No. 79 – Sláine the Barbarian

Glenn Fabry’s cover for Sláine the King (Titan Books, 1987; reprinted from progs 500519 (1986–1987)) v Frank Frazetta’s (1928–2010) The Barbarian (1965)

A man who took eccentricity to the point of farce, Conan creator Robert E. Howard (1906–1936) claimed to have been inspired to write the stories by an apparition of Conan himself, which stood over his shoulder expounding as Howard transferred the stories to paper, ultimately producing 21 stories and four unfinished stories, presumably when the apparition nodded off.

Conan the Barbarian (or Conan the Cimmerian) began life as a series of fantasy – or more accurately “sword and sorcery”, as it became known; a genre epitomised by Howard’s own creation – in the pages of Weird Tales magazine (Rural Publishing Corporation) in 1932.