Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Robert E. Howard the American Tolkien...

I was visiting my local comic book store this past Saturday and picked up a few things.  As I was paying I noticed on the wall behind the register a copy of " Famous Monsters of Filmland"  # 265 to be precise.  I noticed Gollum...I asked to see it and the store owner handed it to me and I noticed it was a Sanjulian painting.  So I bought it expecting a nice article on the new HOBBIT film that was out recently.  When I got it home I was totally surprised to see upon reading the table of contents if there were a Magazine to buy by accident or chance it is this one.


                                    
There were articles about Quentin Tarantino,The Hobbit,Bakshi's LOR,Forrest J. Ackerman,PSYCHO and of all things that made my purchase even more of an unexpected treat...ROBERT E. HOWARD in an article called The "AMERICAN J.R.R.  TOLKIEN"  for many years I have always compared Howard to Tolkien myself.  I have had many a conversation with Tolkien fans about CONAN and how they should read a true HOWARD CONAN yarn. 
           One instance I can remember...I was talking with someone who was talking about how intellectual Tolkien's stories were and how his stories are discussed by Professors of lierature at great Universities around the world.  I told him that in my opinion Tolkien's writing was verbose and too descript to hold my attention ( His descriptions of forests and hills and mountain sides and ornate castles were a bit overly descript and I got bored and had to slog through the story to get to the faster moving parts of the tale only to find there was actually no faster moving parts of the tale.  It was like having a discussion with an Ent about whether or not to have a discussion ) 
            Bottom line...there really is no better writer at all in this great world and in the history of literature or written fiction.  It is all preference. 
          About two years later the guy I had this discussion with told me he bought a CONAN pastiche and read it and really enjoyed it. He also noted that the pace was more even and steady...I was pleased to give him an I told you so.  ( There is only so much description one can put into something before you begin to lose interest )  My point of view on the subject is this...Tolkien...Like Howard created a world people could get lost in.  Tolkien's world is full of magic and magical peoples...HOWARD's world...was full of grit and realism and strayed away magic.  Like CONAN who hated magics.  Tolkien wrote stories where magic played a major part.  Howard wrote stories where magic was just a tool and the hero always had to overcome great obstacles with his wits and bare hands.  Who is better?  I am not qualified to judge.
      For those of you who are CONAN completists...I recommend you go out and obtain this magazine.
Expand your Horizons and read more by CROM!!!

9 comments:

Hamel™ said...

Maybe it is just the opposite: JRR is the south african REH.

Grandmaster N. said...

Crom laughs at tolkien's fairytales

Mikeyboy said...

Aye!!!!

Siegfried said...

Crom laughs at tolkien's fairytales²

Dave said...

I put each type of fantasy into a mind box in my head. I like Tolkien stuff as there is so much and so much reserve and the films are uber and try not to stray of the path of the stories. Then we have fast paced REH stories full of blood, gore and slaughter in Hyboria, well paced, exciting and quick to read. To me it is the difference to heavy metal being REH and classical being JRRT. I can take both at certain times, though they both be gensisI in their respective fields. (I liked the Ent pace comment Crom lol).

Taranaich said...

Maybe it is just the opposite: JRR is the south african REH.

Considering Tolkien's first fiction was only published in 1936 (Songs for the Philologists) and his first fantasy novel (The Hobbit) in 1937 compared to Howard writing fiction professionally since 1924, it's clear that Howard came on the fantasy "scene" first, and so his impact was more immediate.

Though of course it should be noted that Tolkien started writing about what would become Middle-earth decades before even that, so really, calling either the American/South African version of the other is a bit off the mark.

Mikeyboy said...

My post was more about the Magazine and the REH article itself than whether or not Bob is the American Tolkien....because thats hogwarsh!!!
I dont compare them to each other. Howard is in a class all his own. Hes the father of a genre.

Mikeyboy said...

To clarify...rather than compare them I would solicit REH to Tolkien fanatics... I wrongfully used the word compare very loosely.

Anonymous said...

I love the Tolkien movies by I could not stay focused long enough
to read the Hobbit. Now that could be my ADD, but at 49, and a reader
of Howards Conan novels since I was 15 ,says alot for the pace of Howards writing, and style.