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spotty writing
competent art
historical bonus 1
total score 5
barbarian comics 1 _ barbarian 2 _ barbarian 3 _ not scanned
Barbarian Comics #1
Barbarian Comics #2
Barbarian Comics #3
Barbarian Comics #4
REVIEW SCORE: 3
REVIEW SCORE: 5
REVIEW SCORE: 7
REVIEW SCORE: 7
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keyline
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Barbarian Comics
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1972-1975 / California Comics
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Bob Sidebottom operated one of the first comic book shops in the country in San Jose, California, in the midst of head shops and panhandlers on San Fernando Street near the state college. He also owned California Comics, a small publisher of undergrounds, which launched its first comic series with Barbarian Comics in 1972. One of the first comics I got into as a kid was Conan the Barbarian, and one of my favorite funny books was Groo the Wanderer, so naturally I had high hopes for an underground comic book with a title like Barbarian Comics.

I guess I was expecting something with a little more underground comic flavor than what Barbarian Comics delivers. The first two issues are dominated by the epic adventure "Sun and Steel" by Han Hale, which is about war between two groups of heavy-handed, sword-toting, filthy barbarians. The story plods along with many wordless panels and the plot is almost non-existent. However, the four-issue series does improve rapidly, as the second issue includes a sweet John Williams story and the third issue, without the Han Hale yarn, is a very good read overall.