John Carter of Mars Covers by Gino D’Achille

As I have said elsewhere, my first encounter with Edgar Rice Burroughs was in the elementary school library in 1974. I was nine and I saw The Chessmen of Mars with a cover painted in 1973 by Gino D’Achille.

The eerily casual pose by the headless female figure, her back turned to us and a kaldane (that hideous spider thing) creeping towards her. That was too much for my young mind. I shuddered and turned away. It would be another four years before I ventured into ERB territory, and then to Tarzan with those great Neal Adams covers. It would take the more fantasy-oriented, brightly-coloured Michael Whelan to finally get me to read John Carter when I was in my mid 20s.

But that’s not to put down Mr. D’Achille. The covers were a bit more adult, a little more serious, and perhaps more realistic. And very well done.


I haven’t been able to gather a complete set of virgin art to include here yet, but I did find some of D’Achille’s roughs, and a piece of art direction he received for A Princess of Mars.

Gino D'Achille A Princess of Mars

A Princess of Mars rough

The rough was returned to D’Achille with these notes on the back (or he wrote the notes to himself during a review meeting) :

“Dejah must be red skinned and should be more covered – more jewelled harness. Green man must be taller, and skeletally thin.”

Gino D'Achille A Princess of Mars

A Princess of Mars

Gino D'Achille The Gods of Mars

The Gods of Mars

Gino D'Achille The Warlord of Mars

The Warlord of Mars rough

Gino D'Achille The Warlord of Mars

The Warlord of Mars

Gino D'Achille The Chessmen of Mars

The Chessmen of Mars. Available as a limited edition print from D’Achille’s website.

Gino D'Achille The Master Mind of Mars

The Master Mind of Mars. Available as a limited edition print from D’Achille’s website.

Gino D'Achille A Fighting Man of Mars

A Fighting Man of Mars

Gino D'Achille Swords of Mars

Swords of Mars

Gino D'Achille Synthetic Men of Mars

Synthetic Men of Mars rough

Gino D'Achille Llana of Gathol

Llana of Gathol

Gino D'Achille John Carter of Mars

John Carter of Mars. Available as a limited edition print from D’Achille’s website.


Gino D'Achille A Princess of Mars

Gino D'Achille The Gods of Mars
Gino D'Achille The Warlord of Mars

Gino D'Achille Thuvia, Maid of Mars
Gino D'Achille The Chessmen of Mars

Gino D'Achille The Master Mind of Mars
Gino D'Achille A Fighting Man of Mars

Gino D'Achille Swords of Mars
Gino D'Achille Synthetic Men of Mars

Gino D'Achille Llana of Gathol
Gino D'Achille John Carter of Mars

Gino D'Achille John Carter of Mars Box Set

Box set of the first four novels

Scott Dutton

Scott Dutton is an Edmonton-based graphic designer and illustrator with experience in marketing, publishing and information design
  1. RaithGyaron left a comment on February 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    It was Gino D’Achille’s cover of A Princess of Mars that drew my attention when I was looking for a book in my father’s “library” to read in 7th grade English. He had all the covers except for Warlord of Mars, which was the Michael Whelan cover. I found D’Achille’s Warlord cover some years ago at a thrift store.

    • Scott Dutton left a comment on February 8, 2012 at 8:26 am

      For me it was the other way around. When I went looking for the D’Achille set, I found all of them in a book shop, save for Princess. Eventually got it through eBay.

  2. David E Martin left a comment on March 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Gino d’Achille’s cover suite had a hidden trick. The front-to-back designs could be pasted together into one very long panorama, a nod to the famous Lord of the Rings cover set from the 60s.

    • Scott Dutton left a comment on March 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      Very cool piece of info. Thanks!

  3. Jamie Jacks left a comment on May 4, 2013 at 1:43 am

    I just saw the John Carter movie and I thought the movie caught the look of Gino D’Achille’s covers. (Just my humble opinion.) Thanks to the Google images and your wonderful page I was able to see these covers again. Looking at the covers posted above I was a little embarrassed to realize that I read the first 6 books of the series and I was in college at the time. But the covers got me to buy and read the books, which was the point. Thank you for letting me share. 30

  4. Sparky left a comment on March 3, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Gino may be offering prints soon. I’ve been trying to get one of Flashman and the Dragon.

    I grew up with earlier Ace 40 cent and the first Ballantine Barsoom books.

    • Scott Dutton left a comment on March 3, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      Cool. I’ll look for those.

  5. Studio D'Achille left a comment on January 12, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Prints of Gino D’Achille work, including the John Carter of Mars series, are now available at http://www.ginodachille.com

    • Scott Dutton left a comment on January 12, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      Wonderful! All success.

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