Tuesday, June 26, 2012

John Carter is 100

John Carter is 100.

Title and Artist unknown

Yes, the man of Barsoom (Mars) was published in a pulp magazine(The All-Story 1912) as a series called “Under the Moons of Mars.” John really did not get published in novel form until 1917, when another character, Tarzan, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs became very popular. Although I had seen a few of the classic Tarzan movies, Burroughs, Carter and Tarzan entered my realm while I was in high school when my friend, Steve, showed me book one of the Carter series, A Princess of Mars.

I have read all twelve of the Barsoom series and most of the twenty-four of the Tarzan series. Burroughs is a favorite author. And I am very fond of John Carter and Tarzan.

John Carter of Mars by Frank Frazzetta
It was good to see John Carter in the recent film. I had been waiting for years to have Mars come to life on the big screen. Although a film cannot hold up to the book, the creators did a good job keeping the integrity of the Barsoomian story line. The key word is integrity. The movie held the elements of what Burroughs created with the four-armed aggressive Tharks, Carter’s super-barsoomian strength and agility and the culture and setting of Mars and it’s inhabitants. I admit that I have not read the books for 30 years, but the movie did capture the world Burroughs created.
Barsoom by Boris

But back to the celebration of John Carter. His story has captured many artists' imagination and creativity. They, in turn, have caught much of the evolution of this 100 year old man. It is awesome, classic science fiction art. The art holds drama and beauty.Yes, and limited clothing. Burroughs painted Mars as a dry, hot and dying planet.

And Dejah Thoris is one of the deadliest beauties of the nine planets (Pluto still counted then). It is interesting that they the put her in John's protection even though she is known as a warrior princess.

I am still intrigued by this hero.

Happy Birthday John!!

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