Longtime Edgar Rice Burroughs stalwart and artist Scott Dutton of CatsPawDynamics.com has launched a new site called “erbopolis.com” which aims to be a hub for all things having to do with Edgar Rice Burroughs. I asked Scott to tell us what erbopolis is all about.
It’s something I noticed in my experiences with ERB fandom in general. There are lots of pockets of activity, but they’re set up primarily for existing fans’ habits. I think if you’re going to try to grow a community you must look at both sides of the experience. First, be a great place for fans of all types to interact, as well as an environment and attitude that invites the new and the curious to participate. With the aging of the ERB fanbase that has been dominant for many years, it’s imperative to tailor an offering for the next generations of fans so that they feel they can own the experience for themselves.In today’s world, that means a social media site is the place to start. More focussed than facebook, but built along the same lines. And importantly, without the ads and data mining that is the backbone of facebook’s business model.Running the site, I think it’s crucial to avoid a lot of the petty bickering and trolling that is currently rampant in discussion on the internet. We want a kind and respectful environment to relax and enjoy our ERB interests in. So the commitment on my side is to have a near zero tolerance for that. For now, I’m the sole admin, but as the site grows we’ll hopefully be able to add others to help with that.The last part is that I think I’ve put together the basics of what’s needed for now, but it’s only a place to start, and how the site grows and evolves is not entirely up to me. This isn’t a case where, “If you build it, they will come.” It’s more, “If we build it, we’ll all want to come.” That way, the site remains responsive to how people like to interact with each other and hopefully will not become dated over time.
Also click on the image below to view and download Scott’s book “Return to Barsoom”:
Here’s an author interview Scott did about the book.
My name is Scott Dutton. I primarily practice as an art director/graphic designer. I have considerable experience in magazines, and currently work in marketing in a corporate environment. Outside of that, I am one of the many designers moving to ebooks as part of the future of publishing. I intend to create and design my own written/illustrated works, as well as providing packaging services to authors that understand the business advantage quality design brings to the marketplace.
When and why did you begin writing?
Storytelling has always been central to my life. I was fascinated with science fiction and fantasy television shows of the 60s and 70s, Star Trek, Irwin Allen’s shows, and so on and that led directly into comic books. I started drawing and creating my own stories to entertain myself, and showed a talent for writing that was encouraged by teachers. It wasn’t until I got into my early teens that I began writing and drawing my own comics.
I went to art school for my training in design and illustration, and throughout my 20s worked part-time in comics, but was not overly successful at it. It wasn’t until I self-published my own work as part of the small press that I found my voice. During this time, I also did straight prose work, but lacked the focus to finish anything substantial.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
Return to Barsoom was one of those projects started in my early 20s. I worked on it off and on for about 20 years, finally finishing it in 2009. It served two purposes, bringing my ideas to Burroughs’ world and to demonstrate my design capabilities to the emerging ebook design market.
What inspired you to write this book?
I very much loved reading Burroughs’ books, beginning with Tarzan of the Apes when I was 12. Later, I read the John Carter of Mars series and the bulk of his other works. By far, I felt his best concepts and a continuing freshness were found in the Mars series.