Hi Elmo: Being a long time ERB fan, I’m delighted to explore this website. A month or so ago I posted an idea on the Take Me Back to Barsoom forum page for a John Carter movie trailer. You had expressed some interest in it so I thought I’d send you a link to the finished product in case you/your fellow bloggers were interested in checking it out. Take Care ! Bruce Kaplan
Very nice job on this, Bruce.
I love this fan trailer. It’s made of awesome. Excellent work, krishnashenoi93.
This mashup video cracked me up.
It’s getting pretty active, with discussions among long-time fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs and fans just discovering the Master of Adventure’s work because of the movie “John Carter.” I think the coolest thing about the movie, despite the poor job Disney did marketing it, is that so many people who saw it without ever having heard of ERB are beginning to discover his rich imagination.
It’s so fantastic to watch as newcomers begin reading the books that captured my imagination long ago. Part of me wishes I could be beginning that journey.
The message board is here.
The Land That Time Forgot is the first book by Edgar Rice Burroughs that I ever read, and it remains among my favorites. One character that always stood out to me was the Airedale terrier of Bowen Tyler Jr., Crown Prince Nobbler. Or Nobs, for short.
Tyler and Nobs were crossing the Atlantic to join the American ambulance service during World War I when they were sidetracked by the ruthless Baron von Schoenvorts and his U-33. An ally as important as any who stormed the German sub, the faithful hound would go on to adventures on Caspak as thrilling as any in the trilogy.
I’ve often thought Nobs deserved his own sequel. It could tell what happened between the time he disappeared from the side of Lys La Rue in the Sto-lu village and when Tom Billings found him among the Kro-lu. How did the scheming Galu, Du-seen, come to temporarily possess him?
It seems Nobs was named after a real dog that was well known in the Chicago area when ERB sat down in Oak Park to write The Lost U-Boat in September of 1917.
I found Nobs’ namesake in the archives of ERB’s favorite newspaper and mine, the Chicago Tribune. Burroughs subscribed to the Trib, sometimes contributing tidbits to columns such as A Line ‘o Type or Two and In The Wake of the News, Irwin Porges tells us in his biography, The Man who Created Tarzan. So there can be little doubt that when he began writing the Caspak adventures, Burroughs had seen a story which appeared in the Sept. 2, 1917 Tribune:
Members of the Western Airedale Terriers Club have offered to the war department twenty of the finest specimens of Airedales in the country for use in the war against Germany and for the establishment of a military kennel like those maintained by the allied armies.
The offer was made to Secretary of War Baker yesterday by William M. Reay, secretary of the Western Airedale Club, and treasurer of the International Harvester Company. The list of fanciers who are willing to give their finest international champions to the war department includes Otto W. Lehmann, Phillip R. Brand, secretary of the Brand Brewing Company; Alex Stewart of Highland Park, owner of international champion Abbey King Nobbler, one of the finest ever imported to this country.
It strikes me as perfectly in keeping with ERB’s sense of humor that he would decide “Abbey King” was just a bit too pretentious. Nobs was demoted to “Crown Prince.”
Airedales were popular at the time that ERB turned his imagination loose upon the lost island of Caprona, or Caspak as its inhabitants call their world of dinosaurs and savage men. Theodore Roosevelt had taken Airedales on his big-game hunting trips, which might have been reason enough for ERB to send Nobs along to that land of Very Big Game.
“The Airedale can do anything any other dog can do, then lick the other dog, if he has to,” Roosevelt once remarked, according to the Southern California Airedale Association’s web site. That site also explains:
World War I brought Airedales to the forefront because of their outstanding service. In Germany, Airedales had been used as police dogs since the turn of the century. As the Great War broke out, the German military chose Airedales over German Shepherds for service as messengers and guards.
The entire British War Dog program was developed by Colonel Edwin Richardson. His preference for Airedales soon made them famous as the first official British war dogs. Through battlefield accounts and wartime posters and sketches, the Airedale became a wartime hero. By 1920 the Airedale Terrier was the most popular breed in the United States and England.
Abbey King Nobbler was famous among dog breeders on both sides of the Atlantic. A short section about him is included in the The Modern Airedale, by W.J. Phillips, published in 1921. (I love Google.)
Phillips was apparently well known in the show-dog world of his day, according to Google Books, which has scanned a sample of his lengthy history of the breed.
He notes that Abbey King Nobbler made his debut at the Crufts Show in London.
“Nobbler did not set the Thames on fire on his first introduction into the charmed circle,” Phillips reports. “However, he was spotted by a few of the ‘heads,’ who immediately got in touch with the owner and breeder …”
Phillips sums up the career of Abbey King Nobbler as a show dog this way:
I place him as one of the best of our modern champions, and he claims a right position along with the “top” Airedales that have made history. As a puppy he was very raw and immature, but with age he gained all the attributes that go to make an ideal Airedale.
In Airedale correctness … King Nobbler, as the model, should fill the bill. It would be superfluous to criticize him minutely.
I am not going to place him as the perfect Airedale, always remembering there are spots on the sun, but he is, in the writer’s opinion, as near perfection as any Airedale of the past decade. He sailed to America unbeatable after his first show, in which country he is equally successful, doing much good for the American breeders generally.
Bowen J. Tyler’s Nobs was also unbeatable, conquering both French maidens and prehistoric beasts.
“What I lack of being a ladies’ man, Nobs certainly makes up for as a ladies’ dog,” Tyler wrote in his manuscript, recounting how Lys La Rue stroked the Airedale’s head as they drifted in a lifeboat.
The old scalawag just closed his eyes and put on one of the softest ‘sugar-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth expressions’ you ever saw and stood there taking it and asking for more. It made me jealous.
“You seem fond of dogs,” I said.
“I am fond of this dog,” she replied.
Crown Prince Nobbler escaped Caspak with his master, and they presumably resumed their interrupted journey to ravaged Europe. After The Land That Time Forgot, The Great War must have seemed tame.
I can find no record of whether Abbey King Nobbler survived that horrible conflict, or if he served his masters as nobly as Tyler’s Crown Prince Nobbler.
The Facebook group Take Me Back to Barsoom. I want a John Carter Sequel! now has a web site. Back to Barsoom
As someone who has been involved with the Burroughs Bibliophiles for many years, it’s really great to see how many other fans of ERB and Barsoom that Andrew Stanton and “John Carter” have brought out of the woodwork. To be sure, many of those fans are Bibliophiles.
But many have never been involved in organized fandom, yet their passion for the Master of Adventure is just as great. Even more exciting is how many there are who have never picked up a book by Burroughs, or even heard of him. And yet, something in his 100 year old story has touched them deeply. It’s wonderful.
Here’s the description on the new web site, which I encourage you to check out:
Our purpose: To help grow the Facebook Group: “Take me back to Barsoom! I want John Carter to have a sequel!” The group was started in the immediate aftermath of the release of John Carter and in less than two weeks (as this is being written) has grown to more than 6,000 members.
This companion site is maintained by members of the group so that:
We can save and display for the public our fan trailers, fan art, fan video – all forms of fan creation.
Provide links to blogs maintained by our members.
Post admin and group announcements
Provide a public blog that will allow our members to post public blog posts about John Carter and the quest for a sequel. These posts will be automatically submitted to all search engines to maxize the number of people who see them — while at the same time they will be posted automatically to our group wall on Facebook. Each post will contain an invitation and link to “Join the Take Me Back to Barsoom! I want John Carter to have a sequel” group on Facebook.
I posted the following in the new forum at The John Carter Files which has become the site to visit for news and views on ERB and what’s happened with the release of the movie. My take on some of the changes made:
I liked including the Therns. Some viewers seem to think the movie made them out to be magical or some such. I don’t see that at all. They used gadgets to float and change shape, just like the medallions were voice-activated teleporters. ERB loaded Barsoom with nifty gadgets — from the directional compass to the cloak of invisibility. My favorite: The Flying Death. Heck, the floating thing is obviously accomplished via some Thern version of an equibilimotor.
I don’t even mind having Therns snooping around Earth and presumably other planets. Once you’ve got all of Barsoom happily floating down the River Iss into your clutches, why not look for some more deluded fools to snare? I know that’s not supposed to be what’s going on … but that’s how I prefer to take it.
“We serve the Goddess,” indeed. Mark Strong delivered that line so perfectly that I could tell Matai Shang didn’t believe a word of it – and I was so looking forward to him meeting Issus in a sequel. (A scene ERB never devised … but I’d trust Stanton, and certainly Strong, with that showdown.)
They’re immortal? Therns lie. John Carter called Matai Shang on it in the movie. I shot one of you bastards back on Earth. They’re not immortal. Nice scene.
I did NOT like having them be from some place other than Barsoom. And the whole “Earth is next” bit just seemed like a lame attempt to engage the audience – which is from Earth!
I still don’t get exactly what the Therns were supposed to be after, despite the too-long “Let me tell you our plan before I kill you” scene. Plundering planets of all their natural resources? With a walking city? To what end? They have the Ninth Ray, what more do they need?
As others have said, they could have come up with a way to make the Atmosphere Plant the driving plot device of the movie, rather than turn Zodanga into a “predator city” gobbling up resources. Maybe the thousand year war between Helium and Zodanga is over dwindling resources on a dying planet. And the Therns have been manipulating that war all along as a way to “thin the herd” to help preserve Barsoom’s resources for the chosen few – Therns. When that doesn’t seem to be moving along fast enough, the Therns begin tampering with the Atmosphere Plant. Or something.
Does anyone else agree with me that John Carter recalling no childhood and always having been a man of about 30 is indeed “canon” in Stanton’s version of Barsoom? You can see and read much of ERB’s first page of John Carter’s manuscript on the screen as “ERB” begins reading the journal. Maybe folks who have actually seen the prop can say if it is word for word the opening. Looks like it on screen.
Others have mentioned my main problems with the movie. The pacing and framing is off. If ERB is reading this in John Carter’s manuscript, how do we get scenes without John Carter in them? The scene between Tardos Mors and Dejah Thoris, while very poignant, seems like it was added to help explain the story. I think I read an interview with Lynn Collins where she said that was one of the re-shoots.
Every time I watch the movie, it just seems like John Carter spends only a couple weeks on Barsoom. Maybe a month, depending on how long he and Sola and Dejah Thoris wandered around in dust storms looking for the Iss. There should have been some kind of montage stretching his time among the Tharks into months, gaining allies and cementing Tal Hajus’ hatred into something more meaningful than “he looks funny.”
It verges on ridiculous that this all happens in ONE DAY: John Carter wakes up in Zondanga, has the great scene with Kantos Kan and leaps a mile or two carrying the Heliumite on his back to have his moment with Dejah Thoris; John Carter has his walkabout with Matai Shang, then escapes to Thark to fight white apes and become jeddak; that evening he leads the entire horde on thoats to Zondanda, finds out he should have gone to Helium, and flies to Helium; he’s followed by green men who have learned to fly; then comes an epic battle that decides a war that has been going on for a thousand years in about 15 minutes; John Carter gets married as medics are tending the wounded, and later that night is zapped back to Earth.
They should have had a montage showing years pass with John Carter as Prince of Helium. The scene where Matai Shang re-appears to finally get rid of this thorn in his side could just as easily have happened several years later. In fact, it would enhance the evil of Matai Shang — who bides his time for revenge. That way I’d also be more comfortable with the non-John Carter scenes being in the movie, because such a lapse of time would have given Dejah Thoris the opportunity to relate these things to her husband.
Fans are starting to weave together great trailers as more footage becomes available, now that the movie has been released. Here’s a really cool one:
Join the facebook group Take me back to Barsoom! I want John Carter to have a sequel!