D is for Dejah Thoris
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
This week’s AlphaBooks entry is from a book that I read only a month or two ago. I highly enjoyed both the 100 year old original novel and the recent, far from perfect but unfairly lambasted John Carter movie. In the movie, Princess Dejah Thoris is a bad-ass, tough as nails, scientist princess (which was maybe a step too far in making her more modern and self-reliant) whereas in the book she’s a bit more of a damsel in distress even though she never really acts that way. She’s pretty strong-willed and proud. She’s also completely naked throughout the entire book because…well, this was a fantasy novel for young males, after all. The way Burroughs writes her and describes her – through John Carter’s eyes – makes most guys want to fall in love with her too. I actually felt much more actual chemistry between the two characters in the book then I did in the film.
I modeled this drawing somewhat off of this fantastic Dave Cockrum cover from the old John Carter Warlord of Mars comic. I’ve never read the comic myself but to me this is the perfect Dejah Thoris drawing and it was hard to not just copy the damn thing completely.
By the way, ever since reading the book, I’ve been “pinning” lots of vintage and contemporary John Carter artwork to this board on Pinterest if you want to check it out. Some great stuff by people like Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo.