Controversial! Fun And Also Games! First Comic Book related blog to be featured in the Australian National Library's Pandora archive. 2016 Rondo Award nominee. Pop culture, music, film and comic book expert. Would be willing to write for biscuits.
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"Inventory and Appraisement Of The Estate Of Robert E Howard..."
Robert E Howard created
Conan the Barbarian, but that didn’t stop him from dying, leaving an estate
worth less than $3,000. At the end of
his life, none of his creations could save him, and even though his vision and
work has endured for over 75 years, he never really reaped the benefits that
others have enjoyed down the years. As
can be seen from these documents, the bulk of Howard’s estate was,
surprisingly, money, with two bank accounts containing over $2,500 of the final
sum. Howard’s estate went to his next of
kin, in this case his father, Issac Howard.
Issac Howard must surely have had the worst of weeks, first his son
fatally shoots himself in the head and then his wife passes away shortly after,
never waking from a coma, resulting in a double burial. Such is the price of devotion to one’s
mother, and Howard's actions have created conversation amongst his many admirers
Luckily, for the world at
large, Howard had a vivid imagination and gave us several creations which are
still in use today, chief amongst them Conan the Barbarian. If he’d done nothing more than that he’d
still be remembered, but he also gave the world Solomon Kane, Kull and many
more, characters that writers, artists and film-makers still play with
today. He may never have published an
actual book in his lifetime, but he lives on as one of the greats of the 20th
century. Howard’s work was so good that
when writers of the comic strip ever became stuck, and this includes Roy
Thomas, they merely went back to Howard's work and sought both ideas and
inspiration, and Howard’s works have provided some of the best Conan stories
that the world has seen, giving rise to the cliché, often imitated, never
surpassed. Conan may be owned by a
corporation today, but he’s still there for all to enjoy. The real shame is that Howard decided to
leave the world at such a young age and so early in his career. The ‘what if’s’ that remain are maddening as
the potential was more than there and it would have been more than interesting
to see what Howard could have done once released from the shackles of a pulp
magazine and given the freedom of unlimited pages. Still, some things are destined to remain
unknown…and therein lies their appeal.
These documents might be old - hell, they date from 1936 - and I'm sure they exist somewhere else and others with far more knowledge about Howard than I'll ever have would be able to dissect and discuss them, but they're well worth another peek, for the curious at least. And to think, Issac Howard had to file two of these in the same week, one for his wife and one for his son - so when you stop and think about the tragedy of Robert E Howard taking his life in a fit of depression, also spare a strong thought for his father, who remained behind and buried his family.
Possibly the best of all of the Conan adaptations, by the best of the adaptors
Be warned - read this, take note and learn the easy way - we've learnt this lesson the hard way.
As people who read this stuff on some form of a regular basis might be aware we're off to New York in just over a month. Three weeks in New York, one week in San Fransisco. The key, for us anyway, is booking some decent accommodation, so we decided that, as we're going to be in New York for three weeks solid, that we'd go for a serviced apartment over a hotel room. So we started looking on the proper web-sites for places until we found one. Great location, it does exist, great photos - the lot. Perfect for our needs. The other half made contact with the 'owner' via the web-site and made arrangements to pay. We were asked to pay via MoneyGram, no biggie and no alarm bells started to ring - we've not done this before and all seemed normal. We made the first payment and got an email back from the 'owner' saying he'd gotten the payment and could we fix th…
Let's nip this right in the bud now and call this image bullshit (as Penn & Teller would say). Yesterday a link was emailed to quite a few people, showing the image you see on the left, which is supposedly the Jack Kirby version of The Amazing Spider-Man. If it the art was genuine then it'd rewrite Marvel history as we know it. There's one slight problem though - it's a hoax, and not a very good one at that. Someone has taken the Giant Man image from the splash page of Tales To Astonish #51 and doctored it, using a logo taken from page #183 of Joe Simon's Comic Book Makers book and parts of the design that Steve Ditko drew for one of Robin Snyder's books (in which he discussed the differences between Jack Kirby's discarded version of Spiderman and the final, Steve Ditko-Stan Lee version of Spider-Man) and mashed them all together. As to why anyone would want to do that, or what end they hoped to achieve is beyond me. But then that's life.
Go and have a read, and, more importantly, pass the word on to everyone and anyone who is thinking of travelling anywhere and booking. First rule of thumb - NEVER pay anyone via a money transfer system such as Western Union or Moneygram. They assist the scammers, and once your money is gone, those companies couldn't care less. They've got their cut. Make sure you pay in such a way that you've got recourse - if it's a money transfer then it's a scam, as far as I'm concerned.