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ALT: Volume 1301
A Graphic Interpretation of
Edgar Rice Burroughs' 
A Princess of Mars
James Killian Spratt.
(1950 - 2015)
Read the original ERB text in the
ERBzine ERB Bibliography Feature at:

Poster | Wall | Card | Thumbnail

ERBzine 1301: Intro & Contents
A Princess of Mars Illustrated
ERBzine 1302: Intro & Ch. 1
On the Arizona Hills
ERBzine 1303: Ch. 2
Escape of the Dead
ERBzine 1304: Ch. 3
My Advent On Mars
ERBzine 1305: Ch. 4
A Prisoner
ERBzine 1306: Ch. 5
I Elude My Watchdog
ERBzine 1307: Ch. 6
A Fight That Won Friends
ERBzine 1308: Ch. 7
Child-Raising On Mars
ERBzine 1309: Ch. 8
A Fair Captive From the Sky
ERBzine 1310: Ch. 9
I Learn the Language
ERBzine 1311: Ch. 10
Champion and Chief
ERBzine 1312: Ch. 11
With Dejah Thoris
ERBzine 1313: Ch. 12
A Prisoner With Power
ERBzine 1314: Ch. 13
Love-making On Mars
ERBzine 1315: Ch. 14
A Duel to the Death
ERBzine 1316: Ch. 15
Sola Tells Me Her Story I
ERBzine 1316A: Ch. 15a
Sola Tells Me Her Story II
ERBzine 1317: Ch. 16
We Plan Escape I
ERBzine 1317a: Ch. 16
We Plan Escape II
ERBzine 1318: Ch. 17
A Costly Recapture I
ERBzine 1318a: Ch. 17
A Costly Recapture II
ERBzine 1319: Ch. 18
Chained in Warhoon
ERBzine 1320: Ch. 19
Battling in the Arena I
ERBzine 1321: Ch. 19a
Battling in the Arena II
 ERBzine 1322: Ch. 19b
Battling in the Arena III
ERBzine 1323: Ch. 20
The Atmosphere Factory
ERBzine 1324: Ch. 20a
The Atmosphere Factory II
ERBzine 1325: Ch. 20b
The Atmosphere Factory III
ERBzine 1326: Ch. 21
An Air Scout for Zodanga
ERBzine 1327: Ch. 21a
An Air Scout for Zodanga II
ERBzine 2978: Ch. 21b
An Air Scout for Zodanga III
ERBzine 2979: Ch. 21c
An Air Scout for Zodanga IV
ERBzine 2980: Ch. 22
I Find Dejah
ERBzine 2981: Ch. 22a
I Find Dejah II
ERBzine 2982: Ch. 23
Lost in the Sky
ERBzine 2983: Ch. 23a
Lost in the Sky II
ERBzine 4124: Ch. 24
Tars Tarkas Finds a Friend
ERBzine 4125: Ch. 24a
Tars Tarkas Finds a Friend II
ERBzine 4125: Ch. 24b
Tars Tarkas Finds a Friend III
Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 15a | 16 | 16a | 17 | 17a | 18 | 19 | 19a | 19b | 20 | 20a | 20b
| 21 | 21a | 21b | 21c | 22 | 22a | 23 | 23a | 24 | 24a | 24b |
James Killian SprattKAOR, fellow Barsoomians, and to the rest of you, too.  A few years ago, in a rare mood of elevated clarity, I became aware that the main body of my art works were sculptural, and a days-long dredge through trunks, old sketchbooks, boxes of old stuff, and an inventory of things hanging on the walls revealed not much that impressed me in the way of my drawings and paintings.  I found this a bit surprising, but reminded myself that knowing that you can do something doesn't mean that you've done it;  I've always known I could draw and paint, but obviously I hadn't done much to prove it to anyone outside my own imagination   A sculpture is a real thing, and a drawing or painting is an illusion.  A sculpture is an infinite set of drawings of the same subject, and a  drawing or painting is hopefully the most satisfying view of said subject, or one of them  It is an impossible challenge to say which is the higher craft, so I leave that debate for those who have nothing better to do, and simply point out that, while a sculpture can show all of one thing, 2-D can show the best of one thing, and a lot besides, such as environment, background, atmosphere, lighting, mood, off-the-ground motion and distance.

   So I purchased a truckfull of canvas, stretcher-bars, gesso, good oils and brushes and fixed them all up ready for masterpieces;  they make great movable partitions, and most of them remain, uh, white.  Well, then I got some sketchbooks, in five sizes--huge, large, medium, small and ditzy--and a heap of drawing and inking stuff, and after some experimenting, I found that Meester Sculptor's eye liked the hard outlines of a razorpoint felt tip in jet black, and the five by eight, 220-page hardbound archival sketchbooks. Okay, so I don't really LIKE to draw.

   I filled up a few of the fivebyeights, with single drawings, mostly, some little 2- and 4-page vignettes, short stories, and by book five had begun to like some of my characters well enough to dedicate entire books to graphic novels all about them, gradually learning tricks such as scene transitions, full turnarounds on characters, pivotal moment selection, and starting to love the freedom of the pen.  I was almost prepared to try to illustrate the entirety of one of my favorite stories of all, A PRINCESS of MARS.  Knowing that art is more pleasant and fruitful if permitted to happen, rather than by being made to happen, I drew a deep breath and committed myself to the pages, anxious and excited to see what this magical story would reveal.

 Since I was drawing initially for my own amusement, with no thought of publishing, I pulled all the normal stops and drew the way I imagined the classic story to be written.  The characters are highly underclad, yet oblivious to it; it's their normal way, and they don't see much naughty or titillating about it.  The men are men and the women are women and blood is red and scary.  I set out to be honest with the nudity and violence, and the devil take Pollyanna, she needs to grow up anyway.   A lifetime would be required, in full-sized oils of five thousand panels to truly do justice to the story.  I can't spare that, but I hope you will find the little scenes that I have captured to be at least somewhat rewarding and enjoyable.  You may notice that the captions are paraphrased in places for the sake of brevity, clarity and fluidity, and hope no one minds me taking this small additional liberty.  I hope you enjoy it, and thank you. 

~ James Killian Spratt,

James Killian Spratt
Master Sculptor and ERB Artist
ERBzine 1148: Jetan Artist 
Master Sculptor I
ERBzine 1149: Jetan Artist
Master Sculptor II
ERBzine 1147: Jetan-Sarang
Photos ~ Sketches ~ Moves
Fellow ERB fan -- Dan Nadel -- has shared a PDF file of excerpts from an article published by the European art magazine BLAU discussing the A Princess of Mars art by our longtime contributor James Killian Spratt. I had worked with James for many years and spent countless hours (from 2000-2015) doing ERBzine features on his JETAN (ERB's Martian Chess) sculptures and serializing his graphic adaptation of ERB's A Princess of Mars in Since Internet speeds and storage costs were more restrictive in those early days the first images I displayed were smaller, but as we progressed I increased the size and resolution of this online artwork. 

Along the way I had contacted numerous publishers with hopes of raising interest in print publications of James' work, since I really believed in it. Such efforts, to our disappointment, were without success. The stumbling block seemed to be the excessive and exaggerated nudity in the images of this copyrighted material. Facebook and other Web sources also had policies that restricted the display of such nudity but fortunately they must have recognized the artistic quality of what we were doing and ERBzine received no complaints from readers or the Internet hosts. 

Near the end of his life James' submissions slowed down. Shortly before he passed away he had called to indicate that he had finished another PRINCESS chapter and was hoping to complete the final 4 chapters. Sadly, I never received it and I lost all contact with his family. James' work had developed an avid following, but I was unable to fulfill their requests for more of his art. One ERB/Spratt fan was Dan Nadel who was able to make contact with the Spratt family. In the summer of 2022 he sent the following letter with a PDF attachment:

Hi Bill, 
Following our previous correspondence about James Killian Spratt’s John Carter artwork, I got in touch with his son, Aaron. We worked together to get a little more out in the world. Attached is a PDF of a Spratt feature in Blau International, an art magazine based in Berlin. The Blau images in the PDF are from two-page spreads, so the designer intentionally cut off images so that we could run as much as possible at the size it was drawn. The notebooks are safe with his son, Aaron. We’ve had them completely photographed so everything is recorded. 
I’d love for ERB fans to know about this pretty luscious printing of the work.

Blau acknowledges ERBzine -- 
the source for the only publication of the Spratt PRINCESS adaptation -
with a single passing reference.
The revue article excerpts from Blau magazine are featured at:

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