Slight delay in the process while we face down various vicious deadlines in our day jobs. We will return Monday!
“Verification of the tale, as one might expect, is difficult, yet certain facts are known. Tanitin Regional Deputy Marshal Miles Drake is, in fact, a lawman of the territory, a position he has held since IV.E.987….”
Greg is at Emerald City in Seattle this weekend with copies of the Sabre book on hand!
You can find him most times at table F-09, other times at panels (a schedule of those can also be found on the Tumblr).
Reader Melissa calls me out, and rightly so, for not following through on my promise to talk about pirate movies. I apologize for this — we’ve been packing up our house in advance of a cross-country move, and we’ve had little time for film viewing.
But let me get on track here. I’ve taken inventory of the pirate movies available to me that I haven’t packed yet — things I own on VHS and DVD, things I taped off of TCM, bootlegs and fandubs I’ve traded around for, and the selection available on Netflix. I’m thinking that maybe what I should do is let you pick a couple you’d like to see me write about, or about which you’d like to converse through the comments section.
Here’s the list, in chronological order, with director listed:
Captain Blood (Curtiz, 1935)
The Sea Hawk (Curtiz, 1940)
The Black Swan (King, 1942)
The Spanish Main (Borzage, 1945)
Sinbad the Sailor (Wallace, 1947 [is Sinbad a pirate?])
Treasure Island (Haskin, 1950)
Tripoli (Price, 1950)
Against All Flags (Sherman, 1952)
The Crimson Pirate (Siodmak, 1952)
The Golden Hawk (Salkow, 1953)
Raiders of the Seven Seas (Salkow, 1953)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Fleischer, 1954)
Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl (Landers, 1954)
Morgan the Pirate (De Toth, 1960)
Pirates of Tortuga (Webb, 1961)
Queen of the Seas (Lenzi, 1961)
Tiger of the Seven Seas (Capuano, 1962)
Samurai Pirate (Taniguchi, 1963)
Cold Steel For Tortuga (Capuano, 1965)
Il Corsaro (Mollica, 1970)
Blackie the Pirate (Palli, 1971)
Ghost in the Noonday Sun (Medak, 1973)
Swashbuckler (Goldstone, 1976)
Pirates of Penzance (Leach, 1983)
Treasure Island (Heston, 1990)
Cutthroat Island (Harlin, 1995)
Muppet Treasure Island (Henson, 1996)
Pirates of the Caribbean (Verbinski, 2003)
The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists! (Lord, 2012)
I’ve not seen all of these, some I haven’t seen in a decade, some I’ve watched in the past month. Which of those look the most interesting to you? Which would you like to discuss? Let me know in the comments below!
Let it be noted that Rick has made some modifications to the second strip of this week’s first installment, for the sake of better storytelling!
Hi, folks. Eric here. A quick note: We’d planned for the comic to resume today, but this week, as you might expect, has been a bit crazy. We do plan to post the next strip on Monday. If you think it’s been a rough wait for you, imagine how poor Farrow feels, sitting there, in the dark.
So we continue to do well with our Kickstarter campaign. I’ve titled this post “Our success,” and in using that pronoun, I don’t just mean Greg, Rick and myself. I mean all of you as well. We’re incredibly lucky to have you as readers, but we think of you as more than that. We truly do talk about you guys in terms of our community. In scrolling through the list of backers, I recognized many of your names from your regular posts. In looking around at the social media that directed backers to our campaign, I saw many of you spreading the word and beating the drum for our comic. Pause for a moment on this next pair of sentences. Read them a few times. Know that I mean them:
We appreciate you more than you could know. We are completely overwhelmed by what you’ve done for us this week.
This is also a shared success because your overwhelming support will enable us to make the book the way we’ve always wanted. We hope that you’ll be proud to have it on your shelf. We’ve also been able to add some additional items (so far, a paper doll set and a “Pocket Guide” written by Edwin Windsheer) that we’ve been hoping to do for months, but were skeptical that we’d be able to afford. There are a few other things we’ll be doing if we make our stretch goals. These extras will enrich the storyworld and hopefully your reading experience.
Later today, I’ll be uploading a list of our pin-up artists, a high-res image of one of those pin-ups, and some “backer avatars” to the Kickstarter page (you get the first peek at one at the top of this post). Stay tuned for that update, but know that we also appreciate those of you who have been Lady Sabre “backers” long before this Kickstarter campaign began.
Please bear with us. For some unexpected personal reasons, we’ll be delaying the first strip of the next chapter until Monday, April 15. We appreciate your patience and good thoughts in the meantime.
If you’ve been a reader for long, you might know that I have a 17-month-old son named Henry. You might also be aware, if you’re a parent yourself, that having a child of Henry’s age means few opportunities to go to the movie theater. I love movies. And so I cherish every opportunity I have to sneak away to the cinema, hoarding the hours for which I’d pay a babysitter for only the films I’m really excited to see on a big screen.
One of the handful of films I saw in theaters last year was
A Princess of Mars John Carter of Mars John Carter, the unfairly maligned planetary romance from Andrew Stanton. I, like Greg and Rick, am a big fan of fun, and on this front, John Carter undoubtedly delivered. It’s been years since I read, in the midst of a thunderstorm and wide-eyed at the descriptions of Dejah Thoris, the Edgar Rice Burroughs work that sourced it, but the film seemed to capture much of the spirit of what I loved about the book — a sense of adventure, exoticism, wonder, and imagination that I frankly see a dearth of in most modern entertainment.
I had high hopes for John Carter, not just as a film, but as a touchstone that might help ignite a new renaissance of adventure films and space operas (following the disappointment of the Star Wars prequels — that franchise
stole pilfered homaged many of its successes from Burroughs, after all, and got worse as they got further from that material). Where are the high adventures of today? Where are the sci-fi films that involve, not faceless hordes of space marines slaughtering aliens with giant lasers, but swashbuckling and royalty and noble heroism?
Comics hold the answer. Specifically, a (sort-of) new comic from Christopher Mills and Gene Gonzales, Perils on Planet X. I know Mills from a history of seeing his name on genre projects I’ve enjoyed, whether they be hard-boiled detective comics with art by Joe Staton, or blogs about 60s spy shows and movies. In whatever he works on, Mills seems to tick one of the obscure boxes of my own interests (for Pete’s sake, he even wrote a Kolchak: The Night Stalker comic!), and he does it well. His name alone is an assurance of quality for me.
Sweetening the deal is some amazing artwork by Gene Gonzales, whose work I hadn’t previously encountered. Gonzales has a clean art style and a bold use of colors that serve well the fantastic worlds and characters he’s introducing. He’s also a solid craftsman storyteller — the action on each page is clear and compelling, the characters are fascinating in their appearance, and the world of Planet X strikes the perfect balance between familiar, exotic, and futuristic.
Our narrator is Colonel Donovan Hawke, a 21st-Century astronaut whose craft is lost after passing through a space anomaly and crashing on a foreign planet. He quickly finds himself fighting strange creatures, being held captive by a human-like people whose language he doesn’t understand, and, of course, falling in love. The set-up is very much in keeping with the classics of the genre, and, as Mills writes, this is purposeful:
Perils on Planet X is unapologetically a planetary romance. It is not a reinvention, reimagining or deconstruction of the genre. Nor is it strictly pastiche, although there’s definitely aspects of that in there. It follows firmly in the literary footsteps of authors I greatly admire and enjoy: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Otis Adelbert Kline, Leigh Brackett, Lin Carter, Michael Moorcock, Gardner Fox, and the stargods know how many others. If Perils differs significantly in any respect, it’s only because it has been written and drawn in the 21st Century instead of the 20th, and it cannot help but reflect that.
I’m trying desperately not to give too much away here, but Mills’ love of the genre shows through as regularly as his mastery of it. The clarity and form of Gonzales’ artwork falls somewhere between the adventure comics artists of the 30s whose works like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon are undeniably an influence on this effort, and Scott McCloud’s Zot, one of the great unsung sci-fi comics of the last century. Action sweeps across every page, and each has a fantastic balance of questions answered and questions asked. Plus there’s a red-headed pirate queen, and you know we have a special place in our heart for ladies of that ilk.
The first installment of Perils on Planet X went up this past Friday, and a new one will appear weekly. I’ve had the pleasure of reading months into the future of this strip, and will testify that the quality holds fast. I’m jealous that you still have all of this reading in front of you.
This is the second time Perils on Planet X has debuted as a webcomic, following an earlier effort with artist Jon Plante. One hopes that for Mills and Gonzales the second time is the charm, because Perils on Planet X is a handsome, well-scripted addition to the world of adventure webcomics, and it definitely fulfills my desire for space-bound swashbuckling Give it a read!
This Thursday, I’ll be covering another effort by Mills and an artist with whom you’re already quite familiar. In the meantime, that mystery comic debuted today, so go read that one too!
We’re still a bit behind this week, and it looks as though my, “See you Thursday,” post may have been inaccurately titled. While conversing with YuriPup in comments below, and thinking about a few others of you whom I know were in New Jersey, Maryland, DC, Connecticut, and other places that were hurricane-effected, I wondered about the rest of you, the thousands of faceless readers who don’t comment on the site and we only know as numbers.
It’s been nine months since the last time we asked, but we are interested in you, who you are, what you do, where you’re from, how you found us, etc.
So please introduce yourself in the comments, especially if you’ve never commented here before. When we think of you, we’d like for you to stop being a number in Google Analytics, and for you to be a real person.
If you told us who you were back in January, check in with us again. Let us know how you’re doing. How’s the job situation? How are the kids? How’s school going? We want to know!
Rick sat down last year with filmmaker Zak Zych to discuss the comics making process and the result was the short documentary above.
In the movie, you’ll get to see Rick talk about the creation of Lady Sabre, what goes into the making of a page, and about our goals here at the site. It’s a special treat for me, as Rick and I have never met in person. Though I’ve heard his voice over the phone and seen his picture, now I’ve got a moving face to go with the voice. The strip you see Rick working on here is part of Chapter 03, Part Six: New Bastion.
For more of Zak’s work, see his site at CocoBee.com!
Recent Addition: Lady Sabre T-Shirt. Available in unisex and women’s cuts, in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes!
Shirt modeled by renowned Land Cartographer and Intrepid Explorer of Terra Icognita, Doctor Day Al-Mohamed.