British publisher Titan Comics and entertainment studio Heroic Signatures have revealed more details about their new co-publishing venture for Robert E. Howard’s most famous creation, Conan the Barbarian. A new comic series is on the way next year, following on the heals of the first new Conan novel in ten years, to be published by Titan Books, out in December.
Launching in comic shops and digital devices in July 2023, the brand-new Conan the Barbarian ongoing comic will be written by acclaimed and long-time Conan comic book scribe Jim Zub (Thunderbolts, Uncanny Avengers), and will feature the stunning art of Roberto De La Torre (King-Size Conan, Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D) and colourist José Villarrubia (Promethea, Sweet Tooth, Cuba: My Revolution). This will kick off a brand-new, exhilarating series of comics of characters from across the Conan and wider Robert E. Howard mythos!
Plus, hot on the heels of this exciting new comic series, Titan Comics and Heroic Signatures have also revealed that they will be continuing the hugely popular omnibus line in Autumn 2023 – previously published by Marvel Comics – with the next instalment, Savage Sword of Conan Volume 9.
This all-new Conan the Barbarian comic series, set in the world of a classic hero, alongside re-mastered archives, will be sure to delight longtime collectors and new fans of the Conan franchise. It’s also the first time a British publisher has gained the Conan comic licence.
“Get ready for epic tales of high adventure, my friends,” enthused Jim Zub on Twitter, following the announcement.
“I’m very happy!,” enthused artist Roberto De La Torre on Facebook. “It’s such an honour to be part of this magnificent creative team. The new golden age of Conan has arrived, folks!”
“I coloured Conan for Dark Horse for nine years (2007 to 2016),” noted José Villarrubia. “Marvel only asked me to colour a single cover, by Roberto. So it is nice to be back with the character and its new publishers.”
“I feel like we have a creative dream team for the new Conan the Barbarian comic,” commented Fredrik Malmberg, President of Heroic Signatures. “It’s very exciting, feels like the old Target days somehow.”
If you can’t wait for the comic, then you’ll be delighted to hear that Titan Books releases a new Conan novel, Conan: Blood of the Serpent, by New York Times bestselling author S.M. Stirling, in December, which features Roberto De La Torre’s illustration used to trail the comic on its title page.
As sword for hire for a mercenary troop, Conan finds himself in Sukhmet, a filthy backwater town south of the River Styx considered “the arse-end of Stygia.” Serving in the company known as Zarallo’s Free Companions, he fights alongside soldiers of fortune from Zingara, Koth, Shem, and other lands – a hard-handed band of killers loyal to anyone who pays them well.
In a Sukhmet tavern he encounters one soldier in particular – Valeria of the Red Brotherhood, a veteran of freebooters with whom Conan also sailed, launching raids out of the Barachan Isles on the Western Sea. Valeria’s reputation is that of a deadly swordswoman, a notoriety she quickly proves to be accurate. When she runs afoul of an exiled Stygian noble, however, things take a deadly turn, embroiling them both in the schemes of a priest of the serpent god Set.
The first new Conan novel in more than a decade, Blood of the Serpent leads directly into one of Robert E. Howard’s most famous sword-and-sorcery adventures, “Red Nails” – and, as a bonus feature that story is included in this volume.
A writer by trade, born in France but Canadian by origin, Stephen M. Stirling, who lives in New Mexico, is a former lawyer, an amateur historian, and the New York Times bestselling author of numerous SF and fantasy novels including the popular “Nantucket” series that began with Island in the Sea of Time. He loves history, anthropology, and archaeology.
Titan Comics, a Titan Publishing Group company (which includes Titan Books, Titan Magazines and Titan Merchandise) is the comic book arm of the Titan Entertainment Group, and its sister company is the pop culture retail chain, Forbidden Planet. Titan Comics offers astounding comics and graphic novels from the world’s greatest licensed properties, alongside creator-owned comic books from new and world-renowned talent and classic graphic novels re-mastered for brand-new audiences.
Titan Comics publishes a variety of genres through its imprints; Hard Case Crime (world-renowned pulp-crime publishing), Statix Press (critically-acclaimed translated comics and graphic novels), and the new Titan Manga (exciting manga and anime-based titles).
Heroic Signatures is a studio with a big intellectual property portfolio, managing and developing global entertainment franchises in all forms of media, including motion picture, television, and the gaming, publishing, and toy/collectibles industries.
Their portfolio consists of well-known brands such as Conan the Barbarian, Kull of Atlantis, Solomon Kane, Mutant Chronicles, Mutant: Year Zero, and Kult.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.