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Volume 0359

1. Memoirs of Mars by F.X. Blisard

Memoirs of Mars
Original Artwork
by F.X. Blisard

Commentary by David Adams

Mr. Blisard presents a neat little package of pencil sketches, pen-and-ink studies, storyboard layouts, etc. on various sci-fi/fantasy favorites.  Most of his work here is inspired by the Barsoomian novels of ERB.

This is a mixed bag, running from quick sketches to rather finished drawings.  From the dates on the pictures, we can see that he is showing a wide range of his work, some of it as early as the 1960ís. 

The main thing that strikes me about Frankís drawings are the great number of angles and poses with which he draws his human and alien figures.  Some of it obviously is experimental, that is, he is an artist who is taking chances and learning his craft. 

Iím glad to see these drawings thrown together helter skelter.  I know how this mixture comes about, as I too have sent batches of things to Bill by going through my sketchbooks and photocopying things at random.  The main thing is that Frank is daring enough to share his work with us, and we are richer for seeing this side of his many talents.

The more I look at Frankís work, the more I like it.  His quick sketches appeal to me for their freedom of execution.  I find a flair for the whimsical in some of these drawings, a trait that every artist needs.  I donít know how these pictures were cropped after execution, but I do like the way he is able to fill the canvas top to bottom and side to side.

Some of my favorites are the rather horsy thoats with their twisting necks (1, 39, 6, 7), the leaning John Carter (19), the lovely bird-riding warrior (35), and the warrior with the axe at the end of the series (37).  Again, the number of poses with warriors with swords is remarkable.  My favorite is the warrior with two hands on the sword facing the pointed eared giant (12). 

I suppose it might be a good idea for some of us artists to trade sketches sometime.  I have a nice collection of things from my brother, Duane, but I havenít really made the effort to collect much original art.  I have tons of pen and ink sketches without a home, and recently I have gone back to my first love -- watercolors.  Oil paintings are the next thing on my horizon since I havenít worked in this medium for many years, however, I do have a mean brush waiting for the world.

I really liked your work, Frank.  You have loads of talent, and I am happy to write this little review per your request.  I downloaded and printed these drawings in 9 pages.  ERBzin-e Issue 349 is a winner!  Good job Frank and Bill for offering a view of some unique art studies related to our favorite writer, Edgar Rice Burroughs. 

Nkima
April 28, 2000 

38: To Infinity...and Beyond!
38: To Infinity...and Beyond!
39: Escape From Thark
39: Escape From Thark
02: Thermopylae
02: Thermopylae
.
03: The Martian Longsword Is Virtually Useless At Such Close Quarters.
03: The Martian Longsword Is Virtually 
Useless At Such Close Quarters.
04: Once Again, the Lesser Gravity of Mars Came to My Aid....
04: Once Again, the Lesser Gravity of Mars
Came to My Aid....
05: Nearly Naked Swordsman Balancing Dinosaur Egg On Forearm
05: Nearly Naked Swordsman 
Balancing Dinosaur Egg On Forearm
06: Thark on Thoat
06: Thark on Thoat
07: Steady, Big Fella!
07: Steady, Big Fella!
08: Over My Dead Body!
08: Over My Dead Body!
09: Crashing the Party
09: Crashing the Party
10: The Zodangan Waltz
10: The Zodangan Waltz
11: Dress Rehearsal for The Zodangan Waltz
11: Dress Rehearsal for The Zodangan Waltz
12: Hal Foster on Barsoom
12: Hal Foster on Barsoom
13: Twang!
13: Twang!
14: Calvary's Summit
14: Calvary's Summit
15: Just Horsing Around
15: Just Horsing Around
16: Anybody Seen My Helmet?
16: Anybody Seen My Helmet?
17: Thermopylae or Bust
17: Thermopylae or Bust
18: Thark on Duty
18: Thark on Duty
22: Generic Warrior #999
22: Generic Warrior #999
20: Fall of the First Born
20: Fall of the First Born
23: The Amusements of Tharna
23: The Amusements of Tharna

21: Cornered in Korad19: In the Valley Dor
21: Cornered in Korad    ~    19: In the Valley Dor

24: En Garde!
24: En Garde!
25: The Roblest Noman
25: The Roblest Noman
26: Conquistador
26: Conquistador
27: Thark on Last Legs
27: Thark on Last Legs
28: Male model, Quick-Sketch Class, Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, Summer 1969.2
8: Male model, Quick-Sketch Class, 
Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, Summer 1969.
29: In Homage to Bob Abbett.
29: In Homage to Bob Abbett.
.
30: Thark On Drugs
30: Thark On Drugs
31: I Follow Thee - Hamlet V:ii:321
31: I Follow Thee - Hamlet V:ii:321
32: Achaean Spy
32: Achaean Spy
.
33: Come Back Tomorrow--The Wizard Is Busy!
33: Come Back Tomorrow
The Wizard Is Busy!
34: Sola's Story
34: Sola's Story
35: Tarnsman's Dream Date
35: Tarnsman's Dream Date
36: Denouement
36: Denouement
37: Conan the Railsplitter
37: Conan the Railsplitter
Copyright 2000 Frank X. Blisard
Most of these pieces are the products of a fevered adolescence (mine), the sole exception being the title-page illustration, which was executed a few years ago, at the onset of my own particular midlife crisis.  One striking difference between then and now, obvious as hell to me, is the calming presence of the heroine...the sense of balance finally achieved (Yin/Yang?) ...the deliberate distancing of the subject from the jagged prison without walls.

After decades of separation from the Burroughsian wellspring, I awoke to find myself enmeshed in my own real-life adventure, for which the classic tales of Homer and his latter-day disciples provide the perfect paradigm.

The heroism of ordinary people--one's spouse, one's children, one's associates--is, I am convinced, the one true and universal subject of the storyteller's art.

F.X.Blisard
May 1, 2000
Frank and family in 1989Frank and family in 1999
About the Artist: Frank X. Blisard
 
Editor's Note
Be sure to read Frank's exciting
ERB-Pastiche Time-Travel Novel ~ 
Jack O'Time
currently being serialized in ERBzine

Frank's Tarzan vs Tarzan articles ~ Parts I, II & II

Find the Locations in the Blisard Directory at:
ERBzine 0457

More ERBzine Webpages by Frank Blisard
ERBzine 0457 MEET FRANK X. BLISARD: Bio ~ Photos ~ Contents
ERBzine 0291 Tarzan vs Tarzan I
ERBzine 0292 Tarzan vs Tarzan II
ERBzine 0293 Tarzan vs Tarzan III
ERBzine 0286 Disney's Multicultural Gold (Tarzan vs Tarzan IV)
ERBzine 0359 Memoirs of Mars ~ Blisard Art & Nkima Commentary
ERBzine 0280 JACK OF TIME: ERB Time Shift Novel Intro


Volume 0359

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