Helium, as depicted in wood
March 3, 2009 1:07 AM   Subscribe

Around 1965ish, artist Joel Rothberg created a series of woodcuts illustrating Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars (gutenberg link), the first book in the John Carter series. In the series, Rothberg detailed Carter killing his first Thark; a herd of thoats; and Carter winning Dejah Thoris. Via.

It's quite different from what we've come to expect of Barsoom-inspired art, but there's also no shortage of nifty stuff. Some of these NSFW.
posted by hifiparasol (12 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Well, I was going to whinge that your woodcut links had entirely too many clothes for Mars but the rest of the pictures didn't dissapoint!
posted by Silentgoldfish at 1:18 AM on March 3, 2009

"I'd be an idiot to risk competing with Deety's teats."
posted by The Tensor at 1:27 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

My standard for all things John Carter come from a horror coloring book (I still have a hard time wrapping my head around that) I had when I was eight or so. But I think the Bruce Timm version might be edging it out shortly.
posted by lekvar at 1:43 AM on March 3, 2009

Jesus Christ, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Junior - and now Dejah Thoris.

A short list of individuals who should not be rendered paler than I am.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:03 AM on March 3, 2009

Tharks are scary motherfuckers.

Thanks for the links, good post.
posted by voltairemodern at 6:58 AM on March 3, 2009

A journey round my skull is a totally awesome site. A wander around the archives from the sidebar is highly recommended.
posted by peacay at 7:05 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I once knew a green iguana named ERB, which is like the best name ever for a green iguana.
posted by Restless Day at 8:50 AM on March 3, 2009

If you like these, you might also enjoy The Sky People and In the Courts of the Crimson Kings by S.M. Stirling. The premise is when the Russian and American planetary probes landed on Mars & Venus in the 1960s, they found pretty much the worlds Edgar Rice Burroughs imagined.
posted by ewagoner at 8:58 AM on March 3, 2009

I love the Barsoom novels. They have enough imagination and energy that just about any visual style could be used to interpret them. I think these woodcuts well capture the darker, madder scenery of Barsoom at night, and the huddled squalor of the Thark village where much of A Princess of Mars is set. It's a style I think would be just as effective in some of the other novels, like Chessmen of Mars, Mastermind of Mars and Synthetic Men of Mars. Cool stuff!
posted by wobh at 9:01 AM on March 3, 2009

man oh man, I love the John Carter books. I only just read them a couple of years ago, and thankfully had been in the mood for popcorn and candy style adventure. It always stuns me to see other people's visualizations of the characters. I suppose it's because I always imagined John Carter being dressed like our grandparents, or like the leading man from the original King Kong, all high belted aviator pants and rolled up sleeves on his lion tamer's button down work shirt. These conan depictions of him are totally strange to me.
posted by shmegegge at 9:23 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I just can't get enough of that Bob Clampett test footage. You know it would have ended up being super-awesome.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:31 AM on March 3, 2009

Someday, a couple thousand years from now, the only remnant of the John carter of Mars series will be those woodcuts. Some archaeologists will dig them up, and be extremely puzzled.

Their conclusion will be that they most likely had a ritual function.
posted by happyroach at 10:44 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

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