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John Coleman Burroughs at work in his studio
From Tarzana, California
A Danton Burroughs
and
John Coleman Burroughs
Family Archive Feature
Danton Burroughs
JOHN COLEMAN BURROUGHS:
The Writer
Note: Click on many of the documents featured below to see full-screen images

Manuscript mailing envelope for
THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD
aka The World Below
Part I
by
John Coleman Burroughs
and
Hulbert Burroughs

10452 Bellagio Rd.
Los Angeles, California

February 23, 1940

The cover and interior art 
for this project appears in the
ERBzine Web Features:
www.erbzine.com/mag3/0341.html 
and
JCB 0341

Startling Stories: September 1941 - John C. & Hulbert Burroughs ~ Cover: Rudolph Belarski

John Coleman Burroughs from NU Alpha Fraternity group picture 1931
A SUMMARY OF THE 
HONORS' PROJECT
of
JOHN COLEMAN BURROUGHS
See the full feature on this project in ERBzine 1176
At the time I entered Honors in my Junior year I had evolved in my own mind a plan whereby I might successfully combine certain phases of art and science into my study program. In addition to further perfecting myself in drawing and painting I desired to correlate any ability that I possibly possessed of this nature with studies of comparative anatomical research in the realm of zoology.

As far as time and my capacity permitted during my last two years I adhered to this plan, under t he guidance of Mr. Beggs and Mr. Gilchrist of the Art and Science Departments, respectively. To Mr. Beggs I am greatly indebted not only for his splendid advice and teaching but for the outside time which he kindly devoted with me in in such activities as sketching trips, visits to the Los Angeles County and Pasadena Museums, and tours of Mr. Gay's lion farm where we obtained numerous valuable anatomical photographs. From Mr. Gilchrist I was very fortunate in obtaining suggestions for reading and the use of facilities and specimens of the Zoology Department.

For the purpose of creating some tangible expression of the Honors study I had done . . . more>>>
 


Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
Tarzana, California, 91356
January 23, 1967
(click)
Mr. John C. Burroughs
24236 Malibu Road
Malibu, California   90265

Dear Jack:

In the course of cleaning out my desk for Bob Hodes' use, I ran across some of your story outlines and a novelette which I apparently found a long time ago and put in my desk for safekeeping. It may be that I previously showed them to you and you asked me to keep them here at the office. In any event, I had forgotten them and am enclosing them herewith:

1. Gardenia With a Golden Center.

2. The Age that Time Returned

3. Hybrid of Horror

4. The Man Without a World

The last two story ideas above indicate that you had planned to enlarge the previously published magazine stories to full-length novels.

I just got through reading The Age That Time Returned, and I think this is a story idea with very great possibilities. It may have to be up-dated as far as science is concerned, and I think the time element will have to be materially stretched out to account for the rapid growth of dinosaurs and vast jungles all within the period of the lives of your leading characters. This I am certain you will be able to handle quite well. Now get to work on it!

Love,
"H"

Thrilling Wonder June 1939: JC & H Burroughs - Man Without a World
Hybrid of Horror ~ Man Without A World


THE STRANGE ISLAND
by
John Coleman Burroughs
Sample first page of original manuscript
Last night I dreamed I was on Kleister Island again.

I was standing once more on that lonely bluff with the grim, black forest behind me and the ominous, moonlit waters below.

The ocean stole quietly into the remote distance where it merged darkly with the star-studded sky. The crisp, salty smell of the sea was borne up to me by a faint breeze which rustled my skirt and blew the long, black hair that covered my head and fell about my shoulders.

From the forest behind and on either side came that awful sound - that steady, hoarse, rhythmic breathing - like there paced in the formidable shadows some giant, restless beast, noiseless save for its reaping, hungry breath.

Now in my dream I heard another noise that was even more frightening than the sound in the forest. I could hear something stealthily approaching along the path that led from the beach below to the top of the bluff where I stood.

Frozen in fear between the horrible forest behind and that which was coming toward me along the trail in front I stood for an eternity unable to move or cry aloud.

As once before in actuality so now again in this nightmare the THING finally came into view, and when I saw what it was my mouth opened and after a great effort I finally screamed. . . .


Synopsis of a Novel to be Entitled
THE AGE THAT TIME RETURNED
by
John Coleman Burroughs
Sample first page of original manuscript


Anthony Quade was never a strong lad. His parents coddled him, provided a tutor for him which caused him to lose out on all normal school athletics. He grew up into a young manhood wearing glasses. He stuttered a little. His tall, lanky frame had never known anything faintly resembling hard, physical work.

The plans and hopes of Anthony Quade have always gone hay-wire. He has ever been a little too late for the important events of his life.

When his parents finally allowed him to enroll in college, he entered a manuscript in a national freshmen  theme contest. He wrote a learned paper about one of his favorite subjects, tracing the history of astrology back to a sound scientific theory of the ancient Mayans. He cited examples of old astrological predictions that came true and offered proof that Mother Shipton and Nostradamus were in reality master scientists and star gazers. The judges of the contest wrote Anthony later that his theme would surely have won his tuition thru college had not his entry arrived a day after the contest closed.

Both his parents died when Anthony was still a freshman and he discovered they had been just about penniless at the time of their death. After working his way thru U.C.L.A. as a librarian, Anthony missed out on his own graduation ceremonies because he was locked up in the college observatory, indulging in one of his favorite hobbies -- star gazing -- and forgot the time of day.

Young Anthony attracted quite a bit of attention in college because of his astrological predictions. Several newspapers at first featured his theories and prophecies concerning everything from politics to weather -- theories based on Anthony Quade's own formula of sun spot activity, planetary positions and correlated with ancient prophecies. . . .


GARDENIA WITH A GOLDEN CENTER
by John Coleman Burroughs
Sample first page of original manuscript

Mervin Davis stared into the cold, hollow eye of his revolver, while he tried once again to summon courage to pull the trigger.

In God's name, wondered the man, what adult mind had conceived the idea that only a coward could take his own life?
A dozen times already this night, the artist had shoved the chill muzzle-end hard against his sweating forehead. Each time his mouth grew dry, his trigger finger hopelessly paralyzed in fright.

Once more he lowered the gun to his lap; with trembling hand he sought the half-empty bottle beneath the work table beside him. He wiped the scum from the rim of a dirty glass with the paint-smeared sleeve of his smock. Unsteadily he filled the glass. The overflowing liquor settled in a little amber puddle around an island of blood-red vermillion paint which had been squeezed out with other colors along the rim of the artist's palette. . . .
 
 
 
 


An original page from the manuscript for The Bottom of the World ~ Startling Stories

. . . steaming biscuits. Instead, I passed them to Fritz Megler who had just made the hypothetical prophecy himself concerning Barbara Lawrence, the girl beside me.

"Of course," said Fritz Megler in that slow, measured way with which so many old people speak, "I was using Miss Lawrence as an example - an example to illustrate my belief that time is only relative. I do not actually say that in four years she will be as old as - well, as old as I. But it would be in the realm of possibility that she would appear as an old woman inside of that period, provided her metabolism could be induced to speed up, say twenty times." Fritz Megler pivoted his hunched shoulders, upon which his stiff neck was attached, to a position where h could comfortably feast his watery eyes upon Barbara Lawrence. Painfully his thin wrinkled lip twitched up to expose his aged, decaying teeth, and Fritz Megler thought he was smiling.

Barbara Lawrence threw back her pretty head and laughed gaily with her full red lips and sparkling eyes.

"Shame on you, Mr. Megler," she mocked. "Your prophecy is already frightening me into senility!"

"I prefer to think my daughter will be just as young and lovely in four years as she is tonight," Mrs. Lawrence was passing more chic ken - delicious fried pieces that made you thankful for such cooking as hers." - Just as lovely and with the same healthy appetite," she concluded, glancing at Barbara's plate with evident satisfaction.

"On the other hand," continued Fritz Megler, stubbornly pursuing his favorite theory, "If her Metabolic rate decreased twenty times and the body temperature lowered accordingly - then it would require literally ages before she would grow old." Megler sank his teeth into the soft white meat of a chicken breast, while he allowed his small eyes to wander listlessly over Barbara's . . .


Cable Address: WHITCO RACINE
WHITMAN
PUBLISHING CO.
Racine, Wisconsin
BOOKS * GAMES * GREETING CARDS * PLAYING CARDS
August 21, 1944
Mr. John Coleman Burroughs
Tarzana, California

Dear Mr. Burroughs:

Thank you for your letter of August 15 accepting the assignment to do the cover for our Better Little Book, TARZAN AND THE ANT MEN.

If you have not already started this cover, please use the scale of 1 to 2, as laid out on the tissues which I sent to you a week or so ago.

We will need this art as soon as you can complete it for us. I believe that you have all the material necessary to work from.

Very truly yours,

WHITMAN PUBLISHING CO.
Thomas Penfield

Tarzan and the Ant Men
Whitman Better Little Book
1945 ~ No. 1444 
Cover by John Coleman Burroughs 
171 interiors from the 1932 Rex Maxon strip

Featured in the ERBzine Better Little Book Gallery
ERBzine 0044c


OTHER PUBLISHED WORKS BY JOHN COLEMAN BURROUGHS
John Coleman Burroughs'
Treasure of the Black Falcon
A journey to the center of an Atlantian abyss, 
many-thousand leagues under the sea, 
to find gold, adventure, romance, drug addiction, 
and the progeny of creatures from beyond the farthest planet?

Read the synopsis and reviews in:
ERBzine 0938 and ERBzine 0939

John Carter of Mars 
 1940
Whitman Better Little Book ~ No. 1402
Cover & 209 interiors: John Coleman Burroughs
Story adapted from the first 7 chapters of 
John Carter & the Giant of Mars 
Last 15 pages are original material 
ERBzine 0044c

John Carter and the Giant of Mars
ERBzine 0220

Amazing Stories - January 1941

Amazing Stories Quarterly ~ 1941 ~ Fall Annual with John Carter and the Giant of Mars
Amazing Quarterly - Fall 1941
Amazing Stories: April 1961 - John Carter and the Giant of Mars
Amazing Stories - April 1961
Amazing Stories: April 1961 - Back Cover - John Carter and the Giant of Mars
Amazing Back Cover
 
Reed Crandall: John Carter of Mars - 8 interiorsJohn Carter of Mars
Featuring John Carter and the Giant of Mars
Canaveral Edition
See ERBzine C.H.A.S.E.R.


ERB Online Bio: January 1941 Entry:
"John Carter and the Giant of Mars" appears in Amazing Stories under ERB's name (the magazine hit the stands on November 10, 1940.) A controversy soon follows as to authorship over this story which was actually written by John Coleman Burroughs. Hulbert later explains that "Giant" was originally written as a Whitman Better Little Book and later expanded into novelette form - although ERB might have had some input from Honolulu, Jack (perhaps with input from Whitman editors) did most of the work on it. 


Recommended related article: 
John Carter and the Giant of Mars analysis by Den Valdron 
ERBzine 1507
.
  

PEnnsylvania 6-0008
KING-SIZE PUBLICATIONS, INC.
11 West 42nd Street, New York 35, N. Y.
January 30th, 1953
Mr. John Coleman Burroughs,
5135 Avenida Oriente
Tarzana, California

Dear Mr. Burroughs:

With blushing head in the crook of my elbow I am returning GARDENIA WITH A GOLDEN CENTER unpurchased. Somehow, it silmply didn't click -- though Lord knows we need fantasy and would like some of yours right now. Leo Margulies read it also and had the same infuriating (to an author) vague reaction.

My hunch is that the difficulty lies in a very fuzzy line between the real and unreal as picture girl turns out to be a live girl and so on. It is my definite belief that successful fantasy, above all sorts of fiction, depends upon a very sharply etched boundary line between the two elements.

Sorry as the devil my memory seems to have played me false in the case of this story -- and I hope you'll submit more of your work to us in the very near future.

Very truly yours,
KING-SIZE PUBLICATIONS, INC.
[sig]
SAM MERWIN, JR.
Editor
SMjr/jb
 

For more JCB Stories visit the
JOHN COLEMAN BURROUGHS PULP GALLERY
www.erbzine.com/mag3/0341.html

Hybrid of Horror
by
John Coleman and Jane Ralston Burroughs
Chapters 1 - 8


Click for larger Collage Poster

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