For instance, the Transformers page would be based on, say, my take on Transformers Evolutions. The idea of TE is sort of a Transformers-centric "What-if" line, the case being "What if the Transformers were awakened in a different time?" Only one volume has been produced so far, and it's the unspeakably awesome Hearts of Steel, where the TFs awaken not in the 1980s, but the 1860s. Instead of cars, jets, trucks, tape decks and whatnot, the TFs turn into trains, ironclad warships, flying machines, cannons, airships and other things more suited to a steampunk fantasy than what one would normally associate with Transformers.
And yes, that's Mark Twain fighting a steam-powered robot panther. What more do you need?
Sadly, the damned movies meant that to prevent confusion with the various continuities running about, Evolutions was cancelled. Yet another crime to add to the prosecution's case against Bayformers. It's a shame, because you have the entirety of human history to go with. World War II Transformers, with the Autobots assisting the Allies and the Decepticons with the Axis. '60s Transformers, with all the style and vehicles of the time, and international conflicts of the period. Colonial-era Transformers, where stagecoaches, carriages and omnibuses ruled the roads and sailing ships command the seas. Renaissance Transformers in an alternate world where Leonardo's inventions took off. Medieval Transformers that become trebuchets, catapults,siege towers, rams and ballistas. Roman era Transformers that applied Hero of Alexandria's aeliopile to develop the steam revolution centuries earlier. Homeric era Transformers that took the roles of gods and mythical creatures to interact with humans, transforming into dragons, griffins, Sphinxes, hydras, and other beasts. The motherlode, of course, being Transformers: Age of Dinosaurs, and I think you can guess what I mean here.
But I may have revealed too much, so for now, I'll just present my Howard/Tolkien ideas. All titles are placeholders, though I might keep some of them if nothing better comes along. Offer your thoughts!
Conan the Barbarian: A Movie-Goer's Guide
This would be inspired by the fantastic series of articles at the Encyclopaedia of Arda, where the most important divergences Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy makes from the book are listed and noted. Basically, that "Howard Quotient" post I did a while back, except all the samples are expanded, detailing why everything I call antithetical is antithetical, and so on. I doubt I'd be as generous as the EoA are to their respective subjects, but I'll try to be as fair as possible. A possible extra would be a "commentary track" that I'd record pointing out those things, so viewers could have a better perspective. (Speaking of the EoA, who else would kill to see an Encyclopaedia Hyboriana?)
Solomon Kane: A Movie-Goer's Guide
As with the above, this would point out the divergences Bassett's film makes with the source material. As with Conan the Barbarian, it's a harder job making a Movie-Goer's guide when it would probably be far easier listing and noting the similarities than the differences. An advantage here is that Solomon Kane hasn't been released over in North America yet: it would thus be pretty cool to have it ready by the time it gets a theatrical/DVD release, so that people have a resource with which to compare the films to the original stories. Again, because I kinda like Solomon Kane, I won't be quite as judgmental, apart from the really painful things like making Kane into a bad guy, mucking with the timeline and whatnot.
Conan the Destroyer / Red Sonja / Kull the Conqueror:
A Movie-Goer's Guide
I really don't know if it would be worth doing a Movie-Goer's Guide to the likes of Conan the Destroyer, Red Sonja and Kull the Conqueror, though it might be useful to do it in the cases of them absolutely mucking up Howard (Taramis, Toth-Amon and Shadizar in Conan the Destroyer, the Hyrkanians in Red Sonja, Kull, Borna, Akivasha, Ascalante, Tu, Acheron, Valusia, Valka... heck, just about everything in Kull the Conqueror). Unlike Conan the Barbarian and Solomon Kane, I have no interest in saying anything nice about these films, save the non-rock elements of Kull's soundtrack: sorry Korak, but you're on your own with Destroyer. I'm sorely tempted to do a video review of Kull the Conqueror in the style of The Spoony One or the Nostalgia Critic.
I hate that film so much.
Conan: A Movie-Goer's Guide
When the film comes out, I expect there'll be a lot of confusion about what is Howard and what isn't, so this will be out as close to the film as possible. It's mostly a preemptive "wrong, sir, wrong" to those who make arguments that Milius was right to diverge from the source material. Although I've read various iterations of the story structure in various forms that may or may not include the script, I'd rather wait until closer to the film's release.
Conan the Barbarian Recut
Remember a while back I was talking about editing Conan the Barbarian into a more faithful pastiche? Well, conceptually, it's pretty much done. All that remains are some illustrations: Conan with digitally-coloured blue eyes and black hair, a more impressive Shadizar, shots of map transitions. Now if I could just figger out how to do all that editing myself (as well as take screenshots from the damn DVD)...
Solomon Kane Recut
It only recently occurred to me that there's a good Howardian pastiche in Solomon Kane begging to be let out. Hey, if it can be done for Conan the Barbarian, why not Solomon Kane? Now, because Kane's origin takes up more of the story, it'd be more difficult to do: however, I think it's possible. (Conan the Destroyer, Red Sonja & Kull the Conqueror, though... no, there's no saving them.)
For instance, Marcus & Josiah are no longer Kane's brother and father, but old friends: thus we still have the emotional resonance without wreaking havoc on Kane's genealogy and upbringing. There is precedent in the Kane stories for interaction with old friends and allies, such as in "The Moon of Skulls." However, Kane's part in what happens to Marcus will be excised: it's just a bit rubbish, IMO. Also any un-Kane like detours like him letting himself be beaten up, getting drunk, being crucified and whatnot will be snipped. I think it'd end up more like a short film or an episode of Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories length-wise, but it's worth a shot. Best of all are my plans for "Evil Kane" at the beginning: i think it might work quite well.
Everything You Think You Know About Robert E. Howard's Conan Is Wrong
I'm an avid watcher of QI, and think it performs a much-needed service: dispelling old myths held as "true" by the ignorant, or "General Ignorance" as it is called. QI looked at the old nonsense, "people of the Middle Ages believed the earth was flat," "Lupe Velez died with her head on the toilet," "Napoleon was a shortie" and so forth, and thoroughly debunked them. Mythbusters without the explosions or Kari Byron, but Stephen Fry & Alan Davies' delightful interaction more than makes up for those lacking qualities. Vindication, so sweet, like swiping last jellybean at a party. This would be one grand page narrowing down the myths, misconceptions, fallacies and outright nonsense surrounding our favourite Cimmerian.
"Conan had sex with the girl in every story?" I'll break down the tales to show exactly how wrong that is. "Conan was racist/sexist/chauvinistic?" I'll cite quotes showing him to be a very egalitarian barbarian. "Conan always used violence to solve his problems?" If he did, he'd end up dead in half of his adventures. The things that people think Howard said about him - that he compared Conan to Cormac, Conan's grandfather coming from a southern tribe that is not Cimmerian - will be similarly debunked.
In addition, there'd be a section talking about the Hyborian Age in general. Aquilonians inspired by the Romans, Hyperboreans as giant purple-skinned sorcerers and ogres, whatever chucklehead decided to keep using that map that inflates Aquilonia to three times its size despite there being perfectly good Rippke and Darlage maps... The other myths - The 10,000 BC dating, Lovecraft's "Crom-Ya" being depicted as a chieftain deified as Crom, "Hyboria" - all in the scopes.
There'd also be a section dealing with REH. This will be more complicated, but I'll be concentrating on the really stupid things, like everything in "Conan Unchained" and whatnot. So as not to delve into psychoanalyzing territory, this will be a very "quote-oriented" page. Charges of chauvinism fall apart when one takes into account his magnificent rebuttal to "Why There Is No Such Thing As An Intellectual Woman." Silly ideas of Howard being a Nazi sympathiser are destroyed when one quotes exactly what he thought of the contemporary government of Germany and their little Italian buddies.
As for the charges of racism, while there are indeed plenty of examples of Howard's less-than-palatable quotations, I'll be providing examples of the man's non-racist and even anti-racist sentiments in his stories and letters. Because everyone quotes the "Aryan Barbarian" part of "Kings of the Night," but everyone utterly ignores the most profound expression of grief ever displayed in a Howard story in that same story: the anguish of a white man who failed to save his black friends.
Illustrating the World of Conan
This would function as a sort of illustrator's aide. Everything I can think of - descriptions of Conan's features, height, musculature, skin, eyes, hair, attire and whatnot - would be thrown in, with quotes and analysis. I'll probably compare various visualizations of Conan, noting which is "good" (Frazetta, Gianni, Fabian, Kaluta, Kayanan, the Keegans) and which isn't (Joe Bennett, poor Brundage). For hair, I'll provide examples of possible styles; for musculature, I'll post statues, paintings, art, photographs & whatnot that show the kind of build that seems most suitable. I'll give examples of "black Irish" types for people to get the idea, hopefully well-tanned ones.
Eventually, I hope to do a series of illustrations myself, showing Conan in his various guises throughout the stories, though especially the king and mercenary ones, since there aren't nearly enough depictions of Conan in mail or plate armour. Maybe I'll have some fun, doing that "cut-out costume" things you see in kid's activity books. In addition, I'll also do other characters like girls, allies, enemies, monsters and places.
Mighty Middle-earth: Reclaiming Arda
This is where I'm going to make my case against all those elements of Middle-earth that are perceived to be "effeminate," "androgynous," or otherwise "non-manly." Tolkien's badass females are rightly lauded, but his work is teeming with manly macho men doing manly macho things. Sort of a riff on Brian's brilliant "Terrific Tolkien." Things like Bullroarer Took inventing golf, Pippin fighting the troll, Helm going Rambo on the Dunlendings, Aragorn during his Thorongil years, Echthelion defeating Gothmog, Glorfindel, Fëanor doing anything.
Most of all, I'm arguing for manly elves. Does anyone seriously think Tolkien, when he envisioned the great Elven-smith Celebrimbor (whose very name means "Silver Fist") forging the Rings of Power, imagined something like this...
... or something like this?
Yet so many Tolkien fans mock McBride's illustration, usually with something glib like "Tolkien didn't write Celebrimbor as Conan the Barbarian, hyuk hyuk!" Implying that Tolkien didn't design his elves to be manly. Seriously? Tolkien? A guy whose world was inspired by the freaking Norse Sagas? Who championed Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxons, and the Vikings? Who once dressed up as a (proper) Goth, ran down the street whirling a battle-axe, screaming at the neighbours as a practical joke? Garbage.
Visualizing the World of Middle-earth
A companion piece to Visualising the World of Conan, this will take many aspects of Middle-earth that are frequently illustrated wrongly (or at least inappropriately), as well as showing how some ambiguous things generally adhered to because "everyone does it" - like Blond Legolas, Winged Balrogs, Ents being walking trees - can be more interesting with some variety. Being the contrarian type I am, I quite like the idea of a black-haired Legolas & wingless Balrog.
Well, that's ten: only two are Tolkien, but I think I can encapsulate everything in them. If "Shieldwall" gets up and running, they'd be moved over there, and TBTTF will have different pages like the Transformers one at the beginning.