A new chapter of the Burroughs Bibliophiles is underway. A core group of ERB fans have banded together to create The Northern California Mangani (George T. McWhorter got a real kick out of our choice of name). Originally conceived by Ralph Brown (major fan and events organizer) and David Lemmo (author of the upcoming book TARZAN: HIS FIRST 100 YEARS), the Sacramento based organization of two then benefited by the inclusion of Tom Tolley, Sacramento Room Technician of the special collections rooms at the Sacramento main library. Berkeley-based Richard Lupoff, writer/editor and author of the excellent book EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS: MASTER OF ADVENTURE was the next to join the core group.
A New Bibliophiles Chapter
The Northern California Mangani
Mr. Lupoff's credentials and influence as an ERB fan are too well known to go into. Through Mr. Tolley, David was directed to Tom Krabacher, Department Chair of the Department of Geography at California State University, Sacramento. Professor Krabacher is enthusiastic about the new Bibliophiles chapter, and has joined the core group. At Ralph's suggestion, David contacted famed comic-book/comic-strip artist Thomas Yeates, who has illustrated fifteen Tarzan comic-books for Malibu and Dark Horse comics. Mr. Yeates has a sixteenth Tarzan comic-book coming out, soon, and has also joined the core group. The seventh member of the group is John Pappas of Stockton, California, a friend of both Ralph Brown and Tom Tolley. He is a retired English teacher.
The eighth member of the core group is Don Gray. Don now living in California, was an integral member of the Panthans back east. His vast experience with the Panthans and enthusiasm will be a great addition to the chapter's endeavors.
Talk about a Dream Team! Tom Tolley really got the ball rolling by reserving the glass cases in the Sacramento Library's special collections rooms, and one in the downstairs main lobby for a September 2012 exhibit. He and David Lemmo are planning a series of lectures, readings, and other events to coincide with the Tarzan/John Carter centennial. This will be the first event for THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA MANGANI chapter of the Burroughs Bibliophiles. David, through his organization, the Museum of Modern Mythology and Pop Culture, plans to hold some smaller events in the Sacramento area as preludes to the larger event in September. More information will be forthcoming.
Update: Thomas Yeates and David Lemmo have planned a meeting to discuss new Tarzan book project. After this meeting they will join Dick Lupoff for a Northern California Mangani get-together to brainstorm on the new chapter, our first big event in September, and a San Diego Comic Con International program. David and Henry Franke are working on the San Diego project with the director and assistant director.
A centennial history of Tarzan will be appearing in 2012 to coincide with the world-wide celebrations of both the first multimedia superstar and the first super hero to appear in the 20th Century: TARZAN: HIS FIRST 100 YEARS. How Ancient Literature became Modern Mythology, and created an Ape-Man mecca in Southern California. The authors are David A. Lemmo and Rachael Wenban. David is curator of the Museum of Modern Mythology and Pop Culture with over thirty years experience as an antiquarian bookseller, and a long time ERB/Tarzan fan. Rachael is a midwife and photographer, with twelve years experience as a book seller.
Tarzan: His First 100 Years
How Ancient Literature became Modern Mythology,
and created an Ape-Man mecca in Southern California
by David A. Lemmo and Rachael Wenban
The book has been proofread by George T. McWhorter for accuracy, and George also wrote the Foreword. Major ERB fan Ralph Brown supplied many of the graphics from his awesome collection, and the remainder are from the archives of David Lemmo's Museum of Modern Mythology and Pop Culture (www.modernmythmuseum.com). The publisher is Angel City Press of Santa Monica, California (www.angelcitypress.com). Angel City Press specializes in quality hard-back and trade paperback books of varied subjects with a Southern California connection.
TARZAN: HIS FIRST 100 YEARS is an examination and reference work on the Ape-Man. The authors' emphasis is on the socio-economic-scientific history of his many incarnations in the context of entertainment that became modern mythology. The book is similar to TARZAN AND TRADITION by Erling B. Holtsmark, in that the authors examine Tarzan in the context of mythology. However, where Holtsmark covers only the first six books, this new work includes all of the stories as part of "The Saga" (as with the labors and wanderings of Hercules, Odysseus, and King Arthur). Holtsmark stays with ancient mythology in his juxtapositions, where TARZAN: HIS FIRST 100 YEARS includes the Ape-Man's connections to ancient myth, legends, modern literature, science, culture, and how all of these led to the concept of modern myth.
The book emphasizes the inter-genre aspect of the meme we know of as Tarzan, which enables him to adapt to the future. That Tarzan is more than just a "jungle man" is integral to the core of the original character. He is also a British Lord, family man, secret agent, science fiction adventurer, an RAF officer during World War II, and at times, has been a paranormal investigator. This is a distinctly different way of presenting the character we thought we knew for a hundred years, following him into a growing 21st Century World.
Tarzan's connections to both ancient myth and modern characters greatly helped the growth and acceptance of the academic study of pop culture. He is a "Bridge between two Pantheons," a century-old expression of the ancient mythic age. His impact on society and cultural heritage extends beyond mere entertainment: a symbol of environmental conservation and animal rights, protector of indigenous traditional cultures, and is a world-wide example of the capacity of humans to rise above unfortunate circumstances to become rational, ethical, and dignified.
Tarzan is at the head of a line of early 20th Century archetypes (such as The Shadow and Doc Savage) that were later combined by writers to create new ones (such as Superman and Batman). The Ape-Man pioneered (beginning in 1916) the Fandom movement that pervades our culture. Here's a quote by iconic fantasy/science fiction author Ray Bradbury: "Edgar Rice Burroughs was and is the most influential writer, bar none, of our century." When asked about this statement by writer Lawrence Grobel, Bradbury replied, "I have talked to astronauts, biochemists, anthropologists, astronomers---they all say Edgar Rice Burroughs."Submitted by David Lemmo
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