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As a one-time quasi-professional guitar picker who gave up doing it professionally several lifetimes ago (er ….. that should be “failed to make it professionally”) but has tried to keep it up over the years — I am just in awe and amazed by the artistry of astronaut (and International Space Station Commander!) Chris Hadfield who music video cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity Youtubed down from the ISS absolutely rocks. The vocals and guitar were recorded on the International Space Station, and the rest of the music was recorded down here on earth. The video is produced by Hadfield’s son Evan, and edited by Andrew Tidby. Oh — and Hadfield and fellow astronauts Roman Romanenko and Thomas Marshburn just landed safely in Kazakhstan — so Hadfield’s mission turned out a little better than Major Tom’s.
But seriously folks….this is just beyond awesome. Watch. And remember — those aren’t special effects. They are the real deal.
And here is an article on the safe return to earth and more about Hadfield.
And this one: Ten Things About Chris Hadfield
Lisa V. Tomecek is is the author of the upcoming novel Oath of Blood and is a friend of Edgar Rice Burroughs, The John Carter Files, and assorted denizens here at JCF. I’ve had the pleasure of corresponding with her lately on Facebook — and today she’s published a wonderful post on her blogsite. Here are the first two paragraphs and a link to the rest of the article. Highly recommended. And by the way, there’s a lovely mention of JCG and the letter recently published here by 82 year old ERBophile Thomas McGurk if you click on the link at the end of the excerpt.
Of Deserts and Dead Sea-Bottoms
I am one of those people who finds meaning in ritual. Not necessarily a spiritual or religious kind of ritual–though those can certainly have their merits–but the word at the root sense of its meaning: the repetition of meaningful action. I find these sorts of things, when purposefully done, to have a refreshing and grounding effect on the psyche. They help to clarify things that have become clouded, to clear out the cobwebs that slowly and surely accrete in the corners of our lives.
One of the great mental cleansing rituals to which I subscribe is the vacation, and within the context of vacation, if I am to be traveling, the passing of the long hours with audiobooks. It should come as no surprise, then, that when my husband Ryan and I set out this past week for the deserts of West Texas in what was part research trip, part escape from the drudgery of daily life, we passed the time in just that way. Nor should it come as any shock that, being the sort of person I am (and, thankfully, the sort of person he is) we filled those hours with the adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ first hero, the peerless John Carter of Mars.
That, too, is a bit of a ritual–at least for me. I tend to associate the deserts of the Southwest withBarsoom, and any time I point myself in that direction, I am inclined to touch base with the part of me that finds so much significance in those stories. But I am (of course) getting ahead of myself. As befits the subject, there’s a long story that will make sense of why and how and when all that began for me–and why it still matters today, especially as concerns my own writing life.
Read the rest here.
John “Bridge” Martin, one of the great stalwarts of the Burroughs Bibliophile universe, has shared with us ”John Carter, Stanton Style” an epic poem that is as vivid and engaging as anything Homer or Virgil might have produced. Here it is — enjoy! (and learn more about John at the end).
John Carter, Stanton Style
By John “Bridge” Martin
How could they ever make a film of Burroughs’ Mars sensation? Continue reading »
How could they put “A Princess” on the screen?
Animation? Harryhauseuen? Superdynamation?
If ’twas to be believed, it must be seen.
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Over at Cinema Pots, blogger RoughStoneRolling has taken a shot at explaining to those-who-do-not-know just who it is that is the literary Daddy of Superman. He starts out by quoting Zack Snyder, who recently said of Superman — “Understand that this is the grandaddy of all superheroes.” No to tell the truth, when I saw that, I thought …hmmmm…..what about Superman’s literary Daddy? But then I thought, when it comes to the popular consciousness as it has evolved over the years, it’s a fair statement to call Superman the Grandaddy when you consider the long, long list of Superheroes who came after him — and the short (very short) list of those who came before.
Now ol’ Cinema Pots has taken on the task, without any negativity toward Superman, mind you.
Check it out:
Who is Superman’s Daddy?
‘Understand that this is the granddaddy of all superheroes.’ - Zach Snyder director of Man of Steel
It’s been said that Superman was the granddaddy of all super heroes. But who was Superman’s daddy? No I’m not talking Jar-El. I’m talking a Virginian cavalryman who had a special affinity for a red planet. He was also transported to a distant planet and upon arriving gained super strength, super speed and the ability to leap over buildings and great distances. Who am I talking about? John Carter. Yup, the same character that came to the big screen not too long ago. He predates Superman by a few years and also has been the original inspiration for more writers, directors and comic book creators alike than any other hero in 20th century fiction. (At least I hope so)
Think about it. They are both aliens on a planet where they have super strength, can leap higher than a skyscraper in a single bound. Superman originally couldn’t even fly. (See the info graphic below)
Original Powers: Super Fast, Super Strong, Super Jump (what no flying?)
Superman is from a heavy gravity planet and comes to earth. That’s where the original concept comes from.
JERRY SIEGEL, Superman creator:
“John Carter was able to leap great distances because the planet Mars was smaller than the planet Earth, and so he had great strength. I visualized the planet Krypton as a huge planet, much larger than Earth, so that whoever came to Earth from that planet would be able to leap great distances and lift great weights.” – (regarding how John Carter inspired Superman) (1983)
Author Scott Tracy Griffin’s Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration now has a Facebook page, launched on April 22nd. Please support it – here is the link: Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration Facebook Page. Please go there and click LIKE! Tracy has been a stalwart supporter of John Carter and all things ERBian for many years.
For anyone not familiar with the book, Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration is the only authorized commemorative visual history of American author Edgar Rice Burroughs’ famed ape man. Here is the full Amazon product description.
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As the release date for Man of Steel approaches, I’m thinking more about the John Carter and Superman connections. Jerry Siegel made clear in his remarks on the 45th Anniversay of Superman in 1983 that he had both Tarzan and John Carter in mind when he created Superman.
But what about this one?
John Carter actually says “I was a superman” near the end of Warlord of Mars.
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A few months back a random comment appeared on a back article and caught my attention to the extent that I blogged about it. The commenter was Thomas R. McGurk, then 81 years old, and that first comment resonated for me in the way it described the impact Edgar Rice Burroughs had had on Mr. McGurk’s life. In that first comment Mr. McGurk wrote:
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Just about a year ago Disney released, and then inexplicably disowned, the film John Carter, which successfully, beautifully, and faithfully translated Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ extra-planetary swashbuckling hero Captain John Carter from print to screen, for the first time in the 100 years of his literary existence. Well, while many of us know that John Carter, like his more famous literary sibling, Tarzan began in pulps, John Carter also had a lengthy run in comics. In the 1970s both Dc and then later Marvel Comics each published on-going stories featuring John Carter. What many folks may not know is that Dell/Gold Key also published John Carter comics in the 1950.
In ‘47, Jesse Marsh won the esteem of millions of readers with his four-color vision of ERB’s beloved character Tarzan. Much to the delight of his readers, Marsh illustratedTarzan comics for some 19 years. Still, Marsh’s passion for Burroughs’ creations wasn’t just limited to the legendary writer’s jungle lord. In the early 1950s he teamed up with prolific comic writer Paul S. Newman to breathe life into the courageous adventurer John Carter of Mars for Dell Comics. Dell released three issues of John Carter of Marsunder its Four Color Comics banner. Issue #s 375, 437, and 488, and were released between 1952 and 1953. Some years later, in 1964, Gold Key Comics reprinted all three issues (numbering them 1–3), but inadvertently did so out of order. Finally (in anticipation of the then up-coming Disney film) Dark Horse Comics reprinted them in a hard back archive edition in 2010.
Just over a year ago, Disney had two big budget movies coming out that was a big risk for the studio if fans did not turn out in droves to see them. One turned out to be a massive success (THE AVENGERS) and the other one of the biggest box office bombs of all time. JOHN CARTER did not click with critics or the movie-going public and I consider that a huge shame. JOHN CARTER is everything that a STAR WARS or INDIANA JONES fan could want in a movie and is a massive amount of fun to watch on repeated viewings. If you haven’t given the movie a chance, you are missing out.
JOHN CARTER, like STAR WARS or THE LORD OF THE RINGS, consists of an intricate mythology that is barely scratched in a single two hour film. The ten novel series by Edgar Rice Burroughs is one of the greatest adventure series in all of literature and was a direct influence on George Lucas and James Cameron. To see JOHN CARTER may come across as derivative of STAR WARS when in fact the Lucas films paid homage to the Burroughs books countless times over. Maybe that was the problem or the awful marketing job that Disney did with it, but JOHN CARTER is one of the best times I have had with a movie in years.
We all recall that fan trailers became a significant part of the story during the rollout of John Carter — will the same thing happen with Man of Steel? On balance, I would think not, simply because the official trailers for Man of Steel — particularly the one released six days ago (which has garnered 17M views in 6 days, by the way) is just so damned good.
But . . . .
Fans have very fertile imaginations, just like this one who, during the John Carter release, took the fan John Carter trailer soundtrack and put it to images from Avatar.
Well, here is a very clever and well executed fan trailer from YouTuber AListProductions2 who has taken the sound track from Man of Steel Trailer 3 and merged it with visuals from the Christopher Reeves Superman movies. Love it.
Click here to see it.
JOHN CARTER AND THE GODS OF HOLLYWOOD — BOOK TRAILER (WELL, FEATURETTE) . . .
Purchase an Author Signed Copy of the Amazon Best Seller
by Michael D. Sellers
Amazon #2 in Movies/History & Criticism
"A fair, factual, and enlightening assessment of what went wrong . . . the best corporate history I've read since Disney War." Daniel Butcher, Between Disney.
"A winning book . . . . I have no reservations in recommending John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood. Even if you only remotely hold an interest in the film or the moviemaking method, do yourself a favor and purchase this book. I cannot remember an instance when I read 350 pages of anything in 24 hours, but my level of captivation in how methodically and interestingly the content was presented should substantiate why John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood is a must-read. Grade A." Brett Nachman, Geeks of Doom.
"A must read for every fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter and every film buff intrigued by the 'inside baseball' aspects of modern Hollywood." Richard A. Lupoff, Author of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Master of Adventure
John Carter Fan Trailer 1 – by The John Carter Files | 210,000 Views
John Carter Fan Trailer 2 “Heritage” – by the John Carter Files | 150,000 Views
100 Years of John CarterA tribute to the artists who have interpreted John Carter
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