Foreign Comic Collector - Page 5

Opening panels of Cuentos de Abuelito #8 adapted form the orginal story. thology series called Cuentos de Abuelito (Grandpa’s Stories). This was first pointed out by Paul Herman in The Neverending Hunt in 2006, but his information was incomplete. He noted that a series called Cuentos de Abuelito presents La Reina de la Costa Negra, published by Corporacion Editorial Mexicana S.A. (C.E.M.S.A.), had run for 18 issues in 1952 in a small-size format (4x5½") and that he owned a copy of #17. In 2008, Paul Wells, added a more information (and more questions) when he discussed "La Reina de la Costa Negra" in an article on sword and sorcery comics in Alter Ego #80. Using information provided by Ulises Mavrides, a researcher and collector from Mexico, Wells first notes that La Reina appeared in two issues of Cuentos de Abuelito, then later contradicts himself saying that it appeared in issues 8-12. He credits the writers of that story arc as Loa and Victor Rodriguez and the artist as Salvador Lavalle with covers done by Hector "Hecky" Gutierrez. Excerpts from these issues also indicate La Reina was much more violent than US comics in the 60s that they adapt the Howard story, though with Bêlit surviving at the end. The opening panels from #8 show Conan riding down to a port as in the beginning of the La Reina de la Costa Negra #47 original Howard story. (Joma 1966) While Wells does not explicitly say it, this suggests that #8 may have been the first appearance of La Reina and thus the first comic appearance of Conan. That said, he clearly was not aware of the 18 issues that Paul Herman referenced so the question of exactly how many issue of Cuentos there were and how many contained Conan stories was still unclear. Wells did have more information on the two later standalone La Reina de la Costa Negra series. According to his source, Mavrides, the digest-sized (5x7") E.M.A. series ran for 11 weekly issues from 1958-59. Written by Riol de Man, it retooled some of the stories from the earlier Cuentos series with new artwork by Lavalle and Gutierrez (including no small amount of swipes from Joe Kubert’s "Viking Prince" that was running in The Brave and the Bold at the time). The later Joma series (standard comic book size), according to Wells ran for at least 47 issues in 1965 to 1966. The early issues of the Joma series were re-prints of the 1958 E.M.A. series, but new stories by J. Kstro and art by Lavalle were added for the later issues. One of the interesting charac- Page 5