Conan the Barbarian as a Spiritual Guide in ‘By Crom!’

PIC: Rachel Kahn (C)

PIC: Rachel Kahn (C)

Really the idea of Conan as a source of philosophical insight isn’t so strange, provided you’ve read Robert E. Howard’s original stories. I’ll have to check Kahn’s comic out.

By Crom! is an autobiographical webcomic by concept artist and illustrator Rachel Kahn featuring Conan the Barbarian as a spiritual guide. The webcomic, which ran from January 2012 to May 2014, follows Kahn as she deals with a variety of issues with helpful advice from Conan.

The full run of the webcomic has been compiled into two collections which are both available for purchase via Kahn’s Big Cartel store.

via ‘By Crom!’, An Autobiographical Webcomic Featuring Conan the Barbarian as a Spiritual Guide.

Some of my own favorite (authentic) quotes from REH’s Conan stories:

From Queen of the Black Coast:

“I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply. I seek not beyond death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom’s realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaulted halls of the Nordheimer’s Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care. Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.”

“…There is no hope here or hereafter in the cult of my people. In this world men struggle and suffer vainly, finding pleasure only in the bright madness of battle; dying, their souls enter a gray misty realm of clouds and icy winds, to wander cheerlessly throughout eternity.”

From Beyond The Black River:

“A wolf was no less a wolf because a whim of chance caused him to run with the watch-dogs.”

From The Tower of The Elephant:

“Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.”

6 Comments on "Conan the Barbarian as a Spiritual Guide in ‘By Crom!’"

  1. A lot of the original Conan books are available as ebooks from

  2. erte4wt4etrg | May 31, 2014 at 2:04 pm |

    Conan, what is best in life?

  3. Echar Lailoken | May 31, 2014 at 8:12 pm |

    I wonder if it’s a depiction of how Robert E. Howard said Conan came to him as a shadow and forced him the write the tales.

  4. InfvoCuernos | May 31, 2014 at 9:11 pm |

    The Tower of the Elephant- One of the best uses of Lovecraftian monsters not in a New England setting ever.

  5. I have a preference for Kahless, knowing full well that he’s basically Space Conan.

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