I (Richard) started kicking around adapting A Princess of Mars several years ago.  It’s taken me longer to get the PoM web comic off the ground than it did Disney to produce their film adaptation.  This thing has made it through two writers who backed out (for various, often legitimate reasons), a format change, a change in art style, a health scare, and initial divorce proceedings. It only exists because I am stubborn, and I love the source material.

So, having lost my writers, I stopped trying to find one and started adapting it myself.

Now, I do have a degree in English, but I wouldn’t call myself a writer by any stretch. I’m an artist, ergo my adaptation of this public domain work. But my whole reason for doing this web comic, to be honest, is for myself.  It’s been a long time since I’ve produced a lot of sequentials, and I want to flex those muscles and become a better sequential storyteller. So I might as well flex the scripting muscles as well, since the plot is handled for me already. I hope (a lot) that others read and enjoy the adaptation, but my primary audience is myself and anyone who wants to provide well thought-out criticism.  I just hope my weaknesses in one area don’t flat-out cripple my efforts in the other.

Publication

The A Princess of Mars web comic is slated to be published weekly, on Tuesdays.   I’ve already scripted out the first chapter, so at this stage it’s drawing and inking and coloring.  It’s entirely possible I’ll miss a week every now and then — this doesn’t pay, and in fact I’m paying to do it (everything from the domain, to hosting, to TAB’s beautiful colors). So paying illustration work has to come first. My hope is that we’ll get some fan art sporadically to post as well, because that sort of thing is a lot of fun and can be held on to for those weeks I may need a break.

Adaptation

I think it probably goes without saying that I’m doing this without any kind of consultation with the Burroughs estate. It’s free, the original is out of copyright, and I’m going to make this as faithful an adaptation as I can, while embracing the fact that a century-old pulp novel and a web comic are two completely different mediums.  The plan is to include ALL of the original text adapted in the strip in the transcript of the comic.  This should give a direct point of comparison for those interested.  Also, I’ll be sure to talk (sometimes extensively) in the blog about my decisions, what I left out, and what I change.

The Whole Novel?

That’s the plan.  Well, let me elaborate.  The whole first chapter – On the Arizona Hills – is a definite.  Based upon readership and feedback, I’ll continue beyond that point. If not, I’ll probably move on to adapting some Sherlock Holmes or H.P. Lovecraft.

My personal goal, though, is to first get Carter to Mars.  If you all are happy, then if I can just get this to the point that I can illustrate the Plant Men of Barsoom in Gods of Mars, I’ll consider this project a rousing success.