Sadly, not everyone's as popular as me; and the evil sorcerer Zukala's among them. He keeps sending his daughter Zephra into the nearest town to demand taxes from the locals.
This might not sound like much of a problem for the said locals. Can they not just show her pictures of sad kittens until she cries?
But Zephra's no ordinary gal. Like 1960s pop legend Lulu, she can turn herself into a tiger.
After being promised lots of money by the locals, Conan sets off to Zukala's castle and takes on the wizard - but not before Zukala summons the demon Jaggta-Noga to collect the taxes his daughter so miserably neglected to gather.
It all ends with Zephra fighting Jaggta-Noga before, to protect her, Zukala sends the demon back to where it came from, and he and his daughter vanish off to some mystic dimension, leaving Conan to help himself to the collected taxes they've left behind.
Granted, I didn't at that point have a clue who Conan was and, because Thor got mentioned in an article elsewhere in the annual, I somehow convinced myself the star of this tale was Thor - even though everyone kept calling him Conan.
It's from the strip's early months and thus features Barry Smith's art when it was still partway between his days of badly imitating Jack Kirby and his more ornate later style. But even here there's a class about it - an appreciation of "camera-angles", perspective and poses - that hints at the true potential behind the pencil. Smith's renditions of the tiger, and Jaggta-Noga are especially appealing. Frank Giacoia's inking doesn't best suit Smith's pencils, being too crisp and harsh, but it's not enough to spoil the enjoyment.
The more observant may notice the colouring in the images I'm posting here isn't quite the same as in the original comic. Those devoid of marbles might think it's because I have a priceless and rare edition re-coloured by the great man Bazza himself.
They'd be wrong.
It's because at some point as child I decided it'd be a good idea to colour-in the otherwise black and white reprint with felt-tip pens. Comic book colouring? Break-dancing? Truly I am the Renaissance Man.