La reina de la Costa Negra

The character of Bêlit, the formidable pirate queen from Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian universe, has transcended her literary origins to become a staple of Mexican comic book culture. This exploration delves into the rich history of “La Reina de la Costa Negra” (The Queen of the Black Coast), a title that graced the pages of Mexican comics through two distinct series, capturing the imagination of readers with tales of adventure, piracy, and the supernatural.

The Early Beginnings: Cuentos de Abuelito Presents La Reina de la Costa Negra (1952-1953)

Cuentos de Abuelito #50 presents La Reina de la Costa Negra

The saga of “La Reina de la Costa Negra” in Mexican comics begins in the early 1950s with a series published by Ediciones C.E.M.S.A. (Corporacion Editorial Mexicana S.A.). Launched under the full title “Cuentos de Abuelito presents La Reina de la Costa Negra,” this series was a part of a digest-sized publication, measuring 4 1/2″ x 5 3/4″, that was released weekly. Initially featuring “Kun’ga, La Diosa de Oro” (The Golden Goddess), the series introduced Conan and Bêlit in issue #8, who then dominated the storyline up to issue #61, save for a few issues that featured “La Monje Loco” (The Mad Monk).

This iteration presented a mix of stories, some of which strayed from Howard’s original narratives, showcasing the adaptability and appeal of the characters in various scenarios. The series ended its run with Bêlit and occasionally Conan gracing most of its covers, before “Cuentos de Abuelito” concluded in the early 1960s.

A New Chapter: Ediciones Joma’s La Reina de la Costa Negra (1965-1966)

The character’s legacy continued in the mid-1960s with Ediciones Joma’s launch of a new series, again titled “La Reina de la Costa Negra.” This series, spanning 53 issues from 1965 to 1966, brought to life original stories inspired by Howard’s creation, focusing on the pirate queen in a manner that was both unique and faithful to the spirit of adventure and fantasy inherent in the source material.

The Joma series distinguished itself with vibrant covers and storytelling that resonated with the Mexican audience, combining the allure of pirate tales with the mystique of ancient curses and lost treasures. This series not only honored Howard’s legacy but also expanded upon it, offering readers new adventures and narratives that enriched the lore of the pirate queen.

Artistic Contributions and Legacy

Both series were notable for their artistic contributions, with the Joma series, in particular, standing out for its dynamic illustrations and captivating cover art. Artists involved in these projects brought their unique visions to the stories, infusing them with a visual flair that captured the essence of high adventure and the untamed spirit of Bêlit.

The impact of “La Reina de la Costa Negra” on Mexican comic culture cannot be overstated. These series not only introduced Robert E. Howard’s work to a new audience but also demonstrated the universal appeal of his characters. Bêlit, in particular, emerged as a figure of strength, cunning, and complexity, inspiring readers with her daring exploits and unyielding will.


The legacy of “La Reina de la Costa Negra” in Mexican comics is a testament to the enduring appeal of Robert E. Howard’s creations. Through both the early C.E.M.S.A. series and the subsequent Joma publications, Bêlit has sailed beyond the written word to become an iconic figure in the world of comics. These series not only paid homage to Howard’s vision but also contributed to the tapestry of adventure and fantasy literature, proving that the tales of the Hyborian Age have a universal resonance that transcends cultural and temporal boundaries.

Read the comic books

Thanks to C. L. Mena on Facebook here are 4 issues of “La Reina de la Costa Negra”:

La Reina de la Costa Negro 10
La Reina de la Costa Negra 16
La Reina de la Costa Negra 38
La Reina de la Costa Negra 43


The information above is from various sources. Among these are:

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