Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Favorites

What does Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena” mean when taken in the context of his entire “Citizenship in a Republic” speech from which it is excerpted?

When I was a senior in High School, I was a football player who was fortunate enough to be considered for scholarships by a handful of colleges, including Brown University in Rhode Island. I liked Brown . . . it was Ivy League…

Remembering My Songwriting Hero John Stewart on What Would Have Been His 72nd Birthday

Today is the fourth anniversary of the death of John Stewart, the legendary songwriter who inspired me on more levels that I can begin to explain. He left us in 2008 but he’s not gone: his voice, his spirit and his ideas continue.…

A Lifetime Love of Fishing and the Sea

Reprinted from MichaelDSellers.com The deep and mystical allure of fishing has been with me since I can remember.   I’ve loved the mere presence of the ocean — I could stare at for hours, and be nurtured by it, and calmed by it.…

A warrior-poet who honored his enemy, fallen and forgotten in Mindanao in 1913, remembered a century after his death

Reprinted from MichaelDSellers.com Those fallen in battle on either side of a conflict always have a story, and most of those stories are quickly lost and soon forgotten.  One story worth remembering of a hero who understood and honored his enemy is that of…

Poet Aydah Al Aarawi Al Jahani’s Extraordinary and Courageous Voice

Reprinted from MichaelDSellers.com In America we have American Idol — but far more profound is Millions Poet, Abu-Dhabi TV’s equivalent competition in which contestants declaim poetry and vie for a five million draheem prize. This season an extraordinary Saudi poetess, Ayda Al-Jahani, has…

Death of Gentle Slugger Harmon Killebrew Brings a Flood of Memories and a Whiff of Mortality

Reprinted from MichaelDSellers.com It’s a rainy Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles and I am beset by a mountain of problems, deadlines, tasks unfinished, things to worry about — you name it. But all day, ever since I heard the news that my boyhood…

The Great Muppet Caper on a Slow Saturday Afternoon Reminds Us Just How Funny Those Muppet Movies Were

It’s probably been at least 20 years since I looked at, or even thought about, the Muppet Movies, and today I stumbled across The Great Muppet Caper on cable and decided to watch for five minutes. I was hooked, laughing more than I…

John Sayles’ Philippine-American War Drama “Amigo” is Finally in US Theaters: Will this finally put the Fil-Am war on the map in the US consciousness?

Reprinted from MichaelDSellers.com “At the turn of the 19th Century, the United States declared war on Spain. This conflict brought them to another nation, halfway around the world, where they decided to stay. PHILIPPINES 1900″  Thus starts the trailer for John Sayles latest…

Murdoch’s Crouching Tiger Flying Wendy Reminds All of Us With Tiger Wives Why We Are Blessed

Reprinted from MichaelDSellers.com As I was watching Rupert Murdoch being grilled by British Parliamentarians, I found myself wondering idly who the sternly attractive Asian woman in pink was, sitting right behind him. I hadn’t followed Murdoch’s story well enough to know that she…

Reflections on the Fourth of July

It’s July 4, 2010, and I’m continuing to reflect on Independence Day and what it actually means beyond hamburgers, hot dogs, and fireworks. Is there truly something to celebrate here, and if so, what is it?

Eleven Years Ago Today I Got One Thing Fantastically Right

When you live a life that involves striving for achievement, there is a danger that you neglect family and end up being so obsessed with your “quest” that you miss out on what are truly the most important things in life.  I am…

So, at what point, if any, does Stanton’s John Carter become ERB’s John Carter?

What triggered this question was MCR coming on and saying maybe Taylor Kitsch’s John Carter should win a People’s Choice Award for “Whiniest Super Hero” . . . we’ve all been there, done that, as far as the argument about Andrew Stanton’s flawed…

I Dream of Barsoom — Part 1

From time to time I pop up here trying to coax comment insights from the denizens of JCF  that address the issue of what made the writing of Edgar Rice Burroughs special and different in comparison to, on the one hand, other pulp…

John Carter: The First Marketing Blunder – The Title

This is a chapter from John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood. As introduction, I would just mention that one of the themes that the book explores is the role of the “influencer media” — those entertainment sites, and their readers/commenters, who follow…

A Beautiful Scan of Robert Abbett’s "A Princess of Mars" Art

I’m working on the DVD disk art for the ERB Centennial and I’m looking at an absolutely gorgeous 62MB Tiff scan of Robert Abbett’s cover art for Edgar Rice Burroughs‘  A Princess of Mars. It’s incredible how much better this looks than anything…

Roy Krenkel’s Evocative Edgar Rice Burroughs Covers

A disciple of J.Allen St. John, Franklin Booth, William Walcot and Norman Lindsay, Roy Krenkel was responsible for vividly evocative cover art for the ACE 1960’s Edgar Rice Burroughs paperbacks. For the gallery below I was able to get clean copies — no…

White Paper: The Case for John Carter Sequels

The burst of activity at Comic Con by volunteers of the Back to Barsoom John Carter Sequel Facebook Group has attracted a certain amount of attention, but while there seems to a certain “we admire their pluck”,  many observers consider theirs to be a…

The Edgar Rice Burroughs Magic — What was it about his writing that was so special?

There have been recent comments here on JCF about how the adaptation of John Carter was handled by Andrew Stanton, Michael Chabon, and Mark Andrews and as I was writing some responses I realized that there is a good chapter in John Carter…

Quick Thought: "Thelma and Louise" and "John Carter" have something in common?

John Carter, more than almost any movie that I’ve seen in awhile, grows on you in subsequent viewings as small things that almost invariably strengthen the viewing experience “stick” on subsequent viewings. An example — the relationship progression between John Carter and Dejah…

How the Lone Ranger created problems for John Carter

In working on John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood , one of the things that was extremely important to pin down was — when and how did the “bloated budget” negative storyline begin, and how did it roll out?   Ironically,  The…

John Carter Role Playing Games? Video Games? Board Games?

There is a discussion thread over at the John Carter Facebook Group that I wanted to post here because it’s something that I’ve thought about from time to time — what about John Carter role playing games, or video games, or board games…

When did the negative press for John Carter start, and why?

I’ve spent a frustrating couple of days trying to research exactly when, and how, and why, the negative press for John Carter began and I want to share some of what I’ve found — and ask for some research help on a couple…

Comparing The Disney Publicity output for "John Carter" vs "The Avengers"

Following is a side by side comparison of the publicity output for John Carter vs The Avengers on the theory that it would be revealing to see how these two films, both 250m “tentpoles” released by Disney within 8 weeks of each other,…

Was Disney guilty of a "violation" of its own brand with John Carter?

In analyzing the John Carter performance at the domestic box office, one thing that I’ve learned is that among the pros in the branding business, Disney is considered to have created what is alternately called a “brand violation”, or a “brand misalignment”, or…

Open Letter to Disney Explaining Why a John Carter Sequel Makes Good Business Sense

Dunno how I missed this. Makes some good points. It comes from The Patron Saint of Super Heroes Dear Disney, Yes, I know you said you wanted to gross $700 million before you’d agree to either of the two sequels Andrew Stanton had…

Is John Carter a Perfect Steve Jobs-style "bozo-meter"?

This is a review which caught my attention because of it’s reference to Steve Jobs comment about dividing the world into those that “get it” and those that are “bozos” — with the reviewer reaching the conclusion that John Carter is a “perfect…