Well, there seems to be a number of different opinions and so let’s try a poll. I can’t guarantee the winner of the poll will prevail, but it will help me figure this out. Here are the three pix with the argument for each.
Keep in mind that the cover is probably not so important to people like us, who know what this is all about and would buy it without regard to the cover. It’s more about getting someone who’s not sure what it’s about to stop and check it out.
One other point — calling all artists! Now that I’ve pretty much settled on this design, it opens up the possibility that rather than using the public domain art that I’m using now (for the insert) — it could be a piece of fan art and I’m completely open to that, in fact that would be the ideal solution. If I had gotten around to working on a design sooner than yesterday I would have put out the call a long time ago. (For those who didn’t follow — there was a wonderful piece of fan art by Bryan Bustard that was slotted to be used, but in the end because it depicted Disney characters who were clearly Disney characters I couldn’t use it.) Just keep in mind that it can’t look like Disney John Carter — in other words, it must depict Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter or your imagined John Carter, not the Disney characters, costumes, or design.
Anyway, I’m going to put the poll here up at the top but please do scroll down and look at them all and read the pros and cons for each — click to enlarge. Then join the poll. And thanks for all the good thoughts.
Abbet — John Carter of Mars
Pros for this are that it fits the storyline — John Carter is threatened by a menacing giant hand that seems to be reaching down from a Hollywood searchlight. Graphically it doesn’t stand out as much from the background as the other ones. (Night on night.)
Cons — it’s reminiscent of the White Ape which became the symbol of Disney’s failure, and hence it doesn’t suggest that there is more to John Carter than White Apes and mayhem.
Abbet — Thuvia, Maid of Mars
Pros for this one are that it conjures up the romance, the relationship, and the mystery/allure of Barsoom. Looks like glory years Hollywood. Graphically it stands out nicely from the background.
Cons are that it’s not an action image, JC isn’t threatened so it doesn’t tie together as nicely with the theme of the the book.
Schoonover — A Princess of Mars
Pros for this are that it’s the original image from the cover of the original story; it contains the romance and a Carter is fighting, defending Dejah, all essential elements to the story.
Cons are that this is just a very “old-fashioned” and stylized treatment and if you don’t know the significance of it — does it work?