Roy Thomas is one of the most prominent US comic book writers, especially known for his comic book version of Robert E. Howard's 'Conan the Barbarian'. Born in Jackson, Missouri, he first made his mark in comics fandom, as the editor of the fanzine Alter Ego from 1964. After a short stint as assistant editor at DC Comics, Thomas found his way to Marvel Comics in 1965. He wrote scripts for a variety of Silver Age comic books, including runs on 'Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos', 'Uncanny X-Men' and 'Doctor Strange'.
In 1970, Thomas started working with British artist Barry Windsor-Smith on the comic book ventures of Robert E. Howard's sword-and-sorcery pulp fuction hero 'Conan the Barbarian'. Thomas filled the pages of Marvel's black-and-white magazines 'Savage Tales' and 'The Savage Sword of Conan', and also gave life to spin-off stories starring 'Red Sonja'. 'Conan' became the character that Thomas became associated with throughout his career, and he continued to work on new stories throughout the decade, after Smith's departure with artists like John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala.
Thomas succeeded Stan Lee as Marvel's editor-in-chief from 1972 to 1974, and co-launched new Marvel titles like 'Marvel Team-Up', 'The Defenders' and 'What If'. As a scriptwriter, Thomas co-created many characters, such as 'Man-Thing', 'Ultron' and 'The Invaders', among many others. He worked with John Buscema on comic book adaptations of 'Wizard of Oz' and 'Tarzan', and with Howard Chaykin on the 'Star Wars' comic book.
By 1981, Roy Thomas moved over to DC Comics. He formed writing teams with his second wife Dann Couto (on 'Arak, Son of Thunder', with art by Ernie Colón, and 'Infinity, Inc' with art by Jerry Ordway) and Gerry Conway (on Atari mini-comics and some 'JLA' crossovers). Also at DC, Thomas created 'Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!' with Scott Shaw, had a run on 'Wonder Woman' with Gene Colan, and wrote retro-style stories with the 'Justice Society of America' as well as several limited series. He did his final DC work in the late 1980s, early 1990s, with an adaptation of Richard Wagner's 'Ring Cycle' with Gil Kane, and three 'Elseworlds' one-shots.
Thomas and Conway also collaborated on the screenplays for the movies 'Fire and Ice' (1983) by Ralph Bakshi and 'Conan the Destroyer' (1984) by Richard Fleischer. Although he had been writing new comic books for Marvel since 1986 (including new 'Conan' material), Thomas eventually turned to collaborations with smaller companies, resulting in licensed titles like 'Xena: Warrior Princess' and 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' for Topps Comics. He also turned to writing for television, and served as editor again on the relaunched Alter Ego magazine at TwoMorrows Publishing. He has been assisting Stan Lee on the 'Spider-Man' newspaper strip since 2000.
In 2004 and 2005 he returned to Marvel Comics for an adaptation of 'Dracula' with Dick Giordano. He furthermore wrote 'Anthem' for Heroic Publishing and the one-shot 'Red Sonja: Monster Isle' for Dynamite Entertainment. He returned to 'Conan' in 2012 for the twelve-issue series 'Conan: The Road of Kings' at Dark Horse (art by Mike Hawthorne and Dan Panosian). In 2012, he was asked by Dutch editor Rob van Bavel to write a spin-off for one of Holland's most popular fantasy comics, series, 'Storm'. This resulted in 'Roodhaar', a comic drawn by Romano Molenaar and published in the Dutch Eppo magazine in 2014. In 2014, he wrote 75 Years of Marvel: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen for Taschen, a 700 page chronicle of Marvel Comics.