Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pastiches & Bastitches: Conan And The Songs Of The Dead

Pastiches & Bastitches is a new addition to my blog where I review Pastiches of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy series. Conan, Tarzan, Pellucidar, Lovecraftian Horror, you name it. This will be the good, the bad and the ugly of genre literature!

Conan And The Songs Of The Dead from Dark Horse Comics by Joe R. Lansdale with art by Timothy Truman is, as you have guessed, another Conan story. But Joe Lansdale writing a Conan story?!!! How awesome is that, and he's a Texan to boot. Who better to understand Robert E. Howard than another fellow Texan!

Conan meets an old aquaintance, Alvazar the thief, who was hired to find a particular magickal tome known as "The Book Of Nameless Cults" (Ring any bells)? On their quest they join forces with a female warrior named Ohala who is also looking for the book. Husbas, an evil sorcerer and student of Thoth-Amon, is also looking for the scroll so he can use it to call forth the Elder Gods. Conan and his companions fight their way through mummy warriors, Picts, demons and even The Worms Of The Earth to obtain the scroll.

Joe R. Lansdale's writing style has been described as "Gonzo", and this story is no exception. The story itself was decent but at times the anachronistic language got a bit old. And it is a bit risque in parts, just incase you were planning on letting your 10 year old read it.

Timothy Truman's artwork is superb! He's well known for illustrating Grim Jack. His depiction of Conan is spot on! He's a battle hardened roque, not a hollywood pretty boy.

Over all, I really enjoyed the graphic novel and would highly recommend it to Conan fans. Some of the anachronistic language and situations seemed out of place.

The Great White Barsoomian Ape gives it 3 thumbs up!


  1. I'll be looking forward to this series! Love the name, too (hmm, Conan vs Lobo?)

    I *hated* Songs of the Dead. Hate hate hated it. I like Lansdale's other work, but this mini just had me gnashing my teeth. I've grown used to the various inconsistencies that crop up in Conan comics (like Picts in Shem), but I couldn't stand Alvazar. In fact, he annoyed me more than Malak. I never thought I'd say any Conan character was worse than him, but at least Malak didn't take up as much screen time.

    The art was pretty good, though. I'll give it that.

  2. Yes, I'm not sure why the Picts showed up. It did seem like he was trying to throw too many iconic Hyborian groups or races in there just for fun. The Worms of the Earth kind of seemed an afterthought.