Posts Tagged ‘jim steranko’
I recently stumbled upon an article in the old Jim Steranko mag Mediascene about two books both the mag and the article refer to as “graphic novels.” It’s in the November/December 1975 issue, three years before Will Eisner’s 1978 A Contract With God. Although the books, one by Richard Corben, King of the Northern Abyss, one by Gil Kane, The Flame Horse, were never published, they apparently were widely advertised as graphic novels and it’s likely Eisner learned about these books on the convention circuit as well as picking up the term that he later used to publicize his own book. The article makes clear both the concept of the graphic novel and the phrase “graphic novel” were very much in the air at the time Eisner was conceiving and working on his book. Even though the books were never published, the y helped put the idea out there. So let’s give credit where credit’s due.
A lot of people are just discovering that animation great Bob Clampbett worked on an aborted John Carter of Mars project way back in 1935, thanks to the Youtube test footage for the cartoon, which originally appeared on the 2000 Beany & Cecil DVD (which, by the way, happens to be one of the all time great DVD’s).
However, many of us learned about this project way back in 1976, courtesy of Jim Steranko’s Mediascene. Issue #21 of the mag was a “special animation issue” which included articles on Chuck Jones, Winsor McCay, Max Flieischer, and other titans of Hollywood cartoons. But the real eye opener for most of us was a giant two page article by Carl Macek which fueled our imaginations with one of the great “what ifs” of animation and film history. As a pull out quote in the article put it: “Had the John Carter series been filmed, the entire focus of animation might have been altered significantly.” It made us realize that just because someone has a great idea, it does not mean that Hollywood will help it become a reality. The story of John Carter made us wonder what other great films remained just dreams in the Hollywood Dream Factory.
Here’s the article. Feel free to click on the images to make them legible.
And here’s the test footage, which, as I already said, originally appeared on the great Beany & Cecil DVD.