Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Chronicles Completed.

Back in 2003, Dark Horse Comics published the first volume of THE CONAN CHRONICLES, a trade paperback collecting the Marvel Comics color CONAN THE BARBARIAN series. This week, some 13 years and 33 volumes later, they published the last volume. The full run of the Marvel Conan. Though I own a full set of the black & white magazine, THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN, I never had all the Conan color comics. Now I've read them all, at least.


Paul R. McNamee said...


Did you also collect the KING CONANs ?

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Paul, I started them, but the art got so bad after John Buscema left that I finally couldn't stand it and stopped buying the collections.

TheManuel said...


I recommend you give issues 23 to 28 a chance, if you can get past your dislike for Marc Silvestri's pencils. At that point he was inked by Geoff Isherwood and I think the art is decent, if not at the Buscema level that we are so fond of.

During this time, writer Alan Zelenetz was crating a nice over-arching story involving Conan's children, which I found very entertaining. The arc actually began around issue #20 but was still a bit rough at that time and his first few issues in the book before those, were quite dismal.

This story arc was picked up by James Owsley from issue #50 until the final issue #55. I applaud James for recognizing that the story was worth continuing and for attempting to do so, but I feel that the quality of his follow-up stories was a notch below Alan's original stretch. James even brought back Isherwood as penciler/inker, presumably to reestablish a visual continuity, but without Silverstri's pencils I thought it took a step backwards. Nevertheless it is worth reading that last set of issues to see a conclusion to the story Alan started.

The long CTK stretch between 29 and 49 was, sadly, a snooze-fest by Don Kraar who also penned some rather bad SSOC stories during the non-Thomas years. I remember that KC/CTK was the first Marvel Conan series collection I completed and when I did, the younger me did not mind those issues 29-49 too much, but when I reread my collection as an older man, I hated them.

By the way, I have really enjoyed reading through some of your numerous blog posts on Conan comics. As somebody who was really into it in the 90's, I relate to your incursions into and out of the hobby at different stages of your life. I am currently undergoing a "spike" in my level of interest and plan to reread my entire Marvel Conan collection, starting soon. I'm getting through a lot of the DH Conan material first.

I could tell you more about my history with the Conan comics if you have trouble falling asleep and want to be bored silly :-)

Charles R. Rutledge said...

I appreciate your response, though I remain dubious about King Conan. Glad to hear that you're getting back into Conan and enjoying it. The current Dark Horse adaptation of the Devil in Iron is worth checking out. But yeah, me and Conan comics have a long and varied history. Those first 60 or so issues remain my favorites of the color book and SSoC.

TheManuel said...

No doubt, Charles. Those SSoC issues are the cream of the crop. I got drawn in by much lesser issues and I after I started reading those older ones through Conan Saga, I could not believe how better they were.

Forget King Conan. Those issues hold a bit of nostalgia for me but you have to many options to waste your time on something you don't like.

Best regards.