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!

  1. Awesome to hear that you are coming to Japan in May!
    Would love to meet you to sign some books at Verse in Tokyo.
    Will you be at any other locations in Japan? Nagoya? Osaka?

    Enjoy your trip!

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