It's hard to tell whether or not his affiliation with Lovecraft did him any favours. Was he overshadowed by cosmic horror or did he ride its outlandish coattails? Nevertheless, there's no such relationship between Howard and Conan that there is between Lovecraft and Cthulhu. When we think of the Cimmerian warlord sitting grim upon his throne, we think of a jacked-up Schwarzenegger swinging a blade that his muscles hardly allow him to thrust. When you think of anything with tentacles and an affinity for terror and destruction, you're instantly reminded of that skinny dude with the hammer chin.
Not that I dislike Lovecraft or anything, I just think he's Metallica and Howard is Megadeth. I don't actually like Megadeth. I don't know where I was going with that one.
It's a shame that, even if Howard hadn't blown his brains out, as of this writing, he'd still be absolutely and utterly dead.
Here's to Robert E. Howard, the legend that we often need reminding of.
"Man," said he, "tell me your name so that my brothers in Vanaheim may know who was the last of Wulfhere's band to fall before the sword of Heimdul.""Not in Vanaheim," growled the black-haired warrior, "but in Valhalla will you tell your brothers that you met Conan of Cimmeria."