Sunday, March 23, 2008

JOHN CLAYTON, LORD GREYSTOKE, TaRzAN


COVER FOR FARMERPHILE NUMBER THREE IN WATERCOLOR, 11X17 INCHES
JOE KUBERT IS THE ONLY CARTOONIST IN RECENT TIMES WHO HAS CAPTURED THE SPIRIT OF THE APEMAN AND DID AN EXTREMELY FAITHFUL ADAPTATION OF THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN PARTICULAR, "TARZAN OF THE APES" AND "RETURN OF TARZAN" (HARDBACK VERSIONS IN THREE VOLUMES AVAILABLE THRU DARKHORSE COMICS). LET'S SEE IF I LEFT ANYBODY OUT---UH, NOPE. BURNE HOGARTH DID A VERY NICE ADAPTION TO "JUNGLE TALES" AND "TARZAN OF THE APES" BUT HE COMPLETELY MISSED THE ATMOSPHERE BURROUGHS ESTABLISHED. BURNE I THINK RIGHTLY SAW THESE STORIES AS MUCH MORE THAN PULP ERB WROTE TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE.THE BEST TARZAN STORIES ED WROTE ARE TRUE MYTHOLOGY WHICH ARE GOING TO BE READ LIKE HOMER'S "ODYSSEY" 500 YEARS FROM NOW.
HAD KEANE AND FRIENDS DONE 2 THINGS WITH THEIR "FILM", THEY WOULD HAVE CLASSIC ART INSTEAD OF A MERE POP TEMPORAL TRIVIALITY (TRYING TO BE NICE HERE): 1) ACTUALLY R-E-A-D THE BOOKS BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I HEARD FILMAKERS WERE GOING BACK TO THE BOOKS AND AFTER SEEING THE FINAL PRODUCT, WONDERED WHAT BOOKS THE WRITERS, DIRECTORS AND PRODUCERS WERE REFERING TO? 2)UNDERSTAND WHEN YOU CALL A FILM BY AN ESTABLISHED BOOK TITLE CHARACTER'S NAME, YOU OWE IT TO THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR AND HIS FANS TO BE FAITHFUL AS POSSIBLE WITHIN THE CONSTRAINTS OF THE MEDIUM YOU ARE TRANSLATING IT IN. YES, VIRGINIA, SOMETIMES YOU DO HAVE TO "ABRIDGE" A CLASSIC TEXT TO MAKE IT WORK. BUT---YOU DONT HAVE TO CREATE WHOLE NEW CHARACTERS AND WHOLE NEW MAJOR PLOT SCENERIOS.THIS FILM OWES MORE TO CYRIL HUME AND W.S. VAN DYKE THAN TO ED'S 24 AND A HALF BOOKS.WHY IS THAT? YOU DONT HAVE TO USE SOME CHARACTER'S NAMES AND GIVE THEM COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES (TERK AS AN EXAMPLE JANE'S WOULD-BE RAPIST IN THE BOOK IS SOMEHOW TURNED INTO AN ANDROGENOUS PURPLE GORILLA IN THE ANIMATION BRILLIANTLY PORTRAYED BY ROSIE O'DONNELL). YOU DONT HAVE TO HAVE TARZAN "RAISED BY GORILLAS"(IF THIS COMMENT CONFUSES YOU, READ THE 1ST BOOK AT LEAST).
FILMATION'S FIRST SEASON OF TARZAN FROM THE 70'S HAD ALMOST GOTTEN RIGHT.I'M KIND OF AFRAID TO GO BACK AND LOOK AT THESE THOUGH!

1 comment:

Chris said...

"FILMATION'S FIRST SEASON OF TARZAN FROM THE 70'S HAD ALMOST GOTTEN RIGHT.I'M KIND OF AFRAID TO GO BACK AND LOOK AT THESE THOUGH!"

That is *exactly* how I feel about the Filmation Tarzan. My memory tells me the series was very good (use of mangani language, plot elements interspersed from the books, etc.), but I am very fearful of going back and discovering the contrary.

I heard Disney just got the rights to do live action Barsoom films. I'd much prefer that no one turn those books into movies. Ever.

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