Saturday, April 22, 2023

HOWARD DAYS - The Best Two Days in Howard Fandom!

HOWARD DAYS starts next week! We are good to go; the town of Cross Plains is waiting for fans from all over the world to gather, Project Pride has planned for another amazing weekend and the Howard Fellowship will flow like the big family reunion that Howard Days has become.

We've written about a lot of the features, activities and happenings that occur at Howard Days and now it is time for the experience to begin. There are a number of "first-timers" coming to HD this year; rest assured you will be welcomed into the family with open arms!

The schedule is set (look under the EVENTS tab) and all the information you need is found here. For all the "newbies", when you make it the Museum you will find everyone is amazingly helpful with guiding you through your first Howard Days experience. We are all family, gathered to celebrate the life of our distant cousin or favorite uncle, Bob Howard!

Howard Days is all about supporting the life and legacy of the incomparable Robert E. Howard. We gather in his name, discuss his life and works, marvel at the world-wide interest shown to his little town, appreciate the originality of his creating two genres of literature (sword & sorcery and the weird western) and writing in a good number of other areas - including nearly 800 poems; we speculate on what could have been had he not passed so young and generally we are amazed at what he created from dry Texas dust while pounding on a finger-numbing Underwood No. 5 typewriter!

More importantly, remember that Robert E. Howard has, through his amazing talent, brought so many diverse people from all corners of the world together in fellowship. We understand what he did, we appreciate that he left us so many words and we enjoy the friendships made by reading his work.

The speculators among us imagine a world where Howard didn't leave us so soon. How nice it would have been if Ol' Two-Gun was around long enough to know and realize the impact he had on many lives. He deserves every accolade we can muster. We certainly hope that his shade is there next week, wandering the grounds and knowing the warmth of fellowship in his name.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Cross Plains to enjoy Robert E. Howard Days. And if you decide on a last minute trip, y'all come! Texas is a really big state, there's always room at Howard Days!

Tuesday, April 18, 2023


While Howard Days next week "officially" is held on Friday and Saturday, the 28 & 29th, please don't forget about Thursday the 27th!

A number of folks like to come to Cross Plains a day or two early to soak in that small-town charm, so Project Pride and the city provide several things to do.

The Robert E. Howard Museum is OPEN on Thursday from 2 to 4 pm. While there are no docents on duty, you are free to tour all the rooms of the house, marvel at the treasures contained therein and visit the well-appointed Gift Shop. You may also walk around the yard and enjoy the convenience of the adjacent Alla Ray Morris Pavilion, the central meeting place for Howard Days. Feel free to enjoy a picnic lunch in the yard if you like as you partake of some early Howard Fellowship.

There are several excellent restaurants in Cross Plains that will be most happy to see you! Jean's Feed Barn, Mexico City, Country Donuts and Backwoods Beer Barn are close to the Museum and the Backwoods Grill and Cottonwood Coffee Shop, along with Subway, Dairy Queen and Bubba's BBQ are all uptown waiting for you.

Across from the Museum is Woody's Car & Baseball Museum and is a real treat for visitors. Texas 36 Apparel is on the corner of Main Street and Highway 36 for real Texas duds and Higginbotham's (across from the Library) is as close as we'll see to an authentic Texas general store. (We like to get a pocket knife there every year!)

This year on Thursday evening there will be a Senior Center Dinner & Dance at Treadway Park, which is just west of the Howard Museum. For $7.00 you can support the Cross Plains Senior Center while enjoying beans, cornbread, tea and desserts! Bring your dancing boots for a rousing Texas time!

So show up early and stay late, as the Pavilion will be available to all on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Come and enjoy the Fellowship that being a fan of Robert E. Howard can provide!

Friday, April 14, 2023


It won't be long now! All the waitin' and anticipatin' becomes an event in two weeks on April 28th & 29th at HOWARD DAYS at the Robert E. Howard Museum in Cross Plains Texas!

Here are some more features to tell you about to make your visit even more enjoyable:

  • If you've never been to Howard Days and are wondering what it's all about, check out all the You Tube videos for Robert E. Howard Days. Professional cinematographer Ben Friberg (now working out of The Texas Center) has been filming Howard Days (panels, tours, speeches etc.) for over 10 years now and he graciously posts them on You Tube. Watching these will give you a very good idea of what Howard Days is like.
  • This year finds us Celebrating 100 Years of Weird Tales magazine. WT was Howard's first and most steadfast of the various pulps that he wrote for, so help us celebrate their Centenary at Howard Days. The panels this year are slanted towards "The Unique Magazine" and our Guest of Honor, John Betancourt was Publisher and Editor of a later incarnation of Weird Tales. John will deliver his keynote speech at the Friday night Celebration Banquet and join in panel discussions.
  • Added to our list of Books Debuting at Howard Days are two tomes from the REH Foundation Press: The Collected Letters of REH volumes 2 and 3! Along with Vol. 1, they will be available under the REH Foundation canopy in the yard at Howard Days, along with a number of other REH Press publications, which includes the debuting REH Photo Album.
  • One of the books being released at HD is FORBIDDEN MAGIC & Other Poems & Miscellanea in Weird Tales, where Dennis McHaney has collected all 38 poems that Howard had printed in Weird Tales, along with Chapter Heading poems and REH letters to the Eyrie.
  • We mention this because Aurelia Wilder will host special readings exclusively from this book on Friday evening at the Pavilion.
  • Ms. Wilder will also host Porchlight Poetry on Saturday after the Bar-be-que. This year, because of our Weird Tales themes, we will read REH poetry and supplement our presentations with poetry from other Weird Tales poets, most notably H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.
So, with Howard Days just on the horizon, we're looking forward to seeing everyone come and help celebrate the Life and Legacy of the incomparable Robert E. Howard!

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Howard Days Feature: Well, Lots of Features, Actually!

As we round the bend headed for Howard Days on April 28th & 29th, we'd like to remind you of a number of happenings at The Best Two Days in Howard Fandom. The event will be here in a little over two weeks now and we want you to maximize your enjoyment factor as you help us celebrate the Life & Legacy of Robert E. Howard!

  • To start, you don't have to register with money to enjoy Howard Days. All the events, panels, tours and admissions to the Museum are FREE. We ask for a $25 fee if you would like a seat at the Friday Banquet and to help pay for the Hot Dog Lunch plus snacks and drinks. And even if you don't come to the Banquet, your $25 helps out Project Pride, the fine folks who welcome us to Howard Days every year. You can PayPal your dough to
  • There are still seats available at the Banquet but not for much longer. Don't delay in making your reservation as on-site availability can be tricky!
  • The Dealer's Area (tables in the yard around the Pavilion) are nearly all taken, so if you'd like a table to display your REH and related items, send $25 to There may be on-site availability but why risk it?
  • Bobby Derie will be in the Dealer's Area with his latest book: The Robert E. Howard Trivia Book. This is a fun and challenging little tome to test your knowledge about All Things Howard! And perhaps coolest of all: it's FREE!
  • Rogue Blades Entertainment will also present HITHER CAME CONAN, their latest tome of essays from the Black Gate website, all about the 21 Conan stories penned by REH. A number of the authors will be present at HD, so get your copy autographed!
  • The Friday panel (4-5 pm) at the Cottonwood Coffee Shop on Main Street is something we're trying out this year. It's an informal round-table discussion + Q&A of "Howard's Women". Janice Schange will host some prominent women in Howard Fandom: Aurelia Wilder, Libby Sharpe and Stephanie Childress + others. Views of REH examined by women should prove to be most interesting.
  • The Cross Plains Review will be open to the public on Friday from 9-12. Come look at the way newspapering used to be done in the days of REH!
Well, this should hold you for now! We'll be back later in the week with more features for Howard Days. We've got a diverse and interesting schedule of events for everyone to partake in, all under the umbrella of Howard Fellowship!

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Howard Days Feature: The Cross Plains Public Library


Without question, the Cross Plains Public Library is the most important entity in the 37 year history of Howard Days. The vision that the Library has afforded REH fans from all over the world is immeasurable and because of it, Howard Days on April 28th & 29th will provide us with The Best Two Days in Howard Fandom!

In 1985, Howard fans Rusty Burke and Vern Clark made the journey to Cross Plains in search of a connection with the spirit of REH. Lady Luck smiled upon them when they met Billie Ruth Loving and Joan McCowan at the Library that day. With these two wonderful ladies' help, the seed was planted and bloomed into a world wide event focused on Cross Plains, Texas, where REH lived and wrote and enthralled the world with his words.

While both Ms. Loving and Ms. McCowan have left us, their legacy lives on today as the world-class Cross Plains Library. Since 1985 it has doubled in size, won numerous awards and become a mecca for Howard Fans all over the world.

The Cross Plains Public Library boasts a sizeable collection of original Robert E. Howard typescripts, several dozen issues of Weird Tales and REH pulp magazines and an impressive Howard section of books, magazines, fanzines and artwork. These are always on display for Howard Days and copies of the original typescripts are available for a modest fee.

In addition to all the REH permeating the air at the Library, this year will once again feature Hyborian Age role-playing gaming during Howard Days. Jeb Boyt will generously provide two sessions of the Sword & Sorcery 5E RPG for gamers who would like to sit in. Friday he's running a scenario from 12 to 4 and Saturday from 11 to 3. Stop in an roll up a character or to observe and say hello.

While you are in Cross Plains, please visit and enjoy all the Cross Plains Library has to offer Howard Fans. Be sure to register at the front desk (visitor numbers are important to them), make a donation to help them with continued upkeep - and maybe say "Thanks" for what they've done for Howard fans everywhere.

Friday, March 31, 2023


Yep, we're looking at four weeks until Howard Days happens at the Robert E. Howard Museum in Cross Plains, Texas on April 28th & 29th. 

As that time will be here before we know it, we're going to post little reminders about happenings at Howard Days that aren't necessarily listed in detail on the schedule for the next few weeks.

First up: time's a wastin' for you to send your donated REH items to be placed up for bid at the Silent Auction, held in conjunction with the Friday Celebration Banquet. This is the big fund raiser for Project Pride, the community civic group which maintains the Museum. Please check over your REH collection for any items you could donate to Project Pride and send them to PP, POB 534, Cross Plains, TX 76443. Books, paperbacks, magazines, fanzines & small press, comics, artwork - c'mon, we've all got duplicates that we can spare. Help out the REH Museum in this exciting event. We know that this year there'll be a nifty set of pint glasses complete with REH quotes etched into them at the auction. There might even be some pieces of the picket fence that REH may have gazed on!

The good thing about the Silent Auction is that it's available to everyone, not just Banquet ticket holders. You may enter and bid to your heart's content without partaking of the dinner. But for only $25 you can have a great meal surrounded by the incredible Howard Fellowship that makes every Howard Days feel like a family reunion. Plus, your $25 goes to helping out the REH Museum!

Tickets to the Banquet are going fast, so don't miss out! You may send your $25 to the address above or you can Pay Pal to

Don't delay! Howard Days is a memorable experience. Y'all come!

Sunday, March 26, 2023

A Howard Days Book Bonanza!

 One of the exciting things about Howard Days (April 28-29) is that in addition to all the regular features of the weekend, we get to peruse a number of new publishing events that keep the Life and Legacy of Robert E. Howard on our minds!

The long-awaited ROBERT E. HOWARD PHOTO ALBUM, edited by Dennis McHaney, will debut at Howard Days in April. The Robert E. Howard Foundation Press has put together a photographic history of Bob Howard, compiling all the 38 known photos of him, along with "snaps" of his family, friends and close environs. It is a beautiful edition, available in hardback and soft cover, that will add to your REH knowledge and appreciation. Plus, you'll get to see Ol' Two-Gun in his underwear!

From Dennis McHaney and Old Tiger Press is FORBIDDEN MAGIC & Other Poems & Miscellanea in Weird Tales. This gem will be first available at Howard Days 2023 and contains not only all the poems that REH had published in Weird Tales, but also the poems he used as chapter headings in some of his stories. Plus, we get to see all the the letters that Howard had published in The Eyrie, WT's letters page. Also included herein are the black and white illustrations that accompanied some of the poems. This will be officially released at Howard Days; it is available at now.

2023 finds us with the theme of 100 Years of Weird Tales and will be about REH's involvement with his most prodigious publisher. What better way to learn about this than to pick up Dennis McHaney's ROBERT E. HOWARD AND WEIRD TALES, a beautiful 178 page book available from lulu,com. Filled with art and anecdotes, it is an illustrated history of everything Ol' Two-Gun Bob had in Weird Tales magazine: stories, poems, letters to the editor - this book has it all.

And Mr. McHaney's  recently published "companion" volume, ROBERT E. HOWARD IN THE PULPS, is also available now. This volume has been nominated for the REH Foundation's Atlantean Award this year for Outstanding Achievement, Book. (Seeing as how it is the only book nominated in that category, congratulations to Dennis!) You can get this award-winner now at SIDE NOTE: Dennis has been involved with REH publishing for 50 years. From the early days of mimeographed fanzines, Dennis has continued on to be the world's most prolific publisher of Robert E. Howard's works! Check out his page at

Jason Waltz, kingpin at Rogue Blades Foundation, is presenting HITHER CAME CONAN, a collection of essays examining the 21 original Howard Conan stories. This title collects Bob Byrne's award-winning series "Hither Came Conan", hosted by John O'Neill at Over 35 REH scholars have contributed to this fine examination of the Howard Conan writing, (17 of the stories that originally appeared in Weird Tales) plus the unpublished Conan tales and drafts. This book will be available in person at Howard Days, and a number of the authors collected therein will be at Howard Days to sign your copy! It is also available now at

THE ROBERT E. HOWARD ART CHRONOLOGY is coming from Chenault and Gray publishing, a 4 volume set compiled and written by Michael Tierney. It covers the visual aspects of Howard's published works in almost 1,500 pages or art and text. Mr. Tierney will be on hand at this year's Howard Days to show this magnum opus of REH art and he will display the books and take orders for these weighty tomes.

All in all, Howard Days 2023 has the promise of being a bibliophile's dream. Along with the REH Foundation delivering on the 2nd and 3rd volumes of The Collected Poems of Robert E. Howard, we're in for an exciting weekend of Howard books, education and fellowship! And Texas is a really big state, so there's always room for YOU at Howard Days!

Y'all come!