JOE: I enjoyed Leo Grin’s comments on my comments on Almuric. I really like Howard and I really like Almuric, so let’s get that up front. I wasn’t being demeaning in any way. I think this wasn’t his best work, but I find it appealing, and it is a favorite of mine because of the type.
But I think most male fiction is a yearning for adventure, and it’s a little boy’s yearning all dressed up in daddy’s clothes. Only daddy never wore them where we want to go with them. It’s why we became professional writers. Howard wrote about realism from the standpoint of little boy desires and fantasy. I think all writers do that, males anyway. I don’t care if it’s got guns and shootouts and death in it. It’s always about a yearning for adventure or a pain at the loss of innocence, and the desire to be pure and young again.
It’s all the blood and thunder that makes this stuff adventure that may not necessarily be for boys, though it is primarily, but makes it wish fulfillment. Killing enemies and seeing all that blood is what keeps teenagers buying Fangoria, as well as some of us who still visit that part of us. It’s not a put-down, it’s just simply, from my viewpoint, the way it is.
Virgins may have been an overstatement, but it has that feel of “Wow, I never knew sex until the hero came along, and I’m so willing, and he’s so wonderful and ravishing.” Nice, but, adolescent still.
Also, it’s just an opinion. Nothing to loosen the bowels over; opinions are, as they say, like assholes, and everyone has one, and from time to time opinions make assholes of us all. I plead guilty. But this was a heartfelt piece, and how I see it. You can see it another way, and that’s okay.
Keep on reading.