Bargain Bin: Conan

Once I shied away from superhero titles, but now I’m on a quest to stretch my comic book budget further… (for a summary of that journey see this post.)

The Acquisition

This mostly came down to one lot obtained from ebay that had a variety of Conan titles from 2 different publishers, plus a few other Robert E Howard character based stories. Altogether there were 20 issues for a little over $12; around 60 cents per issue.

Normally, I share the range of issues I received, but that won’t do it for Conan because Conan has had multiple series with multiple publishers. Needless to say, the gaps in this lot were substantial.

At current prices (~$4 / issue) the same amount would have yielded just 3 issues.

After reading these I picked up 2 more at $1/issue at a local comic book store.

I felt pretty good about the purchase. If I didn’t like them I knew I could find them a good home, even if it meant giving them away.

My Familiarity With the Title

I knew the Conan as represented in pop culture. I was not familiar with the world that he traveled. I had also picked up a few of the more recent titles of “Conan the Slayer”. I enjoyed it, but didn’t connect it to the broader world.

How were the Issues?

Really enjoyable. Each issue was mostly a self contained story. By that I mean about 90% of the issue was a complete story and around 10% linked to a larger story line. In other words each story was a satisfying read, and the enourmous gaps in the issues didn’t matter. This was more

In fact I became fascinated at how the worlds were so consistently told, which lead me to some casual research on the character and the original author, Robert E Howard. And oh my, there was more there than I was prepared for.

I found this short documentary to be the most informative, but I don’t necessarily agree with every thing the contributor states or implies. Namely that the Marvel comics were a disservice to Howard’s work.

There is also a biography titled the “Blood & Thunder”. It generally receives favorable reviews from Howard fans because it put some serious research into print. I don’t think the favorable reviews are written by people who frequently read biographies.

This also lead me to watching the most recent Conan film, which I would love to review in a separate post… after I finish the first volume on short stories. Which I’ve started listening to via Audible.

And the final endorsement for how much I enjoyed these comics: there is another set of 15 Conan comics coming my way from a second Ebay auction. Those were won at a price of about 90 cents per issue. These are in sequential order and a more recent run.

These are definitely worth picking up from the bargain bins.

Will I read it to my children?

They like adventure, but I don’t think sword and sorcery is their genre. I won’t stop them from reading them, but I won’t be suggesting them.

Favorite Panels

At some point in my bargain reading I started taking pictures of panels that I thought I could sneak into a Facebook comment or two and look totally hip. Here are the panels I’m saving for the right occasion.

 

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