Jul 15, 2011

John Carter of Mars

Back in 2007 I was working at American Greetings alongside some extraordinary illustrators and creative thinkers. Back then the Sketch-o-rama blog was a way to vent the creative steam that builds up when your working on say...Care Bears or some such.

We had just heard of the Disney/Pixar John Carter of Mars deal and were psyched at the prospect, so much so that we all did our take on the fearsome Tars Tarkas ( James Groman and Carlos Villagra )

I opted for a longer leaner look for the Thark, less muscle bound than the iconic Frazetta

It seemed to make sense that a 15 foot tall alien will be intimidating regardless of how ripped they were and it helped reinforce a sort of tribal theme I felt tied in well nicely with Burroughs description of the Tharks in "A Princess of Mars".

It was so much fun that I did a few MORE drawings to get the designs out of my system.

Variations on a theme. I moved the tusks from inside the mouth to the outside of the mandible and gave him a ridgy spinal protrusion to balance out the larger, engraved tusks.

I remember trying to find an approach that was true to my vision of the character at the time.

And this is the important part: While that vision might change, it's important to infuse as much of your art with your personal spirit and vision. In the end it's all that matters and will make your art stronger and vastly more appealing than anything conjured up to please someone else.

I spotted this image in a sneak peak article on io9:

                                                                 Tall skinny Tharks!!!

And then this screengrab of the very excellent trailer released yesterday:

I was lucky enough to meet Iain McCaig, Concept Artist, Master Storyteller and all around Force of Nature at this years' Illustration Master Class. During his presentation he talked about working the John Carter of Mars movies. THREE times with THREE different directors.

Ultimately he and his uber talented daughter, Mishi, also worked on this Disney Pixar version.

Can't wait to see it and congrats to all those involved in finally bringing this story to life.

Teaser Trailer

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