The eyes of a killer and the hands of a strangler. .. .
In the part of my brain that sparks whenever I read Howard's CONAN, I find the same connection with Karl Edward Wagner's KANE. As dark and, in so many ways, much deeper than Howard's work, Wagner crafted tales about the villain as protagonist. Cursed with unending youth by the god who made him, KANE wanders his world, devastation in his wake. Always searching for more power and willing to bargains of the darkest and demonic sort in pursuit of it, KANE only ever falls short due to the small spark of humanity lingering in his immortal heart.
Like a madman's literary stew of the best of Howard, Lovecraft and Moorcock, the stories have to be read to really experience what Wagner did.
One of the late author's best friends, John Mayer, has built a web site in honour of the man and his work here.
There's a slow push to move Kane into other media like film and comics -- of course, I'd love to set myself the task of turning a few of Wagner's stories into a graphic novel or three. Maybe someday.