Two posthumous books are Tarzan and the Madman from unpublished original; and Tarzan and the Castaways var mags; coll , neither of much merit. Despite Burroughs's overproduction, Tarzan is a remarkable creation, and possibly the best-known fictional character of the century. Part of Tarzan's fame is due to the many Tarzan Films which see adaptations, particularly those of the s starring Johnny Weissmuller; almost none of these are very faithful to the books. Pellucidar is perhaps the best of Burroughs's locales — a world without time where Dinosaurs and beast-men roam circularly forever — and is a perfect setting for bloodthirsty romantic adventure.
The first of the series was filmed disappointingly as At the Earth's Core These books are not as stirring and vivid as the Barsoom series. They are of particular sf interest because they are his only tales with an interstellar setting. The two stories were subsequently republished as a paperback entitled Beyond the Farthest Star coll It cannot be claimed that Burroughs's works have much literary or intellectual merit.
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Or perhaps he simply loosened the idea of clothing as the novel went on. Who can say? Fortunately, this ambiguity serves me as an artist, allowing me to stay true to the novel while granting me license to do what will best serve the visual images! Good news! Working on the project every day, and trying the abstract approach I described in the WEEK 4 entry The Place of Unknowing is starting to yield wonderful results.
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The image you see was started as a complete abstract drawing. Then I began to see forms and pulled them out. Dejah Thoris in front, Woola behind her on a step of the rock, John Carter looking to the right and hand on sword, and Sola at top right. Now the challenge is to keep the spontaneous feel as I continue to refine the drawing, ink it, and move on to a color peace if it goes well. I have done three drawings of Green Martians thus far, and the last is probably the most accurate, though the first one is very weird, which is kind of cool. The second looks a bit like a mix between a Green Martian and a Klingon.
And how does one draw eye sockets and brow ridges on the side of the head? Also, not having eyes affects the whole facial structure—bones, muscles, skin, everything. And, having only slits for a nose means no frown lines, for the most part. But hey, maybe they should look like puppets. Huge, malevolent grasshopper puppets! Still trying to work it out. The first illustration I released of Dejah Thoris the upper body image with the curling hair set the tone for what I hope to accomplish with A Princess of Mars. But I have yet to find the soul of the project, especially as regards the inside illustrations.
I finished re-reading the novel and taking notes on the key scenes and most evocative ideas for pictures. I could now merely set up a model session, shoot photo reference, and proceed to illustrate those scenes. Such an unimaginative mechanical approach amounts to little more than a wearisome chore to me.
So, I am now in that place of unknowing, which can be an uncomfortable place to be. But that is the mythological field, the dreamworld, the subconscious, from whence all creativity springs. However, one must learn how to tap into that place within oneself, to commit to the work which often and for sometimes long periods, seems to be fruitless and to be very patient. In order to find the soul of this project, I have gone back to a method I discovered about two years ago.
I do abstract pencil drawings, letting my mind and hand flow as freely as possible, creating shapes and arcs and lines.
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Then, slowly, I try to see forms emerging from that seeming randomness and disorder. It is a balancing act between the conscious and subconscious mind, between the world of mind and the world of form. If If I try to create forms too early, I force a false order on the drawing. If I wait too long, I end up with a space completely filled with pencil marks, where nothing seems to emerge.
The drawing on the right started in this manner, as a completely abstract drawing the image is a drawing for a painting for The Long, Long, Long, Long Rescue, an epic tale of The Incomparable Quill, slated for a release from Dream Tower Press. This morning, I made four abstract drawings. The result. Nothing, as far as I can tell. I tried to push one into recognizable images and it all fell apart. I may try again tonight. Patience and faith in the process and perhaps in the Source of creativity is required. But a looming deadline does not help me to relax, even if that deadline is self imposed.
Releasing the book in December sounds like I have a fair amount of time.
Review: Classic Favorite – A Princess of Mars
If I wish to finish one illustration per chapter of the book, that means twenty-eight illustrations, which comes out to more than four per month! The reason it is extra daunting is that this is only one project I am doing. Ideally, all of my illustrations would start with the building block of a live model study. Unfortunately, drawing a live model pose takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, and it would be very costly to pay a professional model for the many hours that would be required for numerous illustrations.
So, the second choice is to photograph the model in the poses. The sketch shown is from a live model pose and will be the basis for another Dejah Thoris illustration. Many things change by the time the illustration is complete!