Thursday, October 4, 2012

Life on Mars

I'm a huge Edgar Rice Burroughs fan, so despite the fact  I hadn't heard of this new adaptation of A Princess of Mars, until I ran across it in my local comic shop, I was very excited to read it. And I wasn't disappointed.  Adapted by Ian Edginton and illustrated by INJ Culbard, and is a pretty straight forward, loyal adaptation, done with deceptive care.

Ian Culbard is the artist on The New Deadwardians, for Vertigo. Imagine vampires and zombies on Downton Abbey. I'm already looking forward to the trade collection coming out soon.

I picked it up in the store because I'm a sucker for anything ERB, to be sure but the art was gorgeous, it had a sort of Mike Allred quality, simple, clean lines, beautifully crafted. The art itself pulls off another neat trick as well. Nudity is a big part of the original novels, and most comic adaptations as well as the recent film adaptation, choose to ignore this, if only to avoid controversy. Especially for an action adventure story meant for young adults. But this adaptation stays very true to the novels including the nudity in the elegant simplicity of the art, not conveniently cropped, no, it's just simply not the slightest bit gratuitous. And the character designs, specifically the green Martians, despite the simplicity of the art, hide a complexity and sophistication that becomes more obvious on reading. The Martian characters are each unique and distinct while still maintaining a consistent racial, and physical make-up. In fact all the creatures of Barsoom are some of the more interestingly designed versions than in any comic adaptation before. Most of which have been reprinted very recently.

A Princess of Mars: A Graphic Novel, Adapted by Ian Edginton and illustrated by INJ Culbard.  A great, thoughtful adaptation, of an often imitated classic, and a fun read for any genre fans but a must have for any Burrough's fan.

(Join our discussion on the League boards).

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