Naturally, the first story has all the numbskulls whose knowledge of Conan begins and ends with a vague recollection of the film through marijuana smoke. Some hilarious fellows out there engage in some questionable humour: "I guess he saw the new Conan, and died on the spot."
To all those masters of subtle, nuanced black humour making such comments:
Go to hell.
Frank Frazetta's death, while only a matter of time given his rapidly deteriorating health and the stress of the past year, is important. This "Conan" film is not important. The only reason I have it up on The Cimmerian is because I already had a blog written on the other set pictures, and when the news broke I just added it as an afterthought. There's no reason to dwell on it further. It's a bunch of blurry pictures from the set of a film that has been met with hostility from near every corner except Stargate Atlantis fans, Jason Momoa admirers, and those people who don't know about the script. It is of such monumental insignificance in comparison to the passing of one of the great illustrators of the 20th Century that merely bringing it up is pointless, and only serves as a pitiful attention-seeking measure. So to those people, get your pathetic carcasses to Hades before I send the Hounds of Tindalos after you: the Lord of Hell will be a kinder foe than a pissed-off Frazetta fan.
Indeed, it seems I've gained someone's ire, the chap who runs "Your Dungeon Is Suck" had this to say:
I am at a complete loss to comprehend J-Mal’s reckless compulsion to cockeralgobble pube-bearded Al Harron. Today’s post is another weird example of his tireless efforts to extend kudos where none have been earned.
As usual, Al Harron isn’t ‘reporting’ a god damn thing. Despite trumpeting himself as some sort of insider, he simply devours others’ scoops collected from around the web, and then heaves them back up onto his blog coated in the stinking bile of his seemingly syphilis-inspired rants. His Conan tidbits are culled from other, more responsible parties - usually Latino Review, although today’s big scoop is a Frankenstein’s monster stitched together from the REH fan forums, Operation Kino, and Facebook.
Why indulge in the private fantasy that Al reports, rather than regurgitates? Why go out of your way to promote that unseemly illusion to a world that knows better? Very odd…
My response, just in case the good fellow has a power outage or accidentally deletes it:
May I ask exactly what the problem is? At no point am I claiming that I'm making some sort of "exclusive scoop," neither in regards to Frazetta nor the Conan movies. I've never made any sort of claim to be an "insider," since a simple click on the links would show otherwise, and I'd look rather an idiot for doing so. Indeed, I offer links to those articles myself. I am simply collecting them for The Cimmerian website, and commenting on them. The reason I do this is because not all Cimmerian readers would frequent the same sites that I do, and thus it works as a useful "hub" for articles that might be of interest. This has been a fixture of the site since its inception.
I didn't realise this would be a source of confusion, since this is generally how journalism works: news is broken, and the rest of the world goes about covering it. Sometimes they'll show footage captured by other network's cameras, or information gleaned from other journalists. Sorry to confuse you so.
As for "syphilis-inspired," I'm flattered that you imply I have a sexually transmitted disease, since most people think I'm a sad basement-dwelling virgin whose last intimate experience with a vagina was birth.
As an aside, "pube-beard" is pretty accurate, since beard is categorized as one of the characteristics on the onset of puberty, just like the stuff that sprouts around genitals.
It's somewhat bewildering and perplexing to find someone who seems to have such a big problem with me, considering I think of myself as a fairly nice guy. Any threats against people's lives are done so tongue-in-cheek (like the above Frazetta thing) that I can't imagine people would take it particularly seriously. Unless you really think I can control the Hounds of Tindalos - which, sadly, I can't. Ah well.
At the same time, I'm very wary that the Frazetta news will spill over into that other debate: the Lancer conundrum, sometimes boiled down to "without Frazetta, Howard would've been forgotten." We see phrases pop up like
The defining image of Conan isn't Howard's descriptions, but Frazetta's illustrations.
Frazetta's vision of Conan, as seen on the covers of the Lancer paperback collections of the 60s and 70s, became the definitive picture of the character... still is, actually, though he bears only a passing resemblence to the Cimmerian as Robert E. Howard described him.
And so forth. On the other hand, maybe some would downplay Frazetta's contributions. The truth is that Frazetta & Howard were equals in different fields. What Howard was to fantasy fiction, Frazetta was to fantasy art. Frazetta didn't "elevate" Howard, or become "bigger" than Howard: he complemented him.
Frazetta's illustrations may be, for many, the definitive Conan, but that's because Frazetta was the first artist to really get Conan. He didn't make "more" of Conan than Howard did, or "reinvent" the character: he discovered him, and allowed the elements which made Conan Conan to shine through. Other artists were confined to the styles and mores of their respective time period, or the preferences of L. Sprague de Camp (who wasn't a fan of Frazetta's "ugly" Conan who "needed a haircut"), he tore away from his period to make something timeless. Something timeless like Conan. He illustrated Conan.
I'll be going into more detail on The Cimmerian, where I'm analyzing and critiquing his Howard art. I know he did a lot more than Conan & Bran Mak Morn, but it's that art which is of most interest to me on The Cimmerian (being the REH Shieldwall), and it's that which is his most lasting legacy. Don't get me wrong, I love his other work, but I could write forever on his Burroughs illustrations, Dark Kingdom, Devil's Generation, Neanderthals - but it's his Howard work that is most pertinent.
I think it's a fine legacy.