Dark Horse Conan Comic to get new writers Mignola and Truman


It’s the end of an age – truly. In that Robert E. Howard way.

After 29 consecutive issues (counting the #0, mind you), Conan writer Kurt Busiek will be leaving the title with issue #28 (drawn by Eric Powell). Together with artists Cary Nord, Tom Yeates, and colorist Dave Stewart, Busiek revived Conan as a comic property at Dark Horse, returning the barbarian to his roots, both as a character, and with stories that were closely tied to Howard’s original tales, making the series one of Dark Horse’s best-selling titles in years.

Stepping in to take Busiek’s place for three issues will Mike Mignola, who will write an adaptation of Howard’s “The Hall of the Dead,” the first part of which will appear in Conan #29 and will run through issue #31. Nord will provide the art for Mignola’s story.

Busiek will return for one last Conan story with issue #32 drawn by Greg Ruth, and then, well, the major clue is in the solicitation for March’s issue #26. Tim Truman comes on board to draw Conan for those two issues, and then, beginning with issue #33, Truman will take over as the series regular writer, teaming with Nord.

Dark Horse’s decision to go with Truman was met with praise from both Busiek and Mignloa, both of whom were pushing the publisher to sign him. “I’m absolutely thrilled that Dark Horse got Tim Truman for Conan,” Busiek said. “And I’m not just saying that because I suggested him. I’ve been a fan of Tim’s work since he did Scout, way back in the Pleistocene Era, and I think he’s terrific at rough heroics in a brutal, corrupt, decadent world, which suits Conan beautifully. Heck, if it had been a choice between Tim and me, back when Dark Horse started the series, I’d have picked Tim.”

Mignola: “Truman really has the same sensibilities as Howard. His stuff has that gritty, tough, action-adventure feel, but he also knows the bigger-than-life pulp-era monster stuff that comes from the old-fashioned supernatural literature. You can tell he learned that writers like Howard as opposed to from reading superheroes.”

“Early this year, when I was finishing up the artwork for last pages of the Grimjack: Killer Instinct miniseries, someone left a question at the message board at my website [ www.timothytruman.com ] something to the effect of: ‘If you could do a comic about any character you desired, what character would you pick?’” Turman told Newsarama when asked how he landed the gig. “I thought about it and Howard's Conan was at the top of my list. Well, a few days later I happened to see an ad for P. Craig Russell's' Conan and the Jewels of Gwahlur miniseries. The thought occurred to me to email editor Scott Allie to offer my services, should they need an artist for any upcoming Conan special projects, covers, fill-in issues, whatever.

“As it turned out Scott was on vacation but his assistant, Matt Dwyer, got back to me the same day and said that he was sure that Scott would be excited about hearing from me. Sure enough, Scott called me a week later and we started talking. Not long after that, we'd worked out plans for a five issue miniseries with my old buddy Joe R. Lansdale writing. Then, Scott further surprised me by telling me he needed a fill-in artist for two issues of the monthly series, with Kurt Busiek writing. So in short order I was in Hyborian heaven.”

For the last four months, Turman said he’s been hard at work on the miniseries art and fill-in issues. “I’ve been putting more sweat into the stuff than just about any other project I've ever been involved in-- a real labor of love. Then about two weeks ago Scott absolutely floored me floored me by asking me to become regular writer for the ongoing series. A pretty unbelievable series of events, and it looks like it will work perfectly with my schedule.

“When I say it had always been an unfulfilled dream of mine to work on Conan, I'm not kidding. Right now, I feel like a fanboy again. I've literally wanted to do this since I was 12 years old. I’m an unrepentant, unreconstructed Robert E. Howard fanboy and have been since I was 12 years old. Howard's Conan marked every important character that I've ever done - Grimjack, Scout, Hawkman, Jonah Hex.”

Truman said that he’s planning on following the trail Busiek has already blazed with Conan, saying, ““I want to maintain the level of wonderful literacy and humanity that Kurt brought to the character and series, while adding my own naturally darker and more intense spin on things. I want to keep the humanity and character interactions, while at the same time injecting even more of Howard’s poetic, dime novel darkness into the mix. Luckily, we're entering a phase of Conan’s career, chronologically, where it will fit really well.

“I absolutely love the humanity that Kurt brought to the book. He realized that you have to dig deeper into the character, and that Conan is actually an surprisingly rich and complex hero-- one of the most paradoxical creations in adventure fiction. That's the reason Conan has been with us so long.”

Truman’s larger goal? Continue with the threads laid out by Busiek, and continue the build to one of Howard’s most famous Conan stories, “Rogues in the House.”
I'd like to thank Kurt for a very enjoyable ride over the last three years or so . I know many REH fans were worried_ what_ Conan we would get after the pretty awful final Marvel years but he managed to allay most fears even before the first issue hit the stands by chatting to many of us in various places with his thoughts and plans .

We finally got Conan back to his roots and he managed to fill , IMO , Roy's shoes so well that poor old Tim has a hell of a job to follow . Never having read any of his stuff I wish him well , at least he's a fan .

Disappointed of course that Kurt's leaving so soon . I was looking forward to the long haul following his Conan for many more years to come.


The Robert E Howard Comics Group
Damn! I was very pleased with the actual run :cry:

I'm really worried for the future of the comic, but well, I guess we just can wait and see.
It's been a million years since I collected comics, but I from what I dimly recall, Truman is a hell of a good writer. I think he has the chops to keep the title up to its current level of quality.
GregLynch said:
It's been a million years since I collected comics, but I from what I dimly recall, Truman is a hell of a good writer. I think he has the chops to keep the title up to its current level of quality.

And he's a hell of a Howard fan too .


The Robert E Howard Comics Group
I'm glad Truman is such a big fan - it worked with Kurt so hopefully Tim will provide a different voice but with the level of faithfulness Kurt had. One thing we are sure of - the two issues Truman is drawing (before he takes over the writing duties) will be very good. Here's an example of Truman's Conan - this is the cover to the Conan mini-series Tim and Joe Lansdale are working on - Conan and the Songs of the Dead:

Yes Mingola is writing the three issues before Tim takes over.


The Robert E Howard Comics Group