Zubby Newsletter #70: Summer Sprint

July has already burst from the starting blocks and is moving into quite the sprint. I’ve got an aggressive writing schedule going right now, trying to get as much done as I can before the back-to-back blitz that is San Diego Comic Con and Gen Con this year. I’m chipping away at my To-Do List while also carving out time for walks with Stacy, seeing family and friends, exercise, cooking fun meals, and a little bit of gaming. It’s a busy time, but also feels good all around.

The response to Conan the Barbarian #12 has been amazing. After so much planning and hard work, seeing it finally out there in the world getting such positive feedback from readers and retailers is an absolute thrill.

I know I say this a lot, but it still bears repeating – Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing your enthusiasm with other readers, in person and online. It means so much to all of us on the team.

So…after that epic finale to The Age Unconquered, what comes next?

In our first issue there was a flashback montage that shows Conan fighting at the Battle of Venarium that also included these two panels-

Artwork from Conan the Barbarian #1 by Rob De La Torre. Colors by José Villarrubia.

The narration drops hints about a young Conan challenging himself on his early journeys and that was by design. Like the original Conan short stories published in Weird Tales, we’re hopping around the timeline to build larger thematic arcs, not just telling Conan’s story in chronological order.

Our fourth story arc, called Frozen Faith, chronologically takes place between issue #0 and issue #1. It will show Conan traveling north after leaving Cimmeria and issue #13 includes that fateful bear hunt and its meaning to our Cimmerian hero. After a wild year of dark magic, time travel and cosmic horror, this is very much a back to basics man vs nature-style survival story, but with twists and turns along the way and important tethers to The Frost-Giant’s Daughter, one of Robert E. Howard’s finest Conan tales.

In a similar fashion, I’ve already planted seeds for our fifth story arc, crucial moments and thrilling adventures we’ll fill in as they become important to the big picture. Building this kind of non-linear story structure is obviously a lot more challenging than just going in order, but it also gives us a lot more flexibility and keeps readers on their toes.

Look Inside Battle of the Black Stone #1

Alongside Frozen Faith, the mysteries of the Black Stone also carry onward this Fall-

Artwork from Conan: Battle of the Black Stone #1 by Jonas Scharf. Colors by Jão Canola.

Popverse has an exclusive full color look at interior pages from CONAN: BATTLE OF THE BLACK STONE #1, the first of a four-issue mini-series that brings together characters from Robert E. Howard’s incredible cast of pulp-tastic protagonists.

Jonas Scharf‘s line work is sublime and Jão Canola‘s colors punch up every scene. Like with Rob De La Torre, I’m writing plot-style on this mini-series, letting Jonas define the page composition and panel count in ways that works best with his art, then writing a separate lettering script after page art comes in. It’s incredibly collaborative and keeps me inspired at every turn. I think this mini-series is going to be one for the ages, my friends. Make sure you get on board.

Story – Jim Zub
Artist – Jonas Scharf
Colors – Jao Canola
Cover A – Gerardo Zaffino


An unspeakable evil looms over the Hyborian Age and every age connected to it… and it will take more than a lone barbarian to stop its relentless march upon time, space, and sanity.

BATTLE OF THE BLACK STONE, an epic new CONAN EVENT from Heroic Signatures and Titan Comics, begins HERE, from Jim Zub (Conan the Barbarian, Dungeons & Dragons) and artist Jonas Scharf (Dark X-Men, Basilisk)!

In Shops: Sept 4th, 2024

The Corner Box – Part 2

Here’s part 2 of my chat with my friends John Barber and David Hedgecock on their podcast.

In this second half, we cover the evolution of my comic career – webcomics, joining the UDON studio, my first published comic credit, working with editors, my oldest pitch, Conan the Barbarian, channeling the source material, and more. Make sure you give it a listen.

Slay the Hydra

I read an advance digital copy of the upcoming graphic novel Gamemasters, a history of roleplaying games told by my friends Fred Van Lente and Tom Fowler. I enjoyed it so much I gave them a blurb, which you can see above.

The crowdfunding pre-launch page is already up, so make sure you have this one on your radar.

Current + Upcoming Releases

  • Conan the Barbarian #12 – released July 3rd.
  • Life of Wolverine – One Shot – released July 3rd.
  • Savage Sword of Conan #3 – releases July 10th (previously July 3rd).
  • Conan the Barbarian Vol.2: Thrice Marked For Death – TPB releases July 16th.
  • Conan the Barbarian #13 – releases July 24th.
  • Conan the Barbarian #14 – releases August 21st.
  • Savage Sword of Conan #4 – releases August 28th.

  • 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

    Jay Deitcher has a fascinating article on Rolling Stone all about Steve Ditko’s personal life, giving a glimpse at the very private man and his world. Well worth reading.

    7-11 wants to change its businesses in the U.S. to more closely match their Japanese counterparts. If you’ve ever been to Japan and experienced the amazing food and value at a konbini, you know how awesome that would be.

    Lindsay Ellis has a new video essay on Yoko Ono and the Beatles that twists and turns its way through pop culture in an impressively compelling way, illuminating aspects of fame, friendship, relationships and more. It’s feature documentary length, but worth the watch.


    1. Armando Millan

      Will there be a larger collection bringing together Conan 1-12?

      • Nothing to announce yet, though there are discussions about the possibility of that kind of collection.

        • Lawrence Bubba Beasley

          I think Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have the right idea with the deluxe, oversized hardcovers they release long after the TPB collections. And depending on how closely coupled they all are, maybe all the “Black Stone saga” issues could comprise a single volume:

          – CTB #0-12
          – FCBD 2024
          – SSOC #3
          – Battle of the Black Stone

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