john-carter-of-mars

There was a Star Wars/John Carter of Mars crossover in the 1980s (sort of)

In the 1980s Star Wars comic, Chris Claremont wrote a story where Princess Leia landed on the planet Shiva IV, home to “Aron Peacebringer,” a Warlord who is good at swordfighting, and his wife, a bikini wearing native princess. 

The story was actually based on art from a leftover, unused issue of John Carter, Warlord of Mars, hence the amazing similarities. Walt Simonson drew Princess Leia in to Infantino’s art.

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, it was standard Marvel policy to make a “fill in” issue in advance in case a book is late, so they would have something to send out to meet deadlines. If a book was canceled early, like John Carter, Warlord of Mars was, the fill in issue ends up not being used. So, Marvel used the unpublished fill in issue’s art in the Star Wars comic, after some modifications.

This is extra-ironic because there’s a lot of talk that part of the reason that the John Carter movie was so limply marketed by Disney was that they were in talks to buy Star Wars from George Lucas, and so they had less incentive to develop franchises “in house,” leaving John Carter orphaned. (Another film I wanted to see, David Fincher’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, was abandoned as a result of this change in strategy). 

Bonus fact: “Aron Peacebringer’s” colossal vaguely reptilian enemy General Sk’Ar was identified as a Kaleesh in print, General Grievous’s species. Meaning that these issues introduced the Kaleesh to the Star Wars universe. 

anonymous asked:

I've always thought it'd be wild if humanity ever entered an irl sci fi future scenario and met another alien race, let's call them the Quacksians, because like, all previous sci fi would be invalidated and all future sci fi would have to include the Quacksians because that's the new baseline reality(and would Quacksians show up in future fantasy fiction alongside humans?). Then I realized that's what happened to a lot of stories when the moon turned out barren. Funny how these things happen.

A lot of science fiction novels talk about the fiction that exists in the world itself. It’s a good narrative device to show how people in the world itself see something. For example, in Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel, there are pulpy novels about the arrogant, rich spacers who visit earth: usually, they involve a beautiful spacer girl who falls in love with the tough earth hero. The point of telling us this is to show us how the residents of earth’s dome cities resent and distrust the spacers and believe they are aloof because of their wealth and arrogance, instead of the more humanizing truth: Spacers can’t mingle in an earth city because they have no immune systems. 

Another one of my favorite examples of this is in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen, where, because real superheroes exist, comic books are all about pirates. I love that because apparently the major figure in comics history, the Stan Lee, Steranko, and Jack Kirby rolled into one of this timeline, is EC horror comic guy Joe Orlando. Orlando was a tremendously gifted artist but he never really “got” superhero books. I wonder if Don Heck, another gifted comic artist, is a more major figure in the Watchmen earth. He was a good artist who was good at Westerns and horror but who was terrible at fantasy elements. 

(Side note: based on the art, for years, I thought Steranko did Watchmen.)

One of the best novels about how science fiction stories actually change scientific development and shape a science fiction world would have to be Alan Steele’s Chronospace (2001) which is about how UFOs are actually time machines. The idea is that time travel would only be possible in space, as that is where wormholes could be safely created. Combine that with the fact that they avoid all contact with us, there’s a good case that UFOs are time traveling observers from earth. When time traveling, our heroes learn that it was scifi that inspired their own time machine.

I’ve often championed this series, but one of the most incredibly ahead of its time series would have to be L. Sprague de Camp’s “Hand of Zei” and Planet Krishna stories from the 1950s, which are both a spoof of the John Carter of Mars planet yarn, and a decent straight example at the same time. And part of the reason I like it is because even though it’s written in the 1950s, it’s genre self aware in a Whedonian style, with wisecracking and people identifying tropes. Yet this was written in the early 1950s!

One of my favorite details is that people sign up for jobs in space exploration because they read Edgar Rice Burroughs novels and wanted to do something romantic and exciting with their lives. 

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Starfire was always my favorite of the New Teen Titans. She had the wardrobe and background of Dejah Thoris from John Carter of Mars, but she had the persona of Kelly LeBrock from “Weird Science,” in that she was this wild, cool, uninhibited, exhibitionist, unpredictable, and sometimes inappropriate space woman. And she wasn’t a manipulative vamp, either - she seemed to sincerely and guilelessly love love, and despite the pinup girl bod, there was always something naive about her. 

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100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #59

Frank Frazetta (1928-2010)

Country: USA

Famous for: Conan the Barbarian, John Carter of Mars, Tarzan, Sword and Sorcery, Fantasy and Science-Fiction illustration, Comics, Paperback Novel covers, LP covers

Influenced: William Stout, Dave Stevens, Jeff Jones, Bernie Wrightson, Michael Kaluta, Barry Windsor-Smith, Capcom, Nintendo, John Buscema, Mark Schultz, Ken Kelly, Boris Vallejo, Justin Sweet, Brad Rigney, Richard Corben, Mike Mignola, Roy Krenkel, Angelo Torres, Al Williamson, Shane Glines, John Kricfalusi, Arthur Suydam, Paul Bonner, Simon Bisley, Claire Wendling, Bruce Timm, Frank Miller, Frank Cho, Adam Hughes, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Robert Rodriguez, Guillermo Del Toro, Alan Lee, John Howe, the Hildebrandt Brothers, Joe Jusko, Marc Silvestri, Michael Whelan, Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Comic art (and the genres themselves) as a whole, Illustration as a whole

Influenced by: Howard Pyle, Gustave Doré, Franklin Booth, Willy Pogany, Zedenek Burian, Wally Wood, Roy Krenkel, Angelo Torres, Al Williamson, J. Allen St. John, Norman Lindsey, Heinrich Kley, N.C. Wyeth, Hal Foster, Frederic Remington

Born Frazzetta (he would later remove one ‘Z’) in 1928 in Brooklyn, Frank Frazetta was a renowned American illustrator of Science Fiction, Fantasy and comics. Encouraged in his art-making from an early age by his grandmother, Frank was what many may consider a child prodigy, and attended the Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts at the young age of 8; a place Frazetta says he learned more from his friends there as opposed to his professor, Michel Falanga. Frazetta broke into the comics industry at age 16, inking interior pages of humor and gag comics in the mid and early 40s, later working in genres such as western, fantasy, mystery and horror. By the early 1950s, Frank started working for EC comics, among other publications, often collaborating with friends and mentors such as Roy Krenkel and Al Williamson. In 1964, Frazetta would create one of his breakout illustrations; a caricature of Beatles member, Ringo Starr for an ad in Mad Magazine. This illustration caught the eye of United Artists, and was approached for several movie posters during this time. However, his most iconic paintings were done for another big market of the time; Paperback novel covers. In the 60s, 70s and 80s, Frazetta painted a slew of masterpiece covers for stories such as Conan the Barbarian, John Carter of Mars and Tarzan, the likes of which revitalized the entire fantasy genre of illustration and storytelling. During this time, he’d also contribute to Warren’s publications such as Eerie, Creepy, Blazing Combat and Vampirella. Some of his iconic pieces, The Death Dealer, Dark Kingdom, and The Brain were repurposed for album covers in the late 70s for bands such as Molly Hatchet and Nazareth. In the early 80s, Frazetta also collaborated with experimental and underground animator Ralph Bakshi for an animated feature called Fire and Ice. Frazetta was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1995, the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999, The Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1998, and was named Spectrum Fantastic Art’s first Grand Master in 1995.

Besides Rockwell, Frazetta is among the most prolific and iconic illustrators to ever live and is perhaps the most widely cited specific artist influence in the entire illustration and comic industry. He reinvented the entire fantasy art scene and became an inspiration for newcomers to break into the field and has left an unmistakable mark on pop culture as a whole as a result, influencing properties such as Star Wars to the Legend of Zelda and everything in between. Frazetta passed away at the age of 82 at his home in Florida and his works have been since purchased by collectors or reside in the Frazetta Museum in East Stroudsburg, PA, of which I highly recommend a visit.