I have mentioned in the past that it was Michael Moorcock who instilled in me a love of fantasy, and that it was Edgar Rice Burroughs who instilled in me an everlasting and insatiable love of reading. Those who have seen my overflowing book shelves, and my large storage unit filled with books and games, might find the fact that I once claimed that English was my least favorite subject due to all the reading a little incredible.
...seriously, who has a storage unit filled with books and games?...
Of all of Burroughs tales, it was his wonderful John Carter Planetary Romances that sparked my imagination to wonder at distant shores. It was these books that gave me an insatiable hunger to experience that kind of escape and profound sense of greatness. It wasn't that Burroughs wordsmithery was profoundly great and beautiful. It was his ability to convey just enough information for your own mind to create that sense of wonder that kept me coming back.
The John Carter stories -- with their stilted Edwardian/Victorian morality -- provided an interesting and valuable look at love and courage. It was a point of view that was often lacking in much of the fiction of the my youth, which was more jaded and more realistic in the presentation of relationships.
Even Elric -- tragic, ironic, sardonic, immoral, cynical, despicable as he is -- is a student of John Carter when it comes to love. His love for Cymoril, and his remorse over her death, echo Carter's love. No man can love a woman as much as Carter loves Dejah Thoris, and maybe no man should, but it makes for wonderful romance.
By the looks of the preview, the upcoming Disney film manages to capture some of the wonder and romance of the Burroughs tales in addition to all of the action. If the preview is any indication, the film also manages to capture the feel of the alien yet familiar geography of Barsoom. Disney's John Carter doesn't look like "my" imagined one -- which was heavily Michael Whelan influenced -- but it does capture my imagination.
I have high hopes for this film.