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Volume 0979

Original Pencil Drawings from
Under The Moons Of Mars
Scott Beachler

Scott Beachler has created 13 black and white illustrations and a full color cover for the Bison Books' edition of UNDER THE MOONS OF MARS which consists of the first three John Carter of Mars books (PRINCESS OF MARS, GODS OF MARS, and WARLORD OF MARS). In this edition of ERBzine, Scott shares rare, previously unpublished, original pencil illustrations from this Mars project.


I was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1957 and moved to Iowa when I was four years old. My most vivid memories as a four year old were watching KING KONG and seeing the "Wolfman" for the first time in ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTIEN on television.  This forever imprinted on my psyche my enormous love for Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction.  A couple of years later I would spend most of my time watching Johnny Weissmuller and Johnny Sheffield on the 4:00 movie.  TARZAN, BOMBA THE JUNGLE BOY, and JUNGLE JIM became very close friends of mine.  My introduction into reading and drawing came from looking at the pictures of my older brother's comic books.  I loved to sit for hours and draw my favorite comic book characters.  I would take regular trips to the Drug Store to buy my comic books.  I would always stop to peruse through the paperback bookracks to look at the terrific paperback book cover art.  I fell in love with James Bama's DOC SAVAGE, and discovered Frank Frazetta and Roy G. Krenkel for the first time. I think it was at this time that I realized that I wanted to be an artist.  This is also when I learned that TARZAN wasn't a character created for the movies by Edgar Rice Burroughs, but the star of several books. I soon realized that TARZAN wasn't the only character that Burroughs created.  I soon discovered John Carter's Mars and the interior world of Pellucidar.

After I finished High School, my father was transferred to Wichita, Kansas.  I had gone one year to Wichita State University when I heard that famous cartoonist Joe Kubert had started an art school.  This was very exciting to find out.  Joe Kubert the artist of SGT. ROCK, ENEMY ACE, and TARZAN was now running a school for aspiring comic book artists.  I had to go!  I was one of a bunch of second year students to attend the school.  One of my roommates the first semester was Tom Yeates (Yes! that Tom Yeates).  Tom was one of the first year students. After I graduated,  I was kind of disillusioned with the comic book industry and I moved back to Omaha,  Nebraska (my parents had moved back to Omaha while I was going to school in New Jersey).

I spent 5 years in the printing industry, 5 years in the advertising industry,  and for the last 14 years I've been the Senior Designer for a statewide PBS station in Lincoln Nebraska. The station is owned and opererated by the University of Nebraska.  My job consists of a wide variety of duties, but my strengths are in animation (2D and 3D), illustration, and design.  I got involved with the Bison Frontiers of Imagination book line (part of the University of Nebraska Press) through my good friend Tom Floyd.  Tom has done book covers and illustrations for the three Burroughs books: PIRATES OF VENUS, THE MOON MAID, and PELLUCIDAR.  He also did the cover for ATLANTIS THE LOST CONTINENT by C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne.  I recently finished 13 black and white illustrations and a full color cover for UNDER THE MOONS OF MARS due out this spring from Bison Books.  It will consist of the first three John Carter of Mars books (PRINCESS OF MARS, GODS OF MARS, and WARLORD OF MARS).

Scott Beachler
Senior Designer NET
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Illustration Descriptions
COVER: Stage One
This is the first stage of the cover painting.  The pencil drawing on illustration board is covered with a watercolor wash in this stage of the painting.  I later went in with an oil wash and pulled out highlights with a kneaded eraser. This is a 3D model of the city of Helium that I built in the 3D program Maya.  I used this for reference for the cover illustration. The buildings are hard to see in the first stage of the painting because I’ve covered them up with a dark blue wash that I later went in and painted over with acrylics.

Dejah and John
The White Apes
Look down at your feet, Dejah Thoris; it lies there now where it has lain since that other night at Korad, and where it will ever lie beating alone for you until death stills it forever. Snatching up his long-sword, I sprang into the arena. The apes were almost upon the maidens, but a couple of mighty bounds were all my earthly muscles required to carry me to the centre of the sand-strewn floor.

Phaidor Attacks
The River
Suddenly beyond her I saw the beautiful face of Phaidor contorted into an expression of malign hatred. The black was standing upon the ledge beside his boat, looking up the river, as though he were awaiting one whom he expected from that direction.

Kaol Hornet
The Magnet
Frightful jaws in front and mighty, poisoned sting behind made my relatively puny long-sword seem a pitiful weapon of defense indeed.  Nor could I hope to escape the lighting-like movements or hide from those myriad facet eyes which covered three-fourths of the hideous head, permitting the creature to see in all directions at one and the same time. The shaft was a mighty magnet, and when once a vessel came within the radius of its powerful attraction for the aluminum steel that enters so largely into the construction of all Barsoomian craft, no power on earth could prevent such an end as we had just witnessed.

Jeddaks of Barsoom
Unused Illustration: Waiting
“Judges” he said, “there can be but one verdict.  No longer may John Carter be Prince of Helium” –he paused– "but instead let him be Jeddak of Jeddaks, Warlord of Barsoom!”
John and Tars are waiting for the Banths to be released in the chamber in which they are imprisoned.  I decided not to use this illustration because I changed the way I wanted the Tharks to look, and I wanted John Carter's harness to look less futuristic and more nostalgic looking.

Not included here are the three illustrations in “Princess” and the two in “Gods”
that Scott sold at the Dum-Dum 2002 Convention.

Online Purchase of
Under the Moons of Mars
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
With an introduction by James P. Hogan
Illustrations by Scott Beachler

Volume 0979

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