The Cimmerian V4n6 — December 2007


Edited by Leo Grin | Illustrated by Andrew Cryer
40 pages

This issue was printed in two editions. The deluxe edition, numbered 1–75, uses a black linen cover with foil-stamped midnight blue text. The limited edition, numbered 76–225, uses a midnight blue cover with solid black text.



Features a symposium on the seventy-fifth anniversary of Conan, including a fantastic poem written especially for the event, an article on a newly discovered Conan-related typescript, the first publication of an original Robert E. Howard Christmas-related associational item, a lengthy essay on the history of Conan’s initial run in Weird Tales, and a detailed look at the first-ever authorized appearance of Howard’s Cimmerian in comics. There’s also a well-researched tribute to Always Comes Evening, Glenn Lord’s classic primordial volume of REH poetry, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary this year. This in addition to all the usual features, most notably an overflowing Lion’s Den with lots of red meat to dig into.


The mists of memory revealed
A figure legend had concealed.

— from “Lionization” by Fred Phillips

A year ago, a customer mentioned he had some REH letters and material he wanted to swap with me. In exchange, he wanted books and pulps. . .including some from my personal library. As I said, I never sell from my personal collection as a rule — never. But this was Howard material. I met with him anyway.

— from “The Thrill Of It All” by Joseph Linzalone

Seventy-five years ago one of the major cultural icons of the twentieth century slashed his way to savage life across the pages of the December 1932 Weird Tales. The issue saw national distribution on the newsstands of America beginning that November, the same month Franklin Delano Roosevelt tore the presidential crown from the head of Herbert Hoover in a landslide election victory. Out of the depths of the Great Depression, Conan of Cimmeria was born.

— from “Enter the Barbarian” by Morgan Holmes

One such Sword-and-Sorcery story was a Howard adaptation which Star-Studded Comics announced in issue number 13, dated June 1968:

We have room here to take only the briefest of looks at what future issues have to offer, but we think you’ll agree that the future does look bright!. . .Other contributors in our immediate future include work by Steve Stanley, Mick Schwaberow, Alan Hutchinson, Buddy Saunders, Robert E. Howard. . ..

Wait a minute! What was that last name? Robert E. Howard? The guy who wrote CONAN and all sorts of other good things? Oh yes, you’d better believe it, gang, because next issue we have a swords and sorcery strip that’s adapted from a story by the grand master himself! So if you like brawny heroes, beautiful girls, strange sorcery, nasty monsters and other good things like that, be here next issue! Man, it’ll dump you off your dragon!

— from “Star-Studded Conan” by Rick Kelsey

Always Comes Evening, like the earlier Arkham book Skull-Face, is an outstanding selection and a representative collection, but it turned out to be far from definitive. On April 18, 1958 — only a few months after publication — Lord wrote:

I received a roll of microfilm from E. Hoffman [sic] Price containing previously unpublished poems. . ..The roll contained no less than 60 poems and a meditation I suppose it could be called. Only 2 of the poems had appeared in Always Comes Evening. That is sort of embarrassing. . ..

And, in 1965, a hitherto “lost cache” of Howard’s work was discovered that included still more verses. To date, there are around eight hundred extant REH poems, a staggering number.

— from “Always Comes Evening, For Fifty Years” by John Haefele

I had learned that copies of the typescripts which comprise the core of the Library holdings are now available to be purchased by fans and scholars. This is a most welcome and important resource, and as I wanted over 250 pages of material I thought it best to give plenty of notice.

On our arrival we were welcomed by Linda, who had my copies ready and waiting, and who graciously took time out of her day to show us the treasures of the Howard collection. I also scored a copy of the Jack Scott oral history transcripts, which proved an interesting read and a nice addition to my collection. The information contained therein regarding REH is generally well known and not plentiful, but Jack’s evocation of time and place is a must for anyone wishing to get a feel for Howard’s historical and geographical context.

We had more time to tour the area this year, adding visits to Novalyne’s grave, Burkett, and Rising Star to last year’s Peaster, Oran, and Dark Valley. The Howard grave, of course, was visited on both occasions.

— Chris Green, writing in The Lion’s Den