Ah well, perhaps next year. Some day I'll get that interview with Alice. This year, I spent most of the day browsing the stalls, looking for Howard/Transformers/Dinosaur-related paraphernalia. Usually, Collectormania is where I get most of my Transformers stuff. This year, there wasn't really anything of note, though I got one or two things, and my usual contact ("I know a guy...") seemed pleased enough to see me in his stoic manner, even if I didn't spend as much as in previous years. I also found an absolutely delightful pack of dinosaur trading cards - they were thoroughly dry and palaeontological in nature, no attempt to attract the "cool" crowd, i.e. perfect for me - for only £8. It wasn't just stuff for myself, of course: I bought my long-suffering mother an Alan Moore Swamp Thing, I got a Hulk for the youngest cousin - the nerd is strong in this one - and a few secrets for birthdays and whatnot. Good haul.
I got a few Conan comics, too, mostly Dark Horses that I missed out on for a while a few months ago. One was the Frazetta Series "God in the Bowl" adaptation - and if ever there was a case where a Dark Horse adaptation utterly blows away a Marvel adaptation (though in the case of the latter, "adaptation" is a helluva stretch) this is it. I don't know why I didn't pick up the Frazetta cover series before: they have the Howard adaptations without the Busiek material, a fantastic (if occasionally ill-suited) Frazetta cover, and are sturdily built with a nice glossy finish. However, the nicest surprise purchase I made there from a Howardian point of view was Issue 1 of Dark Horse's Kings of the Night.
Kings of the Night #1
Writer: Roy Thomas
Cover Artist: John Bolton
Penciller: Gary Barker
Inker: John Nyberg
Letterer: Jean Simek
In ancient Britain, chieftains Bran Mak Morn and Cormac and the tribes of Britain and the North prepare to face the assembled might of Rome. Their only hope of victory lies in finding a king to unite their armies - an impossible task - unless the sorcerer Gonar can conjure one from the Antediluvian past!
Publication Date: May 01, 1989
Format: Full color
This is way before their Conan run, and frankly, even this issue is more Howardian than half the stuff DH has done recently. It's a fantastic adaptation, though I must say the interior artwork is nowhere near as impressive as John Bolton's covers. That said, I liked it, and I'm now going to hunt down the second issue.
It was a strange experience, this year. Usually I feel like an inadequate nerd, one of the great crowd of worshippers congregating around their idols and demagogues. This year, I felt like a stranger in a strange - but friendly - land. I felt a bit out of place. Perhaps age has altered my outlook, or some such. Maybe I'm not a nerd anymore, or have evolved into some sort of super-nerd so nerdy even other nerds are more socially integrated than me. Weird, weird day - though I'm all geared up for next year.