Monday, June 23, 2008

Born to the Comic Books

I’ve just read Conan: Born On the Battlefield and I have to say I’m very impressed. I’ve always been interested in the rain soaked landscaped of Cimmeria, (maybe because I’m an Oregonian?) and Conan’s boyhood. This volume provides all that and more in spades. Plus, Greg Ruth’s art is a gift that just keeps on a giving. He’s got an amazing watercolor style that captures both the moody nature of the barbarian’s homeland and the thrill of combat. Here we have the literal birth of a heroic icon and his formative years as a boy and teenager. I recommend this volume, and in fact, I highly recommend Born on the Battlefield to women. If you’ve been looking for an “in” on the whole Conan phenomenon, this is a great place to start, partially because it’s really the beginning of Conan’s story and because this trade is just that good.

You can see from these two frames just how wonderful the art is. It’s hard to imagine what Conan the baby could really look like but Greg Ruth pulled it off superbly. Here, Conan is a newborn but you can still see his power and willfulness that becomes so memorable in his adult adventures.

When I read Born On the Battlefield and took in this image of baby Conan, I came to a decision to reveal something to all of you, my blogger friends, that’s going to drastically change my life in ways that I can’t even imagine yet. My SO is pregnant and in just a few weeks she will give birth to our son. It’s an amazing thing to wrap one’s head around, and I’m sure glad you get nine months to get used to the idea. We actually discovered Mrs. Swinebread was pregnant while on our short trip to Japan, which was nice because the information lifted my in-laws spirits at a sad time.

I had planned on waiting until the baby was born and surprise all of you with the news, but I realized that I will have no time when my son arrives for blogging beyond a few posts here and there. You all might have noticed that I’ve been a tad neglectful when is comes to commenting, which I apologize for, but much of my free time has been taken up with preparations for the baby. Rest assured though, Atomic Romance will continue although with more brevity.

There are so many thoughts, worries, and joys that keep swirling around my brain. I’m so afraid that I could be too forgetful or clumsy and somehow Swinebread Jr. would get hurt. But then I remember that everybody has these fears and I’m just joining the club. Soon, I will unite with those of you that have children. I’ll begin the long and paradoxically quick journey of watching my son be born, grow into a boy, then teenager, and finally a man. At least, I hope with all of my being that I will.

I haven’t much of a legacy to share with my son but I do have a large comic book collection that I built from the time I was 12 years old. All of these four-color adventures will now be his to explore. I keep getting images of teaching my son to read with the help of Tin Tin, Asterix and Spiderman. Of course, at some point I’ll introduce him to Conan and the Hyborian World as well. But I can’t be neglectful of his Japanese heritage either, and tons of amazing children’s manga will fill his bookshelves too. He will be able to speak and read in two very different languages, wow. It will be a real joy to discover what his interests will be and support him in whatever he chooses to do. I just hope his father’s eccentric comic collecting gives him a boost in exploring all the bold possibilities in life.

But what I really wanna know is, will Swinebread Jr. be Marvel or DC? Heh heh, just kidding, he can be what ever he wants. I just want him to read something including novels.

Soon I will be a Dad and the Real adventure will begin.



Doctor Smoke said...

just wow.
I'm sorry for being so naggy about comments, man...

hey, you could always train him to become Pigmuffin, partner in justice!

I'm just kidding of course.

ladybug said...

Yippy Coyote! Well, I already knew..but'cha ya know...

Don Snabulus said...

I remember all those fears, but I just reminded myself of all the idiots out there who have kids and if they could do it, so could I. Maybe not the best way to put it, but it helped.

You will be a great dad.

Arkonbey said...

CONGRATULATIONS! If I could I'd shoot you a copy of Flight Explorer to save for when he's older.

Will you embarrass him by blogging his childhood ala mimismartypants?

Dean Wormer said...


I remember all those fears, but I just reminded myself of all the idiots out there who have kids and if they could do it, so could I.



I'm getting excited for you. That boy's going to have an excellent dad. Lucky whippersnapper.

Dr. Zaius said...

Congratulations! And may I commend you on your insight as a parent. There is no greater legacy that a father could bequeath his son than a gizillion comic books. **"sigh"**

Randal Graves said...

Holy hell dude, congratulations and boy is your life going to change. ;-) But you'll definitely be the coolest dad on the block!

Overdroid said...

I foresee many sanity rolls in your future.

Swinebread said...

Doc S – Well, I could train him but I bet he’ll want to name himself, but the option is open

LB – yippy is right!

Sanb – your confidence in me is compliment to your character

Arkonbey - Thank you… Flight looks real nifty, I was planning on getting Owley at some point and I’ve added flight to the list. I’ve gotta send you an email here before I have no time at all.

Dean – I think he’ll have some excellent Uncles too! IYKWIM

Dr. Zaius – Thank you, but I still need to bump up my collection of POTA if I’m really gonna provide for him properly.

Randal – Change is right, it’s not going to be about me anymore heh heh… I suspect I’ll be pretty cool, but his mom will be one that gets him to be a stand up guy!

OD – I’m rolling right NOW!

FranIAm said...


Very great indeed!!!

Swinebread said...

Thank You Fran!

Liberality said...

Congrats to you my friend. Enjoy it while you can because they grow up fast.

Swinebread said...

That's What Hear :)

Thank You!