Author Archives: Jim Zub - Page 4

Zubby Newsletter #53: Marching Onward


Quite a whirlwind this week trying to get caught up on emails and work after Seattle and prepping for my road trip next week to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for back-to-back gaming events with Founders & Legends and Gary Con, celebrating 50 years of Dungeons & Dragons and TTRPGs. If you’ll be at either convention, let me know. I won’t have a booth or table, I’m there to run and play some games, do a few panels and interviews, and otherwise hang out with friends and enjoy. That said, if you have any of my books, feel free to bring them to either event as I’m happy to sign them.

While I was away last week I received notification that my YouTube channel finally reached the threshold for the YouTube Partner Program (ie. I will start receiving a portion of ad revenue generated from video views), which was nice. I haven’t had time to post many videos lately, but past ones about art and writing continue to get traffic. Here are some for you to check out if you’ve never seen them before. Watch and share:

Making Comics – Dialogue Order and Page Thumbnails
Making Comics – Outlining Your Story
Making Comics – Page Turns and Pacing
Making Comics – The Power of Short Stories
Making Comics – Writing Conan the Barbarian


Coffee & Heroes – Part 2


Speaking of YouTube, a few weeks ago, I had a wonderful time talking with the owners of Coffee & Heroes in Ireland all about my career in comics. It was a great chat and covered so much ground that they’ve split it into 3 parts.

Here’s part 2, where we cover omnibuses, Rick and Morty VS Dungeons & Dragons, Thunderbolts, Avengers: No Surrender, Al Ewing’s Immortal Hulk pitch, Avengers: No Road Home, the zen of Chip Zdarsky, and more!

(And here’s Part 1, if you missed it.)


Conan Noodles


UDON Entertainment is now offering an exclusive variant cover for CONAN THE BARBARIAN #9, the first issue of The Age Unconquered, our epic third story arc. Cover artist Ickpot has taken an anime approach to the Hyborian Age and it’s a pretty fun fusion of styles. Get your pre-order in before they’re gone.


The End That Was A Beginning


Over on my Patreon– The full scripts for CONAN THE BARBARIAN #24 + 25, the final issues I wrote on the previous run before the Titan relaunch.

There are now over 300 scripts in my Patreon archive, available for the price of a fancy coffee.


Current + Upcoming Releases

Upcoming Appearances

March 16-18, 2024 Founders & Legends Lake Geneva, WI, USA
March 21-24, 2024 Gary Con Lake Geneva, WI, USA
April 25-28, 2024 Calgary Expo Calgary, AB, Canada
June 7-8, 2024 Howard Days Cross Plains, TX, USA
August 1-4, 2024 Gen Con Indy Indianapolis, IN, USA


Links and Other Things


• On Valentine’s Day I cooked the best steak of my life, a medium-rare dry-aged rib eye that Stacy and I could not get enough of. The cooking technique I used is called a Reverse Sear and, if you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend it! J. Kenji Lopez does a great job covering the process here.

Brian Lagerstrom‘s cooking channel is great in general, but his new video with Easy Techniques to Make You a Better Cook is extra sharp, a solid summary of useful techniques I’ve incorporated into my cooking approach over the past few years.

Todd Klein has posted up his entire Art and History of Lettering book on his site and, if you’re a fan of comics or a creator looking to enhance your knowledge about the medium this will absolutely hit the spot.

NASA has created their own tabletop RPG adventure? Seriously…check out The Lost Universe on the NASA website. It’s absolutely free.

Jim

Zubby Newsletter #52: A Sparkling Emerald

This young warrior’s name is Conan! He’s not quite ready for Venarium,
but I’m sure he’ll get his first sword soon.

This past weekend was Emerald City Comic Con, my first convention of 2024, and it was an incredible experience. ECCC is usually a sharp show, with excited comic fans aplenty and a solid guest list of professional pals, but this year had more sparkle than usual.

At New York Comic-Con back in October I had a few old school Conan the Barbarian fans come to my table to tell me how much they were enjoying the new series. This time, with 5 more issues and the first trade paperback released and months of good word of mouth across the industry, it was a steady stream of readers, many of them collectors from the 1970’s, lining up in front of my table with praise and hearty handshakes as we talked about everyone’s favorite Cimmerian and the incredible artwork Rob De La Torre and Doug Braithwaite are unleashing each issue. In addition to longtime fans, there were plenty of new readers too, many who said they had wanted to check out Conan for years but didn’t know where to start. The new series grabbed their attention and now they were looking at back issues and collections to dig in even more.

It was an intense and heartfelt experience and it kept happening in person over and over, every day of the show, while at the same time my social media was blowing up with photos, compliments, and strong reviews for Savage Sword of Conan #1 and Conan the Barbarian #8, which both arrived in comic shops on Wednesday. I was taken aback by all of it in the best way possible.

This isn’t meant as an ego thing, I swear. I just want to mark this moment and thank everyone for their abundant enthusiasm.

Taking it even higher, on Friday morning the nomination list for the 2023 Robert E. Howard Awards went public and I found out that the new Conan comic is up for two possible awards:
THE COSTIGAN – for literary achievement
THE RANKIN – for artistic achievement

I’m thrilled that The Robert E. Howard Foundation, a dedicated group of scholars and conservators of the man’s work, has recognized our series. It’s an honor to contribute to such an important literary legacy and bring new fans into the fold.

I’ve been writing Conan stories since 2015 and this is the first time I’ve been nominated by the Foundation, so that’s a pretty special milestone. Fan engagement at the show and the REH Foundation nominations hitting at the same time was an incredible jolt of excitement. It feels like we’re tapping into the bedrock that made the original stories so engaging and helped launch the sword & sorcery genre over 90 years ago.


Off the show floor, lots of great meals and conversations with friends, some karaoke and a few pints to celebrate another year on the convention circuit.

My good friend Jody Houser was hit with an inner ear infection that brought on intense bouts of vertigo Friday evening and that necessitated a group of us skipping out on social stuff to help take care of her, but even in the swirl of all that there was a throughline of friendship and looking out for each other that reaffirmed how much I enjoy doing these events and being part of this industry.


Undriven

The enshittification of technology continues.

When Google Drive launched, I was an early adopter and it was an absolute gamechanger.

The document I had on hand was always the latest, saving me from version numbering and worrying about losing work. Having every single story I’d written saved locally on my laptop simultaneously backed up on the cloud and my desktop computer at home meant I could work flexibly and fearlessly. A bit of writing done at the airport or on a flight would update all versions as soon as I connected to wifi or settled in at a hotel.

It was simple, elegant, and made sense…so, of course, it couldn’t stay that way.

Now, the files in my Google Drive folder will not open without current active internet running, which means I can’t continue working on a project on a flight or check older files as reference when I’m on the go. Why? No idea. The full-size file is sitting there in the folder saved locally taking up hard drive space and the prompt says it’s all up to date, but now I click on it and it just loads endlessly until it crashes because of…reasons, some new bloated complicated process running under the hood that acts as an unnecessary barrier between me and the file that didn’t used to be there.

It’s so frustrating.

The people building this stuff have stopped using their own products and, in turn, have forgotten what it was supposed to do in the first place. Endless spyware, subscriptions, or hidden processes for less efficient, less elegant, less productive everything.


Coffee & Heroes – Part 1

A few weeks ago, I had a wonderful time talking with the owners of Coffee & Heroes in Ireland all about my career in comics. It was a great chat and covered so much ground that they’re splitting it into 3 parts.

Here’s part 1, where we cover nerdy reading with my brother, my influences, the things I did before comic writing, sword & sorcery as a genre, tabletop RPGs, superheroes and Vertigo books, serialized entertainment, the struggles of launching and maintaining Skullkickers, being typecast, and more!


Current + Upcoming Releases

Upcoming Appearances

Mar 16-18, 2024 Founders & Legends Lake Geneva, WI, USA
Mar 21-24, 2024 Gary Con Lake Geneva, WI, USA
Apr 25-28, 2024 Calgary Expo Calgary, AB, Canada


Links and Other Things

• The second Thunder Road: Vendetta board game Kickstarter is on now. I really enjoyed the base game (it’s basically Mad Max as a board game) and being able to snag a new expansions and other exclusive additions here is enticing.
• J.L. Collins let me know that the crowdfund campaign for Thistle, a new fantasy comic series, is now underway. I read an advance of the first issue and it looks like it’s channeling classic elements with a bit of a twist.
Have a great week, everyone!
Jim

Conan the Barbarian #8 Reviews

Comical Opinions: 9.5/10 “If you’re a Conan fan, this is a must-read. The story is perfect, the character development is on point, you get your fix of classic Conan action and it all just…works.”

Hither Came Conan: “I am very satisfied with the way that this arc ended. It ends in quite the cliffhanger…I really enjoyed it. It was a great second arc. I am super pumped to get into the next arc.”

Is This Just Fantasy?: “Just great color work and it’s an enjoyable read. There’s a great balance of the flavor text by Jim Zub in the dialogue and the art telling the story and I think they’re just really well made comics.”

League of Comic Geeks: 10/10 “Hot damn! This book is everything I’ve ever wanted from a Conan book and it shows no signs of slowing! This book is perfect in my eyes.”

Multiversity: “As for the artwork? It’s as dark and gritty as it should be, but also wonderfully detailed and illustrated with care. Doug Braithwaite’s artwork is intense, emphasizing Conan’s hulking form and making every detail pop.”

Pop Culture Philosophers: “Another satisfying issue of Conan the Barbarian. The artwork by Doug Braithwaite is absolutely fantastic. I love the use of color here.”

Sci-Fi Pulse: 9.8/10 “The dialogue that narrates the action is brilliantly clear to the point where I can hear the narration in my head when I read the book…This comic is a great example of sequential storytelling where the art team and writer are in perfect sync.”

Set The Tape: 8/10 “Everything about these comics continues to impress. The phrase ‘passion project’ feels right for this series, as though everyone involved has a genuine love of the world of Conan. It’s a joy to see these comics grow and mature, weaving another glorious thread through an already rich tapestry.”

Stygian Dogs: “Here in the second arc, thanks to that ambitious and well laid foundation, and all to our benefit, Zub was able to let loose…we’ve been given a thrill ride of action…It’s brutally awesome.”

Tennessee Fats: “This is a story of sword & sorcery, but it’s also a story of emotional growth and really dealing with the emotional damage that Conan has to go through…Beautifully written and the art gelled wonderfully.”

Thinking Critical: “When we got to the ending of this book, I was shocked…It’s crazy. I did not see that happening.”

Titan Comics Corner: “…the art respects vintage comics while capturing the author’s energetic style…This journey crafted by the creative team is so engaging that readers will find it difficult to not be fully immersed.”

Wakizashi’s Teahouse: “It delivered a very strong conclusion to the second story arc with some atmospherically eye-catching art by Doug Braithwaite and gorgeous coloring by Diego Rodriguez. It’s a great time to be a Conan fan.”

Savage Sword of Conan #1 Reviews

Comics Beat: “…an excellent start to this new series and follows the proud tradition of Savage Sword’s of the past. I highly recommend checking this out, especially if you are a fan of the current Conan the Barbarian series.”

Comic Book.com: “It’s just a very cool complete oversized package of a thing that feels really substantial compared to a lot of the monthly releases.”

Comic Book Dispatch: 9.8/10 “Patch Zircher’s art in Master Of The Hunt Part One has an elegant and historic appeal. While Solomon Kane wears the hat and cloak of a Puritan, the penciling evokes Prince Valiant.”

Comic Lounge: “This is a fantastic comic. I can’t recommend it enough.”

Comical Opinions: 8/10 “…a treasure trove of Conan content, from the main story to the bonus prose and pinups…Even if you’re not deeply familiar with the world of Robert E. Howard, the quality storytelling and diverse content in this issue make it worth checking out.”

Craig Zablo: 10/10 “Most folks know Zircher as an accomplished artist, but since he’s added writer to his resume the title needs to become accomplished writer/artist.”

Graphic Policy: 8.6/10 “It not only stands out from the Conan the Barbarian series but is an easy way to dive into these worlds. It opens up the opportunity for Titan to not only give other creators a shot at writing Conan, Kane, and more, but also try out other characters from Howard’s worlds and see what might work in their own comics.”

Grimdark Magazine: “If the level of quality and variety on display in issue #1 of The Savage Sword of Conan is maintained, the magazine has the potential to surpass even the flagship Conan the Barbarian comic.”

Hyborian Reviews: “If you’re a fan of Conan and Solomon Kane then you simply can’t miss out! This is overall a fantastic return for Savage Sword of Conan and I so dearly hope they can keep this up.”

Infinity Flux: “If you’re a Conan fan you’re definitely going to want this and if you’ve never dipped your foot in, this is a good entry…Really cool.”

League of Comic Geeks: 10/10 “There literally isn’t a better cost-to-content release this year so far, and it will be hard pressed to compete with this.”

Mass Movement: “I was more than a little nervous and keen to dive headlong into the pages of the revival of the magazine that I consider one of Marvel’s finest moments. I was not disappointed…The days of high adventure are here again, make sure you embrace them.”

Major Spoilers: 9/10 “I thought that this was really, really good…I think you’re really gonna want to drop your $7 and get your fix.”

Pop Culture Philosophers: “It is awesome. As far as values goes, it absolutely rocks and it’s on that newsprint so it gets the smell of the week.”

Pop Culture Maven: “If you’re a fan of Conan it’s well worth checking out…I like it and I like the nostalgia of it too.”

Pullbox: 10/10 “While the new title has all of what I thought was great about the old, I’ll add that this is going to be an outstanding jumping-on-point for new readers. No matter where you stand, don’t let anything stop you from picking up a copy”

Set The Tape: 10/10 “A fantastic title with a thrilling debut, it’s great to see there’s so much life in the old barbarian yet.”

Stygian Dogs: “In its physical form it’s wonderful. It feels right, all of it. The newsprint, the monochrome…You’re purchasing an experience here.

Superhero Hype: 10/10 “This is sure to be the start of something special, and you will curse the gods should you miss out on this one.”

Two-Headed Nerd: “This is just gorgeous from page 1 to the end…This is a beautiful book…Buy it!”

UBJ: 10/10 “For enthusiasts of fantasy, mature-themed comics, and high-octane narratives, snagging a copy of Savage Sword of Conan #1 is a must. Miss it, and you may find yourself in lamentation.”

Wakazashi’s Teahouse: 9.5/10 “I can honestly say it’s off to a blinding start. This issue is an absolute corker!”

Zero Sum 716: “Regardless of what you’re here for, you’re getting a lot for your money…I think they are off to a very good start here and I am honestly quite impressed with what they’ve done so far.”

Zub at Emerald City Comic Con 2024!


It’s wonderful to be back at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, Washington. I’m so pumped to be kicking off another convention season at one of my favorite shows. I’ll be set up with the Comic Sketch Art team at-

ARTIST ALLEY TABLE A-29

In addition to signing at my table during the show, I’ll also be on a couple panels throughout the weekend:


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 29
02:00 PM-02:45 PM — Convention Horror Stories, An ECCC Tradition — Summit Room 431
Jim Zub (Conan the Barbarian, Rick and Morty VS Dungeons & Dragons) and Katie Cook (My Little Pony, Nothing Special) are back with their fan-favorite con horror stories panel! What’s it like working as a pro in the business on the convention ‘circuit’? Ridiculous, embarrassing, and always entertaining. Some of these stories will make you laugh out loud, others will make you cringe! This panel is recommended for those 16+ due to coarse language.

FRIDAY, MARCH 1
03:30 PM-04:30 PM — Fantasy Storytelling in Comics — Summit Room 431
Pull up a chair to the hearth, settle in, and enjoy spending time with Dark Horse creators who are well-versed in weaving winsome fantasy and chronicling captivating characters.

SATURDAY, MARCH 2
12:30 PM — Dungeons & Dragons Young Adventurer’s Signing and Giveaway – Booth #20515
Jim Zub will be signing FREE copies of Places & Portals, the newest D&D Young Adventurer’s Guide, while supplies last!

Zubby Newsletter #51: Big Week

This coming week is absolutely packed for me-
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #8, the wild conclusion of our second story arc, Thrice Marked For Death.
SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #1, a grand return to black & white magazine-sized glory.
EMERALD CITY COMIC CON, my first convention of 2024 and always one of my favorite conventions each year. Will I see you there?

BRING IT ON!


My Pulpy Prose


If you do snag a copy of the new Savage Sword, 80 pages of bold barbaric goodness for $6.99, let me know what you think of Sacrifice In The Sand, my prose short story.


The Queen


Speaking of Savage Sword #1, Rebecca Puebla has a pin-up in there of Bêlit, Robert E. Howard’s famous Queen of the Black Coast.

It’s a wonderful illustration and also a fun synthesis of pulp and silent film influences coming together to create a new look for an iconic character. It’s so great!


The Public Lending Right


Last week I received my Canadian Public Lending Right payment for 2024. For the past five years, I’ve been compensated for books I wrote that circulate in Canadian libraries. There are over 18,000 Canadian authors registered in the program.

The average payout per title found in their database is $49 and, as long as those books are in libraries, they will pay out for the next 25 years.

I have 52 books registered. Do the math.

If you’re a Canadian author, it is worth the effort to get enrolled and update your profile with new titles as you release new books.

Authors are giddy when royalties pay on their backlist work. The Public Lending Right is like an extra royalty payment every February for published Canadian authors and illustrators from the Canada Council For The Arts.

For five years I’ve beat the drum about this, and yet I still hear from some prolific Canadian comic creators that they haven’t gotten around to getting their profile set up yet – You. Are. Missing. Out.

Some quick tips for Canadian comic creators registering for the PLR:
• You’ll need the ISBN, year of publication, and page count for each book you register.
• You’ll also need a photocopy of the title page of the book with your name and a photocopy of the copyright page.
• For graphic novels, writers get 50% of the “share claim” since the other half would go to the illustrator (even if they can’t claim it because they’re not Canadian).
• Anthologies don’t count. If there are more than six contributors to a title it’s considered ineligible.
• Each year all you have to add are new titles that weren’t on there previous years.


A Return To Rogues

I returned as a guest on the wonderful Rogues In The House podcast. We chatted up a storm about the return of Savage Sword and talk about the ‘moment’ Conan seems to be having right now in comics, prose, games, and more.


At The Campfire


I had a great chat with Kurtis Wiebe (writer of Rat Queens) as part of his Campfire Stories online conference that happened over the weekend.

We cover a LOT of ground – working on iconic characters, getting started in my career, burnout, gratitude and more. Check it out.


Current + Upcoming Releases

Upcoming Appearances

Feb 29-Mar 3, 2024 Emerald City Comic-Con Seattle, WA, USA
Mar 16-18, 2024 Founders & Legends Lake Geneva, WI, USA
Mar 21-24, 2024 Gary Con Lake Geneva, WI, USA
Apr 25-28, 2024 Calgary Expo Calgary, AB, Canada


Links and Other Things

• My buddy John Barber has a new creator-owned comic project launching called SIGNA and it’s looking good!
• Rafal Jaki, the showrunner on the Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime, reached out to chat storytelling with me. he also pointed me toward the new manga series he’s been developing called NO/NAME. It’s a really neat concept off to a strong start, read chapter 1 here, so much so that it’s going to be serializing in Shonen Jump!

I hope your week is looking strong.
Jim

Arriving in May – Conan The Barbarian #11


CONAN THE BARBARIAN #11
Story – Jim Zub
Line Art – Roberto De La Torre
Colors – Diego Rodriguez

MAR240475 – COVER A – Alex Horley
MAR240476 – COVER B – Richard Pace
MAR240477 – COVER C – Sean Galloway
In Shops: May 22, 2024

BEYOND FLESH. BEYOND DEATH. BEYOND TIME.

Conan has travelled far and seen much in his legendary journeys, but nothing he has experienced thus far can prepare him for a quest to lands beyond to answer dark riddles of the past.

Unexpected allies await, fierce enemies loom, and the strange power of the Black Stone stirs in THE AGE UNCONQUERED!

Zubby Newsletter #50: Value-Packed Anniversary Edition

Wait a sec, newsletter #50! Oh geez, this should be some kind of anniversary-sized special release…Bigger page count and a higher cover price, right?

Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay double for this installment, my friends…Double that $0.00 price tag and I’ll make sure you get everything you paid for. 😉


Delivering a Delve

Speaking of people getting what they pay for, I’m deeply disappointed that backers, creators, and a charity were misled by the Tales From the Quarantine comic anthology.

My longtime collaborator Max Dunbar and I put together a single page story for the anthology right at the start and have kept it under wraps this whole time, hoping the campaign would complete delivery to the many people who backed it in good faith, but that now seems incredibly unlikely, so here’s DELVE, a little fantasy story created during lockdown, with hopeful sentiments about the future despite dark times-

Story and Lettering by Jim Zub. Line Art and Colors by Max Dunbar.


Haunted By That Slogan

I had a really bizarre dream earlier in the week-
In the dream, the Wisconsin dairy council asked me to write an epic based on a new dairy superhero they developed called MIGHTY MILK.

I had to include their new slogan
“Milk is also in man”.

I told them the slogan was awful. They told me it was mythic and powerful.
The rep kept saying the slogan slowly, emphasizing different words-

“Milk is also in man.”

“Yeah, I get it, but it’s still awful.”

I told them I probably wasn’t the right fit for this project, but they were insistent that it had to be me. Like most dreams, it just vaporized unresolved, but I wanted to share so all of us could be haunted by it together from now on.


Honoring the Past


Hayden Mears from Starburst Magazine (the longest-running magazine of fantastic media) and I talked at length about Conan the Barbarian as an icon of prose and comics. There’s a lot of good ground covered here in terms of Conan’s pulp roots, mythic storytelling, Robert E. Howard as an architect of the original ‘multiverse’ concept, and how our creative team is trying to honor that in the new comic series-


A Page (and Series) I Love

On Thursday night on Comic Art Live they ran a piece I recorded with Kevin Sharp for a segment called A PAGE I LOVE-

I dug deep into my excitement for DOCTOR STRANGE #55 Page 13 from 1982, a stone cold classic written by Roger Stern and illustrated by Michael Golden:

Doctor Strange #55 is a masterclass in writing and drawing superhero comics, a done-in-one story that delivers on every page. You can still find it in back issue bins for cheap, which is great, because everyone should have a copy and every aspiring creator should study the hell out of it.

This issue is also Aldrin “Buzz” Aw‘s favorite comic and he has (wait for it) over 3000 copies! I love this video rundown on how this issue 55 collection began and his excitement as he walks through its quality and how it influenced the biggest artists of the ’90’s.

Doctor Strange is a bucket list character for me to write, and a big part of that is due to the quality of this era. Editorial can sometimes be cagey about giving writers their favorite characters because sometimes they’re such diehard fans that they don’t want to take big narrative swings or shake up the status quo, but if I ever get the chance to pitch on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme I think I could honor the past while pushing out in unexpected directions.


Current + Upcoming Releases

Upcoming Appearances

Feb 29-Mar 3, 2024 Emerald City Comic-Con Seattle, WA, USA
Mar 16-18, 2024 Founders & Legends Lake Geneva, WI, USA
Mar 21-24, 2024 Gary Con Lake Geneva, WI, USA
Apr 25-28, 2024 Calgary Expo Calgary, AB, Canada


Have a great week!
Jim

Conan the Barbarian: Bound In Black Stone – Now In Stores!

CONAN THE BARBARIAN Vol.1: BOUND IN BLACK STONE is now available in bookstores and comic shops everywhere fine books are sold!

In bookstores you’ll find the cover by Dan Panosian. In direct market comic shops you can also choose covers by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau or Mike Mignola.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I am so incredibly proud of this book and thrilled at the response we’ve seen from readers, reviewers, and retailers. Thank you for reading and sharing your enthusiasm.

Blake’s Buzz: “Roberto De La Torre’s artwork is a visual feast, filling every panel with visceral depictions of bodies, violence, and challenging terrains…This trade paperback is not only a must-read for longtime fans but also an excellent starting point for those new to the savage world of Conan.”

Code-X Podcast: 10/10 “I love this story and it only gets better from here…It’s gritty, it’s raw, it’s dynamic.”

Comics Beat: “…a great entry point for anyone interested in reading Conan comics. The writing is extremely well done, and the art is stunning. Conan is a captivating character and the standard bearer of Sword and Sorcery stories for a reason.”

Comics For Sinners: “This is my Conan, the ’70s sword & sorcery hero making a comeback. I would not be more excited even if Schwarzenegger were to pick up his Atlantean sword to shoot a third Conan movie…This new series is a nostalgic pleasure and I hope it runs for a very long time.”

Comics Forever: “I slept on this at first, but I was wrong. This book rules. It’s so good.”

Eternal Crusader: 10/10 “This team is creating compelling and often breathtaking visuals that can both rival the beloved classics from the past and newer renditions by Dark Horse, Ablaze, and Marvel…the hype is true.”

Lord Samper’s Library: “The creative team really deliver here, giving us not only a high stakes tale (in all the best traditions) but setting it against a landscape that feels like its brimming with tales of its own…Conan is in safe hands here and I’m excited to see where his story goes next.”

Mighty Thorngren: “A new reader can jump right into this. You don’t need to know a whole lot about Conan to dig it…This is the comic that has me going to the comic shop, month after month.”

Mr. Multiverse: “I really do love this comic…I also love the artwork in here by Roberto De La Torre. It’s beautiful. It reminds me of the classic Conan stories and also the Prince Valiant stories.”

Near Mint Condition: 10/10 “This is perfection. This is some of the best Conan the Barbarian I have ever had the pleasure of reading…I cannot wait for the next book.”

No Flying, No Tights: “Zub weaves subtle references to the Hyborian mythos into his stories, even as he spins ripping yarns that do credit to the legacy of Conan. As such, Bound in Black Stone is sure to satisfy Conan completists, while remaining accessible to new audiences.”

So Wizard: “The action in this book is amazingly done. It’s brutal, fun, inventive, exciting, fast-paced and, most importantly, plentiful. The action almost doesn’t stop.”

Stygian Dogs: “This is a must-have collection at a great price, so I encourage you to pick it up.”

Trans-Scribe: 8/10 “Fans of the fantasy genre will feel right at home here, and whilst I can’t talk for long time Conan fans I can at least say that it was an enjoyable experience throughout, and one that I’d happily recommend to others.”

Tripwire: “Bound in Black Stone needs to be read, shared, taken back and selfishly read again and again until the binding wears out.”

Zubby Newsletter #49: Time Flies

Dungeons & Dragons posted a new 50th anniversary tribute video online and it was a nice little surprise to see Stacy and I briefly appear during a montage section of community moments.

I have so many incredible memories of that D&D Live event in Los Angeles. Mind boggling to me that it was almost five years ago.

At that moment, live TTRPG play games like Critical Role were taking off, Stranger Things was a cultural phenomenon, and it felt like the creative and corporate forces needed to shepherd a major brand like D&D were working in tandem, despite a growing awareness by the Powers That Be at Hasbro that they had a Golden Goose in their midst. I know that might just be pre-pandemic nostalgia, but the excitement and optimism that weekend really was contagious.

I hoped D&D Live would become an annual celebration I could be a part of, a way to bring together different fan and professional forces under a single tent of gaming and good times, but it didn’t work out that way. There’s still a lot to be proud of on the big anniversary, but quite a bit of melancholy as well. Controversies aplenty, impossible corporate benchmarks, and ruthless holiday layoffs have stolen some of the magic on what should have been a triumphant victory lap.

It’s also a distinct reminder to mark special moments when they happen, because they’ll slip through your fingers if you don’t.


Bound For Your Bookshelf

Speaking of marking big moments – This week, CONAN THE BARBARIAN Vol.1: BOUND IN BLACK STONE is available everywhere fine books are sold. Check out our new book trailer!

In bookstores you’ll find the cover by Dan Panosian. In direct market comic shops you can also choose covers by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau or Mike Mignola.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I am so incredibly proud of this book and thrilled at the response we’ve seen from readers, reviewers, and retailers. Thank you for reading and sharing your enthusiasm.


Traversing the Stars

I spoke to Jeff Haas at Traversing the Stars all about writing Conan – The character’s literary legacy, working with an icon, collaborating with incredible artists, and more.

“If you make a superhero and you make distinct choices, you’re making those choices in comparison to Superman. When you make choices about sword & sorcery and that singular hero, they’re in comparison to Conan. That’s a very powerful thing.”


Talking Around the Campfire

On Sunday, February 25th just after 2pm EST I’ll be chatting with writer Kurtis Wiebe (Rat Queens) all about storytelling and creativity as part of the Campfire Stories online convention he and his crew at Vast Vision Publishing are putting together.

Vast Vision has a new Discord community where they’re assembling all kinds of different creative people from publishing and other media and they’ve already posted up a great interview with Nick Pitarra and legendary artist Frank Quietly you should check out.


Bad Dinner Guests

On my Patreon you can now find the full script for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: FORTUNE FINDER #2.

Finder’s mysterious journey continues, right into Dungeonland! There are over 300 scripts available in my Patreon archive, available for the price of a fancy coffee.


Clearer Skies

Bluesky, a Twitter alternative, is now out of beta and open to the public. I’ve been there for a while, so if you’re making the move you can find me HERE.


Current + Upcoming Releases

Upcoming Appearances

Feb 29-Mar 3, 2024 Emerald City Comic-Con Guest Seattle, WA, USA
Mar 16-18, 2024 Founders & Legends Guest Lake Geneva, WI, USA
Mar 21-24, 2024 Gary Con Guest Lake Geneva, WI, USA
Apr 25-28, 2024 Calgary Expo Guest Calgary, AB, Canada


Links and Other Things

The Glass Cannon Network crew played the Marvel Multiverse RPG again and I couldn’t make it, but it looks like they had a blast anyways. The system is so good! I hope I get a chance to bust out big Marvel action with them again.

• On Friday I made Broccoli Tempura and it turned out great. Ordering tempura for takeout or delivery is always disappointing because it loses crispiness so fast if you don’t east it fresh, so learning to make it at home is a nice addition to my cooking skillset.

Have a great week!
Jim