Pellucidar nights

I enjoy victorian and edwardian era fiction, i love the works of Edgar rice Burroughs and just wanted to have a place to pour out my thoughts on these subjects

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Location: United Kingdom

A happy fellow with a lovely wife and great family. Never really grown up so made a career out of drawing cartoons. Happy to come from a hardworking background, so i know what it's like to be a grown up.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Imagine if you will the orluk. Well thats exactly what you have to do in the ERB novel "Warlord of Mars"
The occational creature is mearly hinted at. Which i must admit to a concept artist is a dream. A yellow and black stripped beast of prey, elephantine in size.

Well it could be anything and thats the fun, it's upto the reader to decide.
I looked at the hints for my picture. The fur colour and the fact it's a predator suggested tiger to me.
Barsoom's lion has an extra wide mouth passing behind its ears and 8 /10 legs depending on the description. So i thought a tiger would be in the same family. So i gave it the extra wide mouth and rows of teeth. I decided on 8 legs as i just dont seem to be able to add the extra set without the creatures becoming comicaly long.

So their i have my Orluk. Imagine it the size of an elephant and you start to quake.
I'm sure however that others have pictured the beast differently and thats the joy, but this is what scares me.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Okay Pellucidar is underground. check
The Corpi are underground in pellucidar, check
So their actually closer us than the people, that makes my brain hurt.
Hats off though to a writer for managing to create a dark sunless world in a land of eternal sun.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Dark lord of the.... nope it's just a big wasp.
I love what i call lazy monsters.
It's great when in a book you come across an everyday creature that just happens to be huge and you think "damn! i know what one of those looks like and i'd hate to see one the size of a hereford bull"
So heres to the first sith. before the name was stolen for other space operas :)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Girls, Girls, Girls
Well what more can i say. ERB has the best array of heroine's in any pulp story. He has princesses and cavegirls by the score and not forgetting the lovely Jane.

However does he come from a sexist age, the girls are often eye candy, after all. The red flower has a girlish figure in very little clothing, Deja Thoris is as good as naked and jane is often depicted slipping into something more jungle comfortable.

Well despite all this, his girls still kick arse. Deja is let's face it always captured, but she's a scientist who can hold her own in a fight. The girls of pellucidar may be scantily clad but fight openly with Mastadons and other creatures of the stone age.

So ERB has created a good balance of damsel, intellegence, sexy, strong willed and tough. They may be pictured in many peoples minds as the typical pulp fantasy female (all boobs no brain) but in all honesty they are often well rounded and heroic without losing their softer side

Monday, April 23, 2007

Riding in Pellucidar is a fine art thanks to the thoat. A vicious creature that comes in two sizes, Green martian and red martian. The latter being the smaller of the two although no different in appearance.
How ever Artists seemed divided on the look of the mighty thoat. 8 legged and vicious as it is, its still ridden by almost everyone, so it has to be a bit horse like, although its smooth skin and heavy padded feet suggest a lizard like animal or a hairless dog.
I avoided drawing one for along time but here i pictured John Carter's escape with Deja Thoris astride a mighty green martian Thoat. Enjoy

Friday, April 20, 2007

Life on Mars.
Okay no picture this time from me,just something i noticed about a recent British television series. Life on Mars was (its just finished) a fantastic show. Dectective Sam Tyler A modern day police detective goes back in time to the mean streets of 70's Manchester where he's a police detective, He's actually been Knocked down and is in a coma and is living out the 70's world in his head. When he evetually comes out of his coma and resumes his duties as a modern policeman, he finds it dull and takes his life going back into the exciting 70's world for ever.
Now the title "life on mars" was taken from the David Bowie song of the same name, due to it's lyrics "Law man beating up the wrong guy. Oh man do you think he'll ever know, he's on the best selling show. Is this life on Mars"

However there are alot of similarities with The Barsoom series. John Carter (by the way both surnames are oldworld jobs, carter and tyler)is basicly put in a coma and goes to Mars. Here he has adventures in a very real body and eventually goes back to Earth, which he finds dull so he dies again to return to the adventure of Barsoom.

Maybe i'm just seeing what i want too. Maybe their truely are only 7 different types of story. However i enjoyed both stories greatly and love the fact i can see a link.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Apt behavior.

As i have said in a previous post. I love reading pulp fiction as it gives the authours the chance to create amazing creatures of the imagination.
One of the ones i have most problem visualising is the Apt of the frozen wastes from the mars series.
Although i once saw a great picture of one, a centaur like insect creature with white fur, it didn't actually fit the ERB description.
So i followed his instructions
A huge white furred creature with six limbs, four of which are short and heavy to carry it through snow and ice; a denizen of the Barsoomian north pole. The remaining two limbs grow forward from the shoulder on either side of the powerful long neck and terminate in white, hairless hands which it uses to capture and hold its prey. Its head and mouth are like that of the hippopotamus with two large, down-curving horns extending forward from the bottom jaw. Two huge eyes, each composed of hundreds of ocelli, are oval patches running downward from the center of the cranium to below the horns on either side of the head. Each ocelli is equipped with its own lid and the apt can, at will, close as many of the facets as desired.

I hope my apt is more fitting what was in the great mans mind

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The White ape of Barsoom

Edger rice burroughs has often been refered to as writing racist fiction. The natives are all black and savage. However the white man is always superior a super being as such.
In todays standards you can indeed see these lines appearing in his text. That is until you go to Barsoom. No one is the white man without a dash of evil in them except his hero. However he is a man from the deep south who fought for an army who believed in the slavery of others, but even he battles the white men on the side of the red.
The final nail in the racist coffin comes from the fact that the most brutish and evil creature on the planet seems to be the white ape. Killing purely because it can.

So i'm sure ERB can be forgiven for writing stories where racism is viewed by others but not necesarily by him.

Monday, April 16, 2007

What the Thark is that supposed to look like?

What i love most about reading pulp fiction and penny dreadfulls is the fact that the Authours really let themselves go on creating odd charecters and creatures.
The green martians of John Carter fame are no exception

Now i know a film is in the making and soon everyone will see the big four armed green warriors only how the film shows them. However until then i followed the discription as best i could and created this happy looking chap.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Mahar, the forgotten enemy

Well it would seem that the Mahars (bad guys of the first two ERB books) were defeated and brushed aside. Although resurected for the non ERB penned Mahars of pellucidar, i've always felt they got a bad lot.

Not because of the books, but because of Doug Mclure.
What the hell were the special effects guys thinking. they made the mahars comical and that image stayed with me for ever.

So i set out to draw the best bad guys of the underworld true to they're discription
first of they're like giant Rhamphorhynchus, so i just looked up details and then added the evil.

I hope you enjoy

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Where in earth is Pellucidar

I have to admit that the location of the pellucidar books has baffled me.
it all started when i saw a map that was drawn over a reversed map of the continants we know.

Until that point i had been happy knowing it all took place somewhere under America, however the map (drawn by a fan, placed it all under Africa.

Now i can understand why, the prospector is afterall in the sahara desert at the end of the book and that suggests a straight up and down match. The map didnt however look right.

i mean it did look like ERB's map but it didnt match the land masses underneath.
Abner perry clearly states thats he saw a map of pellucidar and the land mass is equivilant to our seas and vice versa. so the map should look like the one we know but with land being blue as it's the sea. oh yeah and everything reversed. So i got a simple map coloured it reversed it and looked for the matching shore line.
i started near the top (as its close to the polar entrance) and around America (it is afterall ERB's native country). It didn't take long to find it as its so close to the northern canadian coastline, around Baffin island.

The cool realisation is how much of the inner world remains unexplored.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Okay lets start with the costumes of Barsoom. For anyone reading this who dosn't read Edger rice burroughs Mars series, Barsoom is Mars. The whole costume debate has raced on for years. You See ERB refered to his charecters on barsoom as naked except for a decorative but practicle harness, that seems to change depending style on the wearer.
So what does he mean. there are many schools of thought.

1/ he never actually ment naked. naked in his time would refer to the naked savages such as north american indians or zulu, this would mean they wore loin clothes. Tarzan does and the charecters of pellucidar never lose thier's so he has a loin cloth theame

2/ the books were not ment for a wide audience, so the nakedness was pure titilation for the small audience the original story was for.

3/ there an alien race an nudity is'nt a sexual thing and isn't seen as such.

all very good points, so what did i think on reading the books

Well i dont agree with point 1 as ERB was well aware how it read and would have said loincloth as he does in his other books. I however do agree with both points 2 and 3 as thats how i read it myself, it seemed a bit racy and done for effect, but it isn't focused on therefore suggesting a different culture regarding nudity.

So why the problem, it's a book read it how you want, i hear you say. Well for me the problem is practicality. im an artist an if you draw them how they should appear then you cant post your pictures in alot of places. So i studied harnesess and was suprised how many actually covered everything, okay their loose so youd get the odd glimps but thats cool you just dont in my art, so my barsoomians are now covered in my art but always naked in my head.

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