Oh , Maybe 35 years ago...a completely arbitrary guesstimate. A new line of comic books came out headed by former employees of Marvel comics. The goal was to give Marvel a run for their money. Being that Marvel had been called ATLAS comics at one time the name ATLAS was chosen as a dig. The comic books produced were high quality material by some of the best people in the field at the time. Standout comics included Destructor , The Pheonix , Morlock and the midnight men and TWO count'em TWO ...CONAN the Barbarian inspired characters. The comics in the line were done by Neal Adams , Larry Hama , Larry Lieber , Howard Chaykin , Mike Sekowsky , Pablo Marcos and STEVE DITKO! ( As well as several other top talents of the time ) The comic books themselves were well written and very well drawn. They were a comparable product to what Marvel was putting out then.
CONAN was at that time one of the best selling and some months THE best selling comic book at the stands...giving Spiderman the nudge from time to time. So of course other companies whipped up Barbarian characters to jump on the bandwagon...it's an old story we all know and love...DC comics had CLAW and so on Blah , Bla , Blah.
Lets fast forward all the way to the present day. ATLAS comics has seen a revival and TWO count'em TWO of CONAN's distant cousins are making a comeback...against one another.
My comic book store does not get many alternate press comics so..I have to stick with the usual super hero material. Lucky for me he gets DYNAMITE and DARK HORSE books...so I won't miss RED SONJA and CONAN....So As of yet I have not seen these new ATLAS comics..but I am on the hunt for them...( eBay ) Take a look at these awesome covers. Makes you want to go run and find them yourselves right?
If somebody beats you out on that auction..it could be me. Sorry.