Thursday, October 20, 2011

One More Interview with Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan

Sci-fi site io9 has now posted an interview with both Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan about (among other things) their plans for their Dark Horse Comics adaptation of "Queen of the Black Coast."  In the interview, they humorously address the sad sack issue of how to depict Bêlit's nudity.  (Seriously, just put some clothes on the woman--she doesn't need to be nude all the time for the adaptation to be good.  Who cares if the same fanboys who had a snit about Dejah Thoris wearing clothes in the John Carter trailer are upset?)  Cloonan also responds to the charge that her Conan is "Emo Conan."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cloonan's Conan and Bêlit Sketches

A follow-up to yesterday's post: Comics Alliance has posted a series of Becky Cloonan's sketches of Conan and Bêlit that just whet my appetite for her upcoming Conan comic even more.  I love this younger, thinner, more expressive Conan.  As for Bêlit, well, let's just say that there's a rather nice but rather NSFW at the link that displays Cloonan's superior grasp of female anatomy.  I think Cloonan has captured the essence of the Queen of the Black Coast as well.

Friday, October 14, 2011

An Indie Comics Take on Conan the Cimmerian

Awesome news from the New York City Comic Convention today: Dark Horse has confirmed rumors that Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan, co-creators of the acclaimed indie-comic Demo, will be collaborating on a new Conan the Barbarian series beginning February 8th.  As Wood reveals in an interview with Comic Book Resources, the duo have signed up for a 25 issue adaptation of Howard's classic story "Queen of the Black Coast"--two years' worth of issues that cover not only the events of the story but the two years in-between those events that Conan sails alongside Bêlit.  When I was a kid, Roy Thomas had a similar run of stories in Marvel's Conan the Barbarian.  I'm looking forward to Wood and Cloonan's take.  (Pictured above is Cloonan's version of Bêlit, and it's already my favorite rendition of the character ever.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Terry Pratchett's Carrot Ironfoundersson

It's been some time since my last Barbarians of Lemuria character conversion.  Since I'm currently rereading my way back through the Watch sequence of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, I thought I'd take a shot at converting Constable Carrot Ironfoundersson, honorary dwarf and king-in-waiting of Ankh-Morpork (not that he wants anything to do with the crown).  As I've done throughout this series, I've opted to convert Carrot as he is at the moment of his first appearance in Guards! Guards!—beginning Barbarians of Lemuria characters are generally quite robust, effectively emulating most sword-and-sorcery protagonists.  (After all, like Conan, Fafhrd, and the Mouser, Carrot has gone from zero to hero long before he makes his initial entrance into the narrative.)

Carrot is not just too big for a dwarf; he's also bigger than your average human.  I've therefore given him Strength 2 to reflect his size.  I could have added a point of Agility by dropping Carrot's Mind to -1, but—as those who oppose him soon realize—simple doesn't mean stupid in Carrot's case.  Appeal is set at 2; Carrot's just that likable.  Combat scores are all set at 1, reflecting Carrot's rational, measured approach to policing.  As for careers, an initial career of Noble represents Carrot's birthright as the last heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork—but is set at 0 to reflect Carrot's initial ignorance of his heritage (and probably stays there even as he comes to learn of his ancestors).  Miner 1 is a variant of Laborer; it has a score because Carrot does know quite a lot about mining and dwarven battle bread.  (It might even be possible to convince me to rename the career "Dwarf.")  Scholar 1 is there for Carrot's memorization of the Morporkian legal code and his pleasure reading of tax codes, while Guard 2 is a non-brainer.

In addition to his sword, Carrot carries the crossbow and truncheon assigned to every Watchman.  Even though Watchmen are provided with helmets, chain mail, and breastplates, I've only given Carrot light armor: Barbarians of Lemuria punishes heavier types of armor with Agility penalties, and that's not something I see affecting Carrot.  In fact, Carrot's armor is more of a character device (i.e., the extent to which he keeps it polished reflecting his worrisome devotion to duty) than an actual means of protection.

The Boon "King in (Voluntary) Hiding" is a Discworld variant of "Marked by the Gods," giving Carrot an extra Hero Point.  I thought briefly about giving Carrot a variant of "Valgardian Blade" since he does carry the sword of the ancient kings of Ankh-Morpork, but then I decided against this: Carrot's sword is one of the most resolutely ordinary objects in all of Discworld.  I'd prefer to let the character use Hero Points to achieve some of the special effects he achieves with the blade in the novels.  The Flaw "Country Bumpkin" is, well, definitional: Carrot is one of the bumpkiniest bumpkins in all of fantasy literature, believing that "seamstresses" really are just women who sew.  So the Flaw is exactly right for him at this point in his career.  (Later on, I suspect he buys it off with AP even as he continues to pretend that he's a clueless hick.)

Strength 2
Agility 0
Mind 0
Appeal 2 

Brawl 2
Melee 1
Ranged 0
Defense 1

Noble 0
Dwarf 1
Scholar 1
Guard 2

Lifeblood 14
Hero Points 6

Light armor (protection d6-2)
Crossbow (d6+1, 2 rounds to load, range 80')
Sword (damage d6)
Truncheon (damage d6-1, range 10')

King in (Voluntary) Hiding

Country Bumpkin