“Where on Earth is Don Herron?” asked Al Harron (no relation, or none that I know of — I have been remiss in my geneaological studies the last few years) on his blog just last month. Al trailed after Damon Sasser’s original “Where in the World is Don Herron?” post, written in response to my hauling up to Boise for a talk awhile back. I’m willing to travel almost anywhere, but I admit I hadn’t thought I’d ever get to Boise. I suppose if enough bloggers pursue the topic, my whereabouts can become what they call a meme. . . .
Damon dealt with my physical whereabouts and activities, but Al was more concerned with seeing — or not seeing —my name specifically in connection with Robert E. Howard Studies. Yeah, What Have You Done for Me Lately? I get it.
The way I look at it, if I never do another word about the creator of Conan, my rep in that arena is secure. The Dark Barbarian. The Barbaric Triumph. “Conan vs. Conantics.” To name only a few. Maybe Al is experiencing withdrawal symptoms after the excellent REH magazine The Cimmerian closed up shop — I appeared in those pages almost every issue.
At the moment, you don’t see any activity in Howard studies equal to the run of The Cimmerian, but for what action there is I think I’m keeping my gunhand in. Last summer I did a review (a pretty funny review) for Damon’s annual issue of Two-Gun Raconteur, and have another long review (also funny) coming up this summer. I’ve got two pieces being prepped for a couple of other Howard-related projects. And if I am not recognised enough for all the work I do on the side with advice and so on, let me at least inform Al that last year I made no less than two excursions up to Sacramento to drink Jack Daniels with J. Dan Price, the only begotten son of pulp great E. Hoffmann Price, because Rob Roehm wanted to get permission to use some of Ed Price’s letters in a volume he is working on about Doc Howard.
And I don’t know how a Robert E. Howard fan could miss them, but I also stepped in to introduce the two volumes of Two-Gun’s pulp detective and weird menace tales just published by The Robert E. Howard Foundation. My copies rolled in a couple of days ago. 150 copy print runs for each, sold out by publication, but second printings are in the pipeline. I toss in some nice remarks about Hammett, track down an influence that got me on the road to writing books-about-books — my usual. And the intros are in hardcover editions of Robert E. Howard.
Honest, I don’t think my presence is that hard to detect in Howard studies, if you’ve got any detective skills at all.