Hello and welcome this week’s installment of Welcome to the Insta-hood! This week’s spotlight is on IG account: @savageswordofconan (Manny)
- Tell me a little about yourself.”My name is Manny, I live in Florida. I’ve been collecting comics, movies, and records from a very young age. It’s entirely possible that if I focused my energies elsewhere I could’ve been a doctor or lawyer. After all, if I can remember the intricacies of ‘80s X-Men story lines then I’m sure I could’ve remember how many bones are in the human body (206 – I checked on Google!).
I currently work at a record store. I had an “adult” job for years but left, finding that less money but less stress is better than no free time, heavy anxiety, and a few extra dollars. I also have a beautiful black cat named FauxFaux that I love very much. “
- What made you want to start this IG account? “”I grew up with Conan comics. My father was a hippie and read Savage Sword of Conan, Heavy Metal, The Hulk comic magazine, Howard the Duck, Fangoria, Starlog, and so forth. He kept them in the closet in an old bag and I would grab them out all the time, perusing the pages like a fiend. Honestly, those comics and magazines were my introduction to nudity and violence.
At Free Comic Book Day in 2017 I scored a giant stash of Savage Sword issues for dirt cheap. After reading through them I looked to see if there was an Instagram about Conan and the name SavageSwordofConan was free so I grabbed it. I really had no idea anybody would care and figured about 300 people would pay attention. Surprisingly, this wasn’t the case.
I keep doing it because it’s fun and gives me a reason to sit down and read and flip through a bunch of Conan comics on a regular basis. Instagram is the only social media platform I really care for. These content driven accounts remind me of fanzines and I used to make those when I was younger (don’t ask the names because I won’t tell) so this seems like a natural extension, where I can do this with my digital devices and a stack of comic books. Since the account has gained attention I’ve tried to use the Story feature to publicize artistic endeavors by my friends and others that I respect and admire, whether it’s other IG accounts, art shows, punk shows, or whatever else. It seems like the logical thing to do, aside from posting dope pictures of Conan comics.
- Can you talk a little about your Conan collection? “Most of my collection consists of Savage Sword issues. I need about 30 issues of SSoC and Savage Tales. Unfortunately, that includes Savage Tales #1, Savage Sword #1, and Savage Sword #235, which is quite expensive because so few were printed. I just started grabbing issues of Conan the Barbarian, adding to my meager, but growing, collection of those (I have almost 50 according to my CLZ app). I have the Blu-Rays for all the films and the soundtracks on vinyl. One of my favorite acquisitions is a record from the ‘70s featuring L. Sprague de Camp reading two Conan tales (The Curse of the Monolith and The Bloodstained God). It was advertised in the back of Savage Sword issues and it came into my job in a used record collection a while back. I grabbed it pretty quickly.
- What is your top three favorite Conan comic covers/images and why?”There are three that my father had which stand out and had a gigantic impact on me: #42 by Bob Larkin, John Buscema’s cover for the Marvel Super Special #2, which is from the first full-color Savage Sword issue, and #5 by Boris Vallejo. These were the issues I’d go back to habitually. Issue 42 was my introduction to nudity (Chabela) and that issue has Conan fighting against man eating plant monsters and saving the day. As a very young child, seeing this had a gigantic impact on me and that entire story arc is still one of my favorites (Conan the Buccaneer).
The Super Special issue was my father’s favorite. Once, he caught me reading it and instead of punishing me started talking about how it was his favorite and why. His was quite beat up and falling apart but I would still become fixated with that one. The wraparound cover is still one of my favorites.
Issue 5 has the iconic cover with Conan crucified. The story is an adaptation of A Witch Shall Be Born, which is probably my favorite of Howard’s Conan tales. The cover, the story, and the loose adaptation of that moment in the Conan the Barbarian film had an impact on me as a kid. It is absolutely brutal.
- Which Conan comic has the most sentimental value for you and why? “I would have to say my copy of issue 42 and probably my copy of issue 5. Those both belonged to my father. I don’t have many of his issues anymore, or really many things that belonged to him, but I still have those. My copy of issue 5 has water damage and is definitely a reader copy but I won’t part with it. I still haven’t even grabbed another copy of that. Then again, I also haven’t run across one in the wild. “
If you like to know more about Manny please refer to this IG account: @savageswordofconan
Thank you Manny for this interview!