Tagged: John Carter

Official D23 Announcements Focus Mainly on Pixar

121543352_ae_6447_5d35477db6385687b17058f1f58245b5-300x201-4377421For those of you who missed out on Disney’s fan fest, D23, the studio provided us with a recap which we will run intact below. But we know what you really care about is what was said and shown about next year’s The Avengers. Well, there were some clips, another blindingly fast set of clips. According to a report over at Newsrama these included “a conversation between Tony Stark and Loki — with Tony Stark notably appearing behind a bar. Stark details the Avengers lineup — ‘a couple of master assassins, a demigod, and a living legend that actually lives up a legend’ — and Loki retorts back, ‘I have an army.’ ‘We have a Hulk,’ Stark replies.

“The montage sequence also included a monologue from Fury, detailing the purpose behind the Avengers — that they were organized to take on the threats that S.H.I.E.L.D. can’t.”

121543352_ae_6354a_5c434f0cb1f223cf95e6cbd59835890f-300x215-3394201Bleeding Cool added, “In the clip, Loki is shown trapped in a cage on the helicarrier. It’s a cage built to hold The Hulk, and he’s told that if he’s too much trouble, they’ll just drop it out of the botttom of the helicarrier, 30,000 feet to the ground below. Maria Hill and Steve Rogers watch from the bridge on a monitor while Tony Stark and Nick Fury step up to Loki and have a little threatening banter with him.”

“At the start of Feige’s presentation,” Newsarama continued, “a reel was shown of the five previous Marvel Studios films — Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk (no Edward Norton footage was shown), Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. The clips focused on the interconnectivity of the movies, scenes like Tony Stark appearing at the end of Incredible Hulk and Johann Schmidt discovering the Tesseract at the beginning of Cap. That vignette ending with the tagline ‘assembly begins next summer’.”

Here’s the formal release: (more…)

The Shadow Returns!

After sixteen years, The Shadow will once again be haunting the comic book shops. The classic character who starred in both pulp magazines and his popular radio show will be returning in the hands of Dynamite Entertainment. Dynamite currently publishes pulp-related properties The Green Hornet, The Phantom and John Carter of Mars. Dynamite’s President and Publisher were quoted in a press release, saying “pursuing The Shadow has been a lifetime quest.”

No creative teams have been announced thus far.


PULP CLASSIC- Reviews by Joshua Pantalleresco
TARZAN OF THE APES by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Ask me to pick my all time Edgar Rice Burroughs creation, and I think most people would say John Carter.  To me, however, Tarzan was Burroughs at his most refined.  There is a level of sophistication in Tarzan that is unsurpassed with any other of Burroughs’ characters.  In fact, I’ll go so far to say that Tarzan of The Apes is probably Edgar Rice Burroughs’ most complex book in terms of character development, as the Tarzan that starts the novel is not the Tarzan that finishes it.  Part origin, part coming of age and part adventure,  I’m amazed with just how layered Tarzan really was, and it makes me realize just why this character is still so popular to this day.

Tarzan of the Apes begins with his parents arriving in to the harsh unforgiving jungle.  Alice and Clayton battle the jungle valiantly, yet ultimately succumb to the harsh terrain, leaving baby Tarzan alone in the jungle, where he is eventually adopted by apes.  The first half of the book is about Tarzan growing up in this environment.  This stuff is among my favorite writing of Burroughs period.  From covering the harsh realities of the jungle, to Tarzan discovering how to use tools, Burroughs does a great job separating Tarzan from a conventional savage and was able to show that Tarzan had a lot of cunning, reason and a little bit of a sense of humor.

One of my favorite scenes is Tarzan discovering his parent’s house and discovering the books in the library.   The fact that he spends his time learning how to read astounded me when I first read it as a kid and still astounds me now.  The thing I tend to hate with Tarzan in most of the television shows is that they make him out to be an above average ape man and nothing more.  I can’t think of anything cooler than the fact that he used a children’s book to teach himself how to read in English.  That’s an incredible feat and I’ve always thought that always having him be the simple ape man he is in most movies and television shows takes away a real important aspect of his character – his desire to become more than he is.

This facet of him is presented best when Jane enters the story.  He sees her and feels an instant attraction.  He starts communicating with her with the English he learns through letters.  He is sprung into action when one of his local enemies captures Jane, which leads to Tarzan rescuing her.  When he attempts to woo her with a very simplistic approach and is rebuked, he takes the first steps into becoming the gentleman English lord he is descended from.  When she leaves, Tarzan seeks her out, learning more how to communicate, act like a man, and all the while making some acute observations about the ways of men he doesn’t approve of.

In the end, he saves Jane from a marriage that would have made her miserable, yet doesn’t walk away with the girl.  All in all, it left me wanting more, just like it did when I first picked up the book years ago.   Tarzan is everything you want in a great story.  Despite the savage setting, there is something we can all relate to in Tarzan in this first book.  It’s one of my favorites.  I can’t recommend it enough.  It’s a solid five out of five stars.

Derrick Ferguson Takes A Trip To The DIRE PLANET

·  Paperback: 248 pages
·  Publisher: PulpWork Press; 1St Edition edition (September 15, 2009)
·  Language: English
·  ISBN-10: 0979732948
·  ISBN-13: 978-0979732942
Not being an historian I’m not sure if Edgar Rice Burroughs created the Planetary Romance genre.  But I am certain that he refined it into something so unique and special that all anybody has to do is say “John Carter” or “Dejah Thoris” or “Barsoom” and most everybody even remotely acquainted with Pulp will know what you’re talking about.  Planetary Romance or Sword and Planet as some like to call it is a wildly popular genre in its own right.  Burroughs having struck great success with his Mars books pulled off the same trick with his Carson of Venus books.   In the 1980’s I discovered other books/series in the genre written by Lin Carter, Michael Moorcock, Alan Burke Akers and even…sigh, the “Gor” books written by John Norman.
Suffice it to say without going into detail that some of them I enjoyed and others I shook my head in downright disbelief that they ever got published.  I can happily say that DIRE PLANET by Joel Jenkins is one that I’m glad got published as it’s a wonderful example of what New Pulp is about.  Joel embraces the conventions of Burroughsian Planetary Romance but it does it with a modern day eye.  As a result it’s a book that at once feels familiar and fresh.  Just when you think you know which way the plot is going to go, Joel manages to find another fork in the road that takes you someplace else.
The Earthman taken from his native world to the planet Mars this time around is Garvey Dire and he doesn’t get there by mystical means.  He gets there by spaceship, the NASA Mars Orbiter.  Garvey Dire’s mission is not just one of exploration and discovery.  His mission is one of vital importance to the continued security and safety of The United States.  China wants to establish their own base on Mars.  And so the race is on.
It’s a race that ends in disaster when Garvey’s ship crash lands on Mars.  With his leg broken, losing air and blood, it seems as if Garvey’s story is over.  But that all changes when he sees the image of a gorgeous green skinned swordswoman in armor.  And it’s because of that image his life is saved as he’s transported 50,000 years back into the past and to a Mars unlike any he’s ever dreamed of.
It’s all here; flashing swords against ancient super science.  Hideous beasts and their even more hideous masters.  Noble warriors battling against grotesque humanoid creatures of astounding cruelty.  Captures.  Chases.  Escapes.  Fates worse than death.  And romance.  Garvey Dire finds it all on ancient Mars.
But what really makes DIRE PLANET a cut above other Burroughs inspired Sword and Planet stories is the political element.  Once Garvey gets hurtled back to ancient Mars, Joel doesn’t forget the U.S./China conflict and indeed, the way he cuts back and forth between the two time periods is in true Burroughs tradition as he was expert at juggling two sets of characters, leaving one set in a nail-biting cliffhanger at the end of a chapter then bouncing over to the other set of characters for a chapter then leaving them in a inescapable trap then going back and-
Well, you get the idea.  It’s a good technique that never failed to work for Burroughs because it’s a surefire way of keeping the story going.  Joel even manages to resolve the conflicts in both time periods in a manner that while it’s clever it also involved just a little too much bouncing back and forth through time for my taste.  Not that I’m opposed to time travel, mind you.  But I think that Joel figured that the only way out was to pinball various characters back and forth between the two time periods.  It’s a little bit dizzying but hey, if you’ve hung on with Garvey Dire all that way, you’re going to go on to the end and you won’t be disappointed.
I can’t finish this review without mentioning two of my favorite bits in the book; Number one is the revelation of who The President of The United States. And number two is that Joel apparently is psychic because he predicted one of the most popular devices in use today way back in 2005 when this book was first published.
So should you read DIRE PLANET?  You certainly should.  If you’ve never read anything by Joel Jenkins this is the perfect place to start.  Joel has been writing what we’re now calling New Pulp as long as I’ve known him and we’re talking roughly around 15 years.  And in all that time he’s built up quite the respectable amount of work.  DIRE PLANET is one of his best.
For more information about Joel Jenkins please visit:
The Vaults of Caladrex  http://www.joeljenkins.com/
Pulpwork Press   http://www.pulpwork.com/

Peter David Writes John Carter Prequel

After years of seeming neglect, now everyone seems to be jumping on the John Carter bandwagon. No, not the Noah Wylie character from ER, but Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic hero. A Civil War vet suddenly finds himself on a strange new world, with powers and abilities that make him far above your normal human. The Mars novels are great pulp fiction and have longed to be revived for a new generation and that time appears to be today.

Not only is Dynamic Forces producing comics material based on the novels, but now Marvel Comics is jumping onto the bandwagon with a series of authorized comics based on the parent comapny’s 2012 spring release, John Carter. Directed by Pixar’s Andrew Stanton, the trailer was released to universal acclaim.

Now comes word of the October arrival of John Carter: World of Mars, a prequel miniseries from Peter David with interior art by Luke Ross and covers by Esad Ribic.

According to a press release, John Carter: World of Mars #1 reveals the shocking events that transpire before the motion-picture story begins by showing fans just how John Carter, Princess Dejah Thoris and Tars Tarkas are set on the path that would bring them all together. Amidst this brutal thousand-year war, find out what decisions were made that let events escalate this far—and why.

“We’re thrilled to bring fans their first look at the world of John Carter before the blockbuster film wows audiences next year,” said Axel Alonso, Marvel Editor In Chief. “It’s been a pleasure working with Disney, Peter and Luke to craft a powerful story that will appeal to both the legions of John Carter fans and those who are new to this exciting world.”

Stanton adds, “I am really thrilled to be collaborating with Disney & Marvel on this project and look forward to audiences exploring the world of John Carter via this exciting comic offering. I have wanted to see this property on the big screen since I was a young boy and hope that John Carter: World of Mars will excite and inspire fans of the series much like I was inspired many years ago.”

The miniseries debuts in October with a trade collection expected in time for the March 9, 2012 feature film release.

Check out the John Carter Trailer

Growing up, there was nothing more captivating than Frank Frazetta’s amazing cover paintings for the Science Fiction Book Club editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter series of novels set on Barsoom, er, Mars.

While there have been many abortive attempts at adapting John Carter as a cartoon or live-action film, we’re finally getting one with a strong pedigree. Pixar’s first live-action film, directed by Andrew Stanton, is shaping up to be 2012’s first blockbuster. Opening March 9, it leads a super-heroic slate of films and now the first trailer for the feature is available.

From a screenplay by Andrew Stanton & Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon the movie stars Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Daryl Sabara, Polly Walker, Bryan Cranston, with Thomas Haden Church and Willem Dafoe.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, here’s the studio’s official synopsis:  The studio goes on to note: From Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes John Carter—a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). John Carter is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.



  • Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago and is best known for writing and creating Tarzan—still one of the most successful and iconic fictional creations of all time.  John Carter is based on Burroughs’ first novel, A Princess of Mars.
  • Academy Award®–winning director/writer Andrew Stanton directed and co-wrote the screenplay for WALL•E, which earned the Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award® for Best Animated Feature of 2008. He was Oscar® nominated for the screenplay. He made his directorial debut with Finding Nemo, garnering an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of 2003. He was one of the four screenwriters to receive an Oscar nomination in 1996 for his contribution to Toy Story, and went on to receive credit as a screenwriter on subsequent Pixar films A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and WALL•E.
  • The award-winning below-the-line team includes Production Designer Nathan Crowley, Oscar®- nominated for both Dark Knight and The Prestige,   and Costume Designer Mayes Rubeo, whose work is showcased in Avatar and Apocalypto.
  • Michael Chabon, who won the Pulitzer Prize in Literature for his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, is a co-writer on the screenplay.
  • Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino has received numerous accolades for his work on previous Disney•Pixar films Up (Oscar® winner, Best Original Score; BAFTA winner, Best Music; Golden Globe® winner, Best Original Score for a Motion Picture; GRAMMY® Award winner, Best Score Soundtrack Album), Ratatouille (GRAMMY Award winner, Best Score Soundtrack Album; Annie Award winner, Best Music in an Animated Feature Production; Oscar nomination, Best Original Score) and The Incredibles (Annie Award winner, Best Music in an Animated Feature Production; GRAMMY nomination, Best Score Soundtrack Album).



By J.P.Carlson
432 pages
Monstrostities Books
Available June 21, 2011
It was somewhere between the ages of twelve and thirteen that I discovered the classic pulp heroes of old through paperback reprints.  Here were 1930s urban heroes such as the Shadow and Doc Savage while primal, wilderness characters were represented by Robert E.Howard’s Conan the Barbarian.  I also discovered one of the greatest pulp authors of all time, Edgar Rice Burroughs. My entry into Burroughs fantastic worlds was through his Tarzan books like most of the readers of my generation.  Having already become familiar with the Ape Man via movies, it was both a treat and surprise to discover the actual character in Burrough’s purple prose.
Becoming addicted to his work, it was a logical next step to pick up his equally popular John Carter of Mars series starting with “A Princess of Mars.”  On the off chance there is someone reading this that has never had that pleasure, here is a quick recap.  The series tells of an ex Confederate officer named John Carter, who, while mining for gold in the Arizona badlands, is somehow magically transported through space to the red planet Mars. There he finds it inhabited by all manner of beings and monstrous creatures that refer to their world as Barsoom. Carter has one glorious adventure after another, finds his love, the beautiful princess Theja Thoris, and goes on to become the Warlord of Mars.
I devoured those books.  I’d never encountered anything else so filled with action, exotic characters and unabashed imagination as displayed in that amazing series.  Of course the popularity of Burroughs alien tales inspired hundreds of writers to follow in his footsteps, many attempting to duplicate the verve and grandeur of his Barsoom titles.  None ever came close, until now.
From the first chapter of J.P. Carlson’s book, “Rex Riders” that same magical what-if that Burroughs so effortlessly created is evident here.  Set in the sleepy Texas town of Dos Locus, post Civil War, what Carlson brilliantly does is turn the tables on the Carter device and brings an alien romantic hero to Earth in the form of the Rex Rider. 
The book’s protagonist is fifteen year old orphan, Zeke Calhoun, who is being raised on his Uncle Jesse McCain’s ranch.  His two best friends are Bull, McCain’s loyal ranch hand and Stumpy, the old cantankerous and wise ranch cook.  Growing up to be a cowboy is not an easy life and Zeke is constantly butting heads with his uncle, their ability to communicate strained by their ages.  Having never married or had children, McCain finds bringing up a rambunctious teenage boy much more complicated than herding cattle. 
Then one day a live triceratops comes charging down Dos Locos’ main street attacking the arriving stagecoach.  After toppling the coach, the confused, armored beast then goes on a rampage and destroys several of the town’s stores before it is shot by McCain.  Before anyone can even attempt to explain the creature’s presence, let alone existence, the area’s most powerful landowner, Dante D’Allesandro comes along, offers to pay for  the damages and whisks the carcass away. No one gives the incident a second thought.  I give much credit to Carlson’s depiction of good, decent and simple people who would react exactly as he writes them.
Months later, while riding through a nearby valley, Zeke and Stumpy come across a truly bizarre scene.  An alien humanoid lying comatose on the ground, having been shot, and standing over him protectively is a baby Tyrannosaurs Rex with a saddle strapped to its back. With much effort, the two manage to haul the eight foot rider onto the back of his dangerous looking mount and get them back safely to McCain’s ranch.  After the town doctor removes half a dozen bullets from the purple hued alien and he recovers, he relates a fantastic tale to McCain and his crew.
Slim, the name Stumpy gives the alien rider, is from a planet called Ismalis where millions of years ago his ancestors, using amazing transporters, rescued large numbers of the Earth’s dinosaurs when they saw they were in danger of becoming extinct.  Now they thrive on Ismalis and as a Rex Rider, it is Slim’s duty to see they continue to do so.  Unfortunately D’Allesandro has learned that it was via one these transporter platforms, hidden in a nearby mountain cave, that the runaway tryke traveled from Ismalis to Earth.   D’Allesandro then begins to transport a group of cowboys to that alien world to build a  camp from which they can rustle hundreds of trykes and bring them back to our world.  When Slim attempts to stop him, warning that his scheme can only end in disaster for all involved, D’Allesandro’s hired gun, Caleb Cooper, attempts to kill him and his T-rex mount, called Hellfire.
McCain immediately sees the folly of D’Allesandro’s plan and offers his support to the Rex Rider, along with Zeke, Bull & Stumpy.  Together these new allies have to travel to that strange and dangerous world and set things right.  “The Rex Riders” is a deft blend of action, humor and wall-to-wall adventure in a truly original setting.  Reading it was nothing short pure joy, easily recapturing the fun I’d had when first discovering the John Carter of Mars books.  And if that isn’t a cause for celebration amongst today’s pulp readers, I don’t know what is.  In fact, I love this book so much, I’m giving it to my grandson, Alex, assured it will set him on a path I first walked over fifty years ago.  Thanks, J.P. Carlson.  With your first book, you’ve made a loyal fan that is very, very anxious for the sequels. 
Disney Consumer Products Projects Profitble Future

Disney Consumer Products Projects Profitble Future

At an online press conference preceding this month’s Licensing Show, Walt Disney outlined their plans for 2011 and the future. Andy Mooney, president of Disney Consumer Products, hosted the event and emphasized that the company’s properties were all being evaluated for exploitation in all forms, using the phrase “newness” to cover technology and “value” to explain multi-figure packaging.

Obviously, the company expects to reap huge profits from this month’s 3-D release of Toy Story 3. Mooney anticipates $2.4 billion of global sales of merchandise for this franchise alone.

After that, Mooney felt Tron: Legacy, coming in December, will appeal to boys and has partnered with Mattel for toys based on the movie starring Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde.

For 2011, the company will be flogging Pixar’s next sequel, Cars 2, due in June, following a month later with the next animated Winnie the Pooh movie. For the younger set, there will also be the first new Muppets feature film in nearly a decade. The Disney Princess brand will continue to be pushed, accompanied by the recently launched Fairies line of product which already has grown into a $1.3 billion business.

Little was said about the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, On Stranger Tides, which takes the action to America. Similarly, nothing was mentioned about the next big action film, 2012’s live-action John Carter of Mars.

Disney is also exploring a sequel to 3 Men and a Baby, the 1987 film, directed by Leonard Nimoy and starting Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson. The charming comedy led to a less charming sequel 3 Men and a Little Lady in 1990 and now the studio appears interested in seeing a later chapter in their lives. Selleck confirmed for MTV that  “It is true that Disney checked my availability,” he said. 3 Men and a Bride is the likely title and plotline, with Selleck adding, “I hope it’s a good script, and if it is a good script I hope they do it, because it would be really fun to get back with Ted and Steve. The strongest of the two movies I think is the first one. It had more heart, and that’s what I hope this third one would have if we do it.”


Weekend Window-Closing Wrapup, Thanksgiving 2009

Weekend Window-Closing Wrapup, Thanksgiving 2009

We haven’t done one of these in a while, and heaven knows I have enough open windows:

  • Eight Films in Black and Red. Simple graphic storytelling at its best.
  • Viggo Mortensen discussing his new movie, The Road, the feel-good picture of the season.
  • Why vampire movies always break all the vampire rules.

  • Joshua Jackson will star in UFO, the feature film version of the British TV series by Gerry Anderson.
  • God help us, even Rainbow Brite is being revamped and relaunched.
  • No, it’s even worse than that– John Carter and A Princess Of Mars starring Antonio Sabato Jr. and Traci Lords. Here’s the trailer:

Oh dear.

Triad Toys Signs ‘John Carter of Mars’

Triad Toys Signs ‘John Carter of Mars’

Triad Toys has announced it has acquired the rights to manufacture action figures based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars Saga.

Their press release stated:

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars Saga is hailed as one of the most influential works to define modern sci-fi and fantasy literature. Written almost a century ago, the epic 11 volume series chronicling John Carter’s adventures have thrilled many, many generations of readers. Triad Toys is proud to announce that it has entered into a two-year licensing agreement with Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. to produce a range of collectibles, including 12-inch action figures and statues of all the central characters from the beloved novels. The collectibles will consist of both modernized concepts developed by Triad Toys as well as the classic Burroughs vision of the Mars saga with the first series of figures releasing early 2009.

Pixar’s Andrew Stanton is already at work on a script for a feature film based on the first novel and its visuals are not a part of this licensed.

Triad also announced it will produce a series of toys and collectible products based on Wanted:  Dead or Alive, the TV series starring Steve McQueen that ran from 1958-1961.