I’ve always enjoyed adventure.
Although I have had a few in real life, the majority of my greatest adventures were found between the pages of books or on the big and small screen. I’ve traveled to strange new worlds, braved tests of strength and nobility, and even gotten the girl a time or two. All of these were spurned onward by these tales of derring-do that ignited my imagination.
For me, it started in the comics—Spider-man to be specific. In our first outing together, the wall-crawler and I were shackled to a bomb along with our nemesis, Daily Bugle publisher and all around pain in the butt, J. Jonah Jameson. Then, we fought The Fly at the Natural Museum of History, and fell head over heels for a cat burglar named Felicia. That’s the rundown of Amazing Spider-man issues 192, 193, and 194, by the way, the first comic books I can remember owning as a child.From comics, I found paperbacks, most notably a Han Solo adventure and mysteries solved by young Encyclopedia Brown. From there, it was on to Conan, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and Tarzan.
That’s the long way of saying that I love a good science fiction adventure.
And that brings me to Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Whether he took us on a journey to the deepest jungles of Tarzan’s Africa, the red mountains of Barsoom with John Carter, or Pellucidar with David Innes and Abner Perry, author Edgar Rice Burroughs took me, and countless others on many an adventure.
When the opportunity came along to join artist Jamie Chase on a graphic novel adaptation of ERB’s At The Earth’s Core for Sequential Pulp Comics and Dark Horse Comics, I jumped at it. I was a latecomer to the project after the original writer had to bow out. I quickly dove into a re-read of the novel we were adapting and fell in love with Pellucidar all over again. I remembered the major beats of the story, but it had been over thirty years since I read it originally that some of the details were a little off center in my memory. It didn’t take long to catch up though. One of Burroughs’ strengths as a writer is keeping things moving. Sure, there are big chunks of time that pass in the narrative, but he plows right on through to keep the story progressing.
For those not familiar with the novel, the movie, or any of the adaptations of it, At The Earth’s Core is the story of David Innes and Abner Perry. Together, in a newly designed vehicle they dubbed The Iron Mole, the adventurers set off beneath the earth’s crust in search of oil and precious minerals they can mine. When the Mole goes off course, they are certain that their days are numbered as they pass through layers of blistering heat and bone-numbing cold. The last thing either of them expected to find was a paradise at the center of the planet with the Earth’s core as the sun, keeping it constantly noon in this world they learned was called Pellucidar.
As harrowing as the adventure to get there, the real story begins once they reach Pellucidar and discover ancient beings, intelligent telepathic Mahars, a holdover from when dinosaurs roamed the surface, and the ape-like Sagoths who serve as their enforcers. There are also humans there, enslaved, of course by the cruel Mahars. That’s where David meets Dian the Beautiful.
One of the great joys of working in comics if collaborating with artist. There are few things as exciting as seeing pages of art in my inbox. They are rarely exactly what I expect, but I am always fascinated by the different ways in which artists interpret things. Working with Jamie Chase on this graphic novel, and the sequel, which is currently in production, has been nothing short of a joy. Like me, Jamie is a fan of the source material and wants to do justice to this world created long before either of us were born. Staying true to the spirit of the original was also important to Sequential Pulp’s Michael Hudson and our Dark Horse editors, Patrick Thorpe and Everett Patterson. I think we succeeded. Hopefully, readers will feel the same way. Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote seven novels taking place in Pellucidar. It is my fondest hope that Jamie and I get the opportunity to adapt them all.
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ At The Earth’s Core graphic novel is now on sale in standard hardcover ($14.99) and limited edition hardcover ($49.99) wherever comic books and graphic novels are sold, including comic shops, book stores, and on-line retailers. I hope you’ll check it out. There are also links posted at www.bobbynash.com as well.
I know Tom probably wasn’t expecting me to ramble this long, but I’m excited by this project. Big thanks to Mr. Deja for allowing me to hijack the Nocturne Travel Agency’s site to shamelessly plug our book. Make sure you check out his offerings as well. It is some good reading.
As for me, I’m off to my next adventure…
Just as soon as I can remember where I parked that darn Iron Mole.
Somewhere above the Earth’s Core