Monday, July 23, 2007

Savage Sword of Conan reprints!

There's been talk in comics circles for a couple of years now concerning Dark Horse Comics and their possible reprints of the classic Marvel magazine Savage Sword of Conan. It wasn't a secret, but the chatter was all about how it would be done -- straight reprints of the original black-and-white artwork or newly-added color.

Much of this was because of the "remastered" coloring on Dark Horse's Chronicles of Conan, the reprints of the Marvel Conan comic book. Like most things, some fans loved it and some hated it.

Now that the advance solicitation information is out there, it's clear that these will be black-and-white art. No word yet if any of the covers will be reproduced and if so, in color or black-and-white. I don't care so much about the Boris covers, but reprints of the Earl Norem and Neal Adams covers would be appreciated (and the very pulp Tarzan-esque cover for issue 3 by Michael Kaluta). It seems that these volumes will be much like the Marvel Essentials line of reprint trade paperbacks. And since the blurb mentions "Savage Sword Conan stories", I guess we can assume that they do not have the rights to reproduce stories of the other characters that appeared in those pages, most notably Kull and Solomon Kane.

Here is what's known so far. It should appear in the August issue of Previews:

The Savage Sword of Conan

Written by Roy Thomas, art by Barry Windsor-Smith, John Buscema, Alfredo Alcala, Pablo Marcos and others.

In the mid 1970s following the colossal success of Conan the Barbarian, Roy Thomas helped expand the universe of Conan to showcase further stories and the talents of some of the comics industry's best with the equally popular Savage Sword of Conan magazine. Now, for the first time in over thirty years, these primal tales, featuring Robert E. Howard's most popular character, are available in this, the first in a series of massive trade paperbacks, collecting all Savage Sword Conan stories beginning with issue one.

Included in this volume are tales by Roy Thomas, featuring the breathtaking art of such legends as Barry Windsor-Smith, John Buscema, Alfredo Alcala, Jim Starlin, Al Milgrom, Pablo Marcos, Walter Simonson, and more.

Also included in this tome are Conan's few appearances in the title Savage Tales -- for the complete Conan collection!

* Reprinting Savage Sword of Conan for the first time since its original publication. This is the first volume in the series.

* Launching Dark Horse's black-and-white Dark Horse Presents omnibus format. 500+ pages for the value price of $17.95!!!

542 pages, black and white, $17.95, in stores on Dec. 19.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I in ur computur...

...stealin' ur Internetz.

Here's an article from Time Magazine about the "lolcats" phenomenon. As my brother-in-law says, they're about a year too late.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dragon Dynasty DVDs

It wasn't so long ago -- just about three or four years, in fact -- that Bob and Harvey Weinstein were despised, hated even, by the Hong Kong action/kung fu movie fan community. When they were still with Miramax and Disney, they purchased the rights to many classic and new HK action movies and either released shoddy versions to the screen or DVD, or they sat on them and withheld them from the market. Fans were livid and put together petitions and letter campaigns. I failed to keep up with the latest news in that realm so I lost track of what was happening on that front.

Fast forward to 2006: The Weinsteins, having left Miramax the previous year to form their own company, set up a label called Dragon Dynasty to release some of their HK films. They appear to have a deal with Shaw Brothers because Dragon Dynasty is offering several Shaw classics. Most of the DD line are Fortune Star releases, including a couple of Jackie Chan's best movies. Others titles include the Chow Yun-Fat classic Hard Boiled and all three Infernal Affairs films.

So far I've picked up two of the four available Shaw Brothers titles, My Young Auntie and The One-Armed Swordsman (which hasn't been released on legal home video in this country until now). Those are acknowledged classics but the other two Shaws are huge: The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (aka Shaolin Master Killer) and King Boxer (aka Five Fingers of Death)! I need to do some checking of reviews and so forth, but these look fairly complete. If so, it's very good to have these finally available on DVD in wide release.

In a later post I'll cover the Shaw Brothers films being released by Image Entertainment in Region 1, and then maybe as complete a listing as I can make of all the R1/R3 Shaw discs.