Friday, January 22, 2021

Red Sonja

I post most of my pinup art over at Blood Red Pinups. But that one exists so I can be unfiltered and post nudes if I want. I also post pinup art here sometimes as long as it would be fitting to hang in your church.

Thus: Red Sonja!

Funny thing about this character is I have no real understanding of her history. Since I haven't read every Robert E. Howard story (shameful), I always assumed the character was in some Conan pieces I hadn't encountered yet. But actually she was almost entirely invented for Marvel Comics during Roy Thomas' legendary run on the Conan comic. There was a Howard story about a character named Red Sonja but it's utterly unrelated to the Conan saga and is actually set in historical Vienna.

Most of the recurring female characters of modern Conan stories are based on characters who appeared in maybe one or two of Howard's yarns. Belit and Valeria are famous examples, with Red Sonja being closely tied to Conan only through the comics.

Very interesting, don't you agree?


  1. Oh yes, I'm a big Howard fan, and knew this little piece of trivia. Mostly because I HAD read all the Conan stuff and hadn't found Red Sonja. Lol. So I looked it up.

    A lot of what we think of as being part of the Conan Mythos is from later authors, and of artists like Frazetta.

    And I think that's cool as eff!

    1. I had one of the paperback collections in high school and I read Tower of the Elephant and maybe 3 other tales. Other than that, it was all about the Savage Sword comics and the movie for me. Then, in recently years, I read about 75% of the original stories and just haven't gotten around to finishing them. I'm not a fan of the longer ones, honestly. My sweet spot is with the shorter tales where Conan goes on an island or into a tower and does a thing. I really don't enjoy the "epics" with mass battles. I think that's because my image of Conan has been carved out of Roy Thomas' imagination more than Howard's.

  2. Red Sonja always annoyed me. I'm fine with her running around in a bikini, Conan runs around in a loincloth a lot in the comics, but why does Sonja have a chainmail bikini? It sounds uncomfortable and serves no purpose as armor. It just draws attention to the absurdity of the thing. She also had some weird you must defeat me in combat to go to bed with me thing that seemed odd.

    I liked Belite much more.

    1. The only reason I know about Sonja was Frank Thorne. It's all in that incredible image he was able to bring to life in his run, for me. I actually have no interest in reading the comics or understanding the character because she is 100% eye candy and nothing more. With that up front, I'm fine with uncomfortable armor and thongs. If we're talking about a story about a real character with real stakes and things of that nature, then I wouldn't draw her this way. I've ranted about this many times in the past.