Hello, and welcome to From Mars, a blog designed to act as a receptacle for an assortment of bits and pieces I’ve created over the years. Yes, it’s self-indulgent but, hey, this is the internet: self-indulgent is what we do here.
I do have another blog out there — Rusty Staples — but in that one I almost exclusively talk about comics created by other people. From Mars will be more personal, and a bit more self-promotional: I’ll occasionally be using this blog as a forum to announce upcoming books and appearances and such. There’s also my website, which has been knocking around for many years: I’ll be moving some relevant pieces from the site onto this blog.
Why “From Mars”?
Well, there are two main reasons…
Because (a) when I was a kid I realised that if you append “From Mars” to the title of any movie or novel, it automatically turns into a 1950s B-movie! Try it for yourself — it’s fun! Any movie or book you can think of, it’s 100% mostly guaranteed to work! “Steel Magnolias from Mars!” “The Spy Who Loved Me… From Mars!” “One Hundred Years of Solitude from Mars” It even works with movies that are already 1950s B-movies: “Invaders from Mars from Mars!”
And (b) it points in the general direction of my tastes: I really enjoy rip-roaring adventures, tales of derring-do, implausible cliff-hangers and all that jazz. Movie serials and comic books and old-fashioned pulp fiction (as we used to call it before the movie of that title came out and muddied the waters).
Growing up my heroes were the likes of Doc Savage, Dejah Thoris, Flash Gordon, The Avengers, The Avengers, Zorro, Kal-El, Judge Dredd, Spider-Man, The Phantom, The Stainless Steel Rat, Wonder Woman, Doctor Who, Dick Barton, Nova, Phileas Fogg, Luke Skywalker, Tarzan, Taran, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ellen Ripley, The Shadow, James T. Kirk… You get the idea.
I want science fiction where the spaceships are ten miles long and a self-educated genius can invent a death-ray in their shed, adventure tales that feature rickety rope-bridges and treasure-filled caves hidden behind waterfalls, labyrinthine candle-lit castles haunted by lost souls and unrealised dreams, detective stories where the grouchy protagonist has fists of steel but a heart of gold, tales of hitherto-undiscovered monster-populated lands, menacing creatures from other worlds or other dimensions, legends of ancient heroes and even more ancient gods, robots that become self-aware and turn on their creators, lost travellers in space and in time desperate to find their way home, ordinary people gifted with great powers — and great responsibilities… I want dragons and dangers and dinosaurs and demons and daredevils doing battle with the dastardly devious!
To condense much of that into a handy bite-sized easy-to-remember phrase…
Myths – Adventures – Romances – Space-operas
Or, to look at it from a slightly different angle…
Monsters – Aliens – Robots – Superheroes
Either way, my friends, welcome to Mars.