Despite the meager box office take of the new John Carter movie, I have to say that it was one of the best fantasy/sci-fi movies I have ever seen. I'm not kidding. And from what I've been reading on other blogs, I'm not the only one who feels this way.
The sad thing is that I never even read any of the original John Carter books by Edgar Rice Burroughs until I finally curled up with a copy of Princess of Mars about 2 years ago. I know, it's shameful.
However, I did grow up with our hero's adventures on Barsoom in the form of the classic Marvel comics from the 70s. I scored a few issues of the comic back in middle school and was immediately in love with the pulpy take of Earth's nearest neighbor and was quite taken with the melding of science fiction technology and the sword and sandal fantasy aspects of the stories, which reminded me of the original Masters of the Universe mini comics (which I now see were highly influenced by Burroiugh's tales) and the Saturday morning cartoon Blackstar (which was a borderline rip-off of the John Carter stories).
As the movie premier loomed, I found myself thinking back on the comics I read as a kid and had place a little post-it note in my brain to pick some up if I got the chance. And that chance came during my recent visit to Emerald City Comic Con when I stumbled onto a trove of John Carter comics, all in spectacular condition, in one dealer's dollar boxes.
$10 later and I was the proud owner of the first 10 issues of John Carter, Warlord of Mars. Just flipping though them shot me back in time to when I first discovered the Civil War soldier turned alien hero that I came to know in my younger days.
You can jolly well bet that I'll be hunkering down with these books again soon, and it'll be so good to be back on Barsoom.