There and back again
Or – where the hell is Jeff ? Well, Jeff went to California to see John Carter and pogo around ECOF (Edgar Rice Burroughs fan con ) with his Barsoomian posse. A good time was had. After the ECOF my family and I stayed in LA and played for the rest of the week. So that’s where Jeff has been. Above you can see the wondrous swag hoisted upon us by the ECOF team as well some cool items from Disney that were handed out after the movie.
I arrived mid-day on the friday and seemed to be popular because I had pre-sold copies of my Strange Worlds books that people wanted me deliver to them. The con was shutting down not long after I got there ( I signed and sketched in one book ) but that allowed me to connect with my Barsoomian Posse, all friends I’d made online in the years leading up to this moment. We ate, we drank I made a fool of myself and then fell into bed.
Saturday we mostly all did our own thing. I checked out a cool Harry Potter store in Santa Monica with my family. I took this photo while having lunch and anxiously awaiting the later day – when we’d see John Carter ! I spent the afternoon back at the hotel where I tracked down buyers of my book, signed them and did a little sketch in the front. I also had the opportunity to sign editions of ERB books that I’d illustrated over the years and meet more people that until now had just been names on the chat boards.
Later afternoon we dined with the estimable Jim Thompson, a long time online ERB pal with whom I’d done artwork for a previous with a Moon Maid themed ECOF. Soon we bolted from the restaurant to back across the street ( looking both ways of course ) and boarded our buses to Disney’s Burbank Studios.
The ride took too long and it was dark by the time we got there. They stripped us of our electronics, sprayed and disinfected us and gave us a cool a JOHN CARTER lanyard. Popcorn, drinks and 3D glasses were also supplied. Before the movie we saw a presentation real made to be shown ‘in house’ of JOHN CARTER. It showed some interview stuff we’ve seen before as well design work and FX tests. I liked it, it made me want to see the movie. Fortunately they promptly showed the movie.
This is a shot ( photo by Sue On Hillman that I stole from FaceBook ) of us stumbling out of the theatre. While we were inside Disney had set up tables of goodies which we descended upon like crazed calots. The ride back was much quicker and we fell into the hotel lobby for drinks, raving and being interviewed by Michael Sellers (www.thejohncarterfiles.com ) I’m not sure if I’m looking forward or not to seeing myself on film. I’m sure I raved. Maybe babbled a bit, but that’s who I am… Speaking of who I am, I’m the little guy in the grey jacket beside the pretty one in red.Jeff’s NOT A REVIEW OF HIS VIEWING OF JOHN CARTER. As the movie started I was doing what I’m sure many were doing which was thinking ‘ I can’t believe I’m actually seeing a JOHN CARTER movie – and at the production studio !’ My memory of the film is kind of fuzzy. I came away all grins and ready to watch it again. I was pulled in and engaged, charmed and thrilled throughout. My wife cried at the end. I watched it as and ERB fan, and I watched it as a passive viewer. The ERB fan adored seeing Barsoom onscreen and my beloved characters. I loved the Barsoomian details from the book and I could see the original structure of A Princess of Mars. I had a couple of moments ( what !? ) to changes, but I should have known they would be there. When JC saves Woola from a Thark beating I pulled out for a moment. But for some reason I was aware that white apes were being saved for the arena- I’m not sure where I picked that up. And I would have liked to see JC beat the shit out of a Thark for hitting Dejah, but instead he saves her from going splat – and that puts her in his arms on their very first meeting. Mostly I was a passive viewer, which meant I was immersed and rolled with it. And it’s quite the roller coaster. I’m seeing it again this weekend. Maybe after that I can give a more detailed and organized look at the film.