Variant - A Fighting Man of Mars - Cover illustration by Vaclav Cutta
A Fighting Man of Mars - G&D editions - Vaclav Cutta C.1927 - $10.99
C. 1927, The L. Sotek Publishing house of Prague, Czechoslovakia, began publishing Burroughs in paperback form.
The covers were illustrated by Czech artist Vaclav Cutta. I've never seen the Sotec paperback for this title. However,
unlike others that I have seen, this title had interior illustrations. This is the only one of the interiors that I have
personally seen and I only stumbled across this one on the internet.
Cutta's compositions normally copied Schoonover/St. John's illustrations from Burroughs' English-language
American editions. (See examples of this practice at the variants pages for A Princess of Mars and The Mucker.)
However, as concerns this interior gray-scale illustration used on this variant cover, I could find no antecedent in
Burroughs illustration of that time. This interpretation of a Barsoomian air battle appears original with Cutta.
I colorized the illustration so that it could be used as a variant cover.
Cutta was not a great artist, but his work always had an ancient-looks feel*, which when combined with the
art-deco forms taught in art schools of the era, gave Cutta's work its own distinctive style. My personal favorite of
his illustrations is the cover for the Sotec edition of The Gods of Mars, which clearly uses the Schoonover
composition from the McClurg first edition of 1918. Yet, as derivative as it is, Cutta's art-deco style is
un-mistakeable even here.
*"ancient-looks feel" - I read this term in an email I received from Tangor (web-name) many years back. He operates a
web site, erblist.com.
He has real knack for original phraseology. Over the years, I've borrowed his words in many contexts and forums. I hope
I have always given him credit, but through expedience and laziness, I probably haven't. I hope he forgives me.