We have lost the count of how many times, in more or less trustful publications, the origin of Conan the Barbarian is atributed to comics.

But, from where this pop icon comes?

Conan was created by the prodigious and fast pen of the texan Robert E Howard, a writer who has a great easyness to describe any theme, : boxing, wester, historical reference and all that could be sold well.

Howard created Conan in the text The Phoenix and the Sword, but he could not enjoy the future success of his creature. He comnited suicide at 30 years, letting and incredible extense work with some unforgetable characters as  Solomon Kane, Kull or Conan itself.

Then, from where comes the image we all have in mind about that fiery barbarian with only few clothe and the sword ever in his hands?

Mainly Howard describes him as: tall, fast as a panther, black hair as raven wing and blue eyes as iron.

But in the original covers where the stories were published in chapters, the illustrators give him a silly and strange image.

All that changed when the novels get published some years after Howard’s death, with Frazetta’s covers.

Marvel Comics, in a trial to atract a more adult public, bought the rights and published the mitical black and hite magazine, The savage sword of Conan (were some half informed articulists stablish the character’s origin).

The rest is histori, following the Frazzeta’s way, incredible painters as Vallejo, Norem and other made a lot of memorable covers and, in the inner, great drawers as Neal Adams, Buscema or BWS give inmortality of the mite that is already popular and fresh as the first day, that day that a boy from Texas, sits in front of his writing machine and create something that, years after, Frits Leiber, called Heroical Fantasy.

Alexis Calvo