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Ron Marz Discusses JOHN CARTER: WARLORD OF MARS and Writing Tars Tarkas

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  • Ron Marz Discusses JOHN CARTER: WARLORD OF MARS and Writing Tars Tarkas

    Marguerite Bennett, writer of Swords of Sorrow: Red Sonja/Jungle Girl #2, talks with writer Ron Marz about John Carter, Warlord of Mars #10, both on sale August 26th!

    MARGUERITE BENNETT: I loved the framework of the story being told--is there something you enjoy particularly about one-shots, in comparison to chapters of larger arcs?

    RON MARZ: I don't think I enjoy writing one-and-done stories more than longer arcs, mostly because I enjoy the longer arcs too. The one-and-dones are just a different flavor on a menu. You stretch slightly different writing muscles on them compared to longer stories. The single-issue stories force you to focus as a storyteller, there's no room for vamping or indulgence.

    MB: When working with your creative team, how did you come up with the storybook style for the parable that is told?

    RM: Since the issue was going to focus on Tars Tarkas, and in a larger sense on Mars itself, I wanted the story to be visually different from what had come before in the series. Tars is a larger-than-life character, literally, so I felt like the storytelling should reflect that. So I decided on the splash-page format, with the sequential framing sequence to provide contrast. And, honestly, I wanted to give our artist, Ariel Medel, a chance to show off what he could do with the larger format.

    MB: Are there any stories like this from your own childhood that made a particular impression on you and your work?

    RM: Not anything specific that I can cull from memory, but in general, I was thinking a lot about Kirby spreads and splashes. Jack's big imagery always jumps off the page at you, especially his '70s-era stuff where he could really embrace that big sensibility. The other thing I was trying to convey to Ariel in the script was the illustration history of John Carter, everybody from Joe Jusko and Frazetta, all the way back to Frank Schoonover. I wanted each splash to be worthy of that tradition.

    MB: The idea of worth and those worthy to wield certain weapons or command certain nations appears throughout a variety of genres in comics. In your own opinion, what traits make a hero worthy of the title?

    RM: There's probably a pretty long checklist that could serve as the answer to that question. But I think the short answer is selflessness. For me, heroes are heroes because they put others in front of themselves, the safety of others, the happiness of others. There's no such thing as a selfish hero.

    Check out JOHN CARTER: WARLORD OF MARS #10, now on sale, and enjoy the rest of the preview below.

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