A Hodgson influence in Conan?

While surfing the net in search of more Hodgson items, I stumbled across a website that claims a marginal influence by Hodgson upon a Conan story!

The story in question, “The Snout in the Dark”, was actually a fragment written by Robert E. Howard.  It was later expanded into a story by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter and subsequently published in 1969 by Lancer in the paperback collection CONAN OF CIMMERIA.  The story was subsequently adapted by Roy Thomas (writer) and John Buscema (artist) in the Marvel comic book, CONAN THE BARBARIAN #106-107 (1980).

20095Now, the story is one of your basic “Conan fights sorcerer” type plot.  During the antics, the wizard sends a demon monster to kill Conan and his “girl of the story”.  According to this website, the appearance of the monster is based upon the hideous pig monsters from Hodgson’s “The Hog” and THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND.  I am not certain that this is the case.

Certainly REH would have been in the circle which read the Hodgson books loaned to H. P. Lovecraft by H. C. Koenig but I think that this is a bit of a stretch.  While the monster, as it appears in the comic, does have some resemblance to Hodgson’s creatures, that’s pretty much where it ends.  Given that the writer of the comic, Roy Thomas, was well versed in genre fiction, it is possible that he used that as a reference for the artist.

Sadly, this would seem to be a very weak connection.  However, I am always on the lookout for more appearances or “influences” from Hodgson in comics and the work of other writers so if you know of any, please pass them along!

For those interested, here is the page from the comic with the monster!




Filed under Hodgson, William Hope Hodgson

6 responses to “A Hodgson influence in Conan?

  1. Micky

    Also short story Fruiting Bodies, a short story by By Brian Lumley, bears resemblance with Hodgson’s Voice In The Night; I remember there are very striking similarities between the two stories (the unknown fungus coming with the boards of a sunk derelict, the final metamorphosis of the old man and his dog etc.)

  2. Micky

    What about “Changing Land” by Roger Zelazny? I have not read the book but I saw a review on it that said the main feature of the tale was a house, called Castle Timeless, a center of a wizardy battle (one of the wizards’s name is Hodgson and in the introduction the writer dedicates the book to several people and “to the shade of William Hope Hodgson, who came along for the ride, bringing friends”). The Castle Timeless looks to be a Zelazny’s analogy to the Hodgson’s house, which is mentioned in several interviews (use google)

    P.S. The book looks like a pure fantasy stuff, dragons, wizards, blabla, which does not go much for me but since you want possible influences on Hodgson I tried this one.

    • That’s very interesting! Thanks for the clue! I will have to check it out as I actually do like Zelazny but have missed this one. Have you read Iain Sinclair’s RADON DAUGHTERS which is supposedly heavily influenced by WHH?

      • Micky

        I know the title Radon Daughters and the plot but I have not read it yet. In my previous post I forgot to mention “The Gateway Of Eternity“ by a british writer Brian Stableford. In the tale mr Hodgson is rescued from the trenches and sent back to the past. (unforunately, I have not read this one to produce more details about it)


  3. Interesting, but like you I’m not convinced. A pig-human monster is easy enough to think up. Thanks for the page scan. I never read the Conan comics or any others as a kid, being more into paperbacks. I bet I would have liked these, though.

    • I was a big fan of the Conan comics growing up. I even liked them more than the REH stories! But the evidence here is very minimal and I present it merely as a curiosity. Still, I’d love to hear from readers about any other Hodgson “touches” out there!

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