Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Bourbon & Barbarians Episode 13: A Hovel in the Hinterlands!

Well met, brave adventurers! We have returned with yet another episode of Bourbon and Barbarians, an actual play recording of The Cromcast wherein we play some old-school D&D! In this episode... The adventurers depart for the Caves once again. They come across some hereunto unnoticed rubble, and are set upon by a storm as they enter yet another Cave of Chaos!
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Black Vortex" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Bourbon & Barbarians Episode 12: Gather Your Wits, and Information Besides!



Well met, brave adventurers! We have returned with yet another episode of Bourbon and Barbarians, an actual play recording of The Cromcast wherein we play some old-school D&D! In this episode... The adventurers are back at the Keep; they gather their wits, and a little information besides!






Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Black Vortex" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Season 5: The Road of Champions

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-boxer-rich-chegwidden.html

Put 'em up, Cromrades! We're back with a preliminary list of stories for Season 5: The Road of Champions!

EP 1: Boxing training
An introduction to boxing, Howard’s boxing fascination, and the stories he wrote

EP 2: The Pit of the Serpent (1929)
Introducing Sailor Steve Costigan in his first tale!

EP 3: The Bulldog Breed (1930)
The first appearance of Mike the bulldog, Steve’s constant companion

EP 4: Christmas Special! The Two-Fisted Santa Claus!
Technically listed as a Dorgan tale, but a boxing Christmas story is too good to pass up!

EP 5: Champion of the Forecastle (Nov 1930)
We get to meet more of the crew on Steve’s boat, The Sea Girl

EP 6: The TNT Punch (Jan 1931)
Sailor Steve helps to raise bail for another boxer in South Africa

EP 7: Iron Men by Robert E. Howard
Howard writes about tough boxers and their fighting style

EP 8: Iron Men in Cinema
Rocky / Requiem for a Heavyweight

EP 9: Meet Dennis Dorgan in The Destiny Gorilla
Who is Dennis Dorgan? Is he his own man or is he perhaps Steve Costigan?!

EP 10: His Brother’s Keeper by Dashiell Hammet
A half-wit boxer’s eulogy for his brother that betrayed him

EP 11: Boxing Noir in the Cinema
Viewing The Set-Up (1949)

EP 12: Texas Fists (May 1931)
Costigan returns home to Texas!

EP 13: The Breed of Battle (Nov 1931)
Mike the Bulldog is dognapped! Steve must save him!

EP 14: The Apparition in the Prize Ring (1929)
Featuring Ace Jessel!

EP 15: Vikings of the Gloves (1932)
Costigan battles a Swede!

EP 16: Sluggers on the Beach (1934)
The last published Costigan story

EP 17: The Final Round: Boxing Season Retrospective

You can get the majority of these stories in the collection "Waterfront Fists and Others The Collected Fight Stories of Robert E Howard." We'll post links to open source options as we move through the season!

Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com), You know you want to follow us on Twitter! Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! We're also on Stitcher Radio and Google Play! Finally.... Call us! (859) 429-CROM!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Season 4, Episode 20: The Lost Road Finale

We've finally arrived at the end of The Lost Road! What a long and twisted path we've walked over the past year. This season was spent exploring lost worlds and lost civilizations in pulp fiction and fantasy, and while there are some notable stories missing from the list, this season should serve as a nice cross section of this important genre.

On this episode, we begin with a conversation with our friend, Howard fan and scholar Rusty Burke. Scotch, open bars, one things, and King Arthur feature heavily in this conversation.

Bran Mak Morn w/ Rusty 12:00
Hobbits and Picts 14:18
Picts and Howard: 19:00
The HPL/REH letter about REH discovering picts in New Orleans Library
22:15: The most tragic and emo of the Howard scholars. "Bran knows he's doomed but he fights on anyway."
30:12 - Are the Bran stories suitable for an introduction to Howard's work, or are they considered "advanced" Howard?
35:55 - Arthurian elements in Bran Mak Morn.

Rusty wrote us with some more information about King Arthur, and those literary links he discussed on the show!

Regarding the Arthurian themes in the Bran cycle:
The King Arthur legends are, of course, varied, because over the course of 1000+ years they've been told by so many different narrators. But taking the tale in its best-known form today, and in very broad outline, Arthur was the son of an illicit union between King Uther and Ygraine, the wife of another king, Gorlois. He was raised in secrecy, and when Uther died, Arthur became king by virtue of drawing a sword from a stone. Arthur reigned over Britain with his Knights of the Round Table, at a court called Camelot. In a number of battles, they defended Celtic Britain from the Saxon invaders. After many adventures and intrigues, Arthur was fatally wounded in battle by Mordred, the son of his sister. He was taken to the Isle of Avalon, where he waits to return to England when he is needed.
A full discussion of the relevance of Arthurian themes to Bran would take more time than I have. But here are two compelling ones (at least to me):
In some versions of the legend, Arthur's slayer, Mordred, is the son of Arthur's sister - and of Arthur himself, who slept with his sister (or perhaps half-sister) unwittingly. In Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, the chief basis for most modern versions, she is Morgause, one of three daughters of Ygraine and Gorlois - thus Arthur's half-sister, the daughter of his mother. Intriguingly, for the Bran connection, Morgause has a sister named Morgan, in most versions of the legends Morgan le Fay (the Fairy), and in some versions Morgause and Morgan either are conflated or switch places: thus we have a supernatural woman (fairy, witch, enchantress), sleeping with Arthur, the union producing the child, Mordred, who will ultimately be the agent of Arthur's demise. This seems to me rather analogous to the mating of Bran with the "witch-woman of Dagon-moor."
Of course, Howard never told us what offspring might have been produced by that union, if any, so I'm speculating. But from the story "The Dark Man" we know what became of Bran: After uniting the Picts and driving the Romans south of "their Wall," "Bran Mak Morn fell in battle; the nation fell apart." While he yet lived, though, "A wizard made this statue" (the titular image of the story), "and when he died in the last great battle, his spirit entered into it." And "Bran Mak Morn, great king of Pictdom, shall come again to his people some day in the days to come." Like Arthur, then, Bran Mak Morn is not dead, but merely sleeps, waiting to come to his people in their hour of need.
(As an aside, there is an interesting parallelism I just noted between "Worms of the Earth" and "The Dark Man." In the former story, the witch-woman mocks Bran when he recoils from what he has done (in calling on the Worms): "But you are stained with the taint - you have called them forth and they will remember! And in their own time they will come to you again." In "The Dark Man," after Turlogh has fought by the side of the Picts against the Danes, Brogar tells him, "The tie of blood is between us, Gael, and mayhap we shall come to you again in your need, as Bran Mak Morn, great king of Pictdom, shall come again to his people some day in the days to come.")
While original sources such as Malory's Le Morte d"Arthur and Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of England would have been available in Howard's time (while other of the older sources would have been available primarily to scholars), it strikes me as more likely that he would have been an avid reader of either or both of what remain (to my tastes) the best introductions to the Arthurian legends.
The Boy's King Arthur was a retelling of Malory, edited by poet Sidney Lanier (who is mentioned in Howard's letters, though not in connection with this book). It was illustrated by the great N.C. Wyeth.
Another of the great illustrators, Howard Pyle, wrote and illustrated The Story of King Arthur and His Knights. His was not a straight retelling, but incorporated elements of other stories, as well as Pyle's own invention, into the tale, and the illustrations form an important part of the story.
For those interested in the historical background (or lack thereof) of Arthur, and the growth and uses of his legends, the best book on the subject that I have read is John Morris's The Age of Arthur. At over 600 pages, it is not for the faint of heart, but I found it fascinating.
Another book I found useful is Leslie Alcock's Arthur's Britain.

Thanks, Rusty, for joining us for another interesting conversation! We look forward to the next one!

 One Things
Luke - David Hartwell, editor, anthologist, Foundations of Fear - An Exploration of Horror
Josh - They Must Be Destroyed on Sight Podcast
Jon - TD Griffith - Outlaw Tales of Nebraska
Rusty - Ireland, a novel by Frank Delaney

After the musical interlude provided by The Sword, Empty Temples from their album "Low Country", we get into a summary and reflection of the season. Which stories were your favorites? Let us know!

You should visit the Red Sun Magazine website and pick up Issue #2! You might run across some familiar names!

Sailor Steve Costigan, by Clayton Hinkle
Next season: The Road of Champions! Join us for an exploration of boxing stories from the pulps and famous cinematic bouts! It's going to be a great time, and we're looking forward to discussing these stories with you! A story list will be available very shortly!

Questions? Comments? Curses?
Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com), You know you want to follow us on Twitter! Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! We're also on Stitcher Radio and Google Play! Finally.... Call us! (859)429-CROM!

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Beginning theme: Sudden Defeat by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Closing theme: "Gonna Fly Now" from the Rocky soundtrack, composed by Bill Conti with lyrics by Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins. All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bourbon & Barbarians Episode 11: A Return to the Keep!

Well met, brave adventurers! Apologies for the delay since Cromtober, but November has been a busy month for your Cromrades! But, we have returned with yet another episode of Bourbon and Barbarians, an actual play recording of The Cromcast getting into some old-school D&D!

The party has been broken by the encounter with the ogre. Their benefactor, slain. Their purpose, in question.

In tatters, they return to the Keep.

But where one door closes, another opens...

Never fear, we'll see you soon with another exciting episode of The Cromcast!

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Black Vortex" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cromtober Part 2: Bonfire Ghost Stories


Then my heart it grew ashen and sober 
      As the leaves that were crispèd and sere— 
      As the leaves that were withering and sere, 
And I cried—"It was surely October 
      On this very night of last year 
      That I journeyed—I journeyed down here— 
      That I brought a dread burden down here— 
      On this night of all nights in the year, 
      Oh, what demon has tempted me here? 
Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber— 
      This misty mid region of Weir— 
Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber— 
      In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir." 
-Edgar Allen Poe, ""Ulalume - A Ballad"

Welcome, Cromrades, to an evening of ghost stories from our homelands. We spent the evening recounting legends of hauntings from our homelands, sipping bourbon, and enjoying Halloween candy earlier this Cromtober! We hope you enjoy the tales. Send in your ghost stories, via email or voice mail! We'd love to hear them!

Happy Halloween!

Questions? Comments? Curses?
Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com) You know you want to follow us on Twitter! Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! We're also on Stitcher Radio and Google Play! Finally.... Call us! (859)429-CROM!

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Beginning theme: Classic Horror 2 by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Closing theme: "This is Halloween" from The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack. All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Cromtober 2016, Part One: A Monstrous Conversation, featuring Justin Stewart and Kentucky Kaiju!


WE PODCAST..... AGAIN!! 
Er. Welcome back, Cromrades! It's time for CROMTOBER! We've been accosted by witches, faced down the ghosts of our pulp author heroes, but this year we have GIANT MONSTERS to content with! Our friend Justin Stewart dropped by the show. You might remember him from the excellent first season episode, "Conan vs Sequential Art!" These days, Justin leads an army of monstrous creatures drawn forth from the depths of his and Tressina Bowling's minds. The result of this collaboration is Kentucky Kaiju, a field guide of sorts, featuring depictions and descriptions of giant monsters which can be found across the length and breadth of the Bluegrass State. Descriptions of the beasts were provided by Shawn Pryor, who undoubtedly put himself in great peril by getting close enough to the kaiju to document their natural histories and provide descriptions of their habits. We get into Kentucky Kaiju at about the 15 minute mark.

You can purchase your copy of Kentucky Kaiju from Apex Book Company by following this link!
We also get into some One Things:
Justin: XII Boar - Beyond The Valley of the Triclops (monstrous, groovy rock!)
Jon: Ash vs Evil Dead, Season One (ONE BY ONE THEY WILL TAKE YOUUUU)
Josh: The new Ghost B.C. EP, Popestar! (Are you on the square? Are you on the level?)
Luke: Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery (A "hare raising" horror story, for kids!)
We also dig into some talk about monsters! (Not Monster Talk!)
Justin: Florida UFO's
Josh: (A-oooooOOOOO) Werewolves of Waddy (additional source)
Luke: Scary Stories of Mammoth Cave (The Stone Gobbler, the Green River Monster)
Jon: The Beast of Churubusco
A big thank you to Justin for joining us again! Please check out his work at justin3000.com and Tressina's art page at tressinaart.blogspot.com and treat yourself to some excellent original art! Tell them The Cromcast sent you!
Questions? Comments? Curses?
Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com) You know you want to follow us on Twitter! Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! We're also on Stitcher Radio and Google Play! Finally.... Call us! (859)429-CROM!

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Beginning theme: Sudden Defeat by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Closing theme: "Triclops" by XII Boar off their album "Beyond the Valley of the Triclops". All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Season 4, Episode 19: Worms of the Earth

Hile, Cromrades! This week, we bear witness to the destruction of a man's soul. Worms of the Earth by Robert E. Howard was published in November of 1932 in Weird Tales, but you can read the story online here. This one is a doozy, and is a great way to kick off Cromtober! Time to get yer scare on!!!
An adaptation of this story appeared in Savage Sword of Conan #16-17, and was interpreted by Roy Thomas with art by Barry Smith and Tim Conrad. Here's a bit of Tim Conrad's contribution:
One Things
Jon - O.J.: Simpson, Made in America
Luke - Jake Xerxes Fussell's eponymous album
Josh - Straight Outta Compton

Questions? Comments? Curses?
Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com) You know you want to follow us on Twitter! Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! We're also on Stitcher Radio and Google Play! Finally.... Call us! (859)429-CROM!

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Beginning theme: Sudden Defeat by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Closing theme: Raggy Levy by Jake Xerxes Fussell from his eponymous album. All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bourbon & Barbarians Episode 10: "A pissed off, evil version of Shrek!"



Well met, brave adventurers! Here we return with yet another episode of Bourbon and Barbarians, an actual play recording of The Cromcast getting into some old-school D&D! 

A brutal ogre descends upon the party like an elemental force, and nothing but the satisfaction of slaughter can stop its rampage! One shall fall - but who?! 


We'll see you soon with another exciting episode of The Cromcast!

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Black Vortex" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Season 4, Episode 18: The Dark Man

Welcome back, friends and Cromrades! This week, we gather to discuss dark business indeed. Rage boils within Turlogh O'Brien! Is he on a quest for rescue? Or is it vengeance?  No one but the mysterious statue of The Dark Man knows for sure... The Dark Man by Robert E. Howard was published in the December 1931 issue Weird Tales, but you can read the story online here. Certainly, this story was influential on the greater legacy of Robert E. Howard, as the tale lends its title to the name of the Journal of Robert E. Howard Studies established by Rusty Burke!

Cover Art by C.C. Senf
One Things
Jon - Hell or High Water, Starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, and Ben Foster
Luke - Atlanta starring Donald Glover
Josh - Trick or Treat Radio

The Venn diagram provided by Examining the Odd that we discuss toward the end of the episode:


And, Charles Rutledge's insightful comparison of the original text of The Dark Man with the comic adaptation from Savage Tales #4 from 1974.

Next time we get down in the dirt with the Worms of the Earth and bring the Bran Mak Morn cycle to a close!

Questions? Comments? Curses?
Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com) You know you want to follow us on Twitter! Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! We're also on Stitcher Radio and Google Play! Finally.... Call us! (859) 429-CROM!

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Beginning theme: Sudden Defeat by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Closing theme: Raise Your Horns by Amon Amarth from the album Jomsviking. All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bourbon & Barbarians Episode 09: Bearded Battle at Bugbear Hollow!


Hile brave adventurers! Here we return with yet another episode of Bourbon and Barbarians, an actual play recording of The Cromcast getting into some old-school D&D! Who is this mysterious prisoner the group found in the caves last session? They don't have much time to figure it out - bugbears are hot on their heels!


We'll see you soon with another exciting episode of The Cromcast!

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Black Vortex" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Season 4 Episode 17: Kings of the Night



The drums of war sound for you Cromrades! We must rally to the banner of King Bran as he tries to boot the greedy Romans from our isles of heather. But we need help from the northmen, and they need a king. What man or ghost will lead them into battle? Tune in to our discussion of "The Kings of the Night" to find out! Howardian historical fantasy at its finest!

Assorted and sundry
Go and get issue #1 of Skelos!
http://skelospress.com/


One Things
Luke: The album Children of the Night by Tribulation
Josh: Steve Jackson's Sorcery for your handheld devices
Jon: Assault on Precinct 13 directed by John Carpenter


Next Time
We are nearing the end of the lost the road. But before we find ourselves again we meet up with... The Dark Man!!!

Questions? Comments? Curses?
Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com) You know you want to follow us on Twitter! Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! We're also on Stitcher Radio and Google Play! Finally.... Call us! (859) 429-CROM!

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Beginning theme: Sudden Defeat by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.
Closing theme: Dark is the Night, Cold is the Ground by Blind Willie Johnson

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bourbon & Barbarians: Episode 8 - "I Think He's A Mini Boss!"



Hile brave adventurers! Here we return with yet another episode of Bourbon and Barbarians, an actual play recording of The Cromcast getting into some old-school D&D!

The party braves an encounter with a potentially deadly foe, search several middens, raid a kobold pantry (our advice? Stay away from kobold pantries!), and make a new friend.

We'll see you soon with another exciting episode of The Cromcast!

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Black Vortex" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Season 4, Episode 16: Men of the Shadows

Welcome back, Cromrades! This week, we get back to basics with a Robert E. Howard story, "Men of the Shadows." However, we have a special guest to help us navigate this story and its implications for REH's literary world building: Howardian luminary Rusty Burke! 


Robert E. Howard Days 2016, Cross Plains, TX
To say that Rusty is a Howard fan is an understatement, to say the least. From helping to establish Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains, TX to his numerous scholarly contributions as a researcher, Rusty has been instrumental in moving Howard studies forward. In this episode, Rusty discusses "Men in the Shadows" and places it in the context of Howard's larger literary canon, all the while letting us in on some of Howard's readings that helped shape the course of his writings. Here are a few of those primary sources, along with some notes provided by Rusty!


(A note about Robert E. Howard's Bookshelf: This list of books was compiled by Rusty, and was formerly hosted on the REHupa website. We haven't been able to find a copy online, though the page was archived by The Internet Archive's Way Back Machine. All pages are accessible, though you may find that you need to click through the archived copies to find certain pages. The most recent copy is from October 9, 2011. Here's the link.


(Letter from Robert E. Howard to H.P. Lovecraft, ca January 1932): "Then when I was about twelve I spent a short time in New Orleans and found in a Canal Street library, a book detailing the pageant of British history, from prehistoric times up to – I believe – the Norman conquest. It was written for school-boys and told in an interesting and romantic style, probably with many historical inaccuracies. But there I first learned of the small dark people which first settled Britain, and they were referred to as Picts." (REH to HP Lovecraft, ca January 1932)


While Howard never identified the book, Rusty Burke believes it may have been this one: 

The Romance of Early British Life, From the Earliest Times to the Coming of the Danes, by G.F. Scott Elliot (London: Seeley and Co. Ltd., 1909)


There are many points in the book that seem to relate directly to Howard's descriptions and remarks about the Picts, including the illustrations here.



"I saw the name 'Picts' first on maps, and always the name lay outside the far-flung bounds of the Roman empire. This fact aroused my intense interest – it was so signifigant of itself. The mere fact suggested terrific wars – savage attacks and ferocious resistance – valor and heroism and ferocity." (REH to HP Lovecraft, 2 March 1932)


"There did the tribe abide for centuries, and grew strong and mighty, and from thence did they spread all over the world.  From the Afric deserts to the Baltic forests, from the Nile to the peaks of Alba they ranged, growing their grain, grazing their cattle, weaving their cloth.  They built their crannogs in the Alpen lakes; they reared their temples of stone upon the plains of Britain.  They drove the Atlanteans before them, and they smote the red-haired reindeer men." (Men of the Shadows)

 "We scanned the lake.  No boats rippled its surface.  No foe showed among the scant reeds near its bank.  We turned, gazing across the heather.  And without a sound the Roman crumpled and fell forward, a short spear standing between his shoulders." (Men of the Shadows)

The Prehistoric World: Or, Vanished Races, by E.A. Allen. (Cincinnati: Central Publishing House, 1885).
This book was a very important source for many of the concepts in "Men of the Shadows." It was included in the Howard library donated to Howard Payne College. (See Robert E. Howard's Bookshelf)

"'Does the frog represent the creative, the egg the passive, and the serpent the destructive power of nature?' Not a few writers, though not acquainted with the presence of the frog-shaped figure, have been struck with the combination of the egg and the serpent, that plays such an important part in the mythology of the Old World. We are told that the serpent, separate or in combination with the circle, egg, or globe, has been a predominant symbol among many primitive nations." (page 353)


The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind, by H.G. Wells. 4th Edition. 4 vols. (New York: The Review of Reviews Company, 1922).
Wells' discussions of prehistory seem to have found their way into "Men of the Shadows" and Howard's stories of prehistoric man. This book was included in the Howard library donated to Howard Payne College. (See Robert E. Howard's Bookshelf)

"When the wild horse and the reindeer diminished in Europe, and a newer type of human culture, with a greater power over food supply, a greater tenacity of settlement, and probably a larger social organization, arose, the Reindeer men had to learn fresh ways of living or disappear. How far they learnt and mingled their strain with the new European populations, and how far they went under we cannot yet guess. ... Whether the Cro-Magnon type of men mingled completely with the Neolithic peoples, or whether they remained distinct and held their own in favourable localities to the north and west, following the reindeer over Siberia and towards America... or whether they disappeared altogether from the world, is a matter that can be only speculated about at present.... There is little to prevent our believing that they survived without much inter-mixture for a long time in north Asia, that 'pockets' of them remained here and there in Europe, that there is a streak of their blood in most European peoples to-day, and that there is a much stronger streak, if not a predominant strain, in the Mongolian and American races." (pages 98-99)



Theosophy in Outline, by F. Milton Willis. Little Blue Book (Pocket Series) No. 477. (Girard, KS: Haldeman-Julius Company, 1923).
Theosophical concepts appear in Howard's work and letters, but not in such detail as to convince us he had actually read the work of Helena Blavatsky or others. He was a fan of the Little Blue Books, pocket-sized paper books spanning a wide range of subjects, published by E. Haldeman-Julius in Kansas. It's possible that concepts such as "root races" came from this Little Blue Book.

We hope this episode sheds some more light on Howard's world building and how Conan, Kull, and Bran's worlds are actually one and the same - and one that they share with us!

Thanks so much to Rusty Burke for joining us for this conversation! Come back, any time!

Next time - Crossover! It's "Kings of the Night"!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bourbon & Barbarians Episode 7: "There's Some Weird Shit Out There!"


Hile brave adventurers! Here we return with yet another episode of Bourbon and Barbarians, an actual play recording of The Cromcast getting into some old-school D&D!

After the epic(?) encounter with the kobolds, the party is forced to return to town to purchase provisions and rest. Will there be a surprise waiting for them upon returning to the cave?

We'll see you soon with another exciting episode of The Cromcast!


Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Black Vortex" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Season 4, Episode 15: She (1965 Film)

Greetings, Cromrades! This week we discuss the 1965 film version of H. Rider Haggard's She. There are many versions of this story, from the original text, to various film interpretations. We tackled the version by Hammer Film Productions, but briefly discuss the earlier RKO production as well.


One Things
Jon: River Monsters by Jeremy Wade
Josh: Deadpool out now!
Luke: Teen Titans Go! on Cartoon Network

Next Time
We get back into some Robert E. Howard, tackling the first of the Bran Mak Morn cycle, namely Men of the Shadows! See you further down The Lost Road!

Questions? Comments? Curses?
Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com) You know you want to follow us on Twitter! Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes! Finally.... Call us! (859) 429-CROM!

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Beginning theme: Sudden Defeat by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. Closing theme: One Woman as performed by Isaac Hayes on his classic album, Hot Buttered Soul. All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Bourbon & Barbarians Episode 6: "We're Gonna Die Here..."


Hile brave adventurers! Here we return with yet another episode of Bourbon and Barbarians, an actual play recording of The Cromcast getting into some old-school D&D!

It's Kobold Time!
We'll see you soon with another exciting episode of The Cromcast!

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Black Vortex" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cromcast Special: Roadtrip to REH Days 2016!



We're taking a small detour from The Lost Road to visit Howard's hometown of Cross Plains, TX! Josh and Jon made the trek to Robert E. Howard Days this year and brought back some audio entertainment for you all as a souvenir. This year's festival was a special one as it coincided with the 80th anniversary of Howard's death, the 30th anniversary of Howard Days itself, and the 20th anniversary of the release of "The Whole Wide World"!

This episode will be a real treat as you get to hear from luminaries such as Bill Cavalier and Rusty Burke, long time Cromrades "Listener Gary" and EvilEd, and Cromcast stalwarts Mark Finn and Jeffrey Shanks!

So kick back, pour a stiff drink (or ladle out some barbecue) and join us for our Texas adventure! Be sure you mark your calendars for next year and get down to Cross Plains!

And now... the Texas sun bears down and the dust rises as you drive through the four-way stop in Cross Plains, and approach a small white house on the left, with a pavilion off to the side... Welcome to Howard Days!
News article covering the first Howard Day in 1986.


Left: Treasures in the Cross Plains Library! Right: A Cromcaster holding an original typescript of Sword Woman!  
The Cromcast Was Here!

Daniel Look: Math Sorcerer

 Dierk Guenther gave an excellent presentation about Howard's use of time.

"Fighting, horse racing, drinking, and other feats of hyper-masculinity..."
You haven't been to an academic symposium like this before! 

Poetry reading on Howard's  
The Pavilion: Where stories are told, friendships are made, and the whiskey flows!
It's worth the trip,  y'all. 
 Show Order

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bourbon & Barbarians: Episode 5



Hile brave adventurers! Here we return with yet another episode of Bourbon and Barbarians, an actual play recording of The Cromcast getting into some old-school D&D!



We'll see you soon with another exciting episode of The Cromcast!

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Black Vortex" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Season 4, Episode 14: King Solomon's Mines, Part 2 (or, Let me Gagool That For You)

Greetings once again, Cromrades! This week we continue the quest for King Solomon's Mines with Allan Quatermain and his band of adventurers. Though we are now beyond the mountains called Sheba's Breasts, the journey is not quite finished! Join us for a literary discussion, an evaluation of the lost world genre up to this point, and the bad accents you've come to expect! 
One Things
Jon: Punisher: War Zone (2009), directed by Lexi Alexander
Luke: The Ghost Brigades (2007), by John Scalzi. (Part 2 of Old Man's War) 
Josh: A Bug's Life (1999), from Pixar. (A modern CGI retelling of The Seven Samurai! Watch and see if it isn't!)
Next time: We go to the movies with H. Rider Haggard and the 1965 adaptation of She by Hammer Film Productions, starring Ursula Andress, Peter Cushing, Bernard Cribbins, John Richardson, Rosenda Monteros, and Christopher Lee! Should be a fun episode! We hope you join in. This film isn't available to stream, but you can snag a copy on Amazon for around $10. 
See you further down The Lost Road!

Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com) You know you want to follow us on Twitter!
Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes!
Finally.... Call us! (859) 429-CROM!

Legal mumbojumbo

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Beginning theme"Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Closing theme: "History of Man" by Amanaz from their 1975 album Africa.
All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bourbon & Barbarians: Episode 4


Hile brave adventurers! Here we return with yet another episode of Bourbon and Barbarians, an actual play recording of The Cromcast getting into some old-school D&D! This week: A party member sobers up, and a new character joins the fray!


We'll see you soon with another exciting episode of The Cromcast!

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Black Vortex" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Season 4, Episode 13: King Solomon's Mines, Part One


Cromrades, welcome back! This week, we present King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard! This adventure story was published in 1885, and has been highly influential, attributed to be the first Lost World novel. You can trace a direct line from King Solomon's Mines to The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle, to King Kong and beyond, right up to Jurassic World present day!

We split the novel into two episodes, and discuss the first half of the book through about Chapter 10 for part one. Primary research for this episode was found in part by browsing a King Solomon's Mines study guide, found here.

One Things
Jon - The Lost City of Z by David Grann
Josh - Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon's Army and Other Diabolical Insects by Amy Stewart
Luke - The Virgin Suicides film from 2000, directed by Sofia Coppola and starring James Woods, Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, Michael Paré, Scott Glenn, Danny DeVito, and A.J. Cook.

Next time: King Solomon's Mines, part two! Will Quartermain and his associates make it to the fabled King Solomon's Mines? Let's find out!

Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com) You know you want to follow us on Twitter!
Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes!
Finally.... Call us! (859) 429-CROM!
Legal mumbojumbo
Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Beginning theme"Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Closing theme: "Hey Man, Nice Shot" by Filter from their 1995 album Short Bus.
All music was obtained legally; we hope our discussion of this content makes you want to go out and purchase the work!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bourbon & Barbarians: Episode 3 - Into The Wild



Hile brave adventurers! Here we return with yet another episode of Bourbon and Barbarians, an actual play recording of The Cromcast getting into some old-school D&D! In this episode: one of the players has a little too much bourbon, and danger surrounds the efforts to build a campfire...




We'll see you soon with another exciting episode of The Cromcast!

Our episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. "Black Vortex" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Likewise Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)