Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Review: The Mysterious Cavalier by Paul Féval, fils and M. Lassez

In my search of historical fiction set in the 17th century, I happened across the name of Paul Féval, fils and his series of stories, some of them written in collaboration with M. Lassez. What makes them especially interesting is that the authors quite freely took characters created by other authors - d'Artagnan and the familiar three musketeers and Cyrano de Bergerac - and wrote new stories about them.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Review: Sword of Skelos by Andrew J. Offutt

Andrew J. Offutt wrote three Conan stories that are often praised as the best Conan stories not written by Robert E. Howard. Having read Robert Jordan's adequate but not memorable entries into the saga of Conan, I have been reluctant to pick up any of the stories from other authors. However, when I realised that Offutt had written the original story for one of my favourite non-REH Savage Sword of Conan comics - Sword of Skelos - I simply had to take a closer look.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Comics Adaptations of Robert E. Howard's Queen of the Black Coast

Robert E. Howard's Queen of the Black Coast is one of his most memorable stories and it has - deservedly - been adapted several times, most famously by both Marvel and Dark Horse in their Conan comics. Both of them attempt to extend the story from the original: instead of a single quick short story, they add to it and attempt to show how influential it was to Conan's character. They both also moved the story in Conan's chronology so that it takes place in his youth. Howard's original told a story that spanned a long time of Conan's life in mere four chapters, so this attempt to expand upon it is very welcome. A third adaptation was made by Petri Hiltunen, a Finnish comic artist.

The approaches the adaptations took are very different. I'll use this chance to provide an overall look of all of them and will then continue to give the reasons why I think one of them is a far more successful retelling than the others.