Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why Conan?

I could tell you a story about discovering Conan's exploits in an old copy of Weird Tales that I happened to come across at a young age.  I could weave you a tale about going out in search of more of his fantastic adventures, devouring each and every one I discovered with increasing vigour.  I could explain how, Howard's writings finished, I looked elsewhere for my Conan fix, watching the movies, reading the comics, and finding whatever else I could get my hands on.

I could tell you all this and more, but it wouldn't be true.

The fact of the matter is that I don't really know Conan all that well.  I vaguely remember catching part of Conan the Destroyer on TV once upon a time, but beyond an image of Arnold clocking a camel, I don't remember all that much.

No, my interest in Cimmeria's prodigal son is far more recent.  It's only with Brian Wood's impressive work in the pages of Dark Horse's Conan the Barbarian last year that I started to develop an affection for the character.

So while I've been following that adaptation faithfully, I know there's a lot more Conan out there for me to discovery.  Thanks to Wood and company's fantastic comics, it's a journey I look forward to starting, but I'm just as eager to play in Conan's world for a bit.

By Crom, I hope you'll join me on this little adventure.


  1. Conan


    Note: This is young, Brian Wood series, Conan.


    Close on Conan's eyes, almost closed, bloodspattered.

    CAP: The Cimmerian breathes death.


    A strip of six small square panels run the width of the page, showing close ups of the still wet carnage.

    - A hand, reaching in defence, split in twain between the fingers.

    - A massacred head, its body at the other side of the cell door bars it was shoved through.

    - A lower jaw complete with tongue. Three teeth from the upper jaw lie scattered around it.

    - A bloody torso with a massive cleft. Disconnected ribs jut outward at unnatural angles.

    - A cut throat, still gushing.

    - The head of a man lying on the floor, far too much of what should be inside is out.



    Underground dungeon. Slick grimy stone decorated with fresh white swordstruck gashes. Torches burn on the walls - two lie on the ground, dislodged from the precedent combat. One burns with a weak flicker, the other still smoulders.

    Conan kneels, exhausted. He holds his sword, supporting his weight on the hilt. He is covered in minor wounds and there is a deep cut in the muscle of his shoulder. The sword sits in the guts of a dead prison guard in front of Conan. Intestines protrude. Human slop pools around.

    Prison guard bodies litter the ground around Conan. We can see the full view of some of the previous close ups. (The close ups should show the gore from the most revealing angle. These angles need not be repeated here.)

    CAP: For Conan, all battle exists in the same space. A separate plane - a place he has been too many times. He must not leave this place too quickly.

    CAP: He surveys each kill. He plots their craven footwork, the tapestry of their fate. He relives his every movement - berates every misstep, revels in each glorious strike.

    CAP: When Conan returns to this place...

    CAP: ...he will be better.

    1. Simple page but it really sells the idea of combat in Conan's world being a visceral experience that HURTS. I like it.

  2. Bloody, visceral and chilling, exactly what you need for a dark fantasy Conan book. I like that you open with such brutal imagery then pull us in with your captions tell leave us thinking about combat in a new way. Nicely handled.

    4/5 stars.

  3. Hi Shaun, Dan,

    Thank you both for the feedback. As ever, it is greatly appreciated.

    Up against deadlines this weekend so won't get around to everyone else's scripts for a few days, but looking forward to reading the ones I haven't gotten to yet.


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