Category Archives: Conventions-Signings

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!
    Jim

    Zub at Calgary Expo 2024!

    After missing last year, I’m back at the Calgary Comics & Entertainment Expo on April 25-28, 2024!
    If you’re headed to the show, I hope to see you there.

    BIG FOUR BUILDING – ARTIST ALLEY TABLE P-58

    In addition to being at my table, I’m also on a panel Saturday:

    Saturday April 27th
    6:00pm – CONAN vs DEAD ROMANS: JIM ZUB and FRED KENNEDY – BIG 4 COMIC STAGE

    Writer Spotlight: Jim Zub is the acclaimed writer of Conan the Barbarian and Dungeons & Dragons, and Fred Kennedy’s first Image Comics mini-series Dead Romans, debuted in 2023.

    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!

    Zub at New York Comic Con 2023!

    The biggest pop culture event of the Fall is New York Comic Con and I will be there! I’ll be set up with the Comic Sketch Art team, at

    ARTIST ALLEY TABLE F37


    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 have some other signing events and panels. Here is my schedule:


    THURSDAY, OCT 12, 2023

    11:00am-01:00pm – Signing at Comic Sketch Art – Artist Alley Table F37
    03:00pm-06:00pm – Signing at Comic Sketch Art – Artist Alley Table F37

    FRIDAY, OCT 13, 2023

    10:00am-12:30pm – Signing at Comic Sketch Art – Artist Alley Table F37
    01:00pm-02:00pm – Signing at Unknown Comics w/ Jay Anacleto Livestream – Booth 3753
    03:30pm-04:00pm – Signing at Insight Editions – Booth 3418
    04:30pm-06:00pm – Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game: Official Live Play – Room 409
    It’s Friday the 13th! If you dare, come experience the Marvel Multiverse RPG like never before – as an all-star cast of mighty Marvel guests and tabletop RPG players embark on a thrilling supernatural mission for a night of role-playing you won’t want to miss. Narrator Troy Lavallee and players Sydney Amanuel, Matthew Capodicasa, Nick Lowe, Skid Maher, Joe O’Brien, and Jim Zub
    06:00pm-07:00pm – FREE Book Giveaway and Signing at Random House – Booth 3021/3220

    SATURDAY, OCT 14, 2023

    11:00am-01:00pm – Signing at Comic Sketch Art – Artist Alley Table F37
    03:00pm-06:00pm – Signing at Comic Sketch Art – Artist Alley Table F37

    SUNDAY, OCT 15, 2023

    11:00am-02:00pm – Signing at Comic Sketch Art – Artist Alley Table F37



    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

    ARTIST ALLEY TABLE P30


    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.

    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

    ARTIST ALLEY TABLE 105


    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

    SATURDAY, SEPT 2, 2023
    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

    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

    ARTIST ALLEY TABLE P68


    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:


    FRIDAY Aug 25, 2023 – COMIC WRITERS ROUNDTABLE
    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.

    SATURDAY Aug 26, 2023 – JIM ZUB WHATNOT LIVESTREAM
    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.

    Zub at Gen Con 2023

    On August 3-6 it’s time for North America’s largest tabletop, card, and board game show, GEN CON in Indianapolis, Indiana!

    Howard Tayler (Shlock Mercenary, Writing Excuses), Sandra Tayler (Hold On To Your Horses),
    Stacy King (D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides) and I will be set-up together at BOOTH 1249 in the main exhibit hall, ready to sign for readers.

    BOOTH 1249

    If you’re headed to Gen Con, it would be great to see you there! It’s one of my favorite shows each year. Getting the chance to promote my work and dig into the latest and greatest the gaming industry has to offer is a wonderful opportunity.

    SATURDAY, AUGUST 5th
    3:00-4:00pm – Tabletop to the Page: Comics and GamesStadium: Meeting Room 12

    Tabletop gaming and comics are a natural pairing, and it’s no wonder that many tabletop games have made the jump to comics–and vice versa. Game designers, comics creators, and more come together for this panel to discuss adapting TTRPGs for comics; creating board games and RPGs based on comics; and finding audiences and funding for these projects in different ways, including crowdfunding.

    Here’s where you can find our booth in the exhibit hall:

    Zub at San Diego Comic-Con 2023!

    It’s time once again for the granddaddy of pop culture chaos that is San Diego Comic-Con, or should we say COMIC-CROM! This year is extra-special for me as I’m there for the CONAN THE BARBARIAN series launch with Heroic Signatures and Titan Comics.

    Dan Panosian has illustrated an incredible exclusive Conan variant cover you’ll be able to buy at my table-

    Artist Alley Table GG-18



    Here’s where you’ll be able to find me on the exhibit floor when I’m not in other meetings in and around the show:

    THURSDAY, July 20, 2023

    01:00pm-02:00pm — Signing at Artist Alley TABLE GG-18
    02:30pm-03:00pm — Signing at Insight Editions – BOOTH 2135
    04:00pm-05:00pm — Signing at Titan Comics – BOOTH 5537
    05:00pm-06:00pm — Marvel and Proko Teach “The Art of Storytelling”
    A panel of industry veterans share their expertise in creating compelling stories, developing memorable characters, and mastering the art of visual storytelling. They’ll be covering several topics from Proko’s latest course on making comics with Marvel, featuring instructors from the course. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or a seasoned professional, this panel will offer valuable insights and practical advice to help you hone your craft and break into the competitive world of comics. – ROOM 11


    FRIDAY, July 21, 2023

    11:00am-02:00pm — Signing at Artist Alley TABLE GG-18
    02:30pm-03:30pm — Comic Sketch Art-Whatnot livestream
    05:00pm-05:45pm — Signing at Dark Horse Comics – BOOTH 2615
    06:00pm-07:00pm — Signing at Artist Alley TABLE GG-18


    SATURDAY, July 22, 2023

    11:00am-02:00pm — Signing at Artist Alley TABLE GG-18
    02:00pm-03:00pm — Signing at Titan Comics – BOOTH 5537


    SUNDAY, July 24, 2023

    09:30am-10:45am — Signing at Artist Alley TABLE GG-18
    11:00am-12:00pm — Conan the Barbarian Comics Return
    Get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the highly anticipated Conan comic launch from Heroic Signatures and Titan Comics, hitting stores July 26. Writer Jim Zub, editor Matt Murray, and Heroic Signatures president Fred Malmberg join Forbidden Planet TV’s Andrew Sumner to reveal the inner workings of this new launch and discuss future plans for anything/everything Conan the Barbarian!Look out for a Comic-Con exclusive of issue #1 debuting at the show. Attendees will all receive a free Conan comic, minifigures, and stickers and get a chance to win several princely prize bundles. – ROOM 29AB
    12:30pm-01:30pm — Signing at Titan Comics – BOOTH 5537
    02:00pm-04:30pm — Signing at Artist Alley TABLE GG-18

    Zub at Lexington Comic & Toy Con 2023

    I’m looking forward to being at the Lexington Comic & Toy Con in Lexington, Kentucky on March 23-26, 2023!

    I’ll be set up with the Comic Sketch Art team at Table 218. I’m looking forward to meeting readers and seeing what the city has to offer.