Monday, February 24, 2014

Episode 17: A Witch Shall Be Born

Our story this week is A Witch Shall Be Born. Originally published in Weird Tales in December of 1934, you can check it out on Project Gutenberg here. Also, you can download our episode here

By the side of the caravan road a heavy cross had been planted, and on this grim tree a man hung, nailed there by iron spikes through his hands and feet. Naked but for a loin-cloth, the man was almost a giant in stature, and his muscles stood out in thick corded ridges on limbs and body, which the sun had long ago burned brown. The perspiration of agony beaded his face and his mighty breast, but from under the tangled black mane that fell over his low, broad forehead, his blue eyes blazed with an unquenched fire. Blood oozed sluggishly from the lacerations in his hands and feet.

What's that you say? This is the crazy story where Conan is crucified? Yup. This is one grisly tale. But surprisingly, Conan takes the backseat for much of the action. 

Our next story will be Jewels of Gwalhur, also known as The Servants of Bit-Yakin. We've heard it's kind of a stinker, but we don't care... We're gonna read it anyway! If you're inclined, you can access it in a number of formats here!

Questions? Comments? Curses? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)
Don't like email? Leave a voicemail! We can be reached at (859) 429-CROM! (that's 2766).
Leave a short question / comment and we'll play it on the show.
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Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bonus Episode: The Violet Crown Radio Players' "Waterfront Fists!"

Hey all, we're back with a special episode! You can download it directly here.

We are happy to present a Howard story adapted by Austin's Violet Crown Radio Players!

By way of an explanation, we were approached with this opportunity by Mark Finn, a friend of the show with whom we had a chance to interview back in December regarding his Howard biography, Blood and Thunder. Didn't we mention on that episode that Mark is a multi-faceted fellow

Besides his scholarship, Mark served as the creative director of the Violet Crown Radio Players from 2002-07. Unfortunately this group is defunct, but if you want to read more about them, check out their blog here. During the group's hey-day, however, Mark adapted Howard's classic "Sailor Steve Costigan" story, Waterfront Fists. Mark approached us about sharing the troupe's recording of that adaptation here on the Cromcast, and of course we jumped at the chance to showcase the performance!

Waterfront Fists was first published by Howard back in September of 1930 in Fight Stories (cover below). This story happens to be in the public domain like the Conan stories we've been reading and discussing, so if you're looking to read the original text, check it out here on Project Gutenberg!

Hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!

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

Other stuff...

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The beginning tune is Moon Mullican's "Pipeliner Blues." Used without permission. The audio drama is Robert E. Howard's Waterfront Fists, as adapted by Mark Finn and performed by the Violet Crown Radio Players. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Episode 16: The People of the Black Circle (or, Conan Heads East!)

Conan had witnessed hundreds of battles in his wild life, but never one like this, wherein four diabolical wills sought to beat down one lesser but equally devilish will that opposed them. But he only faintly sensed the monstrous quality of that hideous struggle. With his back to the wall, driven to bay by his former masters, Khemsa was fighting for his life with all the dark power, all the frightful knowledge they had taught him through long, grim years of neophytism and vassalage.

Time for a new episode! This time around we tackle Howard's The People of the Black Circle. Published in Weird Tales from September through November of 1934, you can now read the story on Project Gutenberg

Download the episode directly here. And while you're waiting for that, check out Dan Adkins' pulptastic cover for Savage Sword of Conan #18. Oh yeah, and SPOILERS... Conan fights wizards!

Our next story will be A Witch Shall Be Born; read it on Project Gutenberg!

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

Don't like email? Leave a voicemail! We can be reached at (859) 429-CROM! (that's 2766).
Leave a short question / comment and we'll play it on the show.

Follow us on Twitter!
Subscribe to our feed on FeedBurner! Or, check us out on iTunes!

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

Friday, February 7, 2014

Special Edition of Art Party Friday

Hey everyone, Jon here. Today's art party will be a little different. Usually we highlight a variety of artists and their pieces dedicated to characters created by Robert E. Howard. Today though I would like to throw the spotlight on another creative individual I admire, Jack "The King" Kirby. Kirby was a comic book artist by trade but a hurricane of creativity by nature. He worked in comics for a long time and many would argue he is he is the greatest artist the medium has ever known. He died twenty years ago this week and the world is still poorer for it. Today we will be showcasing some inspired work by The King.

The Man himself. 

Conan the Barbarian, pencils by Jack Kirby inked by Bill Reinhold.

An visual interpretation of "Musings," by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer in Ariel, the Book of Fantasy.

Odin, the All-Father, by Jack Kirby.

God or Yaweh by Jack Kirby.

Battle scene from Devil Dinosaur by Jack Kirby.

Balduur of Norse Myth by Jack Kirby.

Page one of The New Gods by Jack Kirby.

Jack had a profound impact on the foundation of the comic book industry and continues to inspire and challenge creators today. If you are interested in learning more about the man you can check out the Kirby Museum's website (be sure to leave a donation so they can actually build a museum!) or check out this AV Club article from earlier this year. 

That's all for this week! We are hard at work behind the scenes here at Cromcast HQ! 

Keep your eyes peeled for our newest episode: