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.