In my first article, I went over what the genre of Sword and Sorcery is all about. In my second article, I went over the world that Robert. E Howard built up for his stories of high adventure. In the third article, I dissected Conan as a character, while in my fourth I asked the question of Conan’s relevance in the modern-day era. If you have read those and found yourselves here, then no doubt you want to know how you could get your hands on some of these adventures and see what all the fuss is about for yourself.
Originally written in the 1930s, there are collected volumes of the original short stories written by Howard himself. These collect some of the most exciting stories like The Tower of The Elephant and The God in The Bowl. These are probably the best place to start as they show the character and stories as they were originally written. You can find them at online bookstores as they are always in print.
In 1982, Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Earl Jones both starred in the cult classic film adaptation of the character. The movie is considered Schwarzenegger’s breakout role and has been re-released on home media since its initial theatrical release.
The movie featured an amazing soundtrack by Basil Poledouris and the sets were designed by Ron Cobb who took influence from the iconic Frank Frazetta paintings of Conan. Fun fact about the film, in once scene, Schwarzenegger bit into a dummy of a vulture that had real feathers and wings from a dead bird attached to it. That’s dedication right there!
The film spawned a sequel, Conan The Destroyer though it was unable to escape from the previous film’s shadow.
There was a TV series and a Cartoon series as well as a 2011 reboot of the original movie starring Jason Momoa (but in all honesty, the less we talk about those the better.)
The Graphic Novels
There have been countless comics based on Conan and his adventures. Marvel and Dark Horse have taken the mantle. From the artwork to the writing and how those iconic stories were adapted to the graphic novel form, everything about those comics is just out of this world. Their prints may be limited as Dark Horse lost the license to Marvel. (So, you might want to grab those quickly. They can be found on Amazon, happy hunting!)
There have been quite a number of video games based off the world of Conan. Funcom owns the license for the game games, and have thus far produced Age of Conan (an MMORPG), Conan Exiles (a survival game), Conan Unconquered (a real-time strategy game, and Conan Chop Chop, which was supposed to launch this month but fans asked the developers to delay the game so that they could implement online multiplayer. There are also talks of an upcoming single-player game based on the Conan IP.
As for the future of Conan? Well, Marvel has reclaimed the license to produce more Conan comics and there have been talks of a script dubbed “King Conan” floating around Hollywood that involves Arnold Schwarzenegger and the director of the first movie, so all we can do is wait and see what transpires.
Throughout this entire series, I’ve been voicing why I think more people should dive into these stories. If you’ve made it this far, then you harbour some interest in it. But I will end with one final question…
A question that only you can answer for yourself…
When will your adventure with Conan begin?