1. The First Time - Tarak
2. ERB & I: The Early Years - Huck
3. Danton Burroughs' Daughters - Bill Wormstedt
4. Jane and Gimla Discover Tarzan - Joan Bledig (J the V)
5. An "Abused Childhood" - The Brooklyn Banth
6. My Paths to ERB - Erich von Harben
7. My Path to ERB - Vandor
1. The First Time - by Tarak (Bob Woodley)
Many of us have discussed our first ERBs, and/or first Tarzans, and our favorites, but only a few have expressed their feelings about this first read, and/or first Tarzan and/or Barsoom, etc. These are very vague memories, but I do have some recollection of Truimphant; of TOA, of POM, GODS and of finishing Warlord; and Chessmen. These six are the only personal moments I recall. Triumphant for the cover, for my first discovery of the true Tarzan of the Apes, and for his savage killing of Staubutch. TOA for the story itself of this character I had immediately and wholeheartedly embraced from two mediocre books, Triumphant and Invincible, and for so many memorable passages. POM for the simply amazing, almost incredible world he created for me; with JC, who was certainly a hero to me, though he never did rival Tarzan, and for my first meeting with that unique creation of ERB, a Barsoomian Princess. Warlord for bringing to an unforgettable conclusion a saga which first opened my eyes wider with wonder than they had ever been, captured my spirit and heart wholeheartedly with the love of a warrior for his woman and with the spectacular action and story of GODS. I read these so fast that It is mainly the early stunning visions of the world, and the ending of the saga, which I recall vividly. I do recall closing the back cover of Warlord and just looking at it in awe. Whether "Whew", or "Wow" or some other term, was uttered, or whether just imagined, I don't recall. I also recall the beginning and the ending of Chessmen; particularly the ending. I've never quite gotten over it in some respects; certainly in large measure because I never have wanted to. I hope I never become so cold that I lose my love for these princesses.
I don't care that much for much of St. John's work; except for Golden Lion. That one is enough to establish St. John's talent forever.
Visit Tarak's Lands of Adventure Website:
2. ERB & I: THE EARLY YEARS - Huck
I guess it was about 1958 that I made the transition from "fan" to "collector."
At that time my accumulation consisted of --
APES -- red G&D
RETURN -- red G&D
BEASTS -- light green Burt
SON -- red G&D
JEWELS OF OPAR -- BB&G (cloth binding, blank ep)
JUNGLE TALES -- BB&G (cardboard binding, map ep)
UNTAMED -- red G&D
TERRIBLE -- BB&G (cardboard binding, map ep)
GOLDEN LION -- BB&G (cloth binding, map ep)
ANT MEN -- BB&G (cardboard binding, map ep)
LORD OF THE JUNGLE -- wartime Madison Square
LOST EMPIRE -- red G&D
CITY OF GOLD -- 1948 ERB
LEOPARD MEN -- 1948 ERB
FORBIDDEN CITY -- green 1952 Whitman
GODS OF MARS -- green G&D
THUVIA -- dark brown G&D
MASTER MIND -- red G&D
During my undergraduate days at Georgetown (1959-64), I was able to fill in most of the rest that had been published up to that time, including a fair number of first editions. In those days there were nearly a dozen good used bookstores in downtown Washington, all of which are unfortunately gone now, and several of them had McClurgs and Metropolitans in the $5-$10 range. I remember feeling that I was being ripped off when I paid $15 for a first ed of APES.
As I have noted elsewhere, in those days I was only trying to get the best copy possible of each book, and therefore traded away most of the BB&G copies as I got better editions. Later I went back and replaced these. My one regret is that I passed up a G&D copy of FORBIDDEN CITY (which Heins does not recognize the existence of) because it was in such crummy shape (blue library tape on the spine, loose pages, &c) and they wanted $3.50 for it. Figured I'd find a better copy. Never did.
Of course it was during this period that the Canaverals, Dovers, Aces and Ballantines came out, and by the time I had graduated I was in touch with both Vern and Caz... and then with Claude Held. That was my downfall.
Many ERB fans have commented that their images of Tarzan, John Carter, &c. are heavily influenced by the illustrators that introduced them. For me that means a mixture of St. John, Schoonover, and Monroe (though I always ranked Monroe with the Moderns rather than with the Old Masters!)
[I have many St. John favorites. In addition to TARZAN AND THE GOLDEN LION there is] the original frontispiece to JEWELS OF OPAR, with Tarzan about to loose an arrow from a tree, to that category. And in the Barsoom series, there's the Schoonover "I sought out Dejah Thoris in the throng of departing chariots" and St. John's frontispiece for THUVIA ("As the great thoat and his rider hurtled past..." and of course, his "Speak, great Tur, ere I strike!" from MASTER MIND. And his dust jacket paintings for AT THE EARTH'S CORE & PIRATES OF VENUS (the latter was the best thing about the whole book as far as I am concerned) and...
Anyway, you get the idea. Almost anything by St. John, most of Schoonover's, a fair number of JCB's and even a couple of Studley's (notably his dust jacket for JUNGLE GIRL comes to mind).
Only Krenkel and Frazetta among the other moderns even come close. Joe Jusko is a nice guy, but his "steroid school" of illustration just doesn't grab me. Give me the Old Masters any time.
[On the down side - I consider] Mahlon Blaine is possibly the worst ever. Also, I'm not overly fond of the early Maxon strips. As for Marsh, he was acceptable -- just barely -- on the Tarzan comics, but a disaster on the John Carter trio. In the comic field, there's Foster and Hogarth, and then all the rest.
A lot of people think very highly of Frank R. Paul. I'm not one of them. Finlay and Monahan are among the Old Masters.
Of course, I never claimed to know anything about art -- and I guess this is more than you ever really wanted to know.
Huck aka AQPorter
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J. G. HuckenpöhlerU.S.A.
2122 California Street, N. W.
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3. DANTON'S DAUGHTERS by Bill Wormstedt
5 or 6 years ago, I was attending the San Diego Comiccon. I was helping a friend run his dealers booth, when this cute girl (10 or so?) came walking in. I noticed she had a St. John Tarzan illo on her shirt. I said something intelligent like 'Nice shirt!", she said thanks, and then pointed something to her father, who was a few feet away. I glanced up at him quickly, then went back to what I was doing.
All of a sudden, I realized the father looked familiar to me! Looked back up, realized the resemblance to ERB, then siddled closer to check out his name tag - it was Danton! Introduced myself, told him how much I loved his grandfather's work, and how I was looking forward to the (then) imminent publication of Marcia of the Doorstep (it subsequently fell thru).
I probably embarassed Danton, I was so surprised I was probably gushing! The last time I had seen a photo of him, was way back in the Gold Key Tarzan comics, when he had a full head of hair!
Anyway, later on, I found out his daughter's name was Dejah. Otherwise, I would have mentioned my daughter Tavia.
If I ever get to an ERB convention, and Danton and his daughters are there, I'd like to get a picture of the closest we'll ever come to 'real' Barsoomian princesses!
--- Bill Wormstedt
Footnote: Danton Burroughs' daughters are Llana Jane (for Jane Ralston his mother, - not Tarzan's Jane) and Dejah. And a lovely pair of young ladies they are. ---J the V
4. JANE AND GIMLA DISCOVER TARZAN by Joan Bledig
In the summer a guy who was my brother's age decided that all the neighborhood kids (guys) should play Tarzan. I was Jane by a process of elimination--and the fact that my brother had to keep an eye on me even though he hated having to have me tag along. I wanted to know more about Tarzan, was told that he was a character in a book and asked the guy who started it all to read the book. He didn't want to give it to me but I was persistant. Got the book, had to promise to bring it back the next day, took it home, read it in one day, and wanted more. (My brother was Gimla.)
Thus, began the grand search for Tarzan...and a bit later discovered that there were books about other characters than Tarzan.
-- Joan Bledig (J the V) JtheV@aol.com
5. An "Abused Childhood" -- The Brooklyn Banth (Bruce Salen)
Lend an ear, O Jeddak and all --
Yay, be ye now the regal audience to this mine unnerving tale of woe and sorrow.
Hear ye now the sage of my abused childhood, to wit:--
Of a veritable sooth, when I were but a wee bairn, my parents and I lived in the same apartment building as did my maternal grandparents - we lived on the fourth floor on the north side of the building, and they lived on the ground floor of the south side.
Every night at bed-time, my father would put me to be, and make up a Robin Hood story to tell me.
First thing after breakfast the following morning, I would toddle downstairs to my grandparents apartment, where my grandfather would make up a Tarzan story for my private entertainment.
A few years later, with the advent of TV, two new heroes were quickly added to my private pantheon, to wit:-- The Lone Ranger, and my all-time #1, Hopalong Cassidy.
"Abused childhood" -- Robin Hood at bed-time; Tarzan the next morning, after breakfast; then, with the coming of television -- The Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy.
Then comes that fateful summer of 1960 -- my favorite summer, come to think of it. And one of the reasons is the fact that some time in June, or early July, I made an amazing discovery -- a load of Grosset & Dunlap ERB hardcovers, that my father had bought and read when they first came out, and had saved all these years. For me.
THE WARLORD OF MARS -- TARZAN THE TERRIBLE -- TARZAN AND THE ANT MEN -- TANAR OF PELLUCIDAR -- THE MOON MAID -- THE CAVE GIRL -- CHESSMEN OF MARS.
I read all of them during that fateful summer, and I was hooked on and by the Master Story-teller, ERB. And have been hooked ever since.
"Abused childhood" -- Robin Hood stories and bed-time -- Tarzan stories after breakfast -- and my father's collection of Burroughs books.
As Gene Kelly sang it in AN AMERICAN IN PARIS -- "Who can ask for anything more?"
The Brooklyn Banth.
6. My Path to ERB by Erich von Harben
I started with the comics and the movies. My allowence went for baseball cards and Tarzan comics. My parents gave us money (willingly) for the Saturday matinee at the local theatre. ALL of us children went. I finally realized that my parents gladly bribed us to be alone for some intamacy. It worked.
I did see every Tarzan film from 1952 through 1965 on the BIG screen! I read the comics too. I enjoyed seeing that Gold Key was illustrating the REAL Tarzan novels. I read a few Whitmans and a lot of great stuff from Scholastic.
In 1963 I discoved used book stores, and I purchased every Burroughs book available. I used my bus fare, and walked home. I worked in the school cafeteria so I blew my lunch money on books so I was HOPELESS!!!!!!!
I believe that: Comics are real comics Tarzans ~~ Movies are real movie Tarzans ~~ Books are real Tarzans except for the Werper abominations!
I PREFER the BOOKS by ERB! I enjoy reading the comics and I love viewing the films. The Books are my favourites! I enjoy all the different artwork on the paperback covers, and all those fantastic interior illos
in the hardcovers!
I believe I have an identity with ERB relative to December 7, 1941.
ERB watched the attack, and he saw all the planes flying. Hence he also saw the pilot leading the attack, Lt. Commander Fucida. Near the end of the war many Naval pilots were assigned land duty as guards.
Admiral Nagumo was governor of Guam, and he was commanding officer sailing on the carrier Akagi for the Pearl Harbor attack. Also on Guam was Commander Fucida. He was in charge of the prisoners. There was a missionary couple in his charge, and in a fit of anger he killed the husband right in front of his wife. Looking for reaction all she said was "I forgive you." She said that every time she saw Fucida. At the war's end he asked the woman weeping how he could have the peace she had, and he became a Christian.
Fucida emigrated to the US in the mid '50s, and now pastors a church in the Seattle area. I met him in 1965 before I left for Nam in San Diego. I forgave him too.
ERB and I saw the same person, but I got closer.
Erich von Harben
7. My Path to ERB by Vandor
The movie Tarzans kept me away from the books for many, many years. I even remember laughing at a friend who was reading a Tarzan book on the school bus ride home. "Me Tarzan! Umgowa!" If I had only known!
I came to ERB when I ran across GODS in a used bookstore. It was cheap and I'd read just about everything else SciFi on the shelves. (It didn't hurt that the bookstore owner was a babe and I wanted a reason for hanging around!) From there, I read every JC book I could find, then the Carson and Pellucidar books. I even visited Poloda before I went to Tarzan's Africa. I just couldn't bring myself to read about a monosyllabic fool in a loin cloth.
And then I found Tarzan at the Earth's Core! Whoa! That wasn't Johnny Weismuller's or even Ron Ely's Tarzan. And I was hooked! Soon I was looking for every Ballantine Tarzan I could find on my meager pay.
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