“This is not your daddy’s barbarian.”
That’s how Dave Bullock replied when I asked him via email about the teaser images emblazoned with the word “RONOK!” that have been showing up on his blog the past few months. Bullock’s a rarity in comics: He pops in from time to time doing high-profile assignments like his Deadman strip in DC’s Wednesday Comics, but spends the majority of his time in animation working on the likes of Justice League: The New Frontier, Star Wars: Clone Wars, The Avengers, Kim Possible, Justice League Unlimited and the upcoming Beware The Batman!
Bullock describes Savage Blade of King Ronok as “my love letter to Savage Sword of Conan and the sword & sorcery genre,” and has been working on it for years with Vinton Heuck on the side after their jobs in animation. The titular Ronok is an warrior who served the Keshian Empire in the elite unit, the Blood Guard. But when the head of the empire, King Nago, commits atrocities that endanger not just the kingdom but his own family, Ronok breaks away and stands between King Nago and chaos.
“There will be adult content and gruesome violence when the story demands,” Bullock says. “This will not be pornographic, but it is a tale of passionate warriors in savage times. Everything a 14-year-old boy should be reading.”
Bullock is planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign early next year in hopes of securing funding to print and distribute Savage Blade of King Ronok as a 40 format comic with more planned in the future. In addition to featuring the rarity of Bullock’s cartooning work, he’s already secured pin-ups for the series from the likes of Rudy Nebres and the late Ernie Chan.