Over on the Back to Barsoom John Carter Sequel Facebook Group I asked people to describe how they discovered John Carter, and then we had a similar thread here in the comments on one of the posts. So I’ve pulled them together into one post — the question, by the way, is how did you discover “John Carter” which could mean either the book or the movie, whichever came first for you. Curious to hear more of these –please leave a comment and share you tale.
I knew nothing of Burroughs before seeing the film, and I had doubts based on the trailers I had seen. But I suspended my disbelief and doubts and went for the ride. And what a ride it was. I loved the story. The themes of a reluctant hero haunted by tragedy, a stranger in a strange land with new abilities, and trying to figure just where in the world he was. As the movie progressed I saw loyalty, friendship, honor, and doing the right thing for the right reasons. And the best was yet to come because there was an interplanetary love story that made me swoon. It was unabashedly romantic and such a treat. The ending was perfect, making me long for more. I need to know what happens next to John Carter and Princess Dejah. I wanted to go back to Barsoom. Debbie Banway
I loved John Carter and I’m beyond anxious to see it again, and again! It is one of those films that you’ll hunger for seeing more than once. It’s similar to Star Wars or Harry Potter in that respect. You really hate when it ends and you don’t want to leave those worlds. And I must say I think it’s a film that needs more than one view to really grasp, since it’s so different from anything else. That happened to me with Blade Runner. Such a new experience that I had to sit through it twice to completely “get it”. Not that I don’t get JC, just that it’s a mental adjustment when you’re so, kind of wired for what’s out there. I fall to my knees and raise my arms to the red planet, begging to go back…
I literally knew nothing about ERBs books or the John Carter character prior to viewing the movie. On opening day I convinced a coworker to go see the film with me and we were both blown away. There are few films that have pulled me in, tugged at my heart strings and made me feel excited like JC did. It’s kind of hard to describe really. I immediately took friends and family to see it and all enjoyed it. Almost immediately after watching the film I wondered why I had’t seen more trailers or hype for this incredible film. Then I started to see that immense negativity in the press and how it was failing at the box office and I became indignant.
I almost missed the movie because I hadn’t seen that it was opening earlier, I hadn’t seen any trailers or ads. I saw someone post online that they saw it opening weekend. I took our two older kids (10 and 7) and one of their friends to a matinee. The kids were mesmerized and our 7 year-old son’s first word when it was done was simply an excited, “Again!” It was fantastic. So, I started making plans to see it again, this time when my husband could join us. My husband enjoyed it as much as I did. John Carter has something for everyone, action, adventure, humor, friendships, and a non-sappy love story (for someone who doesn’t like chick flicks, this is important). I pre-ordered the DVD, and we haven’t bought a full price DVD in years, since getting Netflix.
My first encounter with Barsoom was when I was 13 and my uncle got me a copy of A Princess of Mars, knowing how much I loved Star Wars and thinking I might like it. To be honest what first caught my attention was the Michael Wahlen cover art-drawing of Dejah Thoris especially-but once I sat down and started reading and got through the prologue I was hooked into the story and when I got the end I needed to know what happened next. It took a while since the local library didn’t have any Barsoom books-the only ERB books it had was Tarzan of the Apes and two of his western novels-but eventually I read them all. At the time I just loved the escapism but looking at them know I just love the imagination at work in them, the feeling that anything can happen.
I Found Carson Of Venus and John Carter at the back of an old fashioned type of bookstore when I was about 10 or 11 ( some 45 years ago ). My parents had just separated and I had moved to a new area and changed schools where I had no immediate friends. I believe that it was a combination of Marvel and ERB characters that provided the light in my life at that time. Since that time, without ever believing it would happen, I have been waiting for a movie version of the John Carter stories. When I heard that it was in production, I half suspected that it would be a major disappointment against my lifetime of expectations. That no one could portray the heroic Carter or the incomparable Dejah Thoris to the level that would meet my expectations. HOW WRONG WAS I ? It far exceeded expectations on all levels and I can only thank all involved in producing it and bringing a dream to life for me.
My first exposure was the D’Achille paperback cover to Princess from my fathers’ bookshelf, and the opening lines of the manuscript.
I AM a very old man; how old I do not know.
For me, those words are such an essential part of the whole experience. ERB may not have followed up on that in much depth, but it sets a tone for everything afterward, and a stronger hook is hard to imagine (something you’ve noted before). For me, it was always the character first. I re-read the trilogy many times before I got farther than the first few chapters of ‘Thuvia’ for that reason. The other books all occupy a different plane for me than the bloodsoaked romance of Captain John Carter winning his Princess and uniting all races and nations to become The Warlord of Mars.
I literally knew nothing about ERBs books or the John Carter character prior to viewing the movie. I saw one trailer while in a theater and I saw the super bowl trailer. Just based off of the scifi premise and the guy jumping around and sword fighting, etc. my interest was piqued. On opening day I convinced a coworker to go see the film with me and we were both blown away. There are few films that have pulled me in, tugged at my heart strings and made me feel excited like JC did. It’s kind of hard to describe really. I immediately took friends and family to see it and all enjoyed it. Almost immediately after watching the film I wondered why I hadnt seen more trailers or hype for this incredible film. Then I started to see that immense negativity in the press and how it was failing at the box office and I became indignant. I found this group because I knew there had to be others out there who were touched by this film and wanted to know why it was treated the way it was. And there were. And the rest is history. I have since read the first three books and I tell people about it any chance I get.
I first heard of the movie through a trailer either in a theater or during the Superbowl (I only watch for the commercials!). I remember that I was interested but didn’t really learn much from the spots, so I researched the name “John Carter” on the internet to learn about his roots. I honestly wasn’t aware that E.R. Burroughs wrote anything other than Tarzan. The information I found and the additional TV spots intrigued me enough to make sure I saw it in the theater on opening weekend. Boy, was I glad I did! I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. The action and adventure was exactly what I look for in a fun, “popcorn” movie!! My movie partner, my 19 year old daughter, was also pleased with the movie but nowhere near my level of excitement. Having just whet my appetite, I sought out the books that this film was drawn from and delved further into the worlds of Barsoom, Jasoom and John Carter. I also discovered this group and seek to “pledge my metal” to the campaign for more John Carter films!!
My first introduction to Barsoom was from my dad’s book collection, which included a number of half worn-out ERB paperbacks from printings in the 60?s, 70?s and 80?s. I was eleven or twelve years old when I started reading them. My first Barsoom novel was Warlord of Mars, and I remember sensing that cool, eery feeling of being on another planet from the first passages. I fell in love with the world and creatures and characters and adventures, and put a selection of ERB books on every birthday gift list and Christmas gift list for the next several years. My mom no doubt ended up spending hours in old bookstores over those years, to help me finish my collection. Before too long, I had collected Princess and Gods, and eventually rounded out the whole series. Nothing compares.
I was into my Michael Moorcock period, reading Elric and Hawkmoon, when this new paperback collection was released, and among them The Warriors of Mars trilogy. I can’t remember anything from it! But one year later, in 1988, they released “La Princesse de Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I didn’t even know he wrote other things than Tarzan, which I knew of by the movies and comics without reading any novel, because they simply weren’t available in french as far as I knew (and I was more into sci-fi to be honest). I just fell in love. I bought “Les Dieux de Mars” next, and, to my utter horror, it ended in a cliffhanger!! I was left wondering what happened to Dejah Thoris, Thuvia and Phaidor inside the Thern temple for a whole year! Needless to say, I ate the next book, “Le Guerrier de Mars”. They had the time to release “Thuvia, vierge de Mars” before ending the short-lived collection. At least it didn’t end with a cliffhanger!
I had to wait 5 years to see, for the first time, the whole Barsoom series released as two volumes. It’s out of print since, the first volume was released again in february of 2012, but with no sign that it was tied to John Carter!
Karen Svendsen Rush
I’m a new ERB fan! I recently decided to start reading a variety of books that I considered well known but had never read. I started with a few Tarzans and found my way to Princess of Mars. I was giddy to learn the movie was coming out just as I finished the book. John Carter was beyond my expectations! It was fabulous to see ERB’s characters come to life and I was awed by the sets and all the assorted creatures. I found myself returning to the theater to see it again big screen so I could be totally absorbed into it and look for the things I had not noticed first viewing. I loved it still. I was angry at the critics ( what didn’t they get?) and Disney’s poor marketing of it. It made me realize the power that big names have over the masses. I noticed a friend had joined the Take Me Back to Barsoom site and going there, I liked what I saw: regular people standing up and speaking out for a truly great film. I enjoy being part of a movement that encourages others to see it, buy it, own it!
I saw the movie because of Andrew Stanton, I had absolutely no previous connection/knowledge of ERB or the book series. I had read that Stanton was doing his first live action movie and he was really passionate about the source material. I also had seen the infamous super bowl trailer and was definitely intrigued by it. (i personally liked the peter gabriel choice of music but thought the scenes shown in the trailer other than the gates of Iss looked bland.
I decided on seeing the midnight showing because ofMondo‘s midnight poster promotion. I am a big fan of the artist (J.C. Richard) and wanted to get the poster. I convinced my wife to do an overnight trip to Denver to see it in Imax (fortunately my parents were in town visiting and offered to watch the kids for the night). I was on the front end of a really bad cold, so all sniffled up and tired we went to see it. I was disappointed by the number of people in the theater (20-30) but sat back and hoped for the best. After the movie I was floored, seriously, it made feel like a kid again. It made me feel like watching Star Wars for the first time. It made me feel like I wanted to feel at the midnight showing of episode 1.
The next morning I thought to myself, “it seriously couldn’t have been that good. I’m sick and was crazy tired and probably just took too much out of it.” So I saw it again on Saturday night, this time taking, my wife (who surprisingly was more than happy to see it again), my mom, as well as a buddy of mine from church. Once again I was floored, I got goosebumps (especially during the Warhoon battle scene). I was convinced, this was something special. Action, Adventure, Romance, Imagination, it seriously had something for everyone. I started telling everyone at that point. I started the @Fans4JohnCarter twitter feed. I was so adamant in letting people know that the critics were wrong and heck, that the trailers were wrong. I tried to organize more viewings with friends but it was like pulling teeth. Saw it a third time by myself, and the fourth with a buddy visiting from California. I’ve stopped talking about it mostly in my group of friends because they’re tired of hearing me talk about it, but some of them are starting to watch it on dvd/blu-ray and like it. My brother finally rented it last week and watched it twice in 2 days. Continuing to champion the movie and sequels online. Hoping to do some more art soon, just haven’t had much time. Being the lone graphic designer at a 50 million dollar company doesn’t leave me much free time.
I’m still optimistic that the sequels will happen.
I saw the first trailer, and i thought that it was going to be like Prince of Persia, but then i saw the tv spots and the other trailers and I thought “WAUW’ this is amazing ‘finally a great action, adventure movie. Then I saw the movie and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT actually fell in love with it. I downloaded and I saw it 3 times and I still love it. Andrew Stanton fantastic live-action directorial debut and the actors were great. Story was amazing and the source material was good, I red it from the fans who red the books. This movie REALLY deserves a Sequel. At least give us a Trilogy.
I first heard of John Carter about a year before it came out. Since I’m a Utah resident, I read stories about the filming in my local paper. I knew who Edgar Rice Burroughs was, but I’d never read any of his books. The things I was reading about the film in the paper sounded intriguing, so I kept it all in the back of my mind. I know a lot of people weren’t impressed by the trailers, but I was *very* intrigued by what I saw in the first teaser that was set to a Peter Gabriel song. The second trailer looked interesting too, but also gave me the feeling that the film could go either way – either really good, or *really* bad. Still, I looked forward to seeing the film with high hopes. I saw it on opening weekend and was totally blown away. It was like someone took all the coolest elements from my favorite sci-fi and fantasy films as a kid and combined them seamlessly – but with better effects. I immediately went about telling all my friends and family to go see it. Several of them did and were as into the movie as I was. I saw it several more times in the theater, but I was disappointed and baffled by all the bad press, poor box office reports, and the complete lack of TV commercials. I first heard about the online sequel movement when one of the FB group members, Brad Blake, commented on my friend’s blog post about John Carter (she’s also a big fan). And now here I am. Back to Barsoom!
Lidia Avendano Grabow
I was quite familiar with Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Tarzan stories, but had totally missed that JOHN CARTER was connected to this author. I was honestly only attracted to the movie through the poster I saw–hunky long haired guy–and then the previews I saw of it. I have to admit that I kept thinking that this movie was about John Connor–from the Terminator movies! The review in our local newspaper was bad, but I was determined to go and see it. I loved the movie from the very beginning and the end left me breathless and in tears–wanting more to the story! I also felt anger at the reviewer, who had claimed that the story didn’t make sense or let you know ‘how’ John Carter had ended up on Mars. I easily followed the story, thought the ‘how’ had been explained clearly! I’ve learned much more about the history of JOHN CARTER, since seeing the movie and falling in love with it.
Saw first Disney Trailer on TV (white apes,etc). Didn’t know what it was about so wasn’t interested. Saw second trailer which was still lackluster….but there was some mention of the hero being on Mars. Thought to myself could this be based on those old novels I read as a kid? Decided to read reviews which were all bad at that time but some did mention that it was drawn from A Princess of Mars. With extreme trepidation I ventured to the theater where I was the only patron except for a man and his son. Gave it a standing ovation….not that anyone noticed.Couldn’t understand where the critics were coming from. Found and joined the quest for a sequel, after joining Facebook.
I’m a John Carter of Mars fan from WAY, way back, 1977 to be exact. I grew up watching old Tarzan movies, but I don’t remember ever hearing the name Edgar Rice Burroughs until around 1975 or so when I saw “The Land that Time Forgot”, followed about a year later with “At The Earth’s Core”, films that, as I little kid about the age of 9 or 10, I absolutely loved. Around 1977, not having a particular interest in Superhero comics at the time, I started reading Conan comics. It was around the same time that I purchased my first issue of “John Carter: Warlord of Mars”. It was the 1st annual edition, an adaptation of ERB’s “The Ancient Dead”, and I’m quite sure that I was initially attracted to it because the art depicted another sword-wielding hero similar to Conan. From that first issue I was hooked, and I successfully managed by sheer luck to find most of the back issues that had already been released. By the time I read “A Princess of Mars” a few months later was already familiar with such characters as Dejah Thoris, Kantos Kan, and Tars Tarkas. It was around this same period that a little film called “Star Wars” premiered. From that point on, I pretty much spent all my allowance money every week on paperbacks and comics. I was officially a geek, and so began a lifelong obsession. In the last 35 years I’ve continued to be a fan, going back and reading the Martian series every few years. I’ve never grown tired of it. No matter how old or young you are, there’s always something new to find hidden within ERB’s stories. I’ve been waiting on this film to happen for 35 years, and every time it seemed like it was going to happen it fell through. But when I saw the first trailer and a release date was announced, I really started to believe it was going to happen. When I finally saw the film, it wasn’t just another Popcorn Sci-Fi movie, it was the fulfillment of a childhood dream, and it actually exceeded my expectations. But the joy of finally seeing a “John Carter of Mars” film was tempered by the negative reviews and a lackluster box-office. It was joy mixed with outrage. I saw it 3 times that opening week, and it was in that same week that I joined “The Take Me Back to Barsoom” movement. Even if the worst case scenario happens and a sequel never sees the light of day (but that’s NOT going to happen), it’s been very gratifying to join this group because it has allowed me to connect with so many people from around the globe who feel the same way about the film that I do.