I’ve been a little quiet the last few days because I’m on a mad finishing kick to get the print master of John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood delivered so that “ARC”s (Advance Reading Copies) can be printed and delivered. ARCs, I guess, are what “galleys” used to be.
At the moment I’m also working on the back-cover copy and wanted to share it for comments if people see things I can/should improve. This won’t be “forever” — it can be changed once we get past the ARC stage. So there’s a little time to tweak it.
Also — scroll down to see the work-in-progress front and back cover. Welcome notes on that too. At the moment a final determination is being made on whether or not I can use Bryan Bustard’s wonderful fan art. There is a chance it may have to be let go for “Disney character” legal reasons. In the meantime I have reverted back to what I was originally using, some amazing art from J. Allen St. John along with some Hollywood imagery, pending getting resolution on that. (FYI within the book itself it’s okay to use images from the film, etc, as this is covered under “commentary and criticism” fair use. It’s just the cover that’s an issue.)
Anyway — here it is:
How the Rosetta Stone of Modern Sci-fi became the biggest flop in cinema history,but isn’t dead yet!
In 1912 struggling Chicago businessman Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote “A Princess of Mars”, the tale of John Carter, a Virginia cavalryman mysteriously transported to Mars where he would find adventure and meaning in life alongside Dejah Thoris, the incomparable Princess of Helium. The story would lead to an 11 book series and become what many would consider the Rosetta Stone of modern science fiction. Burroughs would go on to write Tarzan of the Apes, and at the time of his death in 1950 was the best selling author of the first half of the twentieth century, with his books translated into 58 languages and outselling the likes of Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald combined. His creation Tarzan was then, and remains today, the single most universally known literary character ever created.
Burroughs tales of Barsoom would influence and inspire scientists and storytellers like no others. Ray Bradbury, Carl Sagan, Arthur Clark, Jane Goodall, James Cameron, George Lucas and others would find inspiration for their life’s work in Burroughs imaginative creations. Flash Gordon, Superman, Star Wars, and Avatar all were inspired by John Carter of Mars.
For a century from 1912 to 2012 Hollywood grappled with the highly imaginative tale, attempting to translate it to film, but Hollywood could not match Burroughs imagination and it was not until 2012 that Disney Studios, with Andrew Stanton directing, would finally bring the classic tale to cinema screens. But instead of success commensurate with its storied history, Disney’s JOHN CARTER became the most costly flop in cinema history, yet inspired a global alliance of fans and film-makers who refuse to give up on the storied tale.
JOHN CARTER AND THE GODS OF HOLLYWOOD tells the complete story of the hundred year journey of A Princess of Mars from the mind of Edgar Rice Burroughs to cinema screens worldwide. It examines the story itself; the uniqueness of Burroughs’ vision and abilities, the key choices made by Andrew Stanton in adapting the story, and analyzes in compelling detail the disastrous marketing campaign that preceded the box office failure. It also examines the stubborn efforts by fans and film-makers to transform the legacy of the film from flop to classic, and in the process enable the continuation of the John Carter franchise.
UPDATE: I was just able to confirm that I can use any of the Robert Abbet Ballantine covers as part of this, and I’m thinking about using this one instead of the St. John (which is still my favorite). This is his illustration of Book 11, “John Carter of Mars” (funnily enough) and I’m just getting a kick out of the “hand of the Gods” reaching down, propelled by Hollywood searchlights, to grab JC and presumably munch him for breakfast. But JC is fighting back, got the “We still live!” vibe going on. What do you folks thing. Also, this one let me extend the “stairway to the Hollywood gods” a bit, an present an image that is in landscape aspect rather than portrait.