Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thark Thursday: I've Got Barsoom Fever

I just came back from my second viewing of John Carter and I still think it's great fun. Yeah, it's not a perfect movie, but I've grown to really appreciate the efforts of Andrew Stanton and his cast and design team. I also can think of no better inspiration in recent history for games. It's pure pulp adventure and there's just lots of neat ideas to explore. That [SPOILER] sparkly blue nanite-based "magic" stuff? A great little MacGuffin for any RPG. Thark tribal initiations and homemade weaponry? Sharpshooting skills with radium rifles? Stat me a Warhoon sidekick!

So this afternoon I stopped by Barnes & Noble and picked up a copy of SciFiNow, a movie magazine from the U.K. which did a great cover story on the film. Two things dawned at me at the magazine rack:
  1. Movie magazines are a dying breed, what with the interwebs and all. I was an avid reader of Premiere, Starlog, and a half-dozen others during their respective heydays and inevitable declines. The ones that are left, like Entertainment Weekly, don't have the marketing pull they once had to suck people in and get them juiced about the next big film. The reign of the magazine cover is really over.
  2. This was the only issue of any magazine that featured John Carter on it. The rest were all about the Hunger Games, The Avengers, and even that godawful Battleship movie. John Carter was passed over for other "sure thing" blockbusters from the get-go. Less face-time for Tim Riggins is just another kick in the teeth.
So seeing this import warmed my heart.

In addition, I've been rapaciously reading all that I can of the Barsoomian mythos that are interpretations other than the Edgar Rice Burroughs books. In the picture above we have a sampling of my Martian diet for the last few months.

One notable item: that big fella in the upper right? Got it for a more than half-off at Amazon. It's the Holy Grail of Marvel sword and planet comics--the entire run of their John Carter Warlord of Mars series from the 70s. It's now one of my most very favorite things. When I'm not reading it, I'll just stare at the amazing illustrations. Longingly. When it and I are not in the same room, I think about it and what it's doing when I'm not with it. Does it think about me or remember me at all? Does it even like me? I MUST KNOW.

Oh, but I only mention it because I'll have a more full post about it this weekend, in part to make up for my lack of a more substantive post today.

Finally, with my latest viewing of the film, I've added some minor, but still significant tweaks to my earlier review of John Carter, in case you missed/are interested.

I really do love that movie. I only wish it would see a sequel one day. We truly need more quarter-of-a-billion-dollar, interplanetary barbarian flicks.

Just as a matter of principle.

The media, from top left:

It should be obvious that the books, comics, etc., above are great inspiration for gaming as well. Yeah, that was my original point. But you can pardon the drooling and panting while it took me to get there, yes?


  1. my 81 one year old father called me , wednesday,
    'Ed, I just saw this great movie, had something for everyone, you should go see it .... its called "John Carter" '

  2. I have TWO full sets of the Marvel comic series ... colllected them as a kid in the seventies ..
    shoot me a email if you want a free spiral bound
    76 page, house rules for OGL barsoomian role playing

  3. @Clovis, that's hilarious about your dad! Glad to hear the apple doesn't fall far. About those rules--I think you DID send that to me. I need to dig those out!!

    @Aaron, INDEED.