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Charles Saunders’ New Dossouye Novel: The Dancers of Mulukau

Posted by Damon Sasser on 2nd February 2012

Charles Saunders has a new book out, Dossouye: The Dancers of Mulukau, which is a sequel to the first Dossouye volume published nearly four years ago. This new book is a novel rather than a collection of interconnected short stories as was the case with the first volume.

About the time the first Dossouye volume was published, Charles wrote of the evolution of his female warrior character on his blog. He also reveals the various real life women who provided him with inspiration for his ground breaking tales of this heroine of an alternate African universe.

Of course, everyone is familiar with his sword and sorcery hero Imaro and his world Nyumbani, which were inspired by Howard’s Conan yarns and the Hyborian Age. Word is Charles has new Imaro novel in the pipeline.

Getting back to Dossouye, Charles has a new post on his blog about the book. And here is the blurb from the Lulu website where you can order The Dancers of Mulukau:

The Dancers of Mulukau make benign magic with the elegant movements of their feet. From healing to entertaining, from ending droughts to mending walls, the Dancers bring peace and harmony wherever they go. Yet a mysterious, veiled people called the Walaq consider the very existence of the Dancers to be an abomination that must be eliminated. Dossouye, having wandered far from her native kingdom of Abomey, is hired to help protect the Dancers as they engage in their vital responsibilities. Along with her formidable war-bull, Gbo, the woman-warrior battles human and demonic foes that work in league with the Walaq against the Dancers.

The Dancers of Mulukau is published by Sword & Soul Media, with cover art by Mishindo who did the cover for the first Dossouye book, as well as Imaro: The Trail of Bohu and Imaro: The Naama War.

Posted in news, People, Popular Culture |

Southwestern Discomfit: An Analysis of Gary Romeo’s Controversial Article on Robert E. Howard and Racism

Posted by Damon Sasser on 20th December 2011

by Mark Finn

Author’s Note: I am indebted to fellow scholars Jess Nevins, Rob Roehm, and Barbara Barrett for their comments and also in the sharing of their research with me in the rewriting of this paper. MF

Introduction

REHupa #173 was a watershed mailing, way back in February 2002, for a number of reasons. Significantly, it was the mailing that featured Gary Romeo’s article, “Southern Discomfort.” As I read the article, I immediately noticed that Gary, in constructing his argument, was so interested in trawling the bottom that he willfully overlooked so much better stuff closer to the surface. It made me angry, and it made me instantly defensive. What I wanted to do was first ask Gary: what was your point in writing the article? Who is the target audience for it? And then I wanted to take it apart, piece by piece in my next mailing.

But I didn’t. I was new, and I didn’t want to rock the boat, or make any enemies right away. So I held my tongue. Besides, I wondered, I had no idea what my fellow REHupans thought about any of this. Maybe they agreed with Gary.

As it turned out, they did not. In the subsequent mailings, several of the older and more experienced REHupa members took Gary to task, and took a number of calculated swings at his essay, his methodology, and even his intent. I felt a lot better about my involvement in REHupa, but I regretted never having a chance to tee off on the topic.

When the REHupa website started up, it was determined that more recent, more approachable articles could also be listed on the site, if any member so wanted. Gary was one of the few people who stepped up to the plate and actually handed out articles to post. Along with his other Pro-de Camp essays was “Southern Discomfort.” I watched it go up, go live, and bit my tongue. After all, I thought, who was I to say that Gary could list all the rest of his articles, except that one? That’s when I got the idea of first doing a counterpoint article, just to balance out Gary’s essay, especially now that it was devoid of its context within the REHupa mailings and commentary structure. But at the time, I was working on what would become Blood & Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard, and so, I thought, I had bigger fish to fry.

Now it’s 2011. I’ve been a member in REHupa for nearly ten years now. And it’s high time I took a whacking stick to “Southern Discomfort” publicly. It has needed it for a long time, particularly since it’s one of the most popular things accessed on the REHupa website. The number of links to it from external blogs, websites, and citations used to indicate that yes, Robert E. Howard was indeed a racist, because look, right here, this guy says so on the experts’ website, are too numerous to count. That’s the problem with Internet research: it’s grab and go, and no effort is made to fact-check it.

Well, you may consider this the official fact-check. This article assumes that someone has already read “Southern Discomfort” and want to know more about whether or not Robert E. Howard was a racist or not. If you would like the background to “Southern Discomfort,” you can go here [1] and read all about it. You can also read the initial reactions to Gary’s piece here.[2]

 Deconstructing “Southern Discomfort”

The single biggest problem with Gary’s article is that it’s unfocused and attempts to cover so much ground that his argument is spread rather thin. He uses letter quotes, biographical sources (both recounted private conversations and reminiscences), and quotes from Howard’s fiction to say that Howard was a racist, and then goes into a lengthy comparison of one of Howard’s horror stories—the most racially charged story Howard ever wrote—as if this was the sort of thing that Howard wrote all of the time. Moreover, he compares Howard’s short story, which first appeared in the pulp magazine Weird Tales (and was written with that audience in mind), with the fourth novel of a man known for his sympathetic views towards African-Americans in the forties and fifties.

It’s a set-up, from start to finish. Gary made no attempt to level the playing field by comparing Howard to other pulp authors. In his haste to make his argument that Howard was a racist, he ignored or downplayed all of the instances where Howard cast ethnic characters in a favorable or sympathetic light. The amount of material that Gary never talked about in his essay is astonishing. As a result, his argument is too narrowly framed to be of any real use to anyone, by virtue of his myriad of omissions.

Comparing Erskine Caldwell to Robert E. Howard as any kind of racial barometer is a ridiculously unfair juxtaposition. Gary says the comparison is apt, but he’s just wrong. Yes, they were both writers, and lived in the south (or southwest), but there the similarities end. Wayne Mixon, of Augusta State University, said about Caldwell’s writing, “Caldwell’s focus on the issues of class and race was more intense than that of any other white southern writer of his generation.” Those things were only of tangential and historical interest to Howard, thematically speaking. Caldwell made those the central focus in his work (and was pilloried by his community for decades because of it). Howard focused more on the elemental conflict between two warring factions, and most frequently members of different ethnic groups or “races.” Caldwell wrote novels and stories for high end magazines. Howard wrote mostly short stories for the pulps, and in a variety of genres. Excepting Howard’s own singular idea of “realism” in his fiction, he is known as the Father of Sword and Sorcery as we currently define it. There’s no real common ground between the two authors. By setting up criteria that inherently favors Caldwell, and not countering the argument with any positive race portrayals by Howard, Gary’s ringer automatically wins.

Gary begins his essay with a simplified explanation of the Hyborian Age and Conan’s world. This is followed by a couple of examples of racially-charged language, cited from an L. Sprague de Camp article on how he personally chose to edit the Conan stories. Finally, Gary begrudgingly states that the stereotyping language utilized in the Conan stories could be dismissed as standard conventions of the pulps and pulp writers in general. I would add that such stereotyping was, in fact, in wide practice throughout all of popular culture at this time—radio, the movies, magazines, newspapers, the theater…and it was universal, particularly for comedians and humor writers. When you consider that roughly one third of Howard’s professional work could be categorized as humorous, that fact is crucial. Gary then states: “But Howard has grown popular, and with increased popularity, comes increased scrutiny.” On this point, I do agree with Gary completely, and we have certainly seen increased scrutiny in Howard’s work over this past decade.

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Posted in Howard's Writing, Influences, L. Sprague de Camp, Popular Culture, Pulps, Weird Tales |

Strap Buckner: Breckinridge Elkins Prototype?

Posted by Jeff Shanks on 28th November 2011

Strap Buckner

In my recent Two-Gun Raconteur article on rough-and-tumble fighting I mentioned that one of the figures from Western folklore that might have been a model for Breckinridge Elkins was the Texas pioneer Strap Buckner (Shanks 51). As Buckner is not as well known today as other folk heroes like Paul Bunyon, John Henry, or Pecos Bill it is worth taking a closer look this legendary figure.

Aylett “Strap” Buckner was born around 1794 and was one of the Old Three Hundred, the first colonists that founded Austin in 1824. Much of the little we know about the historical Buckner comes from census records and his letters to Stephen Austin. He seems to have had an on-again off-again relationship with Austin, though ultimately the two became good friends. Buckner was an Indian fighter, but also helped negotiate treaties with the Waco and Kawatoni tribes. He was killed fighting the Mexican army at the Battle of Velasco in 1832 (“BUCKNER”).

Accounts say he was a giant of a man with fiery red hair and matching beard. His great size and strength became the stuff of legend among the early colonists in Texas and a body of folklore eventually began to develop around him. The earliest known written version of the folkloric Strap Buckner appears in the 1877 travelogue of Colonel Nathaniel Alston Taylor. Taylor arrived in Texas shortly before the Civil War and traveled all over the state by horseback, recording his observations on the lives and social conditions of the locals. He heard the story of Strap Buckner recounted by a young man near Buckner’s Creek in Fayette County (Dobie 119).

According to the account of Buckner recorded by Taylor, the big man had the odd habit of good-naturally knocking people down by slapping them on the back. It was said that he had knocked down everyone in Austin’s colony at least three times, including Stephen Austin himself. Although Buckner meant no real harm, his fellow colonists tired of his behavior and Buckner was forced to move away to the La Grange area. There he began to knock down all the members of the local Indian tribe, including the chief. This chief, however, instead of being angry, was impressed by Buckner’s strength and gave him a swift, bob-tailed gray mare as a gift, as well as bestowing upon him the name Red Son of Blue Thunder (Taylor 121-122). Other versions claim that the chief even offered Strap the hand of his daughter, Princess Tulipita, in marriage (“BUCKNER”).

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Posted in History, Influences, Popular Culture, Sources |

Conan the Barbarian A Thrill Ride

Posted by Rusty Burke on 22nd August 2011

There are two Conans. The first one, Conan of Cimmeria, was created by Robert E. Howard in 1932 and adventured his way through Weird Tales, The Avon Fantasy Reader, and any number of books over the years. The other, Conan the Barbarian, was created as a simulacrum of the original, able to adventure through Code-approved comic books and, a bit later, movies. The former is the exclusive creation of Robert E. Howard, though a number of others have attempted to write stories about him. The latter is a collaborative effort by many hands, starting with Roy Thomas at Marvel Comics: I’ve lost track of how many different writers, artists, and others have been involved in the comics and movies. Conan the Cimmerian is a literary character. Conan the Barbarian is a pop culture icon.

The title of the new film should clue you in to which Conan it is about.

I went in expecting to see no Robert E. Howard whatsoever. I’d seen the screen treatment that was floating around the web a year or so ago, which contained not a scintilla of REH, and was to boot the silliest thing I’d ever read with the name “Conan” in it, and I knew that, for all he may have tried, Sean Hood had minimal time to try to repair the horrendous script of Donnelly and Oppenheimer. I had also, though, seen the trailers for the movie, and someone had posted the opening scene in which young Conan attacks and savagely mauls four or five Picts (at least, I assume they were meant to be Picts — they kind of looked like a cross between Mohawks and Richard Kiel as Jaws), and those had given me at least some hope that the movie would at least be a thrill ride. That’s all I figured to get out of the movie, a little excitement and adventure.

And that’s what I got. It was a cinematic version of the Conan comic book, in 3D. (Shelly and I went for the 3D experience, what the heck, go for the gosh-wow factor.) It’s too bad that it was like a story from the Michael Fleisher years,* rather than the Roy Thomas, but on the whole, I thought it was pretty well done. I’d put it on a par with my other favorite sword-and-sorcery movie, The Sword and the Sorcerer. (Now, that right there, I’ve just blown my critical credentials to smithereens, I guess, but since I went public with that years ago, I’m at peace with it. Shoot, the fact that I came to Howard through the Marvel comic back in 1971, and still read comics, blows my critical credentials to hell in the eyes of some, so what are ya gonna do?) I think both of them are way better — or let’s just say more to my taste — than that ponderous Milius film of 1982 or its laughable sequel.

Like The Sword and the Sorcerer, the new Conan the Barbarian has its faults. I understand that there are a lot of reviewers out there who are more than happy to catalog them for you. (I have held off reading reviews until after seeing the movie and writing my own.) But it has virtues, too, starting with Jason Momoa, who far better fits my conception of the Cimmerian than Schwarzenegger or Moeller did. There may indeed be some body-builder fans and/or wrestler fans out there who think that one of their guys should have been cast, but Howard makes it clear that Conan was not just big, he was lithe and quick and agile, and Momoa gets that across very well. I thought he did a good job.

Stephen Lang was fine as Khalar Zym, just as I expected. He’s one of the best badasses working today. Rose McGowan was suitably vile as his sorceress daughter, but that haircut they gave her was a mistake, making her look like a freak: give her her natural hair and sultry looks, and the undertones of those scenes with daddy would have been smokin’. Talk about your R rating… Ron Perlman was Ron Perlman, which I mean as a good thing. Leo Howard was terrific as the young Conan. Otherwise, no one really stood out, though I kinda warmed to Bob Sapp’s Ukafa.

The movie was dark and violent, which was as it should be. Lots of exciting, swashbuckling action. The sets and locations and costumes all contributed to a convincingly realized Hyborian Age. (Please, filmmakers, if you get a chance to do a sequel, it’s the “Hyborian Age,” but there is no such place as “Hyboria.” The Hyborians were a people, not a place. They were the “Hy Bori,” the people of the North.)  Honestly, while I was expecting nothing whatsoever other than that thrill ride I mentioned earlier, I got from this movie a glimmer of hope. I think these people could actually do a genuine Conan movie, one that was pretty close to the character created by REH — but they’d have to have a very good script to work with. And that means starting with the actual stories of Robert E. Howard. Not as filtered through years and years of comics and movies and cartoons and action figures: you have to forget everything you think you know, and go back to the source. I’m not even saying you have to stick closely to a Howard story, just that you have to take Howard as your starting point, not the stuff that came later. (I’ve got a ton of other suggestions, too, of course, if you want to discuss ‘em. I’m easy to find.)

The doomsayers and naysayers are hopping all over the weekend’s box-office numbers, declaring that the franchise is dead for the foreseeable future. I hope not. And I hope that the producers aren’t paying any attention to the people who are blathering that the movie bombed because of the star. Momoa is fine. It’s the ridiculous, cliched script that did this thing in. That and putting out an R-rated movie at the end of August. Shelly and I went to a Saturday afternoon show, and there were only about fifteen people in the theater. (At least three of whom could not contain their addictions to their phones, and had to be Sternly Admonished. Three words to remember, folks, it isn’t hard: Turn It OFF.) I agree with Fred Malmberg of Paradox that Conan should be R, for the violence if nothing else, but that is very problematic these days if you want to get butts in seats.

Anyway, I’m sorry to hear that the opening weekend is being called a disaster, and that it may mean that there won’t be any more Conan movies for the forseeable future. Because like I say, I think these guys could do it if they had a decent script to work from. I even think it could be done with a smaller budget, using less animation or sfx. Think “Beyond the Black River,” or “Red Nails.”

Robert E. Howard’s stories are still entertaining people 75 years after his death. Isn’t it about time to trust that a movie based on those stories would entertain people?

Anyway, those are some thoughts on the movie. I liked it. Shelly liked it (and she’s neither a comic nor Howard fan — her idea of a good movie usually involves subtitles). We’re not alone. It’s probably not for those REH fans who consider the comics to be beneath them, but for the rest of you, keep your expectations low, like mid-80s Marvel Conan low, and you should have a good time.

*Note: Thinking about it, maybe the Donnelly-Oppenheimer script was more like a story from the Chuck Dixon years of the Marvel comic. That enormous ship that Khalar Zym’s horde slowly and agonizingly haul overland to attack a mountaintop monastery can only have been the Nemedian Navy in action!

 

Posted in Movies, Popular Culture, Reviews |

Conan the Barbarian 3D: The Aftermath

Posted by Jeff Shanks on 21st August 2011

The battlefield stretched silent, crimson pools among the still sprawling figures seeming to reflect the lurid red-streamered sunset sky. Furtive figures slunk from the tall grass; birds of prey dropped down on mangled heaps with a rustle of dusky wings. Like harbingers of Fate a wavering line of herons flapped slowly away toward the reed-grown banks of the river. No rumble of chariot wheel or peal of trumpet disturbed the unseeing stillness. The silence of death followed the thundering of battle.

— The Yaralet Fragment (aka “The Hand of Nergal”)

 

The long battle to bring Conan back to the big screen is finally over and the dust is beginning to settle. The stakes were huge. A financial success would take the Conan franchise to the next level, cementing the Cimmerian warrior in the popular culture pantheon. Other Howard properties are waiting in the wings for their chance at immortality: Kull of Atlantis, Dark Agnes, Bran Mak Morn, Vultures of Wahpeton. But as the fog of war begins to lift we find the field littered with the corpses of REH fans’ hopes and expectations.

Early reviews were not good at all going into last Friday’s North American opening. Word was quickly making its way through the blogosphere that the film was a stinker. Friday morning, Conan’s fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes was abysmal—hovering in the mid-20′s. That pretty much doomed it right there. Many people that might have been thinking about seeing it, decided to pass. As the box office numbers began to come in over the weekend it quickly became clear that the film was in serious trouble. With production costs in the $70-80 million dollar range (not including marketing costs) Conan needed to gross around $20-25 million domestically for its opening weekend. Right now it’s projected to gross right at $10 million. That is a massive bomb. 

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Posted in Movies, Pastiches, Popular Culture, Reviews, Uncategorized |

Conan the Barbarian (2011) is upon us. . .

Posted by Jeff Shanks on 17th August 2011

. . . for better or for worse. While those of us who are stateside are still waiting patiently (or maybe impatiently in some cases) for the film’s debut on Friday, many European fans have already had an opportunity to view Marcus Nispel’s take on Howard’s most iconic character. The reviews from across the pond are a decidedly mixed bag. Probably the most significant review so far, at least from the perspective of a hard-core REH fan, is from REHupan Al Harron, who has had quite a bit to say on the Conan Movie Blog:

Conan the Barbarian (2011) is better than I was expecting in some respects, and worse than I was anticipating in others. On pure cinematic merits, it is not as successful as the 1982 film or Solomon Kane, but it is not quite as heinous as Conan the Destroyer or Kull the Conqueror either. In terms of adapting Robert E. Howard’s creation, it’s only marginally more faithful than any of its predecessors, just in different respects. Jason Momoa, with the right director, script and story, could be a fine interpretation of Howard’s Conan: there are brief, wonderful moments in the film where I momentarily forgot what film I was watching, and he’s definitely closer to REH than Arnold’s ever was. The basic story is still pathetic, some of the effects are simply atrocious, and there’s no thematic core, philosophy or subtlety to speak of – on the other hand, the natural scenery of Bulgaria is a joy to behold, some of the effects are surprisingly solid, and there’s a pervasive sense of enthusiasm from the cast that can be woefully lacking in these sorts of films. In short, some parts better, some parts worse, but overall, much as how I expected it to end up.

Read more of Al’s thoughts here and here (WARNING: Possible Spoilers).

Also worrisome (for me at least) is that one of the things that many of the positive reviews seem to have in common is praise for the campiness factor. Take James Mudge of BeyondHollywood.com:

Special mention must also go to Rose McGowan for her awesomely silly over the top performance, with pretty much all of her scenes making for near-hysterical entertainment. Thanks to Nispel’s determinedly gruesome approach, this never quite pushes “Conan the Barbarian” into high camp, and though it wisely never takes itself too seriously, it never gets too ridiculous.

Alex Katz at Flixist echoes those thoughts:

The movie is a success because it does not follow the cardinal sin of Clash of the Titans; it doesn’t take itself terribly seriously.

That’s not a positive! Many of the negative reviews for Solomon Kane (2009) complained that it took itself too seriously — after all, everyone knows that sword and sorcery films need to wink at audience every now and then to remind us how silly it all is, right?. But that’s exactly what made Solomon Kane a darn good movie (if not a Howardian movie) — it dared to do sword and sorcery with a straight face. That’s also why both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Game of Thrones series were successful and had cross-over appeal with mainstream audiences. They took the it seriously and played it straight. If the creators themselves don’t have enough respect for the material to treat it seriously, then why should the audience? I am hopeful that these reviewers are overstating the campiness factor (Crom forbid that what they perceive as intentional camp is actually unintentional -– yikes!)

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Posted in Movies, news, Popular Culture |

REH Word of the Week: yegg

Posted by Jeff Shanks on 8th August 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

noun (Slang; also “yeggman”)

1. a safe cracker.
2. an itinerant burglar.
3. a thug.

[origin: 1901?; unknown; possibly from the German Jaeger (“hunter”); more likely from the surname of John Yegg, a late 19th century tramp who allegedly organized a ring  of traveling burglars in California that used nitroglycerin to crack bank vaults.]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

Just then, however, a clump of bushes parted, near the river bank,
and a big black-bearded man riz up from behind a dead horse. He had a
six-shooter in his hand and he approached me cautiously.

“Who’re you?” he demanded. “Where’d you come from?”

“I’m Breckinridge Elkins,” I answered, mopping the blood offa my
shirt. “What is this here business, anyway?”

“I was settin’ here peaceable waitin’ for the river to go down so
I could cross,” he said, “when up rode these yeggs and started
shootin’. I’m a honest citizen–”

“You’re a liar,” I said with my usual diplomacy. “You’re Joel
Cairn, the wust outlaw in the hills. I seen your pitcher in the post
office at Chawed Ear.”

[From “Guns of the Mountains,” originally published in Action Stories, May-June 1934; to read the complete story see The Complete Action Stories, pp. 106-107 or The Riot at Bucksnort and other Western Tales, pp. 40-41]

Most references date the first use of the term “yegg” to a 1903 article in the New York Evening Post; however, a search of the New York Times archives turns up an earlier 1901 article in which Detective Robert Pinkerton describes the activities of the “yeggs” and “yeggmen” that were then plaguing the western part of the U.S. Bryan Burrough in his 2004 work Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34 notes that by the late 1920’s and early 1930’s the term had evolved beyond its original meaning and was being used by the press more generally to refer to the roaming bank robbers like John Dillinger, “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Bonnie and Clyde, that were then in the spotlight. This seems to be the way that Howard is using the term in “Guns of the Mountains,” albeit anachronistically.

Posted in Popular Culture, Word of the Week |

Damballa is Here!

Posted by Damon Sasser on 20th June 2011

Charles Saunders, lifelong Howard fan and author of the Imaro series, has a new pulp novel just out – here are the details:

From the heart of Africa to the streets of Harlem, a new hero is born sworn to support and protect Americans of all races and creeds; he is Damballa and he strikes from the shadows.  When the reigning black heavy weight boxing champion of the world agrees to defend his crown against a German fighter representing Hitler’s Nazis regime, the ring becomes the stage for a greater political contest. The Nazis’ agenda is to humble the American champion and prove the superiority of their pure-blood Aryan heritage. To achieve this end, they employ an unscrupulous scientist capable of transforming their warrior into a superhuman killing machine. Can the mysterious Damballa unravel their insidious plot before it is too late to save a brave and noble man? Airship 27 Productions and Cornerstone Book Publishers are proud to introduce pulpdom’s first ever 1930s African-American pulp hero as created by the acclaimed author, Charles Saunders. “Racism and sexism were a few of the ugly aspects of the pulps we’d all like to forget,” Editor Ron Fortier comments, “Minority groups based on race, sex and religion were ostracized and either ignored completely or denigrated in their outlandish portrayals. Since its creation, Airship 27 Productions has made it a goal to address these wrongs and help correct them within the context of providing top-notch action fiction to our readers. Damballa is a major step in that direction and we are truly excited about its release.” 

Praise for Damballa and writer Charles Saunders has already begun. “Having revolutionized the genre of epic fantasy with the creation of Imaro, a black warrior easily equal to such classic characters as Tarzan and Conan, Charles Saunders has done it again. This time he has created Damballa, a true hero in every sense of the word. Battling racism and evil in the 1930’s, Damballa is no pale imitation of The Shadow or The Avenger. In fact, after reading this excellent book, I think that they would be proud to consider him a brother in the ceaseless war against crime and injustice.” – Derrick Ferguson, author of “Dillon and the Voice of Odin”

Damballa by Charles Saunders features a cover by Charles Fetherolf, interior illustrations by Clayton Hinkle, with book design by award-winning artist Rob Davis.You can order Damballa here.

Posted in news, Popular Culture, Pulps |

The Scholarship Train Keeps Rollin’…

Posted by indy on 19th February 2011

Thanks to our pals Drs. Justin Everett and Dierdre Pettipiece, this spring brings us a new, expanded stop at the Robert E. Howard Scholarship Station. A nice note from Dr. J tells us this:

The schedule has now been set for the PCA in San Antonio and Deirdre and I are pleased to announce two sessions focusing on the work of REH.

Last year I created two new area clusters for Pulp Studies for the PCA at the national and SW/TX conferences respectively.  Deirdre serves as co-chair for the Pulp Studies area for the national conference.  We received many submissions in our inaugural year and scheduled six sessions.  We are very pleased with this turnout, but are even more pleased to have 1/3 of these sessions focus on the work of America’s greatest pulp writer.

There will also be an informal get-together we have titled “Pulpfeast” at the conference.  If anyone is interested, we will meet at the concierge desk at the San Antonio Marriot Riverwalk at 5:00 on Friday, April 22 and take a stroll down the Riverwalk to a local restaurant for dinner, drinks and conversation.

Deirdre and I will also be editing a collection of scholarly essays on Pulp Studies, and you can rest assured that REH will be well-represented in that volume.

Here is a description of the sessions on REH that will be presented in San Antonio:

The Literary Legacy of Robert E. Howard

Spear and Fang: Finding Jack London in Howard’s Early Pulp

Deirdre Pettipiece, West Chester University

Creating an Age Undreamed Of: Robert E. Howard and the Works of Lewis Spence and W. Scott Elliot

Jeffery Shanks, Independent scholar

Robert E. Howard’s “El Borak” and the Influence of T.E. Lawrence’s Revolt in the Desert

Justin Everett, University of the Sciences

The Masculine Archetype in the Pulp Fiction of Robert E. Howard

A Laugh in the Darkness: Robert E. Howard as Southwestern Humorist

Mark Finn, Independent scholar

Hungary and Hungarians in the Works of Robert E. Howard

Daniel Nyikos, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Texas Fists in Foreign Ports: The Constructed American Male in Robert E. Howard’s “Sailor Steve Costigan” Stories.

Jonathan Helland, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

The PCA/ACA Conference happens in San Antonio, Texas April 20-23. It’s only fair that Ol’ Two-Gun Bob Howard is so well represented in his home state. Hopefully we can get a report (and more) from Justin and Dierdre at Howard Days in June. We all owe them big time for stoking the fires of Robert E. Howard scholarship and keeping that train on the tracks! Muchas gracias!

Posted in Howard's Writing, news, Popular Culture |

Adventures Fantastic

Posted by indy on 21st November 2010

Howard friend, fan and REH Foundation member Keith West has started up a new blog: Adventures Fantastic. I’m certain that anyone showing up here will find it of interest, so Indy sez “Check it out!”

Tune your tricorders and secret decoder rings to: http://adventuresfantastic.blogspot.com and you’ll be glad you did.

Indy out.

Posted in Popular Culture |