Edited by Leo Grin | Illustrated by Dalmatius
40 pages

This issue was printed in two editions. The deluxe edition, numbered 1–75, uses a black linen cover with foil-stamped gold text. The limited edition, numbered 76–225, uses a gold cover with solid black text.

Contents

  • “Chugging Along” by Leo Grin (Editorial)
  • “The Shortest Distance Between Two Towers” by Steve Tompkins
  • “Once I Was John Wesley Hardin!” by Gary Romeo
  • “The Last of the Baker Kids” by Don Herron
  • “Requiescat in Pace: Robert C. “Bob” Baker, 1925-2006″
  • “Plains Town Writer” by Robert E. Kane (poem)
  • “The Lion’s Den” by Darrell Schweitzer, Donald Sidney-Fryer, Jack Jones, Leon Nielsen, Don Herron (letter column)
  • Contributors
Publisher : Leo Grin
Year : March 2006
Format : Chapbook ( 6.9 x 8.5, saddle stapled)
Pages : 40
Cover : Dalmatius
Illustrations : Dalmatius

Notes

DELUXE COPIES DESTROYED: 15

LIMITED COPIES DESTROYED: 69

Features a comprehensive essay on the relationship between REH and J.R.R. Tolkien in the fantasy field, another essay on Howard’s fascination with notorious western outlaw John Wesley Hardin, an all-new interview with someone who knew the Howards, poetry, art, The Lion’s Den, and more.

Excerpts

Where is Tolkien’s Gianni? His Roy Krenkel? His John and Marie Severin? His Barry Windsor-Smith? We do at least know where his Frank Frazetta is, or was briefly. As is documented in the 2001 volume Testament: A Celebration of the Life and Art of Frank Frazetta, in the ’70s the great man produced an ill-starred LOTR portfolio for the “short-lived Denver, Colorado publisher Middle Earth” that featured a gulp-inducingly bare-buttocked Éowyn at bay against the Witch-king’s reptilian steed. Tolkien’s monsters and battles would have benefited from more of Frazetta’s oomph; an edition of The Silmarillion given the Ultimate Triumph treatment would be as gloat-worthy as Glaurung and Smaug’s entire hoards. Howard has been so much the better-served of the two fantasists on canvas that there is a belated justice to the fact that the score has been more than evened on celluloid.

— from “The Shortest Distance Between Two Towers” by Steven Tompkins

Hardin’s twenty-first birthday killing proved his undoing. Flush with money after procuring a racehorse named Rondo, Hardin and friends rode into Comanche, Texas, to celebrate. Sheriff Charlie Webb was looking to arrest Hardin and probably murder him. Here is Howard on Charlie Webb: “[Hardin] was a bloodthirsty killer, a murderer — what you will. Yet I respect him more than I respect some of the men that hunted him. He did his own killing. For only one of these killings was he tried — that of Deputy Sheriff Webb. I have little sympathy for Webb. He met Hardin in a social way, and sought to take advantage of him, for the sake of the reward. The sheriff of another county than Webb’s, a friend of Hardin, introduced the men in a saloon. Webb went for his gun and dropped with Hardin’s bullet through him.” Webb is buried at Brownwood’s Greenleaf Cemetery, back in the old Boot Hill section oft visited by Robert E. Howard.

— from ” ‘Once I Was John Wesley Hardin!’ ” by Gary Romeo

He was a good doctor, too, really. But rough, I mean tough. I remember Dr. Howard, we had something called “risers” then, they were boils, you know. He would just take me in the office and just whack those things, oh my. My brother-in-law, Alma’s husband, came with me one time, and he just fainted dead away when he saw that!

— from “The Last of the Baker Kids”by Don Herron

Long black hair. . .a warrior. . .a thief. . .soldier of fortune. . .barbarian.

He beholds the Frost Giant’s Daughter. . .Cheesecake for the mind, but so wonderful. . .

He wants her. . .but how to get her?. . .lonely old town. . .so nowhere.

Clack, clack goes the little black typewriter.

— from “Plains Town Writer” by Robert E. Kane

And as I’ve complained before, I’m really sorry — really sorry — to see the REH rights sold to a big international corporation. There must have been a better option. A property such as this is best managed at the family level, whether we’re talking about the management of REH vs. ERB literary rights, or Steinway pianos. Moving Steinway from the family to becoming a mere member of the vast CBS portfolio nearly killed the brand before it was returned to individual management control. Jack and Barbara Baum had a special property, and — due to the lack of a direct family heir — had committed to maintaining REH’s vision. They had the obligation and responsibility to do the right thing by the property. Moving their rights to the control of Paradox, where all is ruled by the bottom line, will most likely result in REH products that few of us will ever recognize.

— Jack Jones writing in The Lion’s Den

Features a comprehensive essay on the relationship between REH and J.R.R. Tolkien in the fantasy field, another essay on Howard’s fascination with notorious western outlaw John Wesley Hardin, an all-new interview with someone who knew the Howards, poetry, art, The Lion’s Den, and more.

Tags: Darrell Schweitzer / Don Herron / Gary Romeo / Leo Grin / Robert E. Howard / Steve Tompkins