Monday, 13 May 2013

The Fourth Scottish Invasion

Hope Blogger doesn't eat this one...

It's been a while since I've posted anything Howard-related. To be frank, I think I'm a bit burned out on REH, not just on the Encyclopaedia, but on REHupa, and keeping up to date on news and events. Combined with working on my burgeoning comic artist career, things might be light on the Howardian front for a while. I'm particularly frustrated that I haven't continued the "80 Years of Conan" despite being a year since I started it.

That said, I'm still going to Howard Days in June, where I'll be speaking on Robert E. Howard in comics. Unlike fellow Cimmerian blog alumnus Jeff Shanks, I'm not a collector and not much of an authority on the Marvel comics; unlike Mark Finn, I haven't been asked to write forewords and afterwords to Dark Horse collections. But I'll give it a shot all the same!

I also plan on attending the Phoenix comic convention. No William Shatner this year, sadly, but there are lots of others whose ears I plan on chewing off.  I'd be ecstatic to meet Bruce Boxleitner as a Babylon 5 aficionado, but if I get the chance, I'd like to see if I could pick his brain about Robert E. Howard, since he's a hardcore REH fan himself.  On the Star Trek side, Walter Koenig, Wil Wheaton and Nichelle Nichols will be in attendance: my young cousin would practically demand I get a picture from Wil, and I very much want to meet Ms Nichols. Uhura was one of my favourite Trek characters, and she just seems like such a lovely person.

Then there are others vaguely linked to Conan and REH like Brandon Sanderson, Dan Jurgens, Geof Darrow (heh), Jay Fotos, Nat Jones, Joshua Dysart, Michael A. Stackpole (who I still owe a signing!), Mike Mignola (who I'm just as anxious to meet for his work on Hellboy), Mike Norton, and a few others like the Pinis. Peter David wrote some rather fun Star Trek novels I enjoyed: I'd love to know if he based Mackenzie Calhoun on Conan/Kull, or if it was just a fun coincidence. Rice & Haggis has a Scotsman at their panel, who I'd like to show countryman support. Katelyn McCaigue's work interests me greatly. And I vividly remember Jolene Houser and Val Hochberg from a lovely panel they did last year on female comic writers, so it'd be nice seeing them again.

Another interesting semi-Howard connection is Christy Marx, most famous for Jem and the Holograms (a fixture of my early childhood, even without considering I had a babbie sister at the time) but also the story editor and writer for the much-maligned Conan the Adventurer. Much as I had severe issues with the cartoon, it's easy to see that a lot of the problems are borne from the very nature of making a Saturday morning cartoon show out of Conan to begin with: all things considered, I'm actually impressed with the number of Howardian elements that did make it into the show. Certainly more than the more mature-themed Marvel comics at the time bothered with, I'll tell you that much.

There are a few events and panels I might go to: Writing Believable Fantasy, Worldbuilding in Science Fiction and Fantasy and The Epic Fantasy Panel (even if Terry Brooks is there, boom boom!),  The Short Fiction Panel, Illustrating Your Own Work, The World of Sketch Cards, Webcomics 101, Historical Settings, Nichelle Nichols' panel, Star Trek and the Human Potential, Historical Fiction and Dystopian Fiction: Similarities and Differences, and An Animated Career. Some of these might overlap, so I'll check closer to the event.

Most hilariously, John Barrowman will be attending - hilarious, because I live only a hop, skip and a jump away from his childhood home Millport, and in fact the Weird Sisters often spend weekends over there with friends.  Their natural charm almost got Erin Gray hijacking them for the weekend last year: who knows what would happen if they came across Barrowman?

So I'll be in Arizona shortly, where I'll spend two weeks or so getting over the flight, exploring more of the arid alien landscape, catch up with old friends, and maybe a bit of blogging in between preparing for CP. Then on to the 36 West, where I'll hope to see more old friends and make new ones.

See you there, folks!


  1. Ah, Babylon 5! A mutual love of this fine series was one of the things that brought my wife and myself together way back when. Oh yeah, and she's quite keen on Boxleitner as well - that might have had something to do with it. Didn't know he was a REH fan - thanks for that.

  2. Have fun!... Always happy to read your reports!


  3. "Another interesting semi-Howard connection is Christy Marx, most famous for Jem and the Holograms"

    They showed that in the UK?. Didn't know that

    1. It didn't, but a video company released a few volumes, which my sister watched voraciously.

  4. Looking forward to seeing you again in Cross Plains, Al. I knew Boxleitner was a Howard fan, having seen his picture on the bulletin board in the Howard House. As much as I loved (and I do mean loved) his work in Babylon 5, his role as Frank Buck in the series Bring 'Em Back Alive is still my favorite.

    1. Absolutely, Keith! I'll see if I can get a snap of Bruce on the bulletin. And definitely looking forward to seeing you, too.

  5. Looking forward to seeing you again. I've got some salve for your aching Howardian spirit, Al.