Zubby Newsletter #7: Days of High Adventure

CONAN Unleashed

Titan Comics and Heroic Signatures rolled out a bunch of cover art and preview pages for CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1, the series relaunch I’m writing that arrives in July!

  • Nerdist showcased Dan Panosian’s cover art and a first glimpse at Rob De La Torre and Jose Villarubia’s incredible interior art.
  • ComicBook.com spotlighted Rob De La Torre’s cover colored by Dean White and another interior page.
  • Newsarama highlighted variant cover art by Stanley ‘Artgerm’ Lau with our new hunter-scout character named Brissa and an homage cover of the original Conan the Barbarian #1 cover from 1970 by Pat Zircher and colorist Giada Marchisio.
  • CBR had an exclusive reveal of the Mike Mignola variant cover colored by Dave Stewart and the stunning new Hyborian Age world map illustrated by cartographer Francesca Baerald.
  • Bleeding Cool unleashed Erik Gist’s painted variant cover and a special throwback variant that uses the classic poster illustration from the 1982 Conan the Barbarian movie.

You can see why I’ve been so damn happy about this. Every day or two I get one of these pages or cover images in my inbox and, well, just LOOK at them! Mind blowing stuff.

Each chance I get to be a bard for the barbarian is special but this time, this launch, man oh man, it’s the best one yet.

Make sure you snag our issue #0 on Free Comic Book Day and then, get HYPED for Conan the Barbarian #1 arriving in July.

Here’s the solicit text for our first issue:

Author: JIM ZUB
Publishers: Heroic Signatures / Titan Comics
32pp, $3.99, On sale date: July 26, 2023


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

Free Comic Book Day Has Three Eyes!

Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 6th and I’ll be at THIRD EYE COMICS in Annapolis, Maryland for the big day.

Steve and Trish at Third Eye have been steady supporters of my work ever since Skullkickers launched back in 2010. Each time I sign at their shop I’m blown away at the way they’ve built their store(s) and the passionate readership they’ve cultivated. It’s an absolute pleasure to be there again launching the new Conan series with our special free issue #0.

Several readers have already reached out asking how to get signed copies of this Conan FCBD issue. If you won’t be seeing me at a convention or signing this summer, you should reach out to Third Eye and mail order a signed copy ahead of time.

Want to see how amazing Third Eye Comics is? I shot a quick video tour of their flagship store back in 2018 and, if you know anything about retail, you will be gob smacked at the quality of their layout and inventory:

(Their board game and TTRPG shop two doors down is equally impressive.)

Bonkers, right? Like I say in the video, if there was a comic shop like Third Eye in every major city in North America, the comic book industry would be completely different than it is now.

If you’re in the Annapolis, Washington DC, or Baltimore area, make sure you join us for an epic return to the Hyborian Age on May 6th!

Dragons + Dungeons + You

With the release of the Dungeons & Dragons movie a couple weeks ago and the game’s 50th anniversary coming up in 2024, there’s been a lot of chatter about gaming and I’ve been getting more people than usual asking me what D&D is and how to play.

Nate at WASD20 has a really solid overview of the game and how to get started:

I think that video summarizes things for beginners even better than many of the official starter videos on the Wizards of the Coast site.

If you don’t want to spend a dime, you can get the core D&D rules for free right here on the official site, but if you haven’t played a tabletop RPG before it’s going to be a bit of a challenge to dive in on your own. Most people learn how this hobby works way faster by jumping in for a demo session with friends or at a local game shop.

I talk about what roleplaying games are and how they encourage cooperation and creativity here:

Young or old, die-hard gamer or newbie, RPGs are a wonderful outlet that can build lifelong friendships and memories, in person or online.

In a world where we’re inundated with media choices, most of which are passive viewing experiences, getting the chance to create weird and wonderful stories with friends and family is even more special.

Lots of people ask me if I still find time to play – Absolutely!

Just in the past month I’ve been part of three different games – I wrapped up running a Feng Shui adventure for some friends in Toronto, kicked the tires on an introductory scenario for the G.I.Joe RPG with friends online, and am in the midst of playing through a rambling and raucous supernatural adventure in the Old West in Call Of Cthulhu: Down Darker Trails online with a group of comic industry pals.

It can be tough to sync up everyone’s schedule, especially as convention season kicks into gear and project deadlines loom, but when we carve out the space to play together it’s always worth it and engages me more than almost any TV show or movie available at my fingertips.

Links and Other Stuff

  • Stan at Proko has a new video about how to improve line quality. His explanation of the process is, forgive the pun, really sharp:
  • Stephen Travers covers some great illustrative techniques for staging detailed compositions and tricking the viewer into thinking more is being portrayed in a drawing than the actual marks on the page:
  • Ron Lemen has a quick and simple rundown for improving how to visualize depth and form when working from photo reference. Standing figures should have a sense of volume and perspective, even if you don’t draw a background.
  • Jason M. Waltz sent me a PDF of Hither Came Conan, a collection of essays about the original Robert E. Howard Conan the Barbarian prose stories and I’m working my way through it in between other reading and research. Lots of information and commentary if you’re interested in the legendary source material for our favorite Cimmerian.
  • On the food front, last week I was raving to friends about this Rosemary Salt recipe so it makes sense that I share it here:


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