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Dark Horse starts a new Conan series next month with Conan #1, by Channel Zero and Demo collaborators Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan. Based on Robert E. Howard’s “Queen of the Black Coast,” the comic will weave new adventures into Conan’s two-year journey with the notorious female pirate Bêlit, a period barely touched on in the original short story. Comic Book Resources has a preview of the first issue.
I spoke with Wood and Cloonan about their plans for the series, using the classic Howard tale as their framework, and the dynamic between the young Conan and Bêlit.
ROBOT 6: How did each of you first encounter Conan — in the novels, the movie, or the older comics?
Wood: I’m sure it was the Arnold movie that was my first exposure, but not in a really meaningful way. I was 10 when it came out, so I wouldn’t have seen it, but we all played it at recess anyway. Later on, as I started to become more aware of comics, I became aware of Conan as he was drawn by masters like BWS and Frazetta. Funnily enough, the novels came last.
Dark Horse has made it official, announcing at New York Comic Con that Demo collaborators Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan are reteaming for an adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian short story “Queen of the Black Coast.”
Often considered among the best Conan stories, the 1934 tale finds the Cimmerian taking to the high seas, where he joins up with the pirate queen Bêlit for an adventure marked with romance, terror, murder and madness.
Dark Horse teased the reunion of Wood and Cloonan two weeks ago with a vague convention schedule listing and a graphic that read simply “Brian & Becky & Dark & Horse.” The duo partnered on Channel Zero: Jennie One in 2003, which they followed with their breakout work Demo and the 2010 sequel Demo: Volume 2. They also collaborated last year on two issues of Wood’s Vertigo Viking series Northlanders.
Their run on Conan the Barbarian, described by the publisher as “a perfect jumping-on point for new readers,” begins Feb. 8.
In addition, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund announced this morning that limited-edition prints of the above image, signed by Wood and Cloonan, are being sold for $50 this weekend at the CBLDF booth (#1158) to benefit the organization.