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Conan Volume 1: The Frost Giant's Daughter and Other Stories (Conan (Dark Horse)) Paperback – April 12, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
Book 1 of 12 in the Conan Comics Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The popular barbarian is back in full-color painted adaptations of the original pulp novels by Robert E. Howard. Conan, the dark-haired Cimmerian warrior, leaves his homeland, inspired by his grandfather's tales of Hyperborea, a paradise in the far north. He befriends an Aesir chieftain by showing his skill in battle and joins a raiding party. After a particularly bloody battle, Conan, the last man standing, is visited by the Frost-Giant's daughter, a nymph made of ice. He eventually finds his way to the fabled lands of Hyperborea, where the countryside's beauty comes at a terrible price. These tales, like the originals, are long on swordplay and short on character development. Even so, Conan has an endearing earnestness that hearkens back to the golden age of pulp fiction: what Conan lacks in intelligence he makes up for in brute strength. The illustrations are lush, adding a new vibrancy to this fantasy world. Rounding out this collection of the first six and a half issues is a biography of Howard and Nord's highly amusing audition piece for the job as Conan penciler. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • Series: Conan (Dark Horse) (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593073011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593073015
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
The initial caveat here is that the cover for this trade paperback collection of the first six-and-a-half issues (more on that in a moment) of the Dark Horse reincarnation of "Conan" represents some amazingly bad choices in terms of color given the comic books reprinted inside. The key color in the art of Cary Nord, Thomas Yeates and Dave Stewart in these comics is brown and has been since the cover of issue #0. The yellows in the stories are never as blindingly yellow as you get above the title on the cover and the with the blue and red emphasized in the shot of Conan on a snowy battlefield makes it seem like the art inside consists of bright primary colors when the real attraction is a much more subtle use of colors and shadings.

Once you get to the stories the big question is how do the stories written by Kurt Busiek with the art of Nord, Yeates and Stewart compare with the original stories by Robert E. Howard (and stories finished and/or created by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter) coupled with the famous cover paintings of Frank Frazetta in those Lancer paperback editions in the 1960s and the classic "Conan the Barbarian" comic book written by Roy Thomas and drawn most notably by Barry Windsor-Smith and John Buscema. The goal of the new comic book that premiered in February 2004, of course, is to be both different and faithful.

"The Legend" (#0) uses the discovery of an ancient statue of Conan to unearth his legend. Howard's original words define the arc of the character: "Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the hardest things to do in comics is taking on a well-known character loaded with history and making him seem fresh and exciting without "updating" or "ultimizing" him. Even moreso when the character isn't at least somewhat based in the world we live in. Kudos to Kurt Busiek for pulling it off masterfully. Plus, Cary Nord was born to draw Conan and Dave Stewart's coloring complements him perfectly, making this one of the best looking comics around, too. Robert E. Howard would be proud.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read maybe a handful of comics/graphic novels, and most leave me bored, but I know that there's gems out there so once in a while I give it a chance, and I'm glad I did here. I've always liked the idea of Conan, even though I've not read much of the original literature or any comic interpretations. Recently I was in the mood for a comic. Maybe it's the season, but the holidays really go well with colorful, light-hearted adventure. This comic is damn fun, visually stunning, and surprisingly well-written. It's no Ulysses, but the character development and dialog is sharp, mature, and engaging. It's the perfect fun-time read on a cold winter day.

I read it on my new retina iPad Mini, and I'll be damned if it wasn't nicer than paper. Never thought I would say that. First time I've ever read a comic in ebook form, and I felt odd spending money on an electronic comic, but the frame-by-frame feature in the Kindle Reader was awesome and the retina display gave the images a sharpness and saturation that rivaled most paper comics I've read. These writers/artists deserve my money, and I hope they produce more work.

Only thing is, I now kinda would like the hard copies, just to have or loan out to friends.
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Format: Paperback
Beautiful book. The art by Nord and Stewart is fantastic - really captures the raw nature of the subject matter. Busiek's writing is great - giving us a young Conan venturing into the world. This Conan is not the unconquerable hero we are accustomed to. He is young and naive, makes some big mistakes, and lets down everyone counting on him. His survival from this first adventure is, for him, bittersweet.

Unbelievable how good the first seven issues of this new series is.
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Format: Paperback
Sure, this isn't Buscema's Conan nor Windsor-Smith's, but hey, who cares? Can't it just be time for a new look at things? We certainly don't need another neverending storyline about a guy from the early times who basically just chops off heads. All we need is a tight story with a hero, great art - in short, a book to get lost in, just for a few hours. If you're looking for something like that and you're open to Cary Nord's "European" style, you'll be in for a treat. If not, reread the old books and admire Windsor-Smith's artwork.
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By Solemn Follies on November 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some of the most beautiful artwork I've ever seen in comics and the story is just as dark and violent as the black and white Conan comics I loved as a kid. Excellent, and now I have another series to be addicted to.
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I was unfamiliar with Conan beyond the two Schwazzeneger movies when i picked up this trade paperback (which I picked up mainly for the art) so I do not know how accurate Busiek's vision of Conan is. I do know that I absolutely fell in love with this depiction of the character.

The Conan of the movie was a bit of a bore to me, brooding and melancholy with the most cliche back story of them all, avenging the deaths of his parents. The Conan of this comic on the other hand, has a lust for life that I found very appealing. His only concern is having as many adventures and experiencing as much as possible before he dies.

Also unlike the movie, there no silly, contrived love story. Conan makes it clear he is only interested in short-term flings with the opposite sex. Conan kills if necessary but only to achieve what he needs, not out of revenge or some higher purpose. While, not caring much for the laws of civilized men, Conan does have a personal code that he honors. This keeps him from crossing the line between anti-hero and villian.

As stated above, the art is phenomenal. Cary Nord is clearly a master of fantasy art with a solid understanding of anatomy and a massive imagination. The decision to not ink over his pencils (or render his pencil lines more tightly) really gives the art a loose and sketchy feel that breathes life into the stories. Dave Stewart is possibly the finest Comic Book colorist I have ever seen. I loved the combination of the sketchy penciling and Dave Stewart's immaculate, clean digital coloring.

I remember reading a critique saying that his art was like if Frazetta painted an entire comic book instead of just doing the covers.
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