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The Many Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs
"The master of imaginative fantasy adventure...
...the creator of Tarzan and...
...the 'grandfather of science-fiction'"
ERB COMPENDIUM T8-4
TARZAN THE TERRIBLE
by David Adams
Tarzan holds a brightly colored, masked Ho-don figure over his head. It is a Caucasian human but with a prehensile tail that has wrapped around Tarzan's right arm in the struggle. Another similarly masked Ho-don looks on to the lower left, his body leaning away from the action. A fourth human figure lying on his back (with a human skull at the level of his chest) at the lower right completes this circular arrangement. The bright red and yellow of the two masked figures contrasts vividly with the dark shades of blue in the shadowy background, however it complements the red lettering of the book title.
Nine Interior Sepia Plates
Tarzan the Terrible: same image as the cover, however, the brown and white format accents the light source in a more dramatic way, highlighting Tarzan's chest in the middle of the picture. The light strikes the back and shoulders of the man Tarzan is holding overhead, then glances down the shoulder of the standing man, which makes the action seem to move in a circular, spinning fashion.
2. (between pages 22-23)
"As the two antagonists battled, a
devil-faced saber-tooth peered menacingly from the jungle."
with a black, shaggy Waz-don, another tailed, human figure. Tarzan is on
top of the Waz-don in the process of forcing him into a pool of water.
A saber-tooth tiger's head peers from the dense jungle at the top left
of the picture. Since Tarzan's head is at the extreme right middle
of the scene, the composition is an s-curve that is
3. (between pages 40-41)
"Like a gigantic rat the shaggy, black figure
moved across the face of the perpendicular cliff."
A lone Waz-don climbs the cliff. The outstretched arms, bent back, and looped tail of the figure make a great curve across the page. The bent right knee resting on a ledge makes a little circle in the left center of the scene accented by a jeweled belt and knife hilt that touches his heel. The man is passing an odd outcropping of stone that looks like an ice cream cone.
4. (between pages 96-97)
"She felt her fingers numbing slowly to the strain upon them"
An extremely dramatic picture. Tarzan is hanging over a cliff. A small girl's arms at the upper left of the picture are holding the completely elongated form of Tarzan by his right ankle alone. A brightly lit Tarzan appears against the white limestone cliff. He is completely relaxed in attitude despite his perilous situation. His left leg is bent with his foot against the stone. The first impression of this picture is almost a crucifixion scene. By reversing the picture one might imagine a medieval picture with a woman holding Christ's feet at the foot of his cross.
5. (between pages 126-127)
"He dove headforemost beneath the giant reptile and plunged his knife into the slimy belly"
An extremely interesting picture. The upper third of the picture is above water showing the head and gigantic toothed mouth of the prehistoric monster while the bottom two-thirds is viewed underwater as though we are seeing it behind a glass in a large tank. The Tarzan figure is upright in the water and turning (with the characteristic arm swung away from body so prevalent in St. John's work) as he plunges his knife with his left hand into the belly of the reptile. The shadow of the monster's tail completes the s-curve composition.
6. (between pages 168-169)
"The two women dropped to their knees,
stricken with awe at the thought of the awful nearness of the Great God."
Tarzan again fills
most of the picture. He stands with his right arm upraised with his
body leaning slightly back. Tarzan is in the process of releasing
a bird from his right hand. His left hand gestures toward the heads
of the two kneeling women in a wide fingered form that suggests a medieval
Christian icon of blessing. The three tall trees in the background
compliment the almost soaring Tarzan figure. The light strikes Tarzan's
magnificently muscled body shining fully upon his raised arm. His
head is bent back as he looks at the bird about to be released into the
air. It is a daring and difficult composition forcing
7. (between pages 248-249
“Ko-tan spring forward, and seizing Jane about the waist, carried her
off struggling and fighting fiercely.”
[Ko-tan is incorrectly named. It should read, “Mo-sar.”]
8. (between pages 278-279)
“Every enemy back being toward her,
Lady Greystoke slid quietly into the chill, dark lake.”
Reminds one of a
King Arthur scene. A very large “canoe” with the head of a sea monster
heads away from the viewer paddled by four helmeted warriors while Jane
slips into the water at the rear of the craft. Her guard, Mo-sar,
is seen sleeping, his head on the edge of the canoe. A high, clouded
sky takes up the upper half of the
(between pages 354-355)
“The gryf issued his hideous challenging bellow
and charged the warriors”
Rex (instead of the usual Triceratops figure) races
and dramatic, but the outstanding and most startling one is #4 with the
hanging Tarzan, and #7 is the one most filled with classic grace and
poise. Tarzan throughout is given the perfect body as described by ERB -- well-proportioned, a Greek Apollo rather than a Hercules.
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