After finishing the jackets for “Tanar of Pellucidar” and “A Fighting Man of Mars” last year, I’ve returned to T@EC. One of the problems with this particular jacket, for me, is the heavy screen that was used to make the halftone. Much of the image is soft and descreening to eliminate the halftone rosettes only makes the painting even fuzzier than usual. I had two different scans from Metropolitan jackets that were badly sunned on the spine and missing pieces, and a copy of the jacket as it was used on the ERB, Inc. edition which has a couple of discolored horizontal streaks running across the top and about one quarter of the way up from the bottom. I finally picked up a beautiful mixed edition (Grosset & Dunlap binding on Metropolitan signatures) of the book with a bright jacket last summer at the Burroughs convention in Chicago.
After the usual descreening, rebalancing of the color and level adjustments I still wasn’t satisfied with how the art was looking. This is, after all, one of the most exciting paintings that St. John ever did of the Ape Man in action and it is also a lost painting (as far as we know), not one that is available for close examination or reproduction. I’d really like to see this as a large, 16×20-inch print. It will need some special work — as George McWhorter referred to it, “art forensics.” So, I’m going over it as tightly as I can to sharpen it up, basically repainting it stroke for stroke. I can’t go into detail about how I’m doing this right now, but it’s a slow process and I’ve put up some preliminary work on the Facebook page. I’ll put up an even more astounding section of the restored art on this blog real soon (I promise) and you’ll see where I’m going with this.
I hope it gets you as excited about it as I am.