Jul 08

John! Stop looking at his muscular thighs and help us!!Click for full image

Tom Noir Comments: What have you done to me, you monsters? I can’t lower my arms! I CAN’T LOWER MY ARMS!!
Published 1994

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 7.32 out of 10)

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28 Responses to “Conan the Gladiator”

  1. James Says:

    Art director: ok, but any chance you could squeeze a booby lady in before the deadline?

  2. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    Those are no daggers, they’re actually primitive syringes used for the administration of massive amounts of steroids. And also they can be used as daggers.

  3. Tom Hering Says:

    “Now I will finish you with my dagger-shooting belt! Uh oh. I loaded it backwards again …”

  4. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    The big scene from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s OTHER Christians-vs-Romans epic, Conan the Gladiator, Superstar

  5. FéaröfMusic Says:

    “Drumstick…so tasty…must chew on…barbarian thigh. Yummm..

    And the gentlemen in robes would be what class of gladiator exactly? Oh yes, the Balderius Pastyfaceinatti. Famous for their ability to trip over their flowing robes in the sands of the arena.

    Oddly, this whole thing looks like some sort of very imaginative prison sex fantasy, rather than gladiatorial combat. To me at least. Even has the token female so as not to seem quite so gay.” I didn’t want to, but there were so many, and I was overwhelmed. Then things got…sticky.”

  6. Tom Noir Says:

    I just noticed that the vixen in the lower right-hand corner looks as though she might be a little bit slow. Also, the poor thing has had the lower half of her body amputated.

  7. B. Chiclitz Says:

    How Long Could Conan Shop at the Bloody Stands of the Circus Emporium?


    Where’s That Codpiece Store When You Need It?

  8. B. Chiclitz Says:

    A while ago, Bibliomancer was discussing words that mean their opposite (e.g. “cleave”). I think we have here a blurb that means its opposite, that is, “First Publication Anywhere” also means “Last Publication Anywhere.”

    Judging by the cover (which is cool to do here, at least), Leonard Carpenter will be getting a vengeful visit from the ghost of Robert E. Howard.

  9. Bibliomancer Says:

    @B. Chiclitz — … and Ken Kelly will be getting his ass kicked by the ghost of Frank Frazetta.

    OK students, let’s examine the composition of this painting. Bury Cleopatra Jones and two monk-minions waist deep in the ground. Make Mr. Conan’s bulky package the exact center of attention. In fact make it extra shiny and have daggers suspended in mid-air. And have one dagger pointing directly at said crotch in case anyone could possible not see it. Oh, and give Mr. Conan extra rouge and eye makeup and a matching jewelry ensemble of necklace and earring.

  10. fred Says:

    Is that a becowled cat man on the far left?

  11. David Cowie Says:

    As Clive James said about Arnold Schwarzenegger,
    “a body like a condom stuffed with walnuts.”

    Also, can we have a new tag “brass brassiere”? I’m sure that this isn’t the only cover in which a lady is wearing one.

  12. Phil Says:

    “I’ve seen all this before. All of it. Every bit.”
    “That’s not possible, sir. This has never been published.”
    “Are you sure?”
    “Quite sure. Not in any form. Ever.”

  13. Rags Says:

    Little known Conan fact; He loved lipstick and eyeliner, also full body waxes and massive amounts of steroids!

  14. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:


  15. THX 1138 Says:

    “What do you mean there’s no cardigan on Earth that will fit me?!”

  16. Judges Books By Their Covers Says:

    Conan and the woman seem to have had the same lip enhancement surgery. Their eyes seem similar too. I wonder if their faces were modeled after the same person.

  17. JRDelirio Says:

    Yes, this Conan has too much of a pretty face. And we’re left to assume he has grabbed on to and is torquing some sort of necklace/collar under the guy on his left (our right)’s hoodie, ’cause you don’t get stick-out-your-tongue strangled just from someone grabbing a fistful of your robe.

    The Maiden Cut in Half (or stuck in a very shallow pit) seems much vexed by her predicament and I do not blame her.

  18. JuanPaul Says:

    This is the part where Conan saves the acolytes from the quicksand pits.

  19. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @JRDelirio 17—there appear to be two possible causes, not mutually exclusive, for the lady’s vexation:

    1. On deep zoom one can see that her line of sight is zoned in on Conan’s preposterous “package.” Could be disturbing on many levels.

    2. Those metallic pasties hurt!

  20. Rags Says:

    A quick check on wikipedia offers an explaination for the ridiculous makeup on Conan by the artist Ken Kelly;

    “Ken Kelly is the nephew of Frank Frazetta’s wife Eleanor “Ellie” Frazetta (1935-2009), whose maiden name was Kelly.
    He has depicted Conan the Barbarian,[5] Tarzan and the rock groups KISS,[6] Manowar,[7] and Rainbow.”

    – only problem is Conan is no hair band member nor is he part of a test to see how many steroids one body can take before it explodes. On a personal note this cover makes me sad, I love the Robert Howard stories and the old Frazetta covers. This is just wrong.

  21. B. Chiclitz Says:

    “On a personal note this cover makes me sad, I love the Robert Howard stories and the old Frazetta covers. This is just wrong.”

    Amen to that.

    Howard was such a strange and sad man, a visionary writer stuck in Bumpoke, Texas, pretty much creates the sword and sorcery genre, suicides at age 30, so it goes . . . .

  22. random Donna Says:

    My first impression was that we’re seeing Conan’s reaction to this jaw-dropping cover image. Understandable, since it was my first reaction too. (Good God, his thong!)
    But then I realized that would mean the artist showed Conan the painting before painting it. Which would be the most depressing waste of the power to time-travel ever. So I rejected that thought.
    Then again, it could depict one of those weird modern productions of a classic opera. “The Barber of Seville as you’ve never seen it before!!”
    Instead, I’ve decided that Conan is about to take a deep breath and hold it, either because his opponents smell terrible or because big C has the hiccups. And, really, how bad would someone have to smell to make a barbarian hold his breath, amiright?

  23. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    The monk beside the girl has a pretty cool looking tattoo.

  24. Tom Noir Says:

    Those bastard monks with their throwing knives… always aim right for the codpiece.

  25. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Even at his most steroidal, Ah-nold’s torso didn’t look that weird.

    I really can’t figure out what the poor woman with no lower arms and no legs at all is doing in there. Judging by her expression, neither can she. Perhaps gasping in horror at the realization that she’s so top-heavy she’s about to fall over and has no hands to catch herself with. She’s about two seconds from landing face-down on the bazooms.

  26. Tor Mented Says:

    Landing face down on the bazooms … you say that like it’s a bad thing.

  27. GSS ex-noob Says:

    If they’re your own bazooms and you’re landing on a stone floor full force while wearing metal pasties, it is a bad thing.

    But them and the teat shields should mean she won’t break her nose; it won’t touch the floor.

    She really must have been a late addition to the cover; jammed in there with not enough room for her limbs and having nothing to do with all the cowled men. @James (1) had it right — art director must have told Mr. Kelly to quickly put a woman in there, even if only a head and torso.

    She and Conan appear to share makeup and jewelry tastes, though his chest is bigger than hers.

  28. A. R. Yngve Says:

    “First Publication In Any Form”
    [Annoying voice] Erm, excuse me – is this publication in gluten-free form?

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