Author Archives: Jim Zub

Zubby Newsletter #27: Sprinting to Slow Down

Cascading deadlines, teaching, and conventions. It’s a whole lot right now. Stacy warned me I shouldn’t “fill every box on the calendar like Tetris” and, surprising no one, she was right.

I got back from Edmonton after midnight on Sunday and I’m feeling pretty tired after a day of email catch-up and administrative everything. The To-Do List will get done bit by bit, just like it always does, but this current pace, as fun as it can be at times, is also not sustainable. I definitely need to calm things down a bit in the months ahead.

How About a Turtle?

Kind little old lady at the Edmonton Expo –

“I don’t read any of these action books, but I do collect things with turtles on them. Will you draw a turtle for me?”


Steel Souls

Major Spoilers has preview pages up for CONAN THE BARBARIAN #3, in stores Wednesday, September 27th.

I received my print comps late last week and it’s another stunner. The team is absolutely roaring at this point. No other way to put it. In this issue – Our big villain is revealed and souls are stirred. Can’t wait for all of you to see it.

The Conan fandom has been coming out in force to my convention appearances since the launch and it’s been incredible to meet them in person and talk about how much these stories and this world means to them. Their excitement reminds me why we’re working so hard.

The solicits and covers for CONAN THE BARBARIAN #6 were also released last week. Jaw dropping cover art from Jae Lee, Pat Zircher, Dan Panosian, and Joey Spiotto.

Doug Braithwaite is drawing our second story arc, a tragic and brutal caper that takes place after the classic Robert E. Howard tale Queen of the Black Coast, and he’s delivering career-defining pages of stirring emotion and gut-wrenching violence. The 4-part story is called Thrice Marked For Death and, if I may be so bold, you are not prepared for what gets unleashed here.

Rob De La Torre has already begun work on pages for our third story arc (title still under wraps for now), so my inbox is an endless parade of the best damn sword & sorcery art I could imagine. It’s humbling to have these two titans drawing stories I’ve written and then have colorists like José Villarrubia, Dean White, and Diego Rodriguez enhance every panel before the legendary Richard Starkings pulls it all together with the best lettering in the business. What a dream.

What Was I Made For?

I finally had a chance to watch Barbie. Stacy saw it in theaters, but with my crazy summer schedule I missed out until the recent digital release.

I was impressed. Every time I thought the film was going to tip into being too much – too corny, too preachy, too self congratulatory – it managed keep things moving instead of getting bogged down. It’s peppy and ridiculous right up until it’s not and the ending was more poignant than I expected.

I can see why Barbie conquered the box office this summer, but it’s also mind-boggling to me that Mattel or WB think they’re going to franchise build from here. If they think they can reproduce that success with sequels or other toy brands in their empire, I think they’ll be sorely disappointed. It feels like a film that should just be, not the beginning of a Mattel-verse of films or whatever.

Or maybe I’m wrong and the Hot Wheels movie will deftly critique car pollution and racing culture while Polly Pocket encourages us to embrace a future of tiny houses off the grid. 😉

Links and Other Things

Okay, that should cover it this time. Have a great week!

Zub at Edmonton Expo 2023

I’ve been a regular at the Calgary Fan Expo convention for many years, but 2023 is my first time attending the Edmonton Expo. I’ll be set up with the Comic Sketch Art team, at


We’ll have first print copies of Conan the Barbarian #1, including the CSA-exclusive variant illustrated by Dan Panosian, as long as copies last, along with other single issues, variants, trades, and a few sketch covers.

In addition to signing at my table, I’ll be on a pair of panels over the weekend:

FRIDAY, SEPT 15, 2023
6:00pm – Comic Writers Roundtable – Location: Room 107 Comics Theatre
Join us to see Zeb Wells, Jeremy Adams and Jim Zub discuss their approach to writing comics, the industry, and what it means to be creative.
SUNDAY, SEPT 17, 2023
1:00pm – Exploring the World of Conan – Location: Room 107 Comics Theatre
Robert E. Howard’s most popular Cimmerian warrior Conan has been featured in books, comics, movies video games, and other media for over 90 years. Conan the Barbarian writer Jim Zub discusses this legendary character and his ongoing plans for the comic series.

Conan the Barbarian #5 Arrives in November

Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Colorist: Diego Rodriguez
Publisher: Heroic Signatures and Titan Comics
FC, SC, 32pp, $3.99
On Sale: November 22,2023

After adventures on the high seas, CONAN returns to shore to find himself haunted by his memories of BELIT, captain of the Tigress and Queen of the Black Coast. Can a high-stakes heist draw out of his tortured past, or will it plunge him deeper into the chaos that has always been waiting for him?

COVER A: Roberto De La Torre
COVER B: Mike Deodato
COVER C: Pat Zircher
COVER D: Liam Sharp
COVER E: Rebecca Puebla

Zubby Newsletter #26: Back to School

Hanging with movie-style Thulsa Doom in Atlanta.

After back-to-back four-day conventions, Fan Expo Canada in Toronto and Dragon Con in Atlanta, I immediately rocketed into the Fall term at Seneca. It’s my 19th year teaching in Seneca’s Animation program and the consistency of that schedule, semester after semester and year after year, creates a season-centric structure I enjoy. Each Fall there’s a brand-new set of students stepping into the program, bringing their enthusiasm and energy into the wing, reminding us why we do this and why it’s so satisfying.

At least a half-dozen current professors in the Animation program are also alumni, former students I taught many years ago, which feels extra-surreal even while my heart swells with pride that they’re back with us and excited to bring their knowledge and skills into the classroom to teach a new generation of animators, storytellers, and designers how it’s done.

I don’t talk a heck of a lot about my teaching career in interviews or other comic book press because most of that time gets spent promoting current projects or talking about the writing process. I also don’t talk a heck of a lot about my creative projects in the classroom. It’s not because I’m trying to hide it or anything, it’s just that my job at the college is focused on teaching  structural drawing (usually perspective drawing and environmental design) or film development (helping final year students put together their story pitches and film production teams), not promoting my work. The students pay tuition to learn specific skills, not be advertised to. Don’t get me wrong, when I have an anecdote or reference material that’s relevant I’m happy include it, I just try to make sure it’s appropriate to the lesson we’re covering or is after we’ve covered the school-centric lecture first.

Back on campus at York University, home of Seneca@York.

The start of the 2023 Fall term feels familiar, but in a way that’s far more reminiscent of 2019 than recent years of pandemic and transition. The halls and classrooms are once again packed with students just like the packed aisles of the comic conventions I’ve been attending all summer. Things aren’t 100% ‘normal’, but they feel closer now than at any other time in the past four years.

At one point on Tuesday there were so many new students chatting with each other, excitedly talking about movies, games, and comics before class that I had to use the authoritative “Okay, gang. Let’s calm down and get class started!” voice I haven’t used in years. The chatter was intense, but also oddly comforting compared to tiny Zoom postage stamp screens with muted mics and half the cameras turned off. I can hold my own in a loud room and it energizes me a heck of a lot more than the eerie silence of remote learning.

Two years ago, I had to complete a “Faculty Portfolio” that organized my thoughts and approach to teaching so the college would have access to it for future instructors. Here’s a small excerpt from that portfolio write-up:

Teamwork and community fulfill important roles in the animation industry. Very few animated productions are created by individuals working in complete isolation. Almost every production is the result of a robust team coming together to build films through a production pipeline – concept and story development, visual development, character and environmental design, storyboarding, rough animation, final animation, editing, compositing, and postproduction.

I strongly believe that even though students will choose one or two of these areas to focus their skills and portfolio when they graduate, they need to understand the holistic whole of how a production works, not only to make an informed choice about their future career path but also to better support people in other departments.

In a similar respect, I work to create a strong sense of community with students to remind them that their peers in the classroom will similarly become their peers out in the industry and that having a productive and positive environment in both areas will be needed for success.

Individual achievement is important, of course, but just as important is a shared learning environment.

respectfulencouraging, and engaging classroom is the ideal I strive for.

Creative Development

Most assignments in the Animation program are focused on deliverables – concreate drawing or animation output that demonstrates application of theory covered in the lectures. Discussion is valuable, but skill building through demonstration is how students internalize the learning process, taking these lessons from theoretical practices to instinctive approaches that become a regular part of their creative toolkit.

That said, teaching students any specific drawing method can easily lead to them not wanting to deviate from what they’re shown for fear of doing it ‘wrong’. Templates and demonstrations can feel like strict limits that funnel students toward an extremely homogenized output that has a veneer of learning but doesn’t encourage them to apply those theories outside of the confines of the assignment.

With that in mind, I try to give wider ranging ‘themes’ for assignments and show copious examples of student work that deviates from my demonstration, so students understand that they need to bring their own creativity into the mix.

Professional Examples

As mentioned previously, I’ve kept up with my freelance work while teaching at Seneca, which provides two types of professional examples in my classroom environment:

Quality: Students see exactly what is required on high profile projects working with intellectual properties they recognize and admire. The theory we cover in the classroom is directly linked to the deliverables I show in my own professional work.

Organization: The frenetic pace of the entertainment industry is reflected in my own work and travel schedule. When students see that I maintain a series of cascading project deadlines and industry events alongside teaching and grading expectations in the classroom, it gives them a greater appreciation for the organization and communication required to keep up that pace. I try to be as open and honest as I can about the highs and lows of it all – the pride I have in my work and respect I have for my collaborators along with the stresses that come from ongoing projects with a variety of clients.

Storytelling and Setbacks

Character and storytelling are fundamental to what we teach in Seneca’s Animation program, but also central to how we learn from each other and contextualize information. Reinforcing the theories covered in my lectures with stories – a quick joke, an aside, or an industry anecdote – has a huge effect on the way students engage with and remember the material covered. It makes the entire teaching process more personable, engaging, and meaningful.

This same concept works for both success and failure. When I’m honest with my students about struggles I had in school or if I discuss common pitfalls I have experienced in the industry, it humanizes the learning process and reminds them that it’s okay to make mistakes. What’s most important is the ability to keep going and keep trying rather than give up on a problem that in the moment seems insurmountable.

Professionalism and best practices must show a full range of experiences and include setbacks as well as successes. Yes, meeting deadlines and delivering on all fronts is what we should strive for, but even out in the industry there are times when schedules slip and situations spin out of everyone’s control. Normalizing those problems, stressing the importance of keeping communication going throughout, and showcasing that success can be found on the other side gives students more confidence to overcome issues that come up during their creative development.

As much as most of the above may seem obvious, in practice in the actual classroom it can be quite different. I’ve met quite a few people who are extremely skilled in terms of drawing ability and have extensive production experience but were unable to communicate most of that effectively to a class or mentor and encourage their students. Raw skill and experience are crucial components in teaching, but far from the complete package.

Links and Other Things

Since we’re on a roll this time talking about teaching art and animation, here are some rock-solid resources for drawing and art you can add to your reference pool-

  • I just discovered that Francis Manapul has a YouTube channel jam-packed with great material. He covers art techniques and career advice in a really appealing and effective way.
  • I’ve mentioned them before, but the Etherington Brothers have one of the most eclectic and useful art blogs on the internet. Their pool of drawing advice is vast and they’re always updating with new lessons.
  • The Proko team has some of the highest quality and most consistently professional art training advice you can find online. I worked with them on their recent Marvel Storytelling courses, but beyond that you can also find hundreds of other great free or paid resources on their site.
  • Another site I’ve mentioned previously is Love Life Drawing – their videos are brimming with classic art training tips that will change the way you visualize the human form.
  • Speaking of Life Drawing, my figure drawing instructor Werner Zimmermann is on Instagram right HERE.
  • VZA has a slew of great close-up videos where you can watch professional artists draw. Analyzing how artists make marks on the page can bolster your understanding of tool control and technique.

Okay, that should cover things this week. I hope September looks bright where you are!

Conan the Barbarian #2 (2023) Reviews

The second issue of the relaunched Conan the Barbarian comic series from Heroic Signatures and Titan Comics arrived in comic shops last week. What did reviewers think of Bound In Black Stone Part 2? Read on and find out- “Jim Zub, Roberto De La Torre, Dean White, and Richard Starkings have a vision for Titan’s Conan the Barbarian series, and as long as they’re enacting it, I’ll be reading. If you’re a sword and sorcery fan, grab the first two issues of Titan’s Conan the Barbarian and thank me later.”

Comic Book Dispatch: 8.4/10 ” Conan’s mane, mien, and muscles convey a majesty that bespeaks his Marvel years. Brissa belongs at Conan’s side. The eyes of the undead glow, and their jaws drop open when they spot their quarry. Battles sing as steel sweeps through the air”

Comic Book Philosophers: “I frickin’ love this book. I’m not typically a sword and sorcery or Conan fan but two issues in, I’m engaged, I’m enthralled. Jim Zub knows exactly what he’s doing with this character and this world.”

Comic Book University: “This book is absurdly good…Great art, incredible story, fantastic plot, great character interactions, and a story that’s a page turner like a mo-fo.”

Comic Crusaders: 10/10 “This is an absolute recommendation as Conan the Barbarian fully delivers for comic book fans!”

Comical Opinions: 9.5/10 “Conan the Barbarian #2 delivers brooding, powerful drama, passion, and violence in equal measure to signal Conan’s return to form. The mystery surrounding the Lost Tribe continues to build intrigue, Conan’s character and the atmosphere surrounding him are spot-on, and the art is perfect.” 10/10 “I thought it would be a cold day in the pits of the damned before I was delighted by Conan’s work more than the Dark Horse books delighted me, but this team is conjuring up some powerful visuals that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the fan favorites of yesteryear.”

Cosmic Times: “I cannot say enough good things about the art and story in this new Conan comic!”

Evil’s Comics: “I am loving this book – the way it’s written, the way it’s drawn, the lettering, the coloring.”

Gary B the Casual Comic Guy: “This feels like the perfect mesh between Conan the Barbarian from the ’70’s and the Savage Sword of Conan…a perfect storm of a team on this book.”

Grimdark Magazine: “This consistency with the classic artwork is appreciated. While the characters and fight scenes take center stage, De La Torre’s art also does a quietly effective job showcasing the rugged wilderness of Cimmeria.”

Hither Came Conan: “The first one was great but this took it up to a new level. It just has me even more excited to see what happens next…This is everything that I’ve wanted in a Conan book.”

JDA Talks Comics: 9.5/10 “I love that the art is done in the old school style…Rob De La Torre is crushing it on the art.”

League of Comic Geeks: “it just feels so perfectly crafted on so many levels. All the elements work together beautifully to create the finished piece. Great pacing of the story, I didn’t feel bored for one minute, in spite of there being some potentially slow parts of the plot. “

Major Spoilers: 9/10 “OMG. This art is fantastic…I loved this book! I thought it was a lot of fun and I thought the story was interesting. I’m glad Titan Comics isn’t holding back.”

Negromancer: “Jim Zub has composed the best-written Conan comic book that I have read in probably a decade…At this rate, de la Torre will soon be in the pantheon of great Conan comic book artists and storytellers right next to Buscema, Barry Windsor-Smith, and Tómas Giorello, to name a few.”

Pop Culture Maven: “The biggest win for this issue is that it really feels like Conan, and that’s the key.”

Rough Edges: “Jim Zub’s script is very good, striking a perfect balance between dialogue and captions…Rob de la Torre’s art continues to be fantastic. His storytelling and attention to detail are excellent.”

Scifi Pulse: “Roberto De la Torre continues to deliver stunning visuals for this second issue…A solid second issue that leaves you wanting more.”

Scoop: “another sterling read, one that reminds of how great not only Conan comics, but comics in general can be. The storytelling is several notches (or perhaps light years) beyond many comics on the market today.”

Set The Tape: 10/10 “issue #2 builds on and develops a very solid base into a comic that is a genuine page turner as you join our heroes trying to find out what’s happening now and what will happen next. As this series picks up speed, it really is almost thrilling waiting for the next instalment.”

Stygian Dogs: “Its sensuality, the gore, the intense blast of the supernatural and the promise of future mystery, this story is wonderful and thoroughly satisfying…There is so much of quality in this book.”

Superpowered Fancast: 9.4/10 “Zub crafts a brilliantly bloody and engaging adventure in this issue. The story is filled with suspense, thrills and world building that makes the plight of the characters more compelling. De La Torre offers some breathtaking and stunning art throughout the issue. The visuals are perfect for this character and deliver you into his world with style.”

Tennessee Fats: “Art-wise, fantastic. Writing-wise, this one really showcases some of the strengths within the artist and in the writer as an individual carrying the story forward to you.”

Thinking Critical: “If you love unfiltered Conan. If you love people fighting. If you love a human being at their bare essence…this issue packed one hell of a punch.”

Todd Luck: “It just really hits you in the face that this is what Conan should look like, and it’s really fantastic.”

Wakazashi’s Teahouse: 8.5/10 “It’s storytelling with an edge, a kick, a bit of sensuality and sexuality as well as this intriguing mystery. That’s what I want. “

We Have Issues: “I love this new creative direction…The art is perfectly suited for this kind of story.”

Zubby Newsletter #25: Finding My Fortune

Dungeons & Dragons has had a bevvy of amazing campaign settings over the past 49 years and I have a deep amount nostalgia wound up in GreyhawkRavenloft, and Mystara, but Planescape holds an extra-special spot in my heart.

Years after I’d stepped away from D&D and was playing a slew of other tabletop RPGs with my high school gaming group, Planescape’s whimsical ‘anything goes’ swagger, interdimensional scope, and Tony DiTerlizzi’s unbelievably appealing and engaging art pulled me back in right from the start. I was amazed at how confidently it married roleplay-heavy moral conflict and strange factions with D&D’s existing dungeon delves and dimensional doors.

Tony DiTerlizzi’s Planescape artwork still blows my mind.

I have an almost complete collection of original AD&D 2nd Edition Planescape books here in my studio. I’m currently only missing two: The Inner Planes sourcebook and A Player’s Primer to the Outlands set.

*sigh* Some day I’ll get ‘em all…

Having my wild mage Delina travel to Mechanus in Evil at Baldur’s Gate #3 back in 2018 was a way to scratch a bit of that Planescape itch, but what I really wanted was for Wizards of the Coast to announce a full blown return to greatness for 5th Edition D&D so I could justify pitching a Planescape-focused comic mini-series and go bone deep into what I love about the setting and its distinctive and dangerous potential.

Evil at Baldur’s Gate #3 cover art by Max Dunbar

Last year, the D&D crew teased Planescape’s return, and now-

The Planescape – Adventures in the Multiverse 5th edition D&D game set arrives in stores mid-October and, now I can excitedly reveal, that DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: FORTUNE FINDER, a brand new Planescape IDW D&D comic mini-series will launch one month later on November 15th!!

As you might imagine, I am ecstatic.

Here’s the main cover and solicit info for our first issue:

Fortune Finder #1 cover art by Max Dunbar and Sebastian Cheng.

Story: Jim Zub
Line Art: Joe Jaro
Colors: Adam Guzowski
Cover Artists: Max Dunbar, Joe Jaro

In the city of Sigil, an amnesiac hero known only as “Finder” tries to uncover who they are and why they’re being chased by planar beings intent on capturing them-or worse. But as their tumultuous journey unfolds, they discover that their fate is tied to grand forces that dictate reality itself throughout the planes!

A shocking surprise lurks around every corner in Fortune Finder, a miniseries inspired by the new Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse.

In Shops: Nov 15th, 2023 SRP: $3.99

If you haven’t read any of the previous D&D comics (you really should), don’t worry, Fortune Finder is completely new reader friendly and self-contained with new characters and an eccentric twisting story that hits the ground running on the very first page and does not quit.

Artist Joe Jaro is drawing Sigil, the Outlands and other distinctive multi-versal locales with confident grace and his characters are wonderfully expressive. This is the Planescape comic I’ve been wanting to unleash for a long, long time and I hope you’ll join us!

Such a Damn Sellout

Minutes after I sent my previous newsletter that included news about Conan the Barbarian #2 needing a second printing before it even arrived in stores, Titan announced that Conan the Barbarian #1 would be heading to a special third printing less than a month after our launch.

It’s staggering and wonderful. Thank you for supporting us on this new era of High Adventure!

(And if you haven’t seen what all the excitement is about, you can read our Free Comic Book Day prelude issue online for FREE right HERE.)

How Many Conventions?

When people ask me how many comic/gaming/video game/animation conventions I’ve been to, I say “at least 100, maybe 150”. Last week, out of curiosity, I did a proper count using photos I’ve taken over the years (I can’t think of a show where I don’t have at least one photo).

So, what was the count?

*Drumroll please*

Fan Expo Canada 2023 in Toronto was show #174!

I started attending convention in 2002, so that’s an average of just over 8 shows per year (and I have a few more this Fall, so that average will pop up slightly).

Conan the Barbarian: Bound in Black Stone

Near Mint Condition has the scoop on our first Conan the Barbarian trade paperback collection, arriving February 2024.

The trade collection of Conan the Barbarian #1-4 and our Free Comic Book Day prelude is going to be a beauty, but our single issues will continue to be the complete Hyborian experience, with Robert E. Howard-centric essays by Jeff Shanks and Chain Mail, our bold and barbaric letters page.

Links and Other Things

• Cats Don’t Dance is coming to Blu-Ray in late September. This is one of the finest animated feature films most people, even animation fans, haven’t heard of. It’s directed by Mark Dindal, who brought a similar level of energy and spark to The Emperor’s New Groove.

• Cybersix is finally coming to Blu-ray in October. My buddy Derek and I are big fans of this animated series originally released in 1999 based on an Argentine comic strip. Some great animation, especially for TV at the time.

• Baldur’s Gate III is absolutely crushing it. I’ve barely had a chance to play with my current work and show schedule, but I thought the early access version was worth its pre-order price and it’s waa~aay more polished and refined now. So amazing.

Okay, that’ll cover it for this week.

Zub at Dragon Con 2023!

It’s been a loo~oong time since I last attended DRAGON CON in Atlanta, Georgia. My entire comic writing career, including a whole swack of sword & sorcery work on Dungeons & Dragons, Conan the Barbarian, Pathfinder, Samurai Jack, and Skullkickers has come out since I was last there. Finally, after 18 years away, I’m back in 2023!

I’ll be set up with the Comic Sketch Art team, at


We’ll have first print copies of Conan the Barbarian #1, including the CSA-exclusive variant illustrated by Dan Panosian, as long as copies last, along with other single issues, variants, trades, and a few sketch covers.

In addition to signing at my table, I’ll be on four panels over the weekend:

FRIDAY, SEPT 1, 2023
1:00pm – Image Comics: The Place for Creator-Owned Comics – Location: 204I Mart2
Image Comics could be called the most popular publisher of independent comics and a publisher of choice for a majority of today’s comics creators. We talk to Image Comics creators about their highly popular titles.
Panelists: Chuck Brown, Chris Cowan, Sanford Greene, Jae Lee, Kyle Starks, Emma Kubert, Jim Zub

5:30pm – The Comic Writer’s Room Discussion and Q&A – Location: Cent. I Hyatt
What inspires writers to come up with fan favorite comics? We ask comic writers how they approach their craft. Audience Q&A
Panelists: Lan Pitts, Andrew Aydin, Jim Zub, Tini Howard, Paul Jenkins, Nicole Maines

1:00pm – Conan the Barbarian in Comics & Art – Location: 204I Mart2
Robert E. Howard’s most popular Cimmerian warrior Conan has been featured in some amazing comics and art over the years. Joining us are writers and artists from Conan titles with different publishers and the storyboard artist for the motion picture.
Panelists: Jim Zub, Cary Nord, William Stout, Van Allen Plexico

4:00pm – Dynamite Comics’ Female Warriors: Red Sonja & Dejah Thoris – Location: 204J Mart2
Two fierce female warriors that fans of exciting pulp adventure can’t get enough of are Red Sonja and Dejah Thoris. One is the red-haired champion of the Hyborian Age – the other is the reddish-skinned princess of Mars. We talk to Dynamite Comics creators about the enduring appeal of these two.
Panelists: Mark Russell, Jamie Tyndall, Chuck Brown, Erik Burnham, Jim Zub, Tony Barletta

Zubby Newsletter #24: Common Critique

The always amazing Steve Lieber put together an extremely helpful list of 12 common comic art portfolio critiques and asked if any comic writer wanted to do the same kind of thing, so I picked up the baton and ran with it.

(Of course, Zdarsky’s version is probably the most realistic out of the three of us…)

Read, learn, and if you like it, feel free to share far and wide.

Creatures Collected, Bigger Than Ever

The D&D Young Adventurer’s Monsters & Creatures Compendium just arrived in stores on August 22nd. It’s a larger trim size collection of creature content (with some text updates) from all of the released D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides so far. Perfect for libraries and game clubs, it also makes a great gift for the new gamer or Dungeon Master in your life.

A 248 page full color hardcover for only $24.99 USD!

Apparently I am a Sellout

I received the incredible news that you have done it AGAIN – one week before release and reorders for CONAN THE BARBARIAN #2 blew way past the deep overprint Titan Comics put together!

Conan #2 second print, in stores September 27th, will have a cover by Ravaging Rob De La Torre (or you can snag a ferocious first print copy when it hits shelves next week like a thunderclap) 😉 .

This launch has been the biggest of my career so far and so much of that has been thanks to the enthusiasm of readers, reviewers, and retailers. THANK YOU for your support. It means a lot.

Forbidden Planet TG

Conan editor Matt Murray and I had a wonderful chat with Andrew Sumner at Forbidden Planet TV all about our creative careers, our favorite Cimmerian, cataclysmic comic creation, and other curiosities! Give it a watch-

A Savage Livestream

A few nights ago, Richard Pace did a Conan the Barbarian sketch cover livestream and it turned out great.

Richard and I are currently collaborating on a brutal story for the new Savage Sword of Conan series launching in 2024. Can’t wait for you to see what we’re cooking up.

Garlic Lemon Salmon Pasta

I put together a tasty pasta dish on Sunday using ingredients and techniques from a couple other recipes to make it my own. It feels so good to be able to confidently choose ingredients and experiment rather than feeling like I have to strictly follow a recipe in order to get good results.

I usually eat quite quickly, so I know a dish works well when Stacy wolfs it down just as fast as I do. She just kept digging in and saying “Goddamn, this is good.”

Ingredients (two servings)

  • 10-14 ounces of salmon, skin off
  • 4 Tbsp butter (2 for the sauce, 2 for the fish fry)
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup grated old cheddar
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • half a lemon
  • pasta of your choice
  • dill, parsley, basil, kosher salt, pepper, other spices of your choice
  1. Start up a large pot of boiling water and salt it well.
  2. Chop up the garlic, dill, and parsley. Grate the cheese.
  3. Make sure there are no bones in the salmon and cut it into bite-size pieces with a sharp knife.
  4. If you’ve never made a roux (which will become a cheesy mornay sauce) before, it’s surprisingly simple – in a sauté pan, large frying pan or medium pot set to medium heat – melt half the butter and then add the flour, whisking it together (if you’re using a non-stick pan use a plastic whisk/spoon so you don’t scratch the coating) until it’s a paste that’s not liquid or powdery at all.

    (If you want an even more flavorful version of this sauce, you can use meat drippings/lard instead of regular butter. Just about any 1:1 fat to flour combination should work.)

  5. Slowly drizzle in the cream and keep whisking. You want to whisk out any lumps and you’ll soon see it start to thicken up beautifully. Turn the heat down to medium-low and then add in the grated cheddar so it melts and incorporates. If the sauce starts to thicken too quickly, add a bit of water and keep stirring/whisking. You actually want the sauce to be quite liquid at this stage because it’ll thicken up once it interacts with starch from the cooked pasta.
  6. Add dill, parsley, pepper, salt and any other spices you want to the sauce, to your personal taste.
  7. Start the pasta boiling, setting an alarm for when it will be al dente.
  8. In a separate frying pan, add the rest of the butter to a hot pan and then add the salmon pieces and chopped up garlic. It will fry up quite quickly, you just want to cook the outside and give the fish a bit of color. Don’t worry about cooking pieces all the way through in the pan since they’ll be added to the sauce and will keep cooking there.
  9. Add the fried fish, garlic and butter to the mornay sauce and stir.
  10. Once your pasta is done cooking, it’s go-time.
  11. Right before you plate the dish, add the zest and juice from the half lemon to your sauce (being careful not to let any lemon seeds drop in) and stir. This gives the sauce a wonderful bright finishing flavor. If your sauce has thickened up too much, scoop a bit of water from the boiling pasta pot to add it to the sauce and it’ll liquify again.
  12. Plate the pasta, add the sauce, and then garnish with parmesan cheese, some fresh cracked black pepper, and a basil leaf.
  13. Take that classy food photo and eaaat!

    Links and Other Things

    The BAM Animation duo have put together an incredible pair of tutorials on drawing and digitally coloring animation backgrounds. So much good advice, the same kinds of theories and tips I teach my Seneca students each year, jam-packed into these two videos with solid examples. Even if you’re a working pro you will probably find some useful tips and working methodologies here.

    That should cover things for this week.


Zub at Fan Expo Canada 2023

This week is Canada’s biggest pop culture convention, Fan Expo Canada!, August 24-27, 2023.
I’ll be set up with the Comic Sketch Art team, at


We’ll have first print copies of Conan the Barbarian #1, including the CSA-exclusive variant illustrated by Dan Panosian, as long as copies last, along with other single issues, variants, trades, and a few sketch covers.

In addition to signing at my table, I’ll be on a panel on Friday and a livestream sketch session on Saturday:

2:15pm in THEATRE #7: COMICS [South Building – level 700, room 713 AB]
Join us to see Tate Brombal (House of Slaughter), Stephanie Cooke (ParaNorthern), Anthony Falcone (The Great Comic Caper), Fred Kennedy (Dead Romans), Anthony Ruttgaizer (Heroes of Homeroom C), and Jim Zub (Conan the Barbarian) discuss their approach to writing comics, the industry, and what it means to be creative.

6:30pm online
Jim Zub (Conan the Barbarian, Dungeons & Dragons, Rick and Morty VS D&D) discusses his latest comic projects and sketches Rick and Morty characters live on stream (STREAM LINK) while sketch covers and signed variants are auctioned. Ask questions and get a convention collectible from the Fan Expo show floor, wherever you are.

Conan the Barbarian #4 Arrives in October

Writer: Jim Zub
Artists: Roberto De La Torre, Dean White
Publishers: Heroic Signatures & Titan Comics
FC, 32pp, $3.99, October 25, 2023

Years after the battle of Venarium, a weary CONAN returns to his homeland to seek rest and solitude. However, a mysterious scout rides in to warn the Cimmerians of an imminent threat on the march from the Pictish wilderness. Will CONAN and his new ally be able to hold off this new horde of invaders?

COVER A: Roberto De La Torre
COVER B: Giada Marchisio
COVER C: Nick Percival
COVER D: Cary Nord