Archive for Robert E. Howard

Merry Turkey Day!

Hey, it’s Thanksgiving! Hope you’re all able to spend time eating good food with friends and family. And for those of you who aren’t — I seriously hope next year is better than this one, both for you and for the rest of us.

It’s hard to find comics that are specifically about Thanksgiving, so instead, let’s look at some prominent comic book Pilgrims.


Super Pilgrim

Okay, I know absolutely nothing about this guy on the left side of this “Tick” cover. I’ve got to assume he’s a Pilgrim and he’s got superpowers. And since he’s in a “Tick” comic, I reckon it’s a sure bet that he’s very silly.


Just a Pilgrim

An apocalyptic sci-fi Western, this was written by Garth Ennis, illustrated by Carlos Ezquerra, and published by Black Bull Comics. Set in a future where the sun’s corona expanded, burning off the oceans and killing most of humanity, the story focuses on Pilgrim, a former cannibal who has burned a cross into his face to represent his renewed faith. He tries to defend some refugees crossing the Atlantic basin from pirates and in a later series, tries to defend some scientists trying to build a space shuttle to take them to another world. Despite Pilgrim’s badassery, the stories don’t often end very well.


Deena Pilgrim

Deena is a character in Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s “Powers” series. She’s a homicide detective partnered with Det. Christian Walker, and they investigate murders of “powers” — superheroes and supervillains. She’s a bit of a goofball, a bit of a punk rocker, and she always plays “Bad Cop” to Walker’s “Good Cop.” At one point, she actually developed contagious superpowers and went on the run, but I understand her powers have been cured now.


Scott Pilgrim

The lead character in Bryan Lee O’Malley’s epic comic series from Oni Press, Scott is a slacker and bass guitarist for a band called Sex Bob-Omb who falls in love with Ramona Flowers. But in order to date her, he must first defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends (which includes one evil ex-girlfriend from college). The whole series has lots of call-backs to video games — all the bands in the series have names based on computer games, and Scott’s battles against the seven evil exes are all reminiscent of video game boss battles. No, I’ve never read this, mostly because I’m too cheap to buy all the previous books.


Solomon Kane

He’s not technically a Pilgrim, but he is a Puritan. He had a series published by Marvel years ago, and a current series published by Dark Horse, but he got his start as a character created by Robert E. Howard, the guy who wrote the Conan the Barbarian stories. Solomon Kane was a dour, near-humorless 17th century swashbuckling Puritan swordsman who adventured across Europe and Africa fighting evil and rescuing innocents. Howard’s original Solomon Kane stories are great action pulp — to be honest, some of the best action prose I can recall reading anywhere — though it can be a bit of a slog to get past the 1920s-era racism that infects them — the more recent comic stories bleed that part out of them.

So there we have it — five different comic book Pilgrims for you to spend your Thanksgiving with. Make sure they get some of the sweet potato pie, a’ight?

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Lone Star Horror


Pigeons from Hell #1

Right here, we got a horror comic with a Texas pedigree.

It’s based on a classic and extremely creepy story by Robert E. Howard. He’s best known as the creator of fantasy heroes like Conan the Barbarian, Kull the Conqueror, and Solomon Kane, but Howard wrote a lot of horror, too. He corresponded with horror legend H.P. Lovecraft and wrote quite a few stories in the Cthulhu Mythos. He was a Texan, too — the guy who created Conan the Barbarian lived in a little town called Cross Plains, down in Callahan County.

And this comic is written by another Texan with tons of experience writing horror — Joe R. Lansdale. He lives in Nacogdoches, and he’s written some of the weirdest, creepiest stories I’ve read. He helped create the splatterpunk genre, and he’s penned a bunch of horror/Western combos. He’s already written his fair share of comics, including a Conan miniseries and several series about Jonah Hex. I discovered his stuff back when I first hit the post-Stephen-King period of my horror-readin’, right about the same time as I stumbled across Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood” and the classic zombie anthology “The Book of the Dead.” So seeing Howard’s and Lansdale’s names on the cover promises me some classic pulp horror and modern pulp horror all wrapped up into one gory knot.

So aaaaanyway… This comic isn’t a direct adaptation of Howard’s “Pigeons from Hell” — it’s updated to the present day, starring a couple of sisters, Claire and Janet Blassenville, descendants of slaves and new inheritors of an old Louisiana plantation. They’ve brought along three friends to check out their new property, and what they find is a filthy, decaying wreck of a mansion, infested with thousands of pigeons. What were the stories the Blassenville sisters used to hear about pigeons as the souls of the damned escaping Hell? Probably nothing, right?

Well, one of their friends gets injured, and when they try to get him to a hospital, they lose control of the car and drive it into a lake. Nowhere else to turn, so they go back to the mansion. Did they see someone inside the house? Why is it so ice-cold when it’s the middle of summer? What’s stirring out in the local graveyard?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I am loving this one.

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