Translate

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Conan the Barbarian of ... Gor?



Sure looks like it!


Well, Conan isn't really a Gorean, according to Volumes 1 and 2 of Savage Sword of Conan, a trade paperback reprint of what many consider to be one of the finest comics of the 1970s in terms of the quality of the artwork and the stories, which I review in this article on my site.

If given a choice between binding and gagging a captive or a slavegirl and not doing so, Conan would choose not to, all things being equal, because it was less bother. Not that he has any OBJECTION to binding and gagging women if it seems to be the right thing to do ... he kidnaps them, after all.

Conan also seems to take the consent of slavegirls for granted, at least, those whose skills are sexual. He pimps out one slavegirl as part of a scam to pass her off as a princess and collect a fat ransom for her. In a lot of respects, not just the sexual ones, Conan is NOT a nice guy.

However, the Savage Sword of Conan stories are so beautifully drawn and told that frankly, I just didn't care. It was a feast for the eyes and the mind. Check out my article if you don't believe me.

6 comments:

kdnpr said...

Interesting read,

Disagree with the "70s" stuff. I doubt you'd have admitted to writing an article like this in the mid 70s. I recall an uptight & repressed era, so I wouldn't have.

Now to sit back and watch the flak from residents of Augusta..LOL!

Btw: Recall those book covers on store racks (later, more 79 & 80 though) This where you got the idea for Karg?

Pat Powers said...

I'm not sure what you mean by disagree with the 70s stuff. The imagery in "Savage Sword of Conan" came right out of the 70s and it's full of naked and half-naked women and also has lots of slavegirls and some damsels in distress. That "Haunters of Castle Crimson" story is almost a John Norman story. Pretty much could have been set on Gor. And of course Gor was going great guns in the 70s.

Things weren't as open back then as they are now, but there was a lot going on.

I'm glad somebody caught that reference to the Masters.

No, I got the idea for Karg from John Norman. I wanted to do an Earth girl in bondage in a primitive society story, but without all the baggage Norman brought to it with his "women are natural slaves" schtick amd with a little more believability about the relationship between people from an advanced society and a primitive one, even if the primitives have the person from the advanced society tied up and gagged a lot.

kdnpr said...

"I'm not sure what you mean by disagree with the 70s stuff."

This

"The 1970s were the wildest time for the arts in terms of nudity, as sexual freedom was being experimented with, much to the helpless dismay of social conservatives, and anti-sex feminism"

In an underground sense. I recall more merciless browbeatings/guiltrips going on in the 70's (especially on girls), by guys whom should know better. That the mainstream norm. Conan covers wouldn't raise an eyebrow today

"Now as to why such panels were not drawn I can't say. Censorship?"

I'd say yes.

"It was a great time of freedom and experimentation"

Based really on browbeating comments from guys whom ran up a higher STD rate liberating Europe than what the 70's kids ran up, than on hard facts, correct? ;)

I personally feel the writers/artists deserve more credit for what they tried to stand up to than they're getting, as I don't recall it as freer, nor open, at all.

Perhaps things different where you lived back then? Why our opinions differ?

Pat Powers said...

In an underground sense. I recall more merciless browbeatings/guiltrips going on in the 70's (especially on girls), by guys whom should know better. That the mainstream norm.

I don't understand. Who was being browbeaten? What guys where doing it? All guys? Some subset of guys? Are you talking about in personal sexual relations or in media portrayals of sexual relations?

Conan covers wouldn't raise an eyebrow today.

I think they'd raise SOME eyebrows. There was that whole kerfuffle about the seeming tentacle rape imagery in Heroes for Hire #13, and it's mild compared to some of the Conan artwork of naked woman bound and looking very submissive, while armed men battle around (and probably, over) them. I mean, here's what some comics fans (as usual, anti-sex feminists, or as I call them, prudo-feminists):

http://myriadissues.blogspot.com/2007/05/what-me-tentacle-rape.html

And then there was the flap over the Mary Sue statue washing Spidey's uniform while wearing low-cut jeans and a sexy thong:

http://www.cinematical.com/2007/05/17/sexy-mary-jane-statue-causes-quite-the-stir/

Check out the comments on that one.

Now how well do you think the crew that's so outraged over THAT relatively mild stuff would feel about the cover of Savage Sword of Conan Volume 1, specifically the woman in the blog post artwork if it were something current? Answer: they'd be slavering like mad dogs in heat.


Perhaps things different where you lived back then? Why our opinions differ?


Possibly. In the US, the early 70s was when the porn industry really got started. In the mainstream it's referred to as the 'Golden Age" of American cinema, because so many original stuff was created once directors had the freedom to do what they want.

To wit:

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/film/2007/07/the_70s_was_the_golden_age_of.html

It was a time of increased freedom for comic book creators, too, mainly thanks to the advent of underground comics in the US, forcing the mainstream comic creators to loose up the reins of creative control:

http://januarymagazine.com/features/comix.html

kdnpr said...

"Are you talking about in personal sexual relations or in media portrayals of sexual relations?"

More Media. Remember "voyeur"? ;) Recent, I saw an ad for Latina Caliente 3 on Porntube. I went to the store and bought it. No problems. Readily available with no "voyeur" stigma. That and some great late-nite stuff on now. Figure beats a Conan cover

Wasn't talking personal, but hey, the people I knew that turned out to be cool an example. One gal, figured for a conservative type as appeared that way back then and I avoided them, now right into it. Known that, I'd have asked her out. ;)

Why browbeaten into proper, virginal, etc, etc. in the 70's by the highest STD casualties generation? Figure we all thought we're the only one?

Back to my original question- Would you admit to writing Karg in 78?

"Check out the comments"

I can imagine. I didn't bother because I myself walked by a young gal CWL'er (only about 30, I'd say), trying to get me to sign her petition against nudity on TV. Didn't want to argue, just ignored. So agree about young conservative women being around.

Pat Powers said...

Why browbeaten into proper, virginal, etc, etc. in the 70's by the highest STD casualties generation? Figure we all thought we're the only one?

All I can tell you is that in the US the 1970s were considered the decade of sexual freedom and experimentation. That included bondage, early on. It wasn't until the feminists got their mad on about bondage that it was a problem.

However, your comment about "figure we all thought we're the only one" rings true if you're referring to sexual bondage interests. Prior to the Internets things were very isolated unless you lived in an urban area and were tied into the local scene, which most people, including most people with an interest in bondage, weren't.

Back to my original question- Would you admit to writing Karg in 78?

Hell, I won't admit to it now. I try to keep my real self and my online slef distinctly separate. The personal consequences for me if it became known that I write Karg could potentially be quite dire. Now, if my online bondage stuff ever starts making enough money, I'd own up to Karg and the whole shebang in a heartbeat.

I'll tell you a secret, though it isn't much of one once it's published on the Web I guess: back in 1978, I hadn't figured out that I was into bondage yet. Takes awhile, sometimes.