen one website advertise copies of The Cimmerian Library #3 (as A Bibliography of August Derleth by John D. Haefele), which I assume they purchased from the author of that issue.

V1n1 — April 2004 | V1n2 — June 2004 | V1n3 — August 2004 | V1n4 — October 2004 | V1n5 — December 2004 | V1 Index

V2n1 — February 2005 | V2n2 — April 2005 | V2n3 — June 2005 | V2n4 — August 2005 | V2n5 — October 2005 | V2n6 — December 2005 | V2 Awards Issue | V2 Index

V3n1 — January 2006 | V3n2 — February 2006 | V3n3 — March 2006 | V3n4 — April 2006 | V3n5 — May 2006 | V3n6 — June 2006 | V3n7 — July 2006 | V3n8 — August 2006 | V3n9 — September 2006 | V3n10 — October 2006 | V3n11 — November 2006 | V3n12 — December 2006 | V3 Awards Issue | V3 Index

V4n1 — February 2007 | V4n2 — April 2007 | V4n3 — June 2007 | V4n4 — August 2007 | V4n5 — October 2007 | V4n6 — December 2007 | V4 Awards Issue | V4 Index

V5n1 — February 2008 | V5n2 — April 2008 | V5n3 — June 2008 | V5n4 — August 2008 | V5n5 — October 2008 | V5n6 — December 2008 | V5 Index



The Cimmerian Library was a chapbook series of scholarly reference works about Robert E. Howard and related authors. The series produced four volumes during its run. One-hundred individually numbered copies were printed for each volume.

Each chapbook ran forty pages, measured 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, and was printed on a fine grey parchment stock with a shimmering red metallic cover. The original purchase price for each issue was $8.

VOLUME 1 — An Index to Cromlech and The Dark Man — by¬†[redacted]
A comprehensive Index of all three numbers of Cromlech and The Dark Man #1-#6. Includes cover images, a Master Reference List, Author, Subject, and Title Indexes, and an Introduction by Howard scholar [redacted].


VOLUME 2 — “Them’s Fightin’ Words”–REH on Boxing — by Chris Gruber
A wide-ranging series of excerpts from Howard’s letters wherein he discusses the Sweet Science, accompanied by commentary from the editor of the Bison Books release Boxing Stories. Includes Index.


VOLUME 3 — A Bibliography of Books and Articles Written By August W. Derleth, Concerning Derleth and the Weird Tale and Arkham House Publishing — by John D. Haefele
A meticulously researched bibliography of all the various writings August Derleth composed on these subjects. Includes two portraits of Derleth and a fascinating introduction to Derleth collecting and scholarship by Haefele.


COLLECTOR’S NOTE: In October of 2008 there was an addenda add-on printed for CL #3. This new mini-booklet was 12 pages in length, printed on the same grey parchment stock as the original booklet, saddle-stapled but without any red card-stock cover, and trimmed in a way that allowed it to be inserted into the original booklet between the last page and the back cover. A hundred of those addendums were printed, and they were sent out to everyone who had purchased a copy of the original booklet. So if you go hunting for this booklet, ask and make sure the Addenda booklet comes with it.

VOLUME 4 — “Yours for Faster Hippos,” — Thirty Years of “Conan vs. Conantics” — by Don Herron
This retrospective of one of the most important Howard essays features the anniversary reprinting of “Conan vs. Conantics,” along with a host of other Herron articles about the pastichers of Robert E. Howard and their critical legacy. Includes articles covering the Howardian work of L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter, Karl Edward Wagner, Richard L. Tierney, and David C. Smith.




The Cimmerian was proud to offer discerning readers a set of fine deluxe slipcases for their collection. This was a first in Howard fandom; no other REH magazine had ever offered this level of luxury and extravagance to its customers. Crafted in an elegant two-piece design, the interior tray slides out to reveal all the deluxe journals for that Volume, including the Index and Awards issues. When closed, no side of the slipcase is open to the air or elements, offering maximum protection from dust, sunlight, and other scourges. The result: classy, no-nonsense protection for one’s entire Cimmerian collection.

Each slipcase is rugged, made from sturdy boards covered in midnight-black bookman’s cloth, and foil-stamped with each Volume’s distinctive skull logo on one side, and the Volume number and the year on the spine. They were hand-crafted and assembled by skilled artisans, avoiding the off-flush corners and shoddy glue-jobs of cheaper efforts. Half-moon notches on the sides of the spine facilitate easy removal of the enclosed issues at any time, even when the outer shell of the slipcase is tightly wedged between books.

COLLECTING INFORMATION: Only fifty slipcases were made for each Volume of The Cimmerian, making them a rare collectible in their own right. None of them were destroyed: almost all of them had sold by September 1, 2009, and those few that hadn’t were donated to Project Pride in Cross Plains, Texas for use in future Silent Auction fundraisers at REH Days. So theoretically there are fifty slipcases for each volume of TC floating around out there.

SPECIAL COLLECTOR’S TIDBIT: When first designing the slipcases, I had mock-up proof versions made of the V1 and V2 cases, one copy of each, so that I could OK the final design. These two cases were indistinguishable from the official fifty-copy set made later, save for one flaw: the “V1” and “V2” were foil-stamped not on the interior piece’s spine but the exterior piece’s spine on the reverse side. I later gave these two mock-ups as a gift to Howard fan Bill “Indy” Cavalier of Michigan City, Indiana, who thus now owns one of the rarest of all Cimmerian collectibles.