Sunday, June 21, 2009

Solomon Kane

Long, serious, excellent piece on Robert E. Howard and Solomon Kane in the Los Angeles Times this morning. Are you listening James Reasoner?

Solomon Kane © 2009Solomon Kane Inc. (“SKI”). SOLOMON KANE, and related logos, characters, names, and distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks or registered trademarks of SKI. All rights reserved.

Man in black: Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane
Before Conan, there was Kane, a Puritan swordsman on a restless search for justice.
By Nick Owchar Copyright 2009 Los Angeles Times

May 24, 2009

Considering the many horror films featuring heroes in black who take out ghoulish enemies with crossbows or holy water bullets -- think of the "Underworld" or "Hellboy" movies, or "Van Helsing," whose titular hero seems inspired by the subject of this month's column -- Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane, a vengeance-seeking Puritan swordsman, is long overdue for the screen.

(Until now, that is. There's a movie featuring Solomon Kane that's reportedly finished, although it's unclear when/if we will see it: Word is that the director is seeking a major distributor, according to various blogs that follow the progress.)

Conan the Barbarian is almost certainly the one fictional creation of Howard's that most people know. But in recent years, publishers have also brought back Kane, whom the author created earlier than Conan, with the publication of "The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane" (Del Rey: 414 pp. $15.95 paper) and "The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard" (Del Rey: 560 pp., $18 paper).

Kane is a superb creation. He is the mysterious figure in a roadside tavern no one notices until there's a problem. Then he rises up, barely distinguishable from the shadows, and metes God's justice with his sword and pistols.

for the rest go here:,1,7472340,full.story


Tom Piccirilli said...

Always loved Kane most from Howard's canon. Love the one story where he chases a pirate for ten years all the way to the shores of Africa because Kane once saw the guy slap a woman. Brilliant work.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

I bought SAVAGE TALES OF SOLOMON KANE a couple of years ago. Beautifully illustrated by Gary Gianni. Kane is by far my favorite of Howard's characters (though I do cringe at some of the racial stereotypes of his day).

James Reasoner said...

Thanks, Ed. I need to reread the Kane stories sometime soon.

And, uh, Patrick, if you'd like to feel jealous . . . several years ago Gary Gianni was the guest of honor at Howard Days in Cross Plains, and he brought the originals of all his paintings for THE SAVAGE TALES OF SOLOMON KANE. I was able to stand around in front of those paintings talking to Gary and marveling at how beautiful they were. The amount of detail in them was amazing. It was just a wonderful moment.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

Jealousy confirmed.