The People That Time Forgot (April 2010)

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Whatever the immediate faults with Steven Philip Jones’s adaptation of The People That Time Forgot, I think I love him for keeping the exception sexism and elitism intact. Only a few pages in–into this kids’ comic–he’s got the narrator rambling on about how he’s enthralled with his little savage beauty. It’s totally unexpected (as is Ajor, the little savage beauty, being black–she’s white on the cover).

It’s a mediocre, amateurish attempt overall, as with Campfire’s Land That Time Forgot attempt, but People is far superior. Jones doesn’t stick rigidly to Burroughs’s original text, freeing him up to… well, it follows the story faithfully, but at least the stupid mistakes are Jones’s and not some adaptation difficulties. It makes People feel, at the very least, like a fuller attempt at an adaptation to a new medium. Jones changes things up to make it better suited for the comic book medium.

Does he fail?

Not entirely.

He does make the dialogue dumber than Burroughs’s, partially because he’s creating it (Burroughs wrote People That Time Forgot mostly as first person narration), but also because he’s trying to make it accessible. But he also tries to keep the Burroughs’s flavor. The result is mixed, but more positive than not.

K.L. Jones’s artwork here is still mediocre. I’m not sure he really comes up with anything to wow me, but his panel layouts on the page are, again, occasionally very successful.

The comic almost works, which is fine. It definitely doesn’t fail.

CREDITS

Writer, Steven Philip Jones; artist, K.L. Jones; colorist, Vikash Gurung; letterer, Bhavnath Chaudhary; editors, Mark Jones and Andrew Dodd; publisher, Campfire.

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