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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    Review #14

    Not sure I would have included this in the sword and sorcery genre, but the cover boldly proclaims Sword versus Sorcery in the Epic Tradition of Conan


    Attachment 107995

    Title: Worlds Unknown #5 (short-lived ongoing)
    Written by: Len Wein (story based on the screenplay by Brian Clemens
    Art and cover by: George Tuska and Vince Colletta
    Letters: John Costanza; Colors: Glynis Wein
    Edited by: Roy Thomas
    Publication date: June 1974 (cover date)
    Publisher: Marvel Comics

    The Golden Voyage of Sinbad
    It's a good question isn't it - how far can we go back and still call it Sword and Sorcery? I was thinking about this when you first started the thread - my first idea was MacBeth - trying to restrict it to literary fiction as opposed to myths and legends filed under "Anonymous".

    But Shakespeare got a lot of his material from other sources, including historical chronicles that incorporated material that we would probably now designate as traditions or folk-tales, so where do we draw the line? Maybe we should include things like Beowulf, the Arthurian and Carolingian cycles, and the Arabian Nights.

    IIRC, Odysseus at one point in the Odyssey threatens the sorceress/goddess Kirke (Circe) with a sword: how much more sword and sorcery can you get than that? Not to mention Jason and Medea and the Argonauts.

    19 story pages, color

    Story: 6/10
    Art: 5/10
    Overall Impression: 6/10

    Synopsis: Sinbad’s ship encounters a winged creature that drops a golden amulet on board when they drive the creature off. The amulet causes Sinbad to have strange dreams and fell the tug of destiny, leading him to the city of Marabia, where he is awaited by the Vizier. The Vizier asks Sinbad’s help to find a treasure based on a map unlocked by the golden amulet and its mate that the Vizier had, and to aid the city against the evil Prince Koura. Sinbad agrees and they set sail, followed by Koura’s ship and plagued by Houra’s magic.

    Commentary: So I am a huge fan of Ray Harryhausen’s movies, and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad is very familiar to me, and I love the Harryhausen monsters and effects-but George Tuska and Vince Colletta do a very poor job of capturing the charm and wonder of these creatures in this adaptation. I have to cop to a strong bias against George Tuska. He is among those artists I dreaded seeing in the credits when I bought comics as a kid. His efforts here are not horrible, and I can see some of his strengths, but Colletta’s inks do him no favors. He also has to resort to the follow the arrow trick to navigate some of his page layouts, which is a bit of a pet peeve of mine.

    Wein’s adaptation however, captures the wit and personality of Sinbad, however, none of the other characters stand out, which is particularly disappointing with Koura who has a mad sense of menace in the movie as portrayed by the wonderful Tom Baker of Doctor Who fame. So as an adaptation, this misses the mark, as a sword and sorcery story on its own, it is ok, but the lackluster art really handicaps the enjoyment of the issue. In other artistic hands, this could have shined, but it is what it is, and it just kind of falls flat. Passable, but nothing spectacular.
    Have to agree with you on George Tuska: I had a similar reaction as a young reader. I wonder if he was another guy who wasn't really a natural super-hero artist - anyone seen his work before that era, assuming he was around then?

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    It's a good question isn't it - how far can we go back and still call it Sword and Sorcery? I was thinking about this when you first started the thread - my first idea was MacBeth - trying to restrict it to literary fiction as opposed to myths and legends filed under "Anonymous".

    But Shakespeare got a lot of his material from other sources, including historical chronicles that incorporated material that we would probably now designate as traditions or folk-tales, so where do we draw the line? Maybe we should include things like Beowulf, the Arthurian and Carolingian cycles, and the Arabian Nights.
    Well I do have DC's six issue Beowulf series in cheque for reviews for this thread, so I at least will be including that as part of the genre.

    The one I am struggling with as to whether to include it or not is Chaykin's Ironwolf. It's more sci-fi than fantasy, but then if you want to extend the sword and sorcery labels a bit, you can include space fantasy like Star Wars with light sabers are swords and the Force as sorcery.

    However, I tend to be of the mind that sword and sorcery is more than the presence of swords and magic, but a particular tone and thematic approach. I think (and this is floating in my memory and I haven't done a proper fact check to corroborate my memory) that is was Moorcock who coined the term Sword and Sorcery in a Howard Fanzine (Amra maybe?) and was applying it specifically to heroic fantasy in the vein of REH, but I also recall Fritz Leiber having a hand in the adoption of the term somehow too. Generally I would tend to keep mythological tales and more historical stories out, but in comics at least, a lot of these types of stories were adapted with a very definite S&S feel or at least marketed towards readers of such stories-which is why I would include the Sinbad adaptation and DC Beowulf under the umbrella. Gareth Hinds adaptation of Beowulf into comics however, which is much more traditional, I would not include under the S&S umbrella though. A lot of it is probably arguing semantics, and I could go one way or another on a lot of stories, so I tend not to be that picky if a few things are under the umbrella that might not quite belong, or if a few are left out that could be included.

    I don't think even the proponents, editors, writers, and readers of S&S in its 60's and 70's heydey really knew what fell under that label and what didn't-for example-here's the stories and excerpts included in Lin Carter's anthology Kingdoms of Sorcery that is supposed to explore the roots of S&S by example:


    "Magic Casements: An Introduction" (Lin Carter)

    I. The Forerunners of Modern Fantasy

    "The History of Babouc the Scythian" (Voltaire)
    "The Palace of Subterranean Fire" - from Vathek (William Beckford)
    "The Witch Woman" - from Lilith (George Macdonald)

    II. Fantasy as Saga

    "The Folk of the Mountain Door" (William Morris)
    "A Night-Piece on Ambremerine" - from Mistress of Mistresses (E. R. Eddison)
    "Dr. MeliboŽ the Enchanter" - from The Well of the Unicorn (Fletcher Pratt)
    "The Two Best Thieves in Lankhmar" - from Swords Against Wizardry (Fritz Leiber)

    III. Fantasy as Parable

    "Shadow and Silence" (Edgar Allan Poe)
    "Fables from the Edge of Night" (Clark Ashton Smith)
    "The Tomb of the God" (Robert H. Barlow)

    IV. Fantasy as Anecdote

    "Merlyn Vs. Madame Mim" - from The Sword in the Stone (T. H. White)
    "The Owl and the Ape" (L. Sprague de Camp)
    "The Twelve Wizards of Ong" (Lin Carter)

    V. Fantasy as Epic

    "Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time" - from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
    "The Bridge of Khazad-DŻm" - from The Fellowship of the Ring (J. R. R. Tolkien)
    "The Story of the Blessing of El-Ahrairah" - from Watership Down (Richard Adams)

    "More Magic Casements. Suggestions for Further Reading" (Lin Carter)

    and from its sister volume Realms of Wizardry

    "Introduction" (Lin Carter)
    "Swords of the Purple Kingdom" (Robert E. Howard)
    "How Orcher Broke the Koph" (Hannes Bok)
    "The Whelming of Cherkis" (A. Merritt)
    "Liane the Wayfarer" (Jack Vance)
    "The Descent Beneath Kor" (H. Rider Haggard)
    "Some Ladies and Jurgen" (James Branch Cabell)
    "The Hoard of the Gibbelins" (Lord Dunsany)
    "The Doom that Came to Sarnath" (H. P. Lovecraft)
    "Black Lotus" (Robert Bloch)
    "The Gods of Earth" ( Gary Myers)
    "The City of Philosophers" (Richard Garnett)
    "The Book of LullŻme" (Donald Corley)
    "The Goddess Awakes" (Clifford Ball)
    "Quest of the Starstone" (C. L. Moore and Henry Kuttner)
    "Master of Chaos" (Michael Moorcock)
    "Thelinde's Song" (Roger Zelazny)

    so they were throwing everything from Voltaire and Poe to Tolkien and C.S. Lewis into the pot as sword and sorcery type tales. Part of it I am sure was the effort by Carter and de Camp to try to legitimize what they were doing as "serious" and "respectable" literature, and part of it was nobody really knew for sure what was or wasn't sword and sorcery because it is such a nebulous concept to begin with.

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
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  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    Well I do have DC's six issue Beowulf series in cheque for reviews for this thread, so I at least will be including that as part of the genre.

    The one I am struggling with as to whether to include it or not is Chaykin's Ironwolf. It's more sci-fi than fantasy, but then if you want to extend the sword and sorcery labels a bit, you can include space fantasy like Star Wars with light sabers are swords and the Force as sorcery.
    Agree on pretty much all of that. Star Wars is more akin to science-adventure-fantasies like Flash Gordon, or "planet-romances" like ERB's Mars and Venus series. They share a lot of characteristics with Sword & Sorcery, but are missing at least one critical element: that sense of mystery or even eeriness, usually with a strong supernatural overtones.

    The DC Beowulf I remember feeling like sword & sorcery at the time, even though they apparently messed it up by putting a flying saucer on the cover of the last issue (which I've never read, so can't say whether or not the contents match).

    However, I tend to be of the mind that sword and sorcery is more than the presence of swords and magic, but a particular tone and thematic approach. I think (and this is floating in my memory and I haven't done a proper fact check to corroborate my memory) that is was Moorcock who coined the term Sword and Sorcery in a Howard Fanzine (Amra maybe?) and was applying it specifically to heroic fantasy in the vein of REH, but I also recall Fritz Leiber having a hand in the adoption of the term somehow too. Generally I would tend to keep mythological tales and more historical stories out, but in comics at least, a lot of these types of stories were adapted with a very definite S&S feel or at least marketed towards readers of such stories-which is why I would include the Sinbad adaptation and DC Beowulf under the umbrella. Gareth Hinds adaptation of Beowulf into comics however, which is much more traditional, I would not include under the S&S umbrella though. A lot of it is probably arguing semantics, and I could go one way or another on a lot of stories, so I tend not to be that picky if a few things are under the umbrella that might not quite belong, or if a few are left out that could be included.
    Again, I agree: the myths and legends, including the few examples I mentioned earlier, I'd say are more precursors or inspirations of sword & sorcery than examples of the genre. although I do think that modern writers would do better to look back to sources like that rather than imitating REH, or, I dunno, George RR Martin, or whoever.

    I don't know if Moorcock came up with the term "Sword & Sorcery" or not, but I have heard about a book of his called "Wizardry and Wild Romance", which I think covers fantasy in general and that I keep meaning to look for.

    I don't think even the proponents, editors, writers, and readers of S&S in its 60's and 70's heydey really knew what fell under that label and what didn't-for example-here's the stories and excerpts included in Lin Carter's anthology Kingdoms of Sorcery that is supposed to explore the roots of S&S by example:
    They certainly did cast their net wide - and I agree, caught a lot of beautiful things that weren't Sword Sorcery. Still, lots of fun looking through those contents and wondering why they picked this or that. Several things I'd like to read there, sword & sorcery or not.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    Star Wars is more akin to science-adventure-fantasies like Flash Gordon, or "planet-romances" like ERB's Mars and Venus series. They share a lot of characteristics with Sword & Sorcery, but are missing at least one critical element: that sense of mystery or even eeriness, usually with a strong supernatural overtones.
    The eeriness is indeed what strikes me as the difference between the word and sorcery genre and tales that just happen to include some swords and some sorcery. I don't see George R. R. Martin of J. R. R. Tolkien as writing sword and sorcery per se, even if the basic elements are there; I'd call them "fantasy", of which S&S would be a sub-genre.

    I know this is a pretty restrictive definition, but I really see sword and sorcery as something that could have been published in pulps like Weird Tales or Unknown. There must be some exotic element of mysticism in there, and so Clark Ashton Smith strikes me as being closer to S&S than Martin is, even if there's a dearth of swords in Smith's Zothique tales. Jack Vance's Lyonesse, likewise, is too close to traditional folk tales to be true S&S; I view it as something less pulpy, something that would warrant the term "high fantasy", perhaps.

    Say, mrp, your reviews prompted me to get a set of DC's swords of sorcery. I look forward to reading those early Chaykin efforts! Keep up the good work!
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  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    Have to agree with you on George Tuska: I had a similar reaction as a young reader. I wonder if he was another guy who wasn't really a natural super-hero artist - anyone seen his work before that era, assuming he was around then?
    I haven't seen much of it, but Tuska was one of the top artists in the crime genre when that was big.

    He did best with more realistic milieus; fantasy was not his strong suit. I really liked his work on Iron Man and especially the first year or so of Luke Cage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Allen View Post
    I haven't seen much of it, but Tuska was one of the top artists in the crime genre when that was big.

    He did best with more realistic milieus; fantasy was not his strong suit. I really liked his work on Iron Man and especially the first year or so of Luke Cage.
    Yeah, and I don't think Vince Colletta was a good match for him as an inker. They seemed to bring out the worst in each other, somehow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roquefort Raider
    The eeriness is indeed what strikes me as the difference between the word and sorcery genre and tales that just happen to include some swords and some sorcery. I don't see George R. R. Martin of J. R. R. Tolkien as writing sword and sorcery per se, even if the basic elements are there; I'd call them "fantasy", of which S&S would be a sub-genre.

    I know this is a pretty restrictive definition, but I really see sword and sorcery as something that could have been published in pulps like Weird Tales or Unknown. There must be some exotic element of mysticism in there, and so Clark Ashton Smith strikes me as being closer to S&S than Martin is, even if there's a dearth of swords in Smith's Zothique tales. Jack Vance's Lyonesse, likewise, is too close to traditional folk tales to betrue S&S; I view it as something less pulpy, something that would warrant the term "high fantasy", perhaps.
    Yes, it's really a pretty narrow spectrum of stories that seem to fit the label and I suppose that's one reason why there are so few classic examples of the genre, as opposed to, say, space-opera.

    Have there been many female Sword & Sorcery protagonists apart from Red Sonja? I've heard of Jirel of Joiry but haven't read any of those yet. And I've seen books by Andrew Offutt and C. J. Cherryth that look like they might qualify from the covers, but can't recall the titles or the names of their respective heroines right now. It's a wonder Michael Moorcock never came up with one to fit in with his Eternal Champion books. Of course, there aren't all that many space-opera or ERB-style planet-story books with female stars either, so it isn't just S&S.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    Yeah, and I don't think Vince Colletta was a good match for him as an inker. They seemed to bring out the worst in each other, somehow.

    Yes, it's really a pretty narrow spectrum of stories that seem to fit the label and I suppose that's one reason why there are so few classic examples of the genre, as opposed to, say, space-opera.

    Have there been many female Sword & Sorcery protagonists apart from Red Sonja? I've heard of Jirel of Joiry but haven't read any of those yet. And I've seen books by Andrew Offutt and C. J. Cherryth that look like they might qualify from the covers, but can't recall the titles or the names of their respective heroines right now. It's a wonder Michael Moorcock never came up with one to fit in with his Eternal Champion books. Of course, there aren't all that many space-opera or ERB-style planet-story books with female stars either, so it isn't just S&S.
    C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry fit pretty firmly in the S&S genre. I've read 2 of the shorter stories featuring the character. Paizo's Planet Stories series I mentioned earlier has a volume that collects all the Jirel stories.

    Lin Carter had a female S&S protagonist by the name of Tara of the Twilight. I have the book, but haven't read it, but she seems a Sonja-ish clone down to the fiery red locks.

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    The Offutt books were co-written by Richard Lyon and were the War of the Wizards series (or trilogy) featuring Tiana of Reme-a lady pirate in a world of demons and wizards as the cover proclaims. She may be inspired a bit by Belit or by Howard's original Red Sonya. The first book was Demon in the Mirror. Again, I have these but haven't gotten around to reading them yet.

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    Not familiar enough with C.J. Cherryh to comment. But this paltry handful of female protagonists are definitely the exceptions when it comes to sword and sorcery tales.

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  8. #83
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    Review #15

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    Title: Worlds Unknown #8 (short-lived ongoing)
    Written by: Len Wein (story based on the screenplay by Brian Clemens)
    Art by: George Tuska and Vince Colletta
    Cover by: Gil Kane
    Letters: John Costanza; Colors: Glynis Wein
    Edited by: Roy Thomas
    Publication date: August 1974 (cover date)
    Publisher: Marvel Comics

    Land of the Lost
    19 story pages, color

    Story: 5/10
    Art: 4/10
    Overall Impression: 5/10

    Synopsis: Sinbad and crew reach Lemuria, and consult the oracle, learning of a third piece of the amulet, but Koura arrives and entraps them. After several battles, Koura acquires all three pieces of the amulet, which when used in a magical fountain, grant eternal youth, invulnerability, and vast riches. However, Sinbad catches up to Koura and defeats him before he can claim all of these prizes. Sinbad, forfeits the crown to the vizier, whose face is restored, and Sinbad then sets out again for the freedom of the seas.

    Commentary: Ah, what a gorgeous cover by Gil Kane. It is just a glimpse of what could have been for this adaptation with a different artist. Len Wein’s script here feels disjointed and cramped, probably because he was trying to cram everything into the issue to complete the adaptation. Tuska’s art doesn’t help. The figure work and backgrounds are no worse than last issue, but the page layouts and panel to panel (and page to page) storytelling of the art is not as good, again likely the effect of having to cram everything from the movie into this issue. Scenes seem to skip around, and even the action sequences fall flat. Then you compare the scene of Sinbad facing off against an animated statue of Kali as depicted on the cover by Kane and the same scene in story as depicted by Tuska and you see clearly where Tuska’s shortcomings are.

    While last issue was solid but not spectacular, the conclusion of the adaptation had too many flaws and shortcomings to even get a pass.

    All in all, these two issues do not live up to the billing as Sword and Sorcery in the Titanic Tradition of Conan. The lack of dynamic art in terms of story telling and action doom it to failure, and the lack of adequate room to adapt this lengthy story ultimately leads to its failure. It needed a third issue for the scenes to have room to breath and the artist to have room to really make the action sequences work, but even with a third issue, the art team of Tuska and Colletta weren’t going to hit this one out of the park. In the hands of an artist more suited for the genre, this could have been a fun 3 issue romp. Instead it was a tedious and disjointed two issue adaptation.

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  9. #84
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    Review #16

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    Title: Thieves’ World Vol. 1 (Graphic novel/album)
    Written by: Robert Asprin & Lynn Abbey (adapted from the prose anthology they edited)
    Art and cover by: Tim Sale
    Letters: typeset;
    Edited by: Laurie Sutton
    Publication date: 1985 (cover date)
    Publisher: Starblaze Graphics

    Thieves’ World
    58 story pages, black and white

    Story: 8/10
    Art: 8/10
    Overall Impression: 8/10

    Synopsis: Thieves World is the story of a town called Sanctuary… (from the introduction). The Emperor of Rankin has sent his younger brother from the capital to take over as governor of Sanctuary, and the young prince is determined to clean up the den of iniquity. The prince has a small garrison of his personal guard called the Hellhounds with him. Like a drop in the pond, the emperor’s arrival causes ripples including a plot involving a magical scroll, an attempt to close down the brothels, the ruler of the city’s underworld getting a comeuppance, and the fate of a young thief named Shadowspawn.

    Commentary: This is Tim Sale’s first major work in comics. He is young, and his work is raw and unpolished. There is definitely a strong foundation there, a strong sense of storytelling, but the figurework, layouts, and setting are still very rough. Elements of his distinctive style are already apparent, but it lacks the grace and beauty of his later stuff on the Marvel “color” mini series of his Batman work.

    Aspirin and Abbey are veteran editors and prose writers, but new to comics, and their script definitely reflects that. It’s not bad, just overly wordy and reliant on the inner thoughts of characters that works well in prose fiction but is harder to pull off in comics.

    The best way I can describe Thieves’ World as a whole is that it is the setting of a sword and sorcery story without the sword-swinging protagonist. It’s a setting I can picture a Conan or Mouser interacting with easily. There is no single protagonist, it’s about the various people of the city, from Hakiem the storyteller to Jubal the lord of the criminal underworld, from Javeena a young girl disguised as a boy and servant of a scribe to Enas Yorl, the mysterious wizard. It’s what happens in all those cities when Conan and friends are off panel or out on an adventure and the politics, crime, and everyday life is still going on.

    The original anthology consisted of 12 volumes and included contributions from the likes of Poul Anderson, C.J. Cherryh, David Drake, Diane Duane, Phillip Jose Farmer, Andrew Offutt, A.E. Van Vogt and others. The graphic novels take the various short stories that use a shared sandbox, and weave them together to form an interconnected narrative tapestry. I am a fan of the prose anthologies, and I like the graphic novels. If the creators had more experience and polish working in the medium, I think I would adore these, but there is enough rough edges to keep me from wholeheartedly embracing these adaptations. They are definitely worth a read though. I only have the first three volumes of the adaptations, but am keeping an eye out for the last 3 volumes of the GN’s. The first three are collected and colored in a volume called Thieves’ World Graphics, published a year later, which can be confusing, because that title also appears on the b&w version, but the Graphics is in small lettering above the issue number on the b&w, and in a different lettering style than Thieves’ World. On the color volume, it’s all part of the same title formatting.

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  10. #85
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    Have there been many female Sword & Sorcery protagonists apart from Red Sonja? I've heard of Jirel of Joiry but haven't read any of those yet. And I've seen books by Andrew Offutt and C. J. Cherryth that look like they might qualify from the covers, but can't recall the titles or the names of their respective heroines right now. It's a wonder Michael Moorcock never came up with one to fit in with his Eternal Champion books.
    Well, Moorcock had at least one female Eternal Champion in Illian of Garathorn, whom Dorian Hawkmoon became for one book in the Chronicles of Castle Brass. But apart from Jirel, I can't think of any important S&S heroine, no. There are many more in comic-books than in prose!

    Howard's Dark Agnes could just have qualified, since she faced sorcery in one of the fragments that was adapted in Savage sword of Conan #1... but she was mostly a historical character, like Solomon Kane or Red Sonya.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roquefort Raider View Post
    Well, Moorcock had at least one female Eternal Champion in Illian of Garathorn, whom Dorian Hawkmoon became for one book in the Chronicles of Castle Brass. But apart from Jirel, I can't think of any important S&S heroine, no. There are many more in comic-books than in prose!

    Howard's Dark Agnes could just have qualified, since she faced sorcery in one of the fragments that was adapted in Savage sword of Conan #1... but she was mostly a historical character, like Solomon Kane or Red Sonya.
    I don't remember the Illian character at all, but then the Count Brass books never made much of an impression on me, even though it was one of the first things of Moorcock's I ever read. You're right- this is one area where comics seem to have out-done the prose books.

    BTW, the C. J. Cherryh series or character I was thinking of was Morgaine, and after a quick google, I see those books weren't sword and sorcery, but science fiction adventure of some kind:
    Gate of Ivrel.
    Still might be worth a look some day, though.

    There is the Sword and Sorceress anthology series edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley: anyone ever read any of those? I liked the concept, but the covers never appealed to me much, so I never did get round to trying it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    I don't remember the Illian character at all, but then the Count Brass books never made much of an impression on me, even though it was one of the first things of Moorcock's I ever read. You're right- this is one area where comics seem to have out-done the prose books.

    BTW, the C. J. Cherryh series or character I was thinking of was Morgaine, and after a quick google, I see those books weren't sword and sorcery, but science fiction adventure of some kind:
    Gate of Ivrel.

    Still might be worth a look some day, though.

    There is the Sword and Sorceress anthology series edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley: anyone ever read any of those? I liked the concept, but the covers never appealed to me much, so I never did get round to trying it.
    I haven't read Gates of Ivrel, but I do have a graphic novel adaptation of it on my shelf-I think by Starblaze Graphics but I would have to double check.

    I had forgotten about the Sword and Sorceress anthology when posting. My wife has more than a dozen volumes of it on her fantasy bookshelves, I have yet to crack any of them open (I have enough unread stuff on my own shelves here), but have flipped through them in the past, looking at tables of contents and such, and they do look interesting.

    As a side note to modern comics-I read the debut of the New52 version of Stalker in Sword of Sorcery #4 last night. Sword and Sorcery fans shouldn't bother-it's not a sword and sorcery tale any longer. The only thing it has in common with the previous Levitz/Ditko/Wood Stalker is that it is a character with curly black hair who wears greenish clothes, has no soul and likes to fight. No alternate world, now a semi-historical figure who struck a deal selling his soul to save his pregnant wife form the Black Death and cursed to wander until he fills his debt to the devil, if gave this origin and then a montage bringing Stalker to modern times where he works as a hitman for hire until the devil calls in his marker at the end of the first story. Utter train-wreck of a concept and update of the original series in a poorly executed story. Now I liked the Beowulf update into a post-Apocalyptic tale (though that take had been done before in a 1999 movie starring Christopher Lambert of Highlander fame-but it was done better in the comic), and I generally like the Amethyst revamp for what it is, but the Stalker revamp is just bad. If I were grading it on my normal scale it would be story 3/10, art 6/10 overall 3/10. The art was competent if ugly, and did nothing to improve the negative impression of the story. Ugh!

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  13. #88

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    MRP, just wondering if you have/read Thane of Baggarth, and if so if it will be included. Had a random 2 issue run in the mid 80's when Charlton was in it's death throwes, but had quite a few appearances in their 70's Hercules title. Always liked the character myself, though admittedly not done very well at Charlton, but given the dearth of titles in this arena thought I would make mention of it.

  14. #89
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Montana View Post
    MRP, just wondering if you have/read Thane of Baggarth, and if so if it will be included. Had a random 2 issue run in the mid 80's when Charlton was in it's death throwes, but had quite a few appearances in their 70's Hercules title. Always liked the character myself, though admittedly not done very well at Charlton, but given the dearth of titles in this arena thought I would make mention of it.

    I've am actually not familiar with that character/feature. My experience with Charlton as a kid was limited to the Modern Comics reprints that came in 3 packs that I got as stocking stuffers and the random issues of Emergency or Six Million Dollar Man that I got off spinner racks as a kid. I am just starting to explore Charlton titles now some 30+ years later (as well as Atlas and Gold Key-Dagar just went on my radar recently for example), so I will keep an eye out for these. If I run across any, I will certainly include them in the reviews, but right now, they are not on the horizon in this thread.

    What is on the horizon-unless something changes in the next few weeks is vol. 2 and 3 of Thieves' World, the 6 issue Beowulf series from DC, the paperback version of Blackmark from Gil Kane (from Ballantine I think, maybe Tempo, have to check), and then the 12 issues of Claw the Unconquered from DC in the 70s. After that it will depend on what I pull from my boxes or find on my shelves next.

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  15. #90
    Senior Member Polar Bear's Avatar
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    Dagar the Invincible? Amethyst?
    Anyway, it is cool for you to acquire acrimony of crumbling time on blast this website.
    --best spam ever

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