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 Brown-haired or black-maned?

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The Last Atlantean
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PostSubject: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Sat 17 Nov - 7:58

...having seen the movie first,I have a preferrence for the cinematic barbarian.The comics came later for me,when I was 14 in 1986,and then in 1987 came the 1st REH novel,the adventurer.I felt even back then that the one&true raven-haired Conan of the REH canon was too indianlike for my (teutonic) tastes and to this day I still prefer the 1st movie's brown-haired sans earrings warrior.Therefore,I strongly feel that if the movie franchise is to restart with a basically Frazetta-inspired Conan,a guy like,say,John Cena,then it'd be proper if they altogether created a different production design to go with a Frazettan look.Hence the Cobb-designed atlantean wouldn't belong in the hands of a black-haired Conan,it'd made us who have grown with Milius's film like watching a beloved and trademark Holy Object from a different-established canon being wielded by a pretender Conan...I say let them go with the Barbarian's sword style from Frazetta's original painting.If on the other hand they'd choose somebody who strongly resembles Arnold,like Roland Kickinger,all done up in furs and armor like in the 1st flick (NOT a naked Conan again),and if the direction was handled by someone competent like Milius or Verhoeven,then I'd welcome ,nay,salute the return of the atlantean sword and some brown locks to go with it...just my 2 cents.
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Sat 17 Nov - 8:42

In fact, if the next movie is more true to Howard's writing (as producers always seem to promess for many years now Neutral ) then the problem of the sword will be irrelevant. Howard's Conan doesn't have a special sword given or found somewhere (the one found in The Thing In The Crypt is never mentionned later, and anyway it is a Sprague de Camp story). He can use many different weapons.
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The Last Atlantean
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Sat 17 Nov - 8:49

Right.But an atlantean in the wrong hands would be pretty much like Aston martin DB5 not driven by Connery.Which in retrospect sucks...
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Sat 17 Nov - 18:04

Yeah, beware of Stifler with black shoe polish in his hair(ala Chris Reeve) Shocked Wink

The Atlantean is synonymous & iconic, primarily with Arnold's CONAN of course, however the company hasnt been bashful of showing it off with the Indian-like CONAN of Howard's yarn...no doubt because of the movie being so powerful and well loved, but also to sell merchandising(Albion/Marto and such).


Bah, I am not interested in a dragged out CONAN fighting a old Fu Manchu looking wizard dressed in a robe with stars all over it, and then fight a interstellar fat man with a huge bobblehead of a Elephant resting on his shoulders, just to get tossed off a 200 foot tower, with Conan shouting "Unhand the wench, dog" or "taste my broadsword before I send you back to hell demon swine" every 5 minutes or so.


I like the narrative set up by Stone and Milius( and even Marvel), with CONAN battling Stygian Wizards and Set. It goes back to Howard's "Phoenix on the Sword"(Conan's first appearance a Kull re-write and I think the best story)". Howard seemingly lost track of his own narrative imo, and made a series non-connected adventures where CONAN just whores his way through life and basically is a capitalist brawler of some form via the American frontier of the Wild West, with abilities and victories given to him not by his own merit, but by the author's pen.


I rather see a remake of Howard's KULL(which was more the basis of Milius' movie, and even Howard original CONAN). This series has superior writing, cohesion and true grit.. but CONAN is more popular.
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Sat 17 Nov - 18:47

True,Milius's Conan is definitely more akin to Kull of REH.However I still find these stories lacking something,dunno,they rely too much on a sense of enchantment....too clean a series of stories.They're morelike sleeper hits,whereas Conan is more bombastic.........I'll never ever play any game or buy any black-haired conan drawing,lithograph,model,statue or bust wielding an atlantean,it's sacrilege.
As for a more REH fantasy direction for the new movie,haven't we had enough of that already?We've seen how holywood depicts the sorcery of REH,we've had the destroyer,red sonja,kull,tv conan,but it is the realistic 1st movie people love or loathe and talk about.
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Sat 17 Nov - 19:02

Kull is indeed more of zen and thinking man's character in real mythological setting. I like his brooding loner ways, his warrior code of conduct and honor. I find the characters, setting and atmosphere far more mysterious, seductive, inspirational. Makes the reader do some thinking and want to buy some books on Mythology, Anthropology, History and even Theosophy. Conan was designed to sell, so action packed fast paced adventures in a familiar setting which many young boys could relate too..it was way for the audience to get taken on a ride through historical nations and setting, and not all existing in the same timeline.
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Mon 19 Nov - 19:46

Cromulus, you know that I have to disagree with what you stated above about REH's Conan.

About "zen" and philosophy, I don't know if you guys know this article. Someone posted the link lately on Conan.com. It's the most interesting critic I've ever read about CTB.
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Mon 19 Nov - 20:09

That article is so-so and not a very accurate criticism. Howard along with Lovecraft were into "Aryans" and Supermen..it was a very popular theme in those days and in certain circles even today. The very opening to Howard's stories, The Rise of the Sons of Aryas", should be clear and undeniable right off the bat. Often enough of a lot of modern Howard fans have been apologetic over his work and even Lovecrafts, because of their blatant ethnocentrism, racism and xenomphobia which can be found within their writings and stories.


Howard himself was into Northern Supermen, though his characters were normally dark but always Blue eyed and Irish.

Nietzsche by the way wasnt a Nazi, and really shouldnt be equated to them, thats a lazy misconception.. he didnt even praise the Germans or Blonds either(these two things which at that time was synonymous to Northern European). His sister corrupted much of his work to fit some of Himmler's schemes of the German(ic) Race.

In this story you can see can see Howard turning Greek mythology into a Viking setting:

Quote :
Inspiration
While Robert E. Howard had already written many fantasy stories featuring northern Viking-esque characters, the names and plot structure for "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" was derived in its entirety from Thomas Bulfinch's The Outline of Mythology (1913). Howard combined the legend of Atalanta with another reworked Bulfinch legend, that of Daphne and Apollo, but he reversed the roles. Whereas Apollo was a god and Daphne a mortal, Howard made Atali a goddess and Conan a mortal. In the original, Cupid had struck Apollo with an arrow to excite love for Daphne, but struck her with an arrow to cause her to find love repellent. Howard kept the idea of the love-maddened Apollo (rather a lust-maddened Conan) pursuing the girl until she invokes aid from her divine father.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Frost_Giant%27s_Daughter

A lotve the criticism are often heaped on Milius cause of his use Viking and Mongolian flavors in the movie..yet the same can be said with Howard. Howard also used alotve Hunnic, Mongolian and Japanese things in his stories.

Olive Stone mentions Howard's writing and Conan and Wagnerian, after the famous renown racist German writer and musician Richard Wagner--who was into folk Heroes, both Roman and Germanic--I think even Hunnic-as he had a opera on Attila the Hun.


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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Mon 19 Nov - 20:29

It wouldn't be fair to reduce Howard's creation of Conan to a simple capitalistic/marketing operation. If it was the case howard could have write many other Conan stories and sell them to other magazines than Weird Tales (which wasn't paying at the end and owed him a big amount of bucks). Howard likes to write what he liked, and, except for a few ones, Conan stories are very good stories, and well written. I am not saying Howard never wrote only for money ! Conan yarns also have really been written by Howard, and that can't be said of every Kull tale. As you know some of them have been finished by others.
I personnally prefer Conan stories because I sometimes find Kull stories a bit shaky, often too introspective in my humble opinion. I also feel the same with Solomon Kane stories, for me Howard had not raised the peak of his art at that time, but it is a completely personal opinion I don't want to impose at all.
For me Conan stories are very well written, are also more adult. I also love his historical yarns during the Crusades.
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Mon 19 Nov - 20:37

If he wouldve wrote more Novels and tried a little more to keep it outve the middle Ages, then maybe I would have different feelings. To me though he's like a comic book writer, a good one, but I rather read real Mythology and history than imitation--whether it be CONAN or LORD OF THE RINGS. Thats me though.

Stone's CONAN is closer to Howard's literal Superman, who must have a healing factor of Wolverine from X-MEN and the strength and endurance of a Olympiad Hercules. Milius' CONAN can be hurt and sustain set backs.
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Mon 19 Nov - 20:56

Agree, Milius'Conan can be hurt (as Howard's) and that's a big part of the interest in these stories. In fact if you remove the magical element of Conan stories (it can in most cases be done easily, but not in all I agree) They still work. It could have happened in ancient Rome, in Middle Ages sometimes, during conquest of the West (thinking about the Picts in Beyond the Black River), etc.
I don't think Howard really imited mythology. He used it as a background for his stories, never boring stiff the reader as Tolkien did in my opinion. Conan tales are harsh stories of a guy wanting to make money with his sword, or sometimes just trying to survive. He has no special powers except maybe his barbaric origins, which gives him a strengh of will far more superior to any civilized man. I find him much more interesting in this regard than any comic character. And I truly think Howard was a good writer, and he would probably have revealed himself, hadn't he shoot himself so young.
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Mon 19 Nov - 21:01

Cromulus The Destroyer wrote:
That article is so-so and not a very accurate criticism. Howard along with Lovecraft were into "Aryans" and Supermen..it was a very popular theme in those days and in certain circles even today. The very opening to Howard's stories, The Rise of the Sons of Aryas", should be clear and undeniable right off the bat.
I know that, Cromulus. I even praised your explanations about "aryans" in another thread. REH's was influenced by social darwinism and theosophy mostly through his reading of Jack London. If you read JL's Star Rover and any of REH's reincarnation yarns in a row, it's obvious.

Quote :
Often enough of a lot of modern Howard fans have been apologetic over his work and even Lovecrafts, because of their blatant ethnocentrism, racism and xenomphobia which can be found within their writings and stories.
I'm not among those people, I hope you didn't implied/understood that.

Quote :
Howard himself was into Northern Supermen, though his characters were normally dark but always Blue eyed and Irish.
I don't want to "whitewash" REH and I never said that he wasn't into racist/übermensch theories. I'm simply able to appreciate his stories DESPITE of his racism and not BECAUSE of it.

Quote :
Nietzsche by the way wasnt a Nazi, and really shouldnt be equated to them, thats a lazy misconception.. he didnt even praise the Germans or Blonds either. His sister corrupted much of his work to fit some of Himmler's schemes of the German(ic) Race.
Yes he wasn't a nazi. But like you outlined it, they used his writings as justifications.

P. Louinet outlined T. Bulfinch's influence on REH. In the Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, the first of the Del Rey books, he even listed the names that REH borrowed from TB when he wrote his first Conan yarns.

I didn't mean to "stigmatize" CtB as a racist/proto-nazi movie. I'm also far from being a Nazi apologist nor a racist myself.
Like I wrote it before, I can appreciate some stories DESPITE of it.

Thus said, I believe that this article has a lot of very good insights to help us to understand MILLIUS' "philosophy of life" and what he believed in/which kind of symbols he inserted in the movie and parallels he drawed.

I think that one can appreciate artistic skills without sharing the way of thinking of the artist. Nobody in France would deny that Céline was a racist but very few say that he was a poor writer.


Even if it IS racist I think we can read/watch it anyway because of its "artistic " or entertaining" value.

I don't want to whitewash REH like if he wasn't racist. Why would you whitewash J.Millius ?
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Mon 19 Nov - 21:17

Howard normally rarely depicted enough depth to his CONAN character, again I think its cause of the Editors of WEIRD TALES and cause of the dollar value and audience. Most of his CONAN stories had to be fast paced and action packed.

"Queen of the Black Coast" is very good example of when Howard can show off his talent as writer and great emotion, but it got wacky with those flying ape monkey men outve the Wizard of Oz which ruined the mood for me. CONAN fighting Rexor is much cooler and mightier.

I always stand by that Milius took the best of RE Howard and expanded upon it, without getting bogged down in all the re-used pulp devices and silly characters. He essentially novelized CONAN by taking the approach that he was real.


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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Mon 19 Nov - 21:19

Men, it's not a matter of saying "he is" or "he is not" in order to clean his name. Talking about Howard or Milius.

First, even if they are, what is important is the way they are. Nazi is a posture. There are not two identical nazis. Hitler was not like Goebbels, and Leni Riefenstahl was waaay different from them both. So, can't you study Hitler's biography and work only because he was an asshole? Of course you can.

Second, think Milius -let's fogert about REH, we have talked tons of words about him, right Cromulus Wink - is waaaaaay away from being a nazi. Maybe he is right minded, maybe he is "zen wahtever". Ok. Only he really knows what the fuck that means. Mr. Green The important thing, and then we all agree here, is his work.

Is his work nazi? Nope. Does it use nazi symbology. Yep. So what. The "Schlinder's List" does it also, as "American History X" too. Nobody would say these movies are "nazi".

CTB should be analized in the way the characters desire, and do in order to get their desires.

Doom incarnates what Milius would consider as "evil". If you analize Doom, you will find he is more close to a nazi dictator than any other character. Meanwhile Conan, even though he is clearly not a pacifist, is more close to an army soldier who ends serving nobody. That is not exactly an incarnation of a nazi, not even the incarnation of a classic fascist.

I agree with Cromulus about REH, and Conan literary stuff. It's pretty well written, fuck Bob had talent, but they are not satisfaying to me. But it's a matter of opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Mon 19 Nov - 21:24

axerules wrote:
I don't want to whitewash REH like if he wasn't racist. Why would you whitewash J.Millius ?

Ax, please dotn misinterpret. I wasnt referring to you, more the writers of that article. Furthermore I have been critical of Milius from time to time as well. I offer constructive criticisms when I make my points and commentings.

Moreover, Milius was labeled as a Nazi by certain real journalists. *I think he even labeled himself as everything from a Zen-Fascist to a Maoist. So believe me, I am not "Whitewashing" Milius.

If Milius is a Nazi or can be accused of using "Nazi Inspirations".. then so is Lucas and Spielberg--as they too even used Nazi symbolism and ripped off(Inspired) by Leni Riefenstahl films. rabbit Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Tue 20 Nov - 8:27

I think questions fo Milius or Howard being racists or even nazies is totally irrelevant to this forum. As I can say from reading the last posts of everyone here, we are far above such simplist questions usually raised by people not knowing what they are talking about. The completist forum is located at a higher level Mr. Green

Coming back to Howard' talent, I personnaly think it must be relocated in its time period. What was thrilling in 1930 is not what please us in 2007 (or even in 1982). My personal favourite story must be Beyond the Black River, a desperate one. No hope, almost everybody dies, and barbarism triumphs.
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Tue 20 Nov - 9:28

Well personally, I am not a PC guy nor like revisionisms . A lot've what Howard wrote or Milius, can be found in HG Wells anyhow. Rexor


Its a moot point really..Milius though opted to not dye Arnold's brown hair black, however its Black in his scriptments. Arnold often dyed his hair different shades in various movies, I think he was a blond in JUNIOR, and looked terrible,lol.

Arnold's wig in CTD was the worst and in Sonja, it was so-so.

The CONAN movie, in my opinion, is extremely faithful to the spirit of not only Howard's creation, but also to Legend and Mythology and to Heroic Fantasy without succumbing to modern sensibilities and politics. Its a movie of deep meaning and historical and even spiritual significance...because thats what it was deigned to be-- like all great pieces of art.
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Tue 20 Nov - 10:03

Cromulus The Destroyer wrote:
The CONAN movie, in my opinion, is extremely faithful to the spirit of not only Howard's creation, but also to Legend and Mythology and to Heroic Fantasy without succumbing to modern sensibilities and politics. Its a movie of deep meaning and historical and even spiritual significance...because thats what it was deigned to be-- like all great pieces of art.

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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Tue 20 Nov - 17:03

Cromulus The Destroyer wrote:

Ax, please dotn misinterpret. I wasnt referring to you, more the writers of that article. Furthermore I have been critical of Milius from time to time as well. I offer constructive criticisms when I make my points and commentings.
I probably misinterpreted your post. Sorry.

Quote :
Moreover, Milius was labeled as a Nazi by certain real journalists. *I think he even labeled himself as everything from a Zen-Fascist to a Maoist. So believe me, I am not "Whitewashing" Milius.
Yes, that's why I gave the link to the article: I never saw the Nietsche and Zen influences in CtB so well explained.


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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Tue 20 Nov - 17:04

Chrysagon wrote:
As I can say from reading the last posts of everyone here, we are far above such simplist questions usually raised by people not knowing what they are talking about. The completist forum is located at a higher level Mr. Green
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Tue 20 Nov - 17:19

Cromulus The Destroyer wrote:

Its a movie of deep meaning and historical and even spiritual significance...because thats what it was deigned to be-- like all great pieces of art.
QFT. I totally agree with you about that.


Quote :

The CONAN movie, in my opinion, is extremely faithful to the spirit of not only Howard's creation, but also to Legend and Mythology and to Heroic Fantasy without succumbing to modern sensibilities and politics.
THIS is where I have to diverge. Zen and the Wheel of Pain could never have been trademarks of REH's Conan. REH's Conan embodies freedom and chaos. J. Millius' Conan is a different character. Note that I don't have any of the "Conan.comish" Wink attitudes: I don't have a problem in recognizing that CtB IS a great piece of art. But REH's Conan would have never thanked the Wheel of Pain. He would have died trying to escape, even as a kid. IMO JM's Conan is a very strong character and CtB a meaningful movie. I'm myself fan of Japanese and Chinese sword movies and don't have any problem with the insertion of zen references in Heroic Fantasy. I even think that it was one of the things that made this movie great.
But it can hardly be said that it is faithful to the spirit of REH, IMHO. It's different, but great too.
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Tue 20 Nov - 18:49

axerules wrote:
Zen and the Wheel of Pain could never have been trademarks of REH's Conan.

Yeah, probably not his CONAN but surely his KULL. Kull was a hunter , a slave, a gladiator, a general and a king. Howard relied and placed to much on Conan's ethnicity alone to get him to through life for my taste.

The Wheel of Pain is the Galley to which Kull rowed at the oars and was lashed but always growing stronger. Conan even wears a ships wheel around his neck in the movie(really a miniature Wheel of Pain).
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Tue 20 Nov - 20:08

People often say that a cimmerian would have died trying to escape the wheel of pain, even at ten years old. I don't suscribe anymore to this simplistic point of view. In Beyond the black River for instance, Conan comes back to Fort Tuscelan to warn the soldiers that Picts are going to attack them. But he arrives too late, the Fort is surrounded by Picts. Conan doesn't throw into a suicidal combat. He leaves the place, and prefers to warn the settlers. So it is not so sure that escaping the wheel (at least when very young) even to find death was a so good idea. Later it is of course another thing. He had to live to fullfill his revenge...
What do you call ZEN in Milius'movie ? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Tue 20 Nov - 21:15

Well lots of times those people want that superhuman invincible CONAN, they dont want to see him in moments of weakness. They dont want a human or thinking CONAN, they want that reacting lion of a man, who no matter what fabulous beast or obstacle you already know he'll win. Howard had CONAN full grown out've his imagination, no one in the Hyborian Age could've equaled or matched CONAN's demeanor or physique..we are never told why or how. Milius deliberately didnt want that, as he wanted men larger than Arnold to do away with this image. He wanted it to be undecided and not easy. That adage, "something given has no meaning" comes to play, Milius wanted CONAN to, "earn his sense of worth".

A lotve people also forget the line, "A long and unremembered dream". Conan forgot himself and his petty revenge by the time he spent at the Wheel and then arenas. *However I dont remember Conan thanking the Wheel of Pain in the script.scratch I'll have to skim through the script later today.

Conan's stay at the wheel filled Conan with sense of worth and meaning. We have to remember he was demoralized and traumatized(afterall he's only human). Conan lived the life of an athlete, being well clothed, groomed and fed, not to mention got a steady flow of healthy women to mate with. A Gladiator was taken care of, much like a soldier. Conan enjoyed being a star and center of attention, became immersed in the entire life style and lust of bloodshed. When he was taken to the East he became educated in oriental philosophy(art of war) and his skills polished. Essentially he was trained in the way of Bushido .

When Conan goes beyond revenge by the end of the movie, he becomes a hero and fulfills his destiny. The end scroll tells of the tales of Conan out in the dreaming West seeking new adventures and becoming the Cimmerian of the books. I also liked the Swords being more important in the movie, not like the usual pieces of scrap metal Conan wielded in the various short stories. The destiny against Set and enchanted like swords Arnold's Conan uses, reminds me of the Kull re-write/Conan's first appearance "The Phoenix on the Sword". In that story you had Epemitreus the Sage selecting Conan as the champion to defend not only Aquilonia but all of humanity and Civilization and giving him a special sword. Before that we were led to believe Conan was just a typical petty barbarian opportunist.

One of the moments I liked in one of Howards stories(Rogues in the House
), when Conan reflected over the dead man-ape Thak's death. Thats a good part and rare to see.

Another thing often criticized by certain Conan fans, was when Conan was captured by King Osrics guards...they wont or dont want to acknowledge a very similar scene can be found in Howards own story "Rogues in the House", again Conan is captured when partially intoxicated while in moments of debauchery, after killing a local high priest.


These poses show CONAN's zen-like meditations .




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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Tue 20 Nov - 21:56

Cromulus The Destroyer wrote:
I dont remember Conan thanking the Wheel of Pain in the script.

"Thanking the Wheel" was the wording used by Milius in the Prevue interview:

Quote :
MILIUS: There were a couple of other bits with Zen touches like where Conan thanks the Wheel of Pain when he's released from it.

In the scripts we have, it in fact reads more like Conan biding farewell to the Wheel:

Quote :
Conan turns and looks at the log and the Wheel of Pain. The wood is smooth and polished where he has pushed it. His manacles gleam in the light. Empty. He lets go of the chain and reaches out gently, caressing the log, his eyes almost wet. Then he turns, lowers his head and hands the end of his chain to Red Hair.

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PostSubject: Re: Brown-haired or black-maned?   Today at 19:50

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Brown-haired or black-maned?
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