Archive for the ‘science fiction art’ Category

That’s actually a quote from the Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter of Mars Barsoom stories. I won’t cite which one since I think it appears in all eleven novels, at least once.

It’s no secret that Pixar is making a live action film – just about everyone is talking about it these days. Casting began today (I know that casting agents are supposed to be able to find anything, but tusked, four-armed green giants are a little thin on the ground these days. ANYONE fitting that bill has a guaranteed job!)

I’m eagerly anticipating this film, although I am also dreading disappointment. This is, after all an adaptation, not a remake (no original to fall back on), so there is the possibility that it can achieve ‘as good as – but different’ status, even though I wasn’t as thrilled with Wall-E as everyone else seems to be.

I thought it might be a cool idea to take a look at the various incarnations of Barsoom over the years. So, without further ado –

Under the Moons of Mars (the original title for Princess) first appeared in All Story magazine in 1912.

under the moons of mars from erbzine

Except where otherwise noted, these images can be found on the Erbzine site and, of course, all images are copyrighted by the artist(s).

Note that the byline is for Norman Bean.

See the rest here.


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I’ve been getting a steady stream of emails from folks saying ‘just got so-and-so’ to watch the original (and so far no one has hated it). Why folks email instead of commenting, I’m not sure, but it really doesn’t matter as long as people are watching the original movie before 12/12.

I also get a steady stream of google news alerts and aggregator mentions of the movie and, in particular, Gort.

One such came through the other day, originally announced by SFSignal, which brought me to the Strange Horizones ‘zine and Mike Fisher’s wonderful TDTESS based cartoon.

I wrote to Mike and asked permission to run the last panel: here’s the dialogue to give you some idea why I asked:



The full panel can be seen here – which is where you’ll be going any way if you want to participate in The Day The Earth Stood Still To Watch The Original Movie Day.

Mike said he had no problem with my request, but that he’d need to ask the folks at Strange Horizons mag. Strange Horizons said ‘sure’, so here we are.

But that isn’t really fair to Mike or the magazine, so: here’s where you can see the entire strip and here’s where you can take a look at more of Mikes AMAZING artwork.

I had no idea I was asking an award-winning animator, cartoonist, illustrator and artist-guy (fresh off impressing everyone at ComicCon) for a freebie. Not that I haven’t done that before, and not that I wouldn’t have gone ahead and done it anyway even if I had known. After all, how could I NOT ask when he drew such a great, if unintended, endorsement of TDTESSTWTOMD.

Hey – relax. December 10th is almost here and once it’s gone I’ll shut up about TDTESSTWTOMD – at least until I find something else to complain about and bother you all with.

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Click the pic to watch the original movie.

skiffytube copy

Skiffy Tube ups its purity rating this week with a WHOLE DAY! devoted to MOrk & Mindy reruns!


Housekeeping First. There are now some 220+ authors and well over 500 novels, novellas, novelettes and short stories up in the literature section of the Classic Science Fiction Channel. This section of the site contains both the printed and audio word, and there are some VERY fine authors and stories cataloged there. I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting (actually, a colored asterick) favorite authors and stories of particular note. They may be historically significant (Edison’s Conquest of Mars, for example) or personally significant (such as Ted Sturgeon’s The Girl Had Guts: if you want to see a master craftsman at work, let Ted pull you by the nose through this humorous, snappily concluded story…) As usual, all stories are (so far as is ascertainable) legal.


The various selections of pulp magazine covers that I’ve published here over the past several months have been amongst my most popular entries. Particularly the ones that mention sex. As if that were any surprise.

I’d really like to witness the reaction of some pubescent who’s snuck onto the internet and is feverishly looking for the modern day equivalent of Dad’s Playboy hidden-under-the-mattress. What happens when they hit the blog entry for The Top Science Fiction Sex Slaves? Are they disappointed or thrilled? Do those covers now inform their fantasies, or do they curse me to this day for having wasted their ‘personal’ time with drawings of women (and men) who are best described as ‘mostly clothed’? Will some poor soul now grow up with a fetish for robots and rayguns? (“Honey, will you for once put the damn Buck Rogers water pistol down and look at ME!”)

One wonders, one does.

This morning I came up with another subject (not nearly as sexy as SF Chicks with Whips), but something that is important to those who do fetishize the pulp magazines – the collectors. I’ve put together a list of the top ten collectible SF pulps – magazines that because of rarity or historical signifigance are the objects of desire for those of us who love the smell of pulp and dust.

If you want to see them though, you’re going to have to click on through to the self-hosted version of the blog. Which brings me to another housekeeping point: will you people PLEASE update your feeds to at least include the new version? I’m still getting twice as many visits on the old blog as on the new. If I’m missing some easy way to get you all to do this, please slap me upside the head with the information.

Thank you.

And now – The Top Ten Collectible Science Fiction Magazines:

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sauce and stove


see more

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Click the pic to WATCH the original


Bill the SciFi guy has an excellent piece commenting on Biology in SF’s poll concerning the intersection between science and science fiction. This is an academic exercise and pretty straight forward – until you get to IO9’s butting in on the subject.

Read about more stupidity! Look at pics of almost nekkid ladies! Watch village idiots looking at pictures of nekkid ladies!

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One of the sites I visted this morning reproduces Well’s novel along with the original illustrations by Warwick Goble.

I saw this illustration (releasing the black smoke)


and I was immediately reminded of the Frank R Paul cover illustrating the same story for Amazing Stories magazine –


So much so in fact that I photoshopped the two together for a side-by-side comparison –

wotw comparison

Go look at the Goble image in the mirror and place it next to the Paul cover.

The similarities are pretty striking.

Wondering about this (perhaps more than the invested time would seem to warrant), I got in touch with Frank Wu, artist and curator of the official Frank R. Paul website. Frank and I have done a little corresponding via email regarding fannish and artistic thingies in the past (trying to identify if a painting is in fact an original Paul, for example) and the guy is just a font of wisdom – especially when it comes to Frank R. Paul.

I received this little piece of historical goodness in reply to my query:

“I’d noticed that, too, but hadn’t really thought much about it. I haven’t read anything about how Paul came about to paint it, either. One interesting thing, though, is that this is an early piece (1927) and he’d been doing Amazing covers for a year (since April 1926), and in the years before Paul did this piece, he’d been doing other stuff for Hugo Gernsback, rising up through he ranks of Hugo’s artists. And on a lot of projects Paul and other artists (like Howard Brown) would work from the same design, and one guy would do the cover art and another artist would do an interior art piece – from the same design. This happened a lot in earlier Gernsback magazines like Science and Invention.”

So it is entirely possible that the man who practically invented science fiction illustrating was at least inspired by the Warwick Goble illos.

Brianna – Frank’s wife (that’s Wu this time) recently completed (with a little help from Frank) a new illustration for Mike Glyer’s File 770, which you can check out here.

Mike (no Frank or Wu) is justifiably proud of HIS wife’s recent release of her Hugo winning work The Company They Keep, and Frank (back to Wu), would like everyone to take a look at his animated short – soon to be a major motion picture – Guidolon The Giant Space Chicken.

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Well, the paintball website was up and operation for half the weekend, but now it seems our old nemesis DOSATTAK is back.  It never ends.

On a more positive note, I’m closing in on finishing up the rim worlds site re-do. I’ve got about a day of links to finish up on the magazine section, some fiddling with the Chandler section and then I can start working on the ads – ad words and ebay affiliate stuff.

Then we’ll see how traffic does, maybe jigger a few things and, after that, start sending out solicitations for the in-house ads.

Speaking of pulps – BACK TO THE COVERS!

A little while back I offered the seminal Scantily Clad Woman in Peril, an illustration from the first issue of Tops In Science Fiction Magazine.

Now it’s time to really kick off the SCWiPreview with a bang, and there’s no pulp magazine that does this concept better than Weird Tales!  Some of these illos are from the inestimable Margaret Brundage, a female artist who definitely seems to have a particular scenario in mind…

I’m particularly astounded (no pun intended) by these covers, many or most of which would be behind plastic and paper wraps, behind the counter if on display on today’s newstands.  If WalMart had been distributing Weird Tales today, they’d have yanked it from the racks.  Amazing that nearly a century ago, near naked women in S&M scenes were considered so commonplace that they were free for the viewing to anyone walking down the street.  Raises all kinds of questions regarding freedom of speech, so-called ‘community standards’ and what-all. 

REALLY makes me wonder when the thought-police squads are going to get around to charging some of the pulp magazine websites: I don’t see a single ‘of-age’ notice, nor do I see any attempts to keep such ‘filth’ out of the hands of minors…

But reading my ramblings is not what you’re here for, so, to the cover!

April 1927

April 1927

Hey, yo!  You’re supposed to bonk her on the head with the club and then drag her back to the cave by her hair! 

October 1927

October 1927

 “It IS the latest fashion from Paris. It’s SUPPOSED to fall off like that!”

June 1929

June 1929

I think I just saw the exact same thongs in a Fredericks of Hollywood catalog…

July 1929

July 1929

Here, revealed for the first time ever, George Lucas’ inspiration for the ‘Leia as Jabba the Hut’s slave girl’ scene.  Lucas’ own script notes detail the decision to render Jabba and his entourage as aliens rather than humans.

October 1932

October 1932

Brass brassieres. Given the current situation, I think a cuirass would have been more appropriate, but not nearly as enticing.

June 1933

June 1933

Honey, when that stone god awakes, I don’t think you’re gonna be getting what you’re looking for.
This is a Brundage cover. While I haven’t researched this one in particular, she was notorious for requiring a bit of airbrushing to her anatomically correct figures.
April 1934

April 1934

“Where the white women at? Oh, there they are!”
I bet this one just drove the clan crazy, huh?
November 1935

November 1935

Not to be outdone, Steven Spielberg sought out his won Weird Tales covers to be inspired by. This one turned out to be the genesis for the “Snakes, I hate snakes!” scenes from Indiana Jones.
March 1936

March 1936

Another Brundage, and another whip.  This style of cover would later be rendered on the covers of True Crime and Confession pulps with live models.
May 1938

May 1938

You know, it’s ALWAYS the barefoot ones that get tied up.  Maybe this is the reason so many women have a thing for shoes. It’s security, not fashion!
You can find a very fine display of all of the Weird Tales covers here.  And more information on Margaret Brundage here.

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