Post by Sangria Sword on Apr 22, 2019 21:17:45 GMT -5
I discovered Conan when I was fifteen. While browsing in a dime store, I found a magazine called "Savage Tales". Inside its pages, I discovered Conan in a tale called "The Frost Giant's Daughter" written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Barry Windsor Smith in glorious black and white. And the name of his creator, Robert E. Howard. I was hooked. I had to have more. I found an ad for the Lancer Conan paperback books and I ordered the whole collection. I read about half of them before I enlisted in the Army and left for boot camp. I was seventeen and felt I should serve my country. With my parents signature, I was able to and I did. I was lucky. I never had to go to Nam and fight. The war ended my last week of boot camp. And I ended up serving my country in ways I never expected. After my enlistment was up, I came back home.
And took up where I left off reading my Lancer Conan books. And I also read the Conan comic books. Now, I have read and heard a lot of bad press about L. Sprague de Camp. When I was reading these books, and articles written by de Camp, I thought he was Howard's defender. I believed him to be a Howard fan. I believed that he was putting these stories in chronological order so that the reader would better appreciate Howard's stories. I read and enjoyed the stories that he tampered with. I guess I was ignorant.
I have in my collection the book, "Dark Valley Destiny" by L Sprague de Camp, Catherine Crook de Camp, and Jane Whittington Griffin. Over the years, I have read this book twice. Since I believed de Camp was the authority on Howard, I believed everything he wrote about him. After reading this book twice, I thought that Robert E. Howard was an eccentric genius that a small town just didn't understand. All geniuses have quirks, they aren't normal, whatever that is, that's why they're geniuses.
But if it hadn't been for L. Sprague de Camp would the Lancer books have been printed and distributed?
Robert E. Howard. The King of Heroic Fantasy. No one does it better.