Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hot Town, Cimmerian In The City (Part Two)


Concluding Conan's time-traveling misadventures from "What If" #13 (February, 1978).

First panel: Conan looks down at the dog and thinks "Hey, dinner!" Also? It's nice to see that even the most jaded, hardened Greenwich Village hipster isn't above wearing a tasteful string of pearls. Hey... wait a minute! Those are my gramma's! Stop! Thief!

Second panel: the mellow musical stylings of GROPE! Honestly, Roy Thomas and John Buscema (Ernie Chua, you're just the inker so I'll leave you out of it) -- "punk rock?" I think not. I'd buy "glam" but in no universe do these pretty boys and their frilly frocks qualify as "punk." And I doubt any punk rocker tried to intimidate a rival with a "double-hex whammy smile." Christ, Conan himself is more "punk" they are.



Anyway, that's what happens when middle-aged folks try to depict a current musical fad, Madonna. Or to put it another way, Grope is the Marvel equivalent of Ernie Bushmiller (of the comic strip "Nancy") drawing any and all hippies with ukuleles and flower necklaces.

Whoa. Looks like the alley cat got to the dog before Conan did! (New York is rough.)


Too bad this story wasn't in-continuity, huh? 'Cause I really wanted to see Conan wearing that beret in, like, every story published after this one, forever. I wanted to see Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing a beret in the Conan movies. I wanted to read Conan novels that described the character as "black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, and a kicky little beret." Is that so much to ask?

I leave you with this piece of advice:


Never offer to help Conan move. He'll be stressed out and drunk and belligerent before you even get there, and to top it off he won't even spring for pizza afterwards. (Conan the Dickweed!)


Marc Burkhardt said...

The sad thing is I bought both this AND Contest of Champions back when they were new and thought they rocked.

That is a kicky little beret though. (And no commentary on Conan's pimp outfit, or was that in the other What If that brought him to the future?)

Anonymous said...

Oh, my God! I just discovered your blog and it's absolutely fabulous! I must keep reading!

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

I just found your blog as well and I agree that this thing kicks!

I am participating in the Summer of COmpliments and I want you to know that this thing is great. I will be stopping by more often to check out comic characters and their fab outfits.

Your Obedient Serpent said...

Y'know, What if...? did a SEQUEL to this Conan story, in which Conan STAYS in the TwenCen instead of returning to the Hyborian Age. There are some interesting fashion choices there, if you can scare up a copy -- and on the whole, I think it was a better story than the original.

Even if it was a What-If on top of a What-If...

Phillip said...

I imagine they were going for "Kiss" with Grope, which is closer but still no punk rock.

Anonymous said...

"but in no universe do these pretty boys and their frilly frocks qualify as 'punk.'"

Not even that universe I came across where Klaus Nomi would come across like Conan does in Marvel New York?

Bully said...

Wanna know the creepy thing?

Okay, okay, a creepy thing?


Roy Thomas's real-life girlfriend.

Jeremy Rizza said...

Fortress Keeper: Yup, it was a different issue, and Jeremy doesn't have it. Color me bummed out...

Loren: Thanks! And might I just say, you have excellent taste!

Jon: Thank you. That's a boss picture, by the way. And I'll definitely be checking out this Summer of Compliments deal.

Obedient Serpent: I must read this comic!

Phillip: Oh yeah. Them.

Chawunky: Why, oh why did I click on that link? The man makes Joel Grey look like Grizzly Adams.

Bully: Makes you wonder what kind of sexual role-playing they were into, doesn't it? "Okay, dearest, I'll go slip into my loincloth; you go get the beret..." Also (you may already know this) but Danette, who he married at some point, was also the inspiration name-wise and physically for Firebrand 2 from "All-Star Squadron."