Tentacle Tuesday: Barbarian Fatigue

Greetings all! Today we play whack-a-mole with a few warriors in loincloths – or at least that’s how I felt when looking for material in this post. Every time I found an instance of tentacles in some Conan the barbarian or Kull the destroyer tale, there was yet another one just an issue or a couple down the line. Let’s then consider this the end of a story begun with Tentacle Tuesday: the Savagery of Conan’s Savage Sword and continued with Tentacle Tuesday: Conan-o-rama: after this, I’ll be all Conan-ed out for a few years to come. So drink a shot of some concoction you like (be it coffee or the potent Zombie), and join me for this last foray into the dark, mysterious, predictable world of sword-and-sorcery heroes who run around half-naked (for better freedom of movement, no doubt).

Poor octopus, by far the most tragic figure of this story… These two pages are from The Dweller in the Dark, scripted by Roy Thomas and illustrated by Barry Smith, was published in Conan the Barbarian no. 12 (December 1971, Marvel).
You can’t have it both ways – praising a woman for exhibiting quintessentially ‘feminine’ characteristics and then getting pissed off at her dismay and fright when grabbed by a murderous monster.
The Sunken Land, scripted by Denny O’Neil (from a short story by Fritz Leiber), is pencilled by Walter Simonson and inked by Al Milgrom. This story was published in Sword of Sorcery no. 5 (Nov-Dec 1973, DC). I like Leiber, and I’ve been meaning to get to the Gray Mouser for a while – but I’m reading Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher right now, and one sword-and-sorcery saga at a time seems reasonable.
Page from Flame Winds of Lost Khitai!, scripted by Roy Thomas, pencilled by John Buscema and inked by Ernie Chan, published in Conan the Barbarian no. 32 (November 1973, Marvel). Interestingly, barbarians seem to universally abhor striking a woman; an attempt at primitive ethics from the part of the scripters.

One more Conan before we move on to Kull…

Page from Isle of the Dead, scripted by Bruce Jones and illustrated by Val Mayerik, published in Conan the Barbarian no. 138 (September 1982, Marvel). This page has the rare distinction of having the warrior-hero being less clothed than the girl he’s with.

As promised, here’s Kull the destroyer, engaged in battle with an eighties octopus (check out that mohawk!)

Two pages from The Thing from Emerald Darkness, scripted by Doug Moench, pencilled by Ed Hannigan and inked by Alfredo Alcala. This story was published in Kull, the Destroyer no. 17 (October 1976, Marvel). Why does a traitor (that’s not ‘traiter’) deserve better than to die from tentacles? That seems like no worse a death than any other in battle.
A page from City of the Crawling Dead, scripted by Don Glut, pencilled by Ernie Chan, and inked by Rick Hoberg. It was published in Kull, the Destroyer no. 21 (June 1977, Marvel).

Just before you pass out from over-consumption of alcoholic drinks (I’m having a gin and tonic over here!), I’d like to enliven this parade of humdrum tentacles a bit with this Conan pin-up:

This scene by Mike Zeck featured on the cover of long-running ad zine Rocket’s Blast Comicollector no. 119 (June 1975, James Van Hise).

~ ds

Tentacle Tuesday: In Your Neighbourhood and Mine

Today’s post may step a bit outside my usual purview, which is to say that the octopuses I am introducing do not come from the pages of comics per se. They’re used for mercantile purposes, to attract public to a concert, sell a book or deliver a message. But though they are octopuses in advertising, their artists still clearly have their hearts (and fingers) in the cartooning world.

Exhibit A is this cover for Centipede Press’ edition of Masters of Science Fiction: Fritz Leiber. This edition was limited to 500 numbered copies, so it will surprise no-one when I state that it’s quite sold out (See? Tentacles sell.) The cover is by Jim & Ruth Keegan, a wife-and-husband team, also the authors of the comic The Adventures of Two-Gun Bob.

Masters of Science Fiction-CentipedePress

Next, we have two music-related scenes, both from the Spanish side of things. ¡Fíjate!

The Roctopus Tea Party Festival takes place in Toledo, Spain. (Due to language constraints, I’m not exactly sure how many editions of it there have been.) Each poster features an octopus, but this is my favourite of the lot.

Roctopus Tea Party Vol . 3 by RoctopusT.P.Records
Whoever designed the festival’s logo knew how to harness the power of a lone octopus eye.

This Mardid “lunch box restaurant & tiki room” (now sadly defunct) held a series of “Galician lunches with DJ” splendidly named Día del Tentáculo. With a little Google Translate magic, I came up with this description: « Imagine a restaurant where you can eat hamburger with shiitake and jalapeños, drink the mythical Mai Tai cocktail or enjoy Tentacle Day with the best Galician octopus. And all while listening to good music in an environment inspired by the 50’s America. Sounds like an explosive mix, right? » The hamburger sounds good, but it’s really the Galician octopus that draws one in!

As the Spanish artist Roberto Argüelles held a few exhibitions of his art at Lunch Box, I’m going to assume this is his artwork.

This one I spotted plastered over some other poster in my neighbourhood. It states something like « Ultimatum: provide wages for all internships at all levels, or we go on strike. »


At first I assumed this was poster for a sci-fi convention in San Francisco, but it turned out to be the cover of a comics anthology published by Skodaman Press.

Chuck Whelon0ScifiSanFransisco
Art by Chuck Whelon.

~ ds