Thursday, January 20, 2011

A World to Conquer

Michael Whelan is another wonder of the modern fantasy art world. One of the 7 wonders? We'll have to see, down the road aways.

A number of modern illustrators have delivered wondrous visions of the Edgar Rice Burroughs realms. But Whelan set the bar pretty high when he painted his set of Barsoomian covers for the Del Ray version of the John Carter series.

This wrap-around cover of A Princess of Mars is among my favorites of all time, if nothing more than for the sheer heroic posturing—but of course Deja Thoris might have something to do with it.

Above, the painting beautifully unencumbered with type elements.

Above, the painting beautifully encumbered with type elements.

Above, the gorgeous preliminary drawing.

Above, some preliminary designs.

Above, some character workups.


Phobos-Romulus said...

On the topic of John Carter and Barsoom, have you ever seen Bernie Wrightson's Tars Tarkas? I know for sure that you can find it in his "A Look Back", but it's cropped. But it's quite possibly my favorite depiction of the Thark.

Awesome blog, been watching it for a while!

Edo Bosnar said...

Thanks for posting these - I haven't seen that cover in ages, and I really loved all of the Whelan covers to Burroughs' Martian paperbacks. I think Whelan was to John Carter of Mars what Frazetta was to Conan: he really defined the look of that whole world and all of its characters.

Anonymous said...

I just added your feed to my favorites. I really enjoy reading your posts..

LC Douglass said...

Wow, that's breathtaking!

M. D. Jackson said...

I have two of Whelan's art books (Wonderworks & Works of Wonder) both are a little dog-eared. I try to be careful. but it's hard when I spend hours with them examining each and every page in minute detail.

 Damon Orrell said...

It's great seeing the preliminary work, way cool. Now I'm curious where you dug those up?

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Whelan has several beautiful art books published.

Unca Jeffy said...

I could eat this stuff with a big ol' spoon.

Li-An said...

I'm not a great fan of Whelan but this picture is gorgeous.