Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Barbarian Life by Roy Thomas

   I've written before about my love for the original Lancer paperback reprints of Conan stories, and the 1970s comics series from Marvel.

   Now there's a book written by Roy Thomas that looks back at each of the first 51 issues of that series, with essays on each issue and lots of behind-the-scenes information about how Marvel first decided to try its hand at adapting Conan's stories (thanks, multitude of readers who wrote in suggesting it).

   He goes into detail about the first choice to draw the comic - John Buscema - and why Barry Smith (now Windsor-Smith) ended up with the job. 

   Roy seems to be having fun sharing these "war stories" - he is, of course, a terrific storyteller - and it's infectious. As a longtime fan I loved each chapter as it offered a look behind the curtain to see how some of these classic stories were crafted - and how close the series came to being canceled early in its life.

   Of course, it went on to become a huge success for Marvel - one of its top sellers in the '70s - and it's great fun to get this "inside baseball" look at the creative process.

   And the good news is: there's another volume on the way covering the rest of Thomas' run on the series!

   Highly recommended to any fan of the original comic book barbarian!

Grade: A


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