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Conan: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Savage Barbarian Hardcover – September 4, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Hardcover, September 4, 2006
$75.00 $11.88

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About the Author

Written by none other than Roy Thomas of Marvel Comics fame, expect nothing less than an exciting tale, with art from some of the foremost Conan portrayers ever: Frank Frazetta, Mark Schultz, Gary Gianni, John Buscema, Cary Nord, and more.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 162 pages
  • Publisher: DK Publishing; First Edition edition (September 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756620953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756620950
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1.1 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #944,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Given that Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp have both passed on, there could be no better author for "Conan: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Savage Barbarian" than Roy Thomas. When Lancer published its Conan paperbacks in the 1960s, usually with some of the best cover art Frank Frazetta every produced, Carter and de Camp had completed several of Robert E. Howard's unfinished stories, turned some other Howard stories into Conan tales, and came up with some new ones to fill in Conan's life, all arranged in chronological order. In 1970 Conan successfully negotiated with Howard's estate to start Marvel's "Conan the Barbarian" comic book. Thomas would end up writing more than 200 issues of "Conan the Barbarian," "Savage Sword of Conan," and "King Conan" comic books and graphic novels, two years of a Conan newspaper strip, a couple of record albums, and several television cartoons, as well s being a paid consultant on the "Conan the Barbarian" movie and co-writer of the first five drafts of its sequel, "Conan the Destroyer." Just for Marvel alone Thomas adapted every single Conan story Howard wrote and ended up turning more Howard non-Conan stories into Conan stories.

This book is commemorating the centennial of Howard's birth in 1906, which is as good of a reason as any to justify putting this book together.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really like this book. Its a perfect companion to the Wandering Star/Del Rey editions. If you're a fan, then you probably know all of the stories already. This book is really all about the art. Each and every page is chock full of beautiful artwork by Mark Schultz, Gary Gianni, Gregory Manches, John Buscema, and Barry Smith, among others. It even features artwork from perhaps the greatest Conan artist of all, Frank Frazetta, although it does not feature his best painting, the one from "Conan the Adventurer". Additionally, I would have welcomed more Margaret Brundage artwork, and its completely missing art from Boris Valejo. While I think John Buscema was a gifted artist, he always had a tendency to draw Conan wearing a loincloth instead of the clothes that REH actually described him as wearing, which in most cases was completely implausible. Belit's outfit is ridiculous. REH had her nude from the waist up, and I understand that Marvel Comics couldn't possibly depict her that way, but a fur bathing suit??? It would have been nice to include at least one painting that actually depicts Belit exactly as Howard described her (other than the Shultz painting, which shows her completely nude).

...but these are minor complaints.

The primary focus is on the official REH Conan stories, although it does cover some pastiches as well. In these cases, Roy Thomas calls these "unconfirmed myths and legends". The book completely ignores the two Conan movies, and (thankfully) the horrendus TV series.

Its been so long, I forgot what a gifted Conan writer that Roy Thomas was. In my opinion, his original stories (especially the Belit story arc) were consistently way better and more imaginative than anything L. Sprague de Camp or Robert Jordan were doing at the same time. This book is obviously a labor of love. If you're a REH or a Conan fan, then you MUST have this as part of your collection. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
I hate to be the naysayer in the lot because this book is, for the most part, beautiful to look at. However, this is not for the serious reader of Robert Howard's Conan. From an artistic perspective I'm glad to see this book, but there are some considerable exceptions which keep me from endorsing it. There is a lot of representation from comic books, which is fine but there are a considerable amount of images missing, and too many from both old and recently reprinted art that is below the quality a book like this one should require. There is a lot of Cary Nord's artwork from the current Dark Horse series. While I like his work it seems to pad the book out more than it is highlighting the subject. There are reprints of some very nice Barry Windsor Smith art, which is unfortunately culled from the recent Dark Horse reprints featuring horrendous new digital color (some obscures Barry's original linework so badly as to blot it out entirely with garrish results). What is missing are the stellar talents of artists like Michael Kaluta (he did stunning cover art for the comics and the magazine), more Gil Kane, Val Mayerick, more Neal Adams (again, a vivid cover artist for the magazine line), the weird and wonderful pin-ups and illustrations done by Armando Gil and countless others. Instead we get a lot of the current artist and old John Buscema who, while a decent to sometimes great Conan artist he is not represeented well in these pages since his bread and butter pages, proofed from newsprint pages, make up the vast majority of his work. He did better work, particularly when he inked his own pencils.

On the plus side, the recent illustrations from the new Del Rey editions are also presented here.
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