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Since 1996 ~ Over 10,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 2008
The Mutual Admiration Between
Edgar Rice Burroughs and J. Allen St. John

At Work In The Art Studio
Tarzan and Jad-bal-ja the Golden Lion

Many large, high resolution images
Minidoka  Cover Art | ERB Portrait
Outlaw of Torn | Cover Art
The Return of Tarzan | Interior Art (smaller images)
At The Earth's Core | Interior Art | Cover Art
The Cave Girl |  Cover Art
The Monster Men | Cover Art
Warlord of Mars | Cover Art
The Mucker | Cover ArtInterior Art
The Mad King | Cover Art
The Eternal Lover | Cover Art
The Beasts of Tarzan | Cover Art | Interior Gallery I | Gallery II
Thuvia Maid of Mars | Interior Art
Pellucidar | Cover Art | Interior Art
The Son of Tarzan | Cover Art | Interior Gallery I | Gallery II | Gallery III
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar | Cover Art | Interior Gallery I | Gallery II
Jungle Tales of Tarzan | Cover Art | Interior Art Gallery
The Land That Time Forgot | Cover Art | 1 of 4 Interiors 
Tarzan the Untamed | Cover Art | Interior Art (smaller images)
The Moon Maid | Cover Art
Tarzan the Terrible | Cover Art | Interior Art (smaller images)
The Chessmen of Mars | Cover Art | Interior Art (smaller images)
Tarzan and the Golden Lion | Cover Art | Golden Lion | Interior Art (smaller images)
Tarzan and the Ant Men | Cover Art 
The Master Mind of Mars | Cover Art | Interior Art Gallery
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle | Cover Art | Pulp Cover Art | Interior Art Gallery (smaller images)
Tarzan at the Earth's Core | Cover Art | Frontispiece (small image)
Tarzan and the Leopard Men | Cover Art | DJ Art | 4 Interiors (smaller images)
Pirates of Venus | Cover Art | Interior Art(5 smaller images)
Tarzan and the City of Gold | Cover Art | DJ Art | Interior Art (smaller images) 
Lost On Venus | Cover Art | Interior Art (smaller images) | Pulp Covers: | I | II | III | IV
Tarzan and the Lion Man | Cover Art I | Cover Art II | 5 Interiors (smaller images)
Swords of Mars | Cover Art | 5 Interiors (smaller images)
Tarzan's Quest | Cover Art | DJ Art | Interior Art (smaller images) 
Llana of Gathol | Pulp Magazine Art  | Pulp Covers: | I | II | III | IV
Savage Pellucidar | Cover Art | Pulp Interiors (smaller images) 
John Carter and the Giant of Mars | Pulp Cover
Skeleton Men of Jupiter | Pulp Interiors  (smaller images) 

J. Allen St. John Features in ERBzine
ERBzine 0602: St. John Biography and Colour Art Gallery I
ERBzine 0682: Guide to St. John Features in ERBzine
ERBzine 0683: St. John Gallery II ~ Line Art
ERBzine 1642: St. John Gallery III
The J. Allen St. John Self Portrait
ERBzine 2305 St. John Face in Pool
ERBzine 2314 St. John Colour Art

For more art plus publishing histories, trivia, links, etc.
See the Illustrated Bibliography for the above titles at:
Mrs. St. John remembers the many times that Edgar Rice Burroughs visited the Tree Studio apartment. The meetings were not social and Mrs. St. John absented herself after being sure that the men had whatever refreshment they required. “Mr. Burroughs was all business. He had to be, because he was writing so furiously. After he moved to California his correspondence dealt mainly with the drawings and sketches James did for the books. His letters were always friendly and complimentary.”

Stan Vinson remembers St. John’s pleasure when admirers of Burroughs came calling. “He got a big charge out of the developing interest in Burroughs and the books that he, St. John, had illustrated. He didn’t look on the work he’d done in drawing jungle animals or creatures from Barsoom as beneath his dignity as an artist. He’d done the best he could with the illustrations, and he was delighted when ERpeople all over the world asked him about them.”

One of Burroughs’ letters to St. John epitomizes his appreciation of the artist’s contribution to the stories. Dated May 18, 1920 from Tarzana Ranch, Van Nuys, California, the letter reads in part: “…I think you visualize the characters and scenes precisely as I did. If I could do the sort of work you do I would not change a line in any of the drawings. I think your work for Tarzan the Untamed is the finest thing I have ever seen.”

James Allen St. John survived Burroughs by seven years, living his last days in the Tree Studio Building that had for so long been his home and working place.

TARZAN COUNTDOWN Burroughs Bulletin (original series) No. 14  By Russ Manning
Russ Manning The Writer:
St. John's Tarzan is a romantic in the 19th century tradition. Fanciful, imaginative, and not of this world, we'd feel an undefined something missing if St. John had never drawn the ape-man. He put the fantasy, the other-worldliness into Tarzan that everyone else missed, except the master, Burroughs. To St. John's illustrations goes the mind's eye for what the ant men look like, or the earth's core, or any of the off-beat touches so much a part of the legend. His style was perhaps too much of the 1920s, while Tarzan is timeless, but how we would miss each magnificent masterpiece if he had never painted them.

A Pictorial History of Tarzan of the Apes - Picturized by Hal Foster
In 1928, Joseph H. Neebe contracted with Edgar Rice Burroughs to produce a comic strip based on TARZAN OF THE APES. Mr. Neebe formed a new syndicate, Famous Books and Plays, Inc., (and at ERB's request) and attempted to obtain the talents of J. Allen St. John to illustrate the strip. Mr. St. John was interested, but when he learned that a deadline had been set for the completion of the strips first episodes, he turned the job down, feeling  he could not offer his best under the circumstances. Neebe hired Harold Foster to  produce TARZAN OF THE APES in strip form.

The Illustrator and the Author by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The question of the value of illustrations appears to be wide open. I like them. But that may be accounted for by the statement of a certain English reviewer that I have the mind of a child of six.

My stories have been illustrated in magazine, newspaper and book publication for the past fifteen years. Some of the illustrations have been excellent, and some gosh awful. With a single exception, J. Allen St. John has illustrated all my books. I had nothing to do with the choosing of him or the subjects of his illustrations, yet I have been almost uniformly pleased with his work, which I have always felt has added considerably to whatever success I have had.

It would be unfair, it seems to me, to compare the work of the magazine illustrators with that of St. John, since it is doubtful that they have the same opportunity to study the text that he has, there being nothing available for them but the original manuscript, and it is quite unbelievable that the magazine editor would turn this over for any length of time to the illustrator; while St. John has access to the story in magazine form, with the result that St. John's work really illustrates my stories. In fact, he visualizes scenes and characters precisely as I have, and often with market improvement.

His visualization of some of the nightmare creatures of my imagination is truly remarkable. There have been occasions when he has not had enough legs on some of them, but I would be the last to blame him, as I can never remember their full anatomical equipment myself, and am compelled to keep a little reference book to guide me each time one of them re-enters the story.

Possibly I am particularly sensitive to illustrations, but I have seen some that detracted considerably from the charm of a story, and I believe that if they cannot be absolutely correct and well done, they should not be used at all. Most of my material is particularly well adapted to illustration, since the costumes, and lack of them, will be as timely ten years from now as they are today, and in books that have been taken up by children, this is important, since the childish mind, as I know from experience, is considerably influenced by illustrations, and is not particulary intrigued by those of a former generation of wearing apparel.

Where the fault lies in improper illustration of a story, I do not know. Of course, sometimes it might lie in theart editor's choice of an artist, or again, in an artist's failure to get into the spirit of the story.

The Story of the Tarzan Newspaper Strips . . . as they were rendered by
Before long, however, Ed resumed his criticisms of Maxon and urged the syndicate to bring back Foster. Why not get Foster to do the strips? We believe you will admit that the best art work on the strips to date was that done by Foster. . ." He was elated when Foster agreed to draw the colour pages but continued to suggest that J. Allen St. John be hired to do the dailies."

In early 1932 ERB passed along St. John's request to take over the strip. The syndicate rejected the application.

The ERB Bio Timeline - The '30s Decade
1931 February 19: Nephew Studley Burroughs offers to illustrate the upcoming ERB Inc. editions. Finding that St. John's rates are too high, Ed enlists Studley's services despite the man's shattered emotional state over family tragedies. He struggles with deadlines but manages to illustrate  Tarzan the Invincible, Jungle Girl, Tarzan Triumphant, and Apache Devil before Ed gives up on him and turns to St. John and eventually John Coleman Burroughs.
1933 Fall: J. Allen St. John prepares samples of a Martian strip to be presented to King Features Syndicate but it is rejected by Hearst himself.

Page 460: With the publication of the second of the Tarzan series, The Return of Tarzan, McClurg employed J. Allen St. John as the illustrator; St. John's association with the Burroughs books would continue for many years, and his colorful and exciting drawings would bring him fame.
Page 511: I think I can make these criticisms safely for it is the first adverse criticism I have ever had to make of any of St. John's work which, as you know, has always more than satisfied me. The girl is a pippin, although she has too many clothes on for the part. You will recall that Dejah was naked except for the harness. However, I suppose for the sake of the public morality you had to robe her... .
Page 512: St. John continued to be his favorite illustrator. On May 18, 1920, Ed wrote to compliment him on his drawings in the Tarzan books: ". . . If I could do the sort of work you do I would not change a line in any of the drawings. I think your work for Tarzan The Untamed is the finest I have ever seen in any book. Each picture reflects the thought and interest and labor that were expended upon it...."
Page 668: His (a young John Coleman Burroughs) interest in drawing had been noticeable several years before, when he began copying or tracing the colorful illustrations made by J. Allen St. John.
Page 681: The response from Edwin King at the Hollywood studios noted that Wing had been doing considerable work for various producers and that Percy Heath, the FBO script editor, found the first contact with Wing "extremely satisfactory." King, however, was conciliatory and promised to submit the first script to Ed.  A week later Ed forwarded twenty original drawings by J. Allen St. John, on loan, to King's office in an effort to help the studio realistically visualize Tarzan and his jungle environment.
Page 756:  In his view, J. Allen St. John towered above the others in the field, but he conceded that Harold Foster had done excellent work on Tarzan of the Apes.

See Navigation Chart Above
Frank H. Young charcoal by J. Allen St. John
Cover art for Mystic 1 Magazine by J. Allen St. John


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