Doug: Here we have another of Mike S.'s budgetary nightmares -- picking and choosing Bronze Age goodness, but armed only with a dollar! Today's fare -- the animal loincloth crowd!
I Need to Buy Some Pants But Only Have a Buck! A Barbarian Shopping Spree!
Mike S.: Back in the height of the Bronze Age, it seemed the comic choices were well balanced with Super Heroes, Funny Animals, Teenage Jokesters, Richie Rich (in a category all his own) and of course the Barbarians and Warriors.
It was not uncommon at all to find a fine selection of loin clothed, weapon wielding, long maned combatants in the comic rack. Savages, warlords, destroyers, and she devils armed with sword, sorcery, and sometimes just their bare hands battled wizards, creatures, and even dystopian futures.
Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard seemed to have invaded the industry as their numerous creations came to life in four glorious colors. Their success was of course followed by numerous copycats armed with knives, battleaxes, and broadswords.
In my youth, in my assessment of what to buy, I lumped these many characters together. From Tarzan to John Carter, from Conan to Killraven, from Kull to Kamandi, I considered these adventure series to be secondary to those of their powered and costumed super heroic counterparts. I dismissed them as cavemen of no interest (even if they battled Martian technology). But I was wrong. Later in life, I found joy in seeing John Buscema’s depiction of the Hyborian Age in Conan, and the kookiness of Kirby’s impending animal rule in Kamandi, and the drama of Joe Kubert’s jungle action in Tarzan.
So I offer to you another $1 challenge of “If I Had A Buck…” With no competition from other genres, if the comic rack was limited to only adventurers, warriors, and barbarians, who would you choose? There are nine titles, nine stories to choose from, but you only have one measly dollar. Make your selection wisely or you may lose your head (metaphorically speaking of course). This was a difficult list to assemble, as there were so many titles and great covers to choose from and I am honestly no expert. Titles like “Turok, The Dinosaur Hunter” and “Skull, The Slayer” didn’t make the cut. Nor did “Ironjaw” or “Wulf, The Barbarian”. But that does not mean you can’t discuss them if they interest you.
What were your favorite titles in this genre? What did you like about the characters and stories? Did you get drawn in and did you collect these series? Or were you like me and only picked up issues here and there? Do you lump the futuristic fighters with their ancient equivalents, like I do? Is there a storyline that you would recommend? How did you choose to spend your dollar? And most importantly, why were these characters so averse to wearing shirts and why did so many of their names start with a hard “C” sound?
Have fun and here is the list of choices:
Amazing Adventures featuring Killraven, Warrior of the Worlds #32; $0.25
Conan the Barbarian #72; $0.30
John Carter, Warlord of Mars #13; $0.35
Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth #17; $0.20
Lord of the Hidden Jungle, Ka-Zar #13; $0.25
Korak, Son of Tarzan #58; $0.25
Kull the Destroyer #18; $0.30
Red Sonja, She-Devil With a Sword #11; $0.35
Tarzan #222; $0.20