Interview: Arvid Nelson on Dynamite Entertainment’s Warlord of Mars

Warlord of Mars cover by Joe Jusko

Warlord of Mars cover by Joe Jusko

Arvid Nelson is the creator of Zero Killer and has written such books as Rex Mundi, Kull, and Red Sonja. This month, he turns to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter in Dynamite’s Warlord of Mars. Westfield’s Roger Ash contacted Nelson to learn more about this book.

Westfield: How did you become involved with Warlord of Mars?

Arvid Nelson: Nicky, the demented mastermind behind Dynamite, asked me if I’d be interested in doing an adaptation. I’d heard of Burroughs, of course, I vaguely knew him as “the Tarzan guy”. I say that with abject shame, because I literally couldn’t stop reading the Mars novels once I started.

Westfield: Are you a fan of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars stories?

Nelson: I’m closer to a “worshipper”! Everything from Superman to Star Wars has origins in the Mars novels. It’s hard to believe they were written almost a century ago because they feel so new and fresh. They’re terrific stories in their own right.

Westfield: What can readers look forward to in the story and who are the main characters?

Warlord of Mars page 12

Warlord of Mars page 12

Nelson: We’re trying to stay as true to the spirit of the originals as possible. The novels are told as the “memoirs” of John Carter, the main character, and the comics will be told the same way. Aside from Carter, there’s Tars Tarkas, his Martian comrade, and Dejah Thoris, a Martian princess. I don’t want to give away too much because there are some great surprises in store for the reader. It’s enough to say John Carter is an ex cavalry officer in the Confederate Army who finds himself mysteriously (and nakedly!) transported to Mars, where the story kicks into high gear.

Warlord of Mars page 20

Warlord of Mars page 20

Westfield: I’ve seen the first few pages of art from the book and they’re wonderful. What can you say about the artist you’re working with on the book?

Nelson: Steve Sadowski is a uniquely talented guy. Writing is only one half of the process of making comics. It’s such a pleasure to work with someone who really understands the intention of the script, and even surpasses it.

Westfield: Are there any other projects you’re working on that you’d like to mention?

Nelson: Aside from Mars, I’m working on a new Queen Sonja story arc through Dynamite. I’m really excited for that. I’m also writing “Oblivion”, an illustrated novella with Joseph Kosinski, the director of the upcoming TRON: Legacy movie. Oblivion is an unbelievable journey, both for me and for the characters in the story. It should be out around the same time as Tron. In my spare time, when I’m not drooling like an idiot over computer games, I’m working on a novel based on my love of Celtic and Norse mythology (and heavy metal music).

Warlord of Mars cover by J. Scott Campbell

Warlord of Mars cover by J. Scott Campbell

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Nelson: Just that I think Mars is going to be something really special. We’re doing this adaptation the “right” way, and I’m so excited for people to read it!

USER COMMENTS

We'd love to hear from you, feel free to add to the discussion!