Category Archives: Conan

Zubby Newsletter #66: Howard Days

The Howard Museum in Cross Plains, Texas.

I’m home from four days in Texas – three in Cross Plains for Howard Days, the annual Robert E. Howard celebration at his home, and a quick half day stop at Fan Expo Dallas.

Howard Days was an informal gathering that began in 1986 with ten fans making a pilgrimage to Robert E. Howard’s home and is now an official two day event deeply tied into the town with several hundred attendees. There’s a small pavilion set up near the home for barbecues and hanging out, a dozen vendors selling books and other merchandise, tours of the house (which is now a museum) and local sites, discussion panels and signings at the community center, original manuscripts on display at the local library, gaming, poetry readings, a banquet, a silent auction, and more.

Each piece of the festival was quite small but when you put it all together it made the whole thing feel expansive, especially considering that Cross Plains itself has a population of less than a thousand people. Dozens of regulars return to spend time together, year after year, alongside a host of new people like me making the trek for the first time. I thought coming down from Canada would make me the furthest visitor for the event, but I was wrong – there were people who came in from France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Norway.

Jeff Shanks, the Howard expert who writes the essays in the back of each issue of Conan the Barbarian, told me it was a family reunion and I was part of the family, and I joked that I was more like a long lost cousin who showed up out of nowhere carrying a deed for an important tract of land. That said, the Howard Days core made me feel incredibly welcome and their excitement for the future of the fandom came through in every interaction.

This year, Robert E. Howard’s original writing desk had been restored and replaced the stand-in they’d been using for decades at the museum. I was one of the first people to stand at the desk returned to its rightful spot and, as you might imagine, it all felt pretty surreal. Honestly, the whole week was surreal, as I chatted with literary scholars, locals, friends, and fans.

Jeff Shanks, John C. Hocking, Howard Andrew Jones, and me.

I filmed interviews and signed hundreds of comics while walking around the small town grounds where the sword & sorcery genre came to life. Shawn Curley from Heroic Signatures was there filming material for the official Conan the Barbarian YouTube channel and, as it all gets compiled, edited, and posted, I’ll be sure to share it in future newsletter installments. The legacy and gravity of it all washed over me a few times, but then a few minutes later we’d all just be laughing and hanging out, looking for respite from the intense Texas heat or hunting for bug spray to handle the mosquitos.

Fan Expo Dallas on Sunday was a breakneck pace, especially in contrast to the previous three days. I woke up at dawn and drove almost 3 hours from Cross Plains to Dallas, arrived at the convention center, signed for two hours, hosted a Conan panel, signed for another hour and then had to dash so I could return my rental car and head to the airport. Lots of Conan, Dungeons & Dragons, and Marvel fans there and it was really nice even though it was so short and rapid fire.

I’m finally home and spending today unpacking, reorganizing, and decompressing. The whole week was really special but I don’t know if all of it has really sunk in yet.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN: BOUND IN BLACK STONE won this year’s Costigan Award at Howard Days!

“Awarded for original creative writing that carries on the spirit and tradition of Robert E. Howard, to better recognize and celebrate his influence on future generations of writers.”

Comics are rarely nominated and an original one based on a Robert E. Howard property has never been nominated in the literary category before.

Rob De La Torre and José Villarrubia also won the Rankin Award for Artistic Achievement, so Bound in Black Stone won in both categories we were nominated in.

I know for people on the outside it may seem obvious that a Conan book wins a Robert E. Howard-related award, but the Foundation is not directly tied to the company that owns Conan, it’s an independent panel of scholars and archivists focused on the legacy and literary merit of Howard’s works. I’ve been writing Conan-related comic stories since 2015 and this is the first time the Foundation has given my work any kind of acknowledgement, both with the nomination and now the award.

Bill Cavalier, one of the Foundation board members and a key organizer of the festival, handed me the award and said-
“Congrats! We don’t normally give ’em to the funny books, but you and the boys did a fine job. Keep it up.”

Thank you to the Foundation and our readers. It’s an honor.

Doom Is Coming…and It’s Going To Be Great

Shawn Curley has posted a Conan News video on the official Conan the Barbarian Youtube channel and it’s packed with exclusive sneak peeks at artwork from CONAN THE BARBARIAN #12, the next Conan prose novel, Savage Sword, a sneak peek of the Heroic Signatures office, and more. I also make a brief appearance at the 5:40 mark to help hype the end of our first year on the relaunch.

Jim Zub – Voice Actor?

The latest grad films from Seneca Animation are starting to get posted online and first out of the gate is Fly Away, Froggy Boy, a wild and weird noir story about an anthropomorphic fly seeking revenge against the frog mob.

I lent my voice to the Frogfather, the main villain of the cartoon and it was a lot of fun snarling, grunting and screaming my way through the script. Give it a watch and let me know what you think of my performance and the hard work of my students.

Back In School With Teachers In The Dungeon

Stacy and I returned to the Teachers in the Dungeon podcast, chatting with Tom Gross and Dan Reem all about ARTIFICERS & ALCHEMY, the latest Dungeons & Dragons Young Adventurer’s Guide, discussing what goes into making the books, igniting the imagination of new gamers, fun details, future plans, and more!

You can listen to this episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Current + Upcoming Releases

  • Conan: Battle of the Black Stone #0 – released May 4th.
  • Conan the Barbarian #11 – released May 22nd.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Fortune Finder – TPB released June 5th.
  • Conan the Barbarian #12 – releases June 26th.
  • Life of Wolverine – One Shot – releases July 3rd.
  • Savage Sword of Conan #3 – releases July 3rd.
  • Conan the Barbarian Vol.2: Thrice Marked For Death – TPB releases July 16th.

  • Upcoming Appearances

    July 25-28, 2024 San Diego Comic-Con San Diego, CA, USA
    Aug 1-4, 2024 Gen Con Indy Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Aug 16-18, 2024 Fan Expo Chicago Chicago, IL, USA
    Aug 22-25, 2024 Fan Expo Canada Toronto, ONT, CANADA
    Oct 17-20, 2024 Gamehole Con Madison, WI, USA

    Links and Other Things

    • Conan scholar Jeff Shanks is chatting up a storm lately, and his latest interview with Stygian Dogs is fantastic, covering many different aspects of Robert E. Howard literary and fandom circles.

    • Literary Hub has an excerpt from Ursula K. Le Guin‘s book The Language of the Night that may strike a chord with writers and would-be writers I know.

    Chris Broad stops at every station on Tokyo’s famous Yamanote subway line in one day and shows off interesting or obscure things at each one. Seeing familiar spots from my recent Tokyo trip and learning about new places to check out was enjoyable.

    Asa Wheatley is crowdfunding the next volume of Sagas of the Shield Maiden. I’ve enjoyed the previous anthology volumes and am looking forward to this one.

    Have a wonderful week!

    Conan the Barbarian #11 Reviews

    Comic Book University: “Absolutely fantastic…You have got to read this comic book…If you’re only getting one comic per month, this one is an easy contender.”

    Comic Culture: “It’s a very primal book…One of the best, most consistent books out there right now.”

    Comical Opinions: 9.5/10 “…a grim, gritty, epic entry in the series. Jim Zub packs in a plethora of twists and turns to tie the past and present together in a surprising way, and Robert De La Torre’s art is gorgeous.”

    Grimdark Magazine: “Rob De La Torre’s artwork is a visual feast, as always. His John Buscema-inspired character artwork and dynamically staged combat scenes receive a great deal of justified praise, but his backgrounds are also worthy of attention. His oppressive monolithic architecture and craggy, menace-filled subterranean passages create a real sense of place for the events of the story.”

    Hobbies of a Man: “Overall, this issue was great. I really had a fun time with it and I think it’s amazing…The fact that I can’t buy most of these double page spreads by Rob De La Torre as posters is a crime.”

    League of Comic Geeks: 10/10 “Gotta be my favourite book on the shelves! I love everything about this run!!! Story, art & colour all on the same page! Just so flipping fun!”

    Mandy’s a Geek: 9/10 “This is how Conan should be…This is one of the most consistently good comics on the stands. There’s never been a dip in quality, in fact the quality has gone up all the time and it’s a joy to read.”

    Pop Culture Philosophers: “The story is really cool. Conan is back in time, he’s met Kull, they go to Atlantis, there’s a big twist at the end here…This book is beautiful, I frickin’ love it!”

    Sci-Fi Pulse: 9.6/10 “Roberto De la Torre and Diego Rodriguez continue to do great work with the artwork for this book…a great issue with a shock twist that will keep fans on the edge of their seats ready for the next one.”

    Sleepy Reader 666: “Jim Zub is doing a great job just making each issue fun and filling it with all the kinds of stuff that makes sword & sorcery fun.”

    Stygian Dogs: “The success of this book is all in the team and the team remains so in the pocket. If this is what Heroic Signatures continues to offer us in its curation of Robert E. Howard’s characters in comic book form, I remain all in.”

    Thinking Critical: “Book of the week…The finale of this comic book and the huge reveal on the last page had my jaw on the floor, it was absolutely phenomenal. Roberto De La Torre was made to illustrate this comic book character in this series.”

    Todd Luck: “The artwork by Robert De La Torre continues to be very, very solid, very good stuff…This has been a very solid series so far.”

    Zubby Newsletter #64: Drunk Mecha Pilot

    Stacy and I arrived home from our 3 week Japan trip on Thursday just before midnight and, after two rough flights with no sleep across 16 hours, we crashed hard.

    I woke up on Friday morning feeling surprisingly good and, as I unpacked and started reorganizing, I thought maybe this time I might ride out the jet lag well and be able to enjoy the long weekend before diving back into work, but no such luck. By dinner time I was hit with waves of deep exhaustion, the kind that just shuts you down for hours at a time, and bouts of hunger or an upset stomach and that’s kind of been the last two and a half days – bursts of feeling okay smashed up against long bouts where I feel like a tiny drunk mecha pilot maneuvering my own shambling corpse.

    It’ll pass, it always does, but it’s part of getting back into international travel that I’d memory holed a bit.

    Now that I’m home, I need to dive right back into writing and prep for Howard Days in a couple weeks. No rest for the wicked.


    Quite a few people reached out to ask where Stacy and I went during our trip. It’s a bit hard to encompass it all, but here’s the overview (and some photos):

    • We stayed in Tokyo for the first few days, which covered my Free Comic Book Day signing and shopping in Ikebukuro, Akihabara, and Nakano.

    • We went to Nagoya to explore a city we’d never been to before and experience the new Ghibli Park.

    • Our next stop was Osaka to enjoy the food and night life, more shopping and exploring. Key spots included Dōtonbori, Kuromon Market, Denden Town, and Shin Sekai, along with the new Universal Japan theme park to check out Super Mario World.

    • We took a day trip to Nara to spend time with the deer in Nara Park and show our friends Todaiji Temple.

    • Back to Tokyo for the final leg of our trip – TeamLab Planets and TeamLab Borderless, the Design Festa indie art convention, along with exploring Ginza, Asakusa, Odaiba, Yūyake Dandan, and Shinjuku.

    • The places we went were amazing, and just diving back into Japan after six years away was a joy, but it was also wonderful traveling with a couple of our friends from Alberta, touching base with old friends we have in Japan, meeting new people (including an evening where I chatted with a Robert E. Howard scholar living in Yokohama and another night where I ran AD&D in a pub for a group of old school gamers), and unexpectedly running into a couple former students while we were on the road.

    Celebrating my birthday and kicking off my teaching sabbatical with this whirlwind trip was incredibly special…and worth the jet lag. 😉

    Legendary Hero, Legendary Sword

    As part of the long term Heroic Signatures publishing plan for Conan, we’ve talked at length about how best to honor the canon source material of Robert E. Howard while also incorporating elements that are recognizable and appealing to the wider pop culture audience Conan has built in the 90+ years since he was created.

    Conan is an icon, he’s the Superman of Sword & Sorcery, and just like Superman, there are aspects of the character and his world that came later but have become intrinsically linked to how he’s now recognized. Superman didn’t fly in the original stories, there was no Kryptonite, and he didn’t work for the Daily Planet, but almost everyone would agree that these elements are now important parts of the canon.

    With that in mind, in this week’s Conan the Barbarian #11 we surprised readers by bringing the iconic ATLANTEAN SWORD into Conan’s ongoing continuity for the first time. The sword and its distinctive look by Production Designer Ron Cobb is already inextricably linked to Conan and we believe it’s time to make it a formal part of his story.

    If you haven’t had a chance to check out this issue, the penultimate piece before we wrap up our epic first year on the relaunch, do not miss it. Rob De La Torre and Diego Rodriguez are delivering incredible art on every page and we’re paying off plot material set up at the start.

    Current + Upcoming Releases

  • Conan the Barbarian #10 – released April 24th.
  • Savage Sword of Conan #2 – released May 1st.
  • Conan: Battle of the Black Stone #0 – released May 4th.
  • Conan the Barbarian #11 – released May 22nd.
  • Conan the Barbarian Vol.2: Thrice Marked For Death – TPB releases June 11th.
  • Conan the Barbarian #12 – releases June 26th.
  • Life of Wolverine – One Shot – releases July 3rd.
  • Savage Sword of Conan #3 – releases July 3rd.

  • Upcoming Appearances

    Jun 7-8, 2024 Howard Days Cross Plains, TX, USA
    July 25-28, 2024 San Diego Comic-Con San Diego, CA, USA
    Aug 1-4, 2024 Gen Con Indy Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Aug 16-18, 2024 Fan Expo Chicago Chicago, IL, USA
    Aug 22-25, 2024 Fan Expo Canada Toronto, ONT, CANADA
    Oct 17-20, 2024 Gamehole Con Madison, WI, USA

    Links and Other Things

    • A slew of friends and fans sent me Alain Seguin‘s fan animated trailer for Conan: Tower of the Elephant. Seeing our favorite Cimmerian in a classic animated style here is a treat.

    • When I started this newsletter just over a year ago Karl Kerschl had a crowdfunding campaign going for Death Transit Tanager, and now he’s back with a campaign for part 2. Karl’s a friend, I love his artwork, the first one rocked. Done and done.

    • On the flight home one of the films I watched was a documentary called Soviet Bus Stops, and I’m glad I did. It’s about a Canadian photographer who has been taking pictures of obscure bus stops across the former Soviet Union, immortalizing their unexpected architecture and showing how artistic and ambitious they were at a time when the country’s culture and construction were being homogenized in service to the state. It’s a fascinating bit of oddball history that echoes larger themes about art and rebellion, well told and whimsical.

    I hope your weekend has been a good one with zero jet lag. 😉

    Zub Comics Arriving in July

    story JIM ZUB
    cover A – DAN PANOSIAN
    cover B – AMANDA CONNER
    cover D – GIL AGUDIN

    A brand new Conan arc begins! After leaving Cimmeria filled with wanderlust, a young Conan heads north in search of glory. What he finds in that cold climate will change his outlook forever, setting him on the path that will make him a legend. The triumphant new era of Conan continues in this tale of brutal heroic adventure!

    story JIM ZUB
    art RAMÓN F. BACHS
    cover RON LIM

    WOLVERINE has been mindwiped, manipulated and given false memories so many times, what is the truth of his long life? Now, as a journey into his own past becomes paramount to the survival of mutantkind, delve into the TRUE story of LOGAN’s life, from his earliest days in the late 1800s, to the many wars he’s fought alongside comrades like CAPTAIN AMERICA and SABRETOOTH, to the WEAPON X procedures that changed his life forever, his days on the X-MEN and more! All IN CONTINUITY, this includes some adventures and links to the past never before revealed, giving the most complete picture of WOLVERINE’s history EVER ASSEMBLED! In print for the first time!

    40 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Parental Advisory …$4.99

    Conan: Battle of the Black Stone Prelude Reviews

    The CONAN: BATTLE OF THE BLACK STONE prelude issue arrived on Free Comic Book Day (and is now available for FREE online right HERE), kicking off an event mini-series that will run this Fall. What did critics think of this teaser issue?

    Bottalk: 9/10 “If you’re a fan of Jack London’s The Star Rover you’ll love this comic and it’s free! Go get it! Download it! It is spectacular.”

    Comics For Sinners: “Titan Comics obviously wants to produce a consistently good comic book featuring great talents, and they make sure that this attitude carries over even to a freebie.”

    Eternal Crusader: “It will be exciting to see how this Howardverse develops and how much it will be the focus of future Conan publications…The artwork is bold, flashy, and colorful.”

    Gary B the Casual Comic Guy: “Just a fantastic start, certainly intriguing, and seeing all these characters being drawn in makes me anticipate the coming story.”

    Grimdark Magazine: “The Jonas Scharf artwork in this issue appeals…Foreshadowing an exciting event, this issue is engaging for existing fans while simultaneously providing a gentle introduction to newcomers to Conan the Barbarian.”

    Hobbies of a Man: “I really enjoyed how everything looked. I thought it was all cool…overall, very cool stuff, and I thought the WTF at the end there was really, really great.”

    Is This Just Fantasy?: “It’s interesting how they’re going to unite them all in this same story. I’m looking forward to it and it should be interesting. I’m here for it.”

    League of Comic Geeks: “Thoroughly enjoyed this, serves its purpose of both an introduction and kick off spot for new and existing readers alike. Exactly what a FCBD issue should be.”

    Stygian Dogs: “Jonas Scharf’s art looks great. It’s something distinct from what Rob De La Torre and Doug Braithwaite have been giving us and Jao Canola’s seem bolder that we’ve seen in the ongoing monthly series.”

    Tennessee Fats: “This was a wonderful tie together and a wonderful drop in the bucket to tell me what’s coming in the Howardverse.”

    Todd Luck: “I think this is a really good comic to pick up if you are a Conan fan.”

    Zubby Newsletter #61: Back In Japan

    I’m typing this little newsletter update from a Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) as we head to the second stop on our Japan vacation. The past four days have been a whirlwind of exploration and fantastic food. It feels so good to finally be back after six years. As always, there’s some jetlag and a bit of culture shock in terms of transit and geography, but it’s all coming back to us now and we’re having a blast.

    The Free Comic Book Day signing at Verse Comics in Ikebukuro went really well. I’ve never started a signing before where the line-up clapped when I entered the room, which was an unexpected little surprise. Lots of great little conversations with Marvel fans, D&D players and, of course, Conan readers aplenty. With the time zone change, the people here in Japan were some of the first to get their hands on the CONAN: BATTLE OF THE BLACK STONE prelude issue and, when I told them that they were even more excited to dig in.

    I hope that wherever you are, you managed to snag our freebie from your local comic retailer and that it’s whet your appetite for big adventures to come. Jonas Scharf and Jao Canola did a stellar job on the art and they will be continuing that excellence on the event mini-series that kicks off this Fall. The response I saw online was incredibly gratifying and I am so glad we have so much support and enthusiasm from readers everywhere.

    Some other interesting stuff:
    • Beyond the giveaway prelude, the books I signed the most at Verse were Avengers Tech-On, the Bandai-Marvel collaboration I worked on with Jeff ‘Chamba’ Cruz. I also managed to snag a copy of the Japanese language edition of the book for my collection.

    • According to a game translator I met, Call of Cthulhu is the hottest tabletop RPG right now in Japan. I’ve been seeing the official translated books and unofficial fan material prominently displayed in every game shop we’ve been to.

    • The funniest interaction I had with a reader at the signing was a guy who brought a bunch of my Champions comics and excitedly exclaimed “You are the first one to kill Ms. Marvel, even before Zeb Wells!”, which is true, but the way he excitedly said it made us all laugh. He genuinely enjoyed Champions: Beat The Devil and said the story was very emotional and one of his favorites.

    Big Hyborian Energy

    The official CONAN THE BARBARIAN YouTube channel kicks off with a great summary of the character and his legacy and I’m thrilled to be a part of it:

    In addition, Shawn Curley and I did an extensive interview all about the Cimmerian himself – the books, the original movie, Conan’s pop culture footprint, my current comic writing and big plans for the future. If you haven’t subscribed to their channel, give this one a watch/listen and get all caught up:

    Current + Upcoming Releases

    Upcoming Appearances

    Jun 7-8, 2024 Howard Days Cross Plains, TX, USA
    July 25-28, 2024 San Diego Comic-Con San Diego, CA, USA
    Aug 1-4, 2024 Gen Con Indy Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Aug 16-18, 2024 Fan Expo Chicago Chicago, IL, USA
    Aug 22-25, 2024 Fan Expo Canada Toronto, ONT, CANADA
    Oct 17-20, 2024 Gamehole Con Madison, WI, USA

    Have a wonderful week!

    Savage Sword of Conan #2 Reviews

    Amazon: “This is horror-themed, raw, provocative, and painful–in a good way…Not to be too morbid, but this takes Conan to a place we haven’t seen him in a while and it’s done well.”

    Comic Book Dispatch: 9.2/10 “Richard Pace’s primitive art is as rough and brutal as the Hyborian Age. Furious slashes and angry lines show Conan’s battles with animals and monstrous warriors.”

    Comic Culture: “Clearly the best book of the week…Every single page is beautiful. I just love it. What a blessing this book has been.”

    Comical Opinions: 8.8/10 “Jim Zub and Patch Zircher are at the top of their game, building upon Robert E. Howard’s legacy…Savage Sword of Conan #2 is a dream for Robert E. Howard fans with two stories showcasing Howard’s greatest characters by creators who love them.”

    Eternal Crusader: 9/10 “Jim Zub has consistently delivered authentic tales featuring the Cimmerian and ‘Leaving the Garden’ is no exception, blending originality with homage to Robert E. Howard’s character…Heroic Signatures and Titan Comics have spared no effort in elevating the series to new heights.”

    Grimdark Magazine: “Dark and sketchy, Pace’s artwork has an almost expressionistic feel that suits the grim mood of the narrative. The thick blacks and contorted facial expressions are especially effective in the early panels as Conan struggles his way to the surface.”

    Hobbies of a Man: 9/10 “I think they did a great job improving on the concept from last time. I think they did a great job in printing.”

    Michael K. Vaughan: “It’s just really, really good and it’s also terrifying because it tells a horror story, and a really good one.”

    Pop Culture Philosophers: “What a great issue of Conan…A classic nice, bold and savage Conan tale…A lot of bang for your buck.”

    Stygian Dogs: “This feels like the best Conan story in years. In Zub’s story of dark horror, vengeance and a stubborn Cimmerian’s instincts for survival, artist Richard Pace pursues an almost primitive approach in the way he depicts these primal moments and, as the story addresses the innocence of childhood, Pace’s technique remains effective.”

    Todd Luck: “Jim Zub does something with a character that I haven’t really seen before or, at least, not done in this way and I think that makes this a unique and memorable story, especially the scene with the wolves…I think Conan is in very good hands.”

    Wakizashi’s Teahouse: 9/10 “You can tell the people making this comic are enjoying themselves. That’s good to see. It comes across on the pages.”

    Zubby Newsletter #60: Summertime Chill

    As expected, this year’s Calgary Expo was a wonderful time. The crowd in Alberta is always enthusiastic and it was a joy to see familiar faces and new fans at the show. Following the recent trend, there was a lot of Conan excitement and D&D buzz as well.

    As I finish typing this, Stacy and I are staying at our friend’s place outside Calgary, slamming through work emails and finalizing a couple project hand-ins while we repack our bags and get ready to fly to Japan for vacation.

    (Wait – vacation?! Jim doesn’t take vacations, does he? What strange times indeed…)

    Frozen Faith Begins in July!

    In July, CONAN THE BARBARIAN #13 kicks off the second year of our new era of Hyborian adventure. 90 years ago was the original publication of Gods of the North, also known as The Frost-Giant’s Daughter, one of the most famous and beloved Conan stories written by Robert E. Howard.

    Frozen Faith, our fourth story arc, is a celebration of Frost-Giant’s Daughter, but it’s not just a direct adaptation of that seminal tale. I’ve been clear in interviews that I don’t want to just retread existing Hyborian canon because we’re not a cover band here to replay the hits. Keeping the world’s most famous sword & sorcery hero vibrant requires new and unexpected narratives. I didn’t want to explore Frost-Giant’s Daughter material unless there was something fresh and exciting we could bring to the mix and, thankfully, I found an approach I’m really excited about. No spoilers, especially at this early stage, just know that Doug Braithwaite is drawing the best damn pages of his career (along with four glorious connected covers) and I am ecstatic at how it’s all coming together. I think it’s going to be really special.

    Superhero Hype has an exclusive first look at the cover art and solicit text for Conan the Barbarian #13.

    Speaking of Frozen Faith, variant cover artist Gil Agudin has posted a breakdown of his Conan the Barbarian #13 cover illustration process on Artstation. It’s a combination of 3D model work in Zbrush and Photoshop digital painting.

    Fighting Fantasy on My Phone

    After doing a bunch of research while designing a new 1st edition D&D adventure I put together for Gary Con, I’ve been enjoying the Fighting Fantasy Classics app by Tin Man Games, reliving the wondrous DEATHTRAP DUNGEON and other old school gamebooks on my phone.

    Now that I’ve been pulled back in, it got me thinking that some day it would be a ton of fun to write a Fighting Fantasy book and complete my full circle sword & sorcery triumvirate of inspiration – Dungeons & Dragons, Conan the Barbarian, and Fighting Fantasy made me the fantasy-flinging nerd I am today.

    Current + Upcoming Releases

    Upcoming Appearances

    May 4, 2024 Verse Comics Tokyo, JAPAN
    Jun 7-8, 2024 Howard Days Cross Plains, TX, USA
    July 25-28, 2024 San Diego Comic-Con San Diego, CA, USA
    Aug 1-4, 2024 Gen Con Indy Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Aug 16-18, 2024 Fan Expo Chicago Chicago, IL, USA
    Aug 22-25, 2024 Fan Expo Canada Toronto, ONT, CANADA
    Oct 17-20, 2024 Gamehole Con Madison, WI, USA

    Links and Other Things

    Chris Cantwell passed me an advance look at the second arc of Briar, the fairytale fantasy epic he’s weaving with Germán García and Matheus Lopes. The art is perfect for the moody and tragic tale that unfolds on every page. Wonderful work.

    • Another rockin’ fantasy comic coming up is Heartpiercer by Rich Douek and artist Gavin Smith. The first issue sets the stage for a premise full of potential.

    Mark Evanier‘s rundown of the recent controversy around who created Wolverine is a multi-part series called Claws For Debate that is well worth catching up on, packed with information and context aplenty on issues around credit and legacy that creatives and the general public should be more aware of.

    Spike Trotman recently posted a link to a 2008 Supinfocom animated short called Yankee Gal that I’d forgotten about. A great little piece worth revisiting or watching for the first time.

    Have a great week. My next newsletter will be sent from Japan – the return of #GaiJim!

    Conan the Barbarian #10 Reviews

    Our third story arc, The Age Unconquered continues! What did critics think? Let’s find out…

    Amazon: “Rob De La Torre is back to lend his artistic mastery once again for several issues of the new CtB.”

    Comic Book University: “There is no more consistently good comic out there…I don’t think anyone has carried the torch this well since Robert E. Howard.”

    Comical Opinions: 9/10 “a comic with fantastic Bronze Age-styled art, grim, gritty barbarian action, and an authentic connection to Robert E. Howard’s storytelling style. If you want a Conan comic, this is as good as it’s going to get”

    Deceptisean: “If you love sword & sorcery action adventure stuff, Conan is great, one of the best comics out there.”

    League of Comic Geeks: “This book never disappoints. The art, the story and the variety of characters and mystery just continue to excite this reader month to month.”

    Pop Culture Philosophers: “Jim Zub knows what old school Conan fans want, but he also knows how to craft a great modern comic that’s going to be pleasing to all fans today…Good classic Conan fun and I’m all here for it!”

    Sci-Fi Pulse: 9.7/10 “Jim Zub continues to do a great job with these Conan books and remains true to the spirit of the characters and themes from the original stories by Robert E. Howard…A great story that is building to what will likely be a fantastic ending.”

    Stygian Dogs: “With its rich narrative, excellent pacing and mature content, issue 10 of Conan the Barbarian does not disappoint. Roberto De La Torre and Jim Zub continue to soar the heights of Valusia’s majestic spires.”

    Thinking Critical: “This is a great book. It’s really fun. It’s beautifully, beautifully illustrated…Roberto De La Torre is a superstar in the making.”

    Todd Luck: “This is the exact type of brooding, metaphysical dream that I would expect in a Kull story. Very ominous stuff…It’s very, very good and it does nail Kull absolutely.”

    Zub Comics Arriving June 2024

    story – JIM ZUB
    cover B – STUART SAYGER
    cover C – GREG BROADMORE


    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!
    In Shops: June 26, 2024
    SRP: $3.99

    cover A – ALEX HORLEY
    cover B – CARY NORD

    THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN continues its triumphant return from Heroic Signatures and Titan Comics!

    Featuring a chilling CONAN tale from writer Frank Tieri and artist Cary Nord, the exciting conclusion of writer/artist Patch Zircher’s SOLOMON KANE epic, a silent Conan story from writer/artist Alan Quah, a tantalizing sneak peak of John C Hocking’s novel CONAN: CITY OF THE DEAD, jaw-dropping covers from Alex Horley and Cary Nord, incredible art pin-ups, and more!
    In Shops: June 26, 2024
    SRP: $6.99