Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Writer's DNA

 I may have to see John Carter after all, since it seems novelist and genre fiction enthusiast Michael Chabon had a hand in the script. Chabon discussed his relationship to genre and his affection for John Carter creator Edgar Rice Burroughs in this interview. (Wired)
Wired: How did you first encounter the John Carter books, and what sort of an impact did they have on you?

Michael Chabon: I first encountered them in Page One Books in Columbia, Maryland, in about 1973, I guess, whenever Ballantine Books reissued them with those stunning Gino D’Achille covers. They appeared somewhat magically, like the Monolith in 2001, in a cardboard display dump in the bookstore, this beautiful display with a big piece of artwork on the top of it, and then I guess maybe all 15 books in this display, each with this stunning cover, and it had a sense of obvious cultural importance, at least to me at age 10 or 11. It inspired this immediate desire in me to know more, to visit, to go there, and see what this was about. What was this thing, who was John Carter, and what was going on with these green guys, and red-skinned beautiful princesses, and flying boats, and everything I was seeing on the covers of these books?

And I bought the first one, and I loved it, and I went back and bought the next one, and then I discovered that the Science Fiction Book Club was publishing them with equally arresting covers by Frank Frazetta, in double editions, two books in one. So I started to get those, because I was a member of the Science Fiction Book Club, and then not long after that Marvel Comics, of which I was also a great devotee, started doing a comic book version of the same character, and that just kind of cemented it all in my mind.

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