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Tarzan and the Ant Men
Publishing History ~ Covers ~ St. John Art
Summary ~ Cast ~ Lord Greystoke's Cover Art Gallery



PUBLISHING HISTORY (USA)
ERB commenced writing June 20, 1923 ~ finished November 22, 1923 ~ 86,000 words
PULP
Argosy All-Story Weekly ~ 1924: February 2, 9, 16, 23 ~ March 1, 8, 15
    Cover by Stockton Mulford ~ One interior illo per issue by Roger B. Morrison
FIRST EDITION
A. C. McClurg & Co ~ September 30, 1924 ~ 346 pages ~ 1st Ed. Print Run: 10,000 ~ Total: 187,500 ~ Heins word count: 86,000
    J. Allen St. John: wrap-around DJ and frontispiece version of DJ in sepia ~ (contains "How Burroughs Wrote the Tarzan Tales")
REPRINTS
Mixed McClurg and Grosset & Dunlap edition ~ 1925
    J. Allen St. John DJ and reversed sepia frontispiece
Grosset & Dunlap ~ 1925
Grosset & Dunlap ~ 1940 ~ no frontispiece
Grosset & Dunlap ~ 1943 ~ wartime edition ~ no frontispiece
Better Little Book: Whitman Publishing ~ 1945
    John Coleman Burroughs cover ~ Rex Maxon: 171 illos from 1932 newspaper strips
Grosset & Dunlap ~ January 1950
    E. Monroe: DJ art ~ Rafael Palacios: endpages map and title drawing ~ no interiors
PAPERBACK REPRINTS
Ballantine Books ~ July 1963
    Richard Powers cover
Grosset & Dunlap ~ 1967
    Pictorial boards cover with unknown artist ~ Rafael Palacios title page decoration ~ no interiors
Ballantine Books ~ October 1969 - 1972
    Robert Abbett cover
Ballantine Books ~ November 1976
    Boris Vallejo cover
Del Rey-Ballantine Double paperback: May 1997 ~ 426 pages ~ with Tarzan and the Golden Lion
    Charles Keegan cover
For detailed information see: Zeuschner's ERB: The Exhaustive Scholar’s and Collector’s Descriptive Bibliography

Tarzan and the Ant Men
Tarzan, the king of the jungle, enters an isolated country called Minuni, inhabited by a people four times smaller than himself. The Minunians live in magnificent city-states which frequently wage war against each other. Tarzan befriends the king, Adendrohahkis, and the prince, Komodoflorensal, of one such city-state, called Trohanadalmakus, and joins them in war against the onslaught of the army of Veltopismakus, their warlike neighbours. Tarzan is captured on the battle-ground and taken prisoner by the Veltopismakusians. The Veltopismakusian scientist Zoanthrohago conducts an experiment reducing Tarzan to the size of a Minunian, and the ape-man is imprisoned and enslaved among other Trohanadalmakusian prisoners of war. He meets, though, Komodoflorensal in the dungeons of Veltopismakus, and together they are able to make a daring escape.
Tarzan and the Ant Men by J. Allen St. John
Whitman Better Little Book 1945: Cover art by John Coleman Burroughs

 

CAST (in order of appearance)


Obebe ~ chief of cannibal tribe
Esteban Miranda  ~ Tarzan look-alike, now mad and captive
Khamis ~ Obebe's witch doctor
Ohha ~ Khamis' 14-year-old daughter
Korak ~ son of Tarzan, born Jack
Meriem ~ Korak's wife, once an Arab captive
Jackie ~ infant son of Korak and Meriem
TARZAN of the Apes ~ John Clayton, Lord Greystoke aka Zuzanthrol by the Veltopismakusians
Jane Clayton ~ Lady Greystoke, aka My Dear
Andua ~ Waziri warrior who can fly planes
Aluli — First Woman ~ Thorn Forest virago, finds Tarzan
Second Woman ~ woman bludgeoned by First Woman
Third Woman ~ arrives with antelope and captive man
Son of First Woman ~ 16-year-old boy befriended by Tarzan
Minunians —Adendrohahkis ~ King of the Tohanadalmakusians
Prince Komodoflorensal ~ son of Adendrohahkis, aka Aoponato
Elkomoelhago ~ King of the Veltopismakusians
Prince Zoanthrohago Zertol ~ Veltopismakusian owner of Tarzan
Gofoloso ~ friend of Elkomoelhago, Chief of Chiefs
Janzara ~ daughter of Elkomoelhago
Torndali ~ Veltopismakusian Chief of Quarries
 Makahago ~ Veltopismakusian Chief of Buildings
Throwaldo ~ Veltopismakusian Chief of Agriculture
Vestako ~ Veltopismakusian Chief of the Royal Dome
Gefasto ~ Veltopismakusian Chief of Warriors
Kalfastoban ~ Vental (commander of ten warriors)
Talaskar ~ cook for 800^3+19 (aka Aoponato)
Caraftap ~ Slave who wants Talaskar
Oratharc ~ helpful Veltopismakusian warrior
Usula ~ Tarzan's Waziri headman
Flora Hawkes ~ maid to Lady Greystoke
Cast List Ref: Clark A. Brady's Burroughs Cyclopedia and Ed Stephan's Tarzan of the Internet

Book Blurb Summary
from Ballantine Books
No man had ever penetrated the Great thorn Forest until Tarzan of the Apes crashed his plane behind it on his first solo flight. Within lay a beautiful country. But in it lived the Alali, strange stone-age giants whose women regarded all men as less than slaves. And beyond the Alali lay the country of the Ant-Men — little people only eighteen inches tall. There, in Trohanadalmakus, Tarzan was an honored guest—until he was captured by the warriors of Veltopismakus in one of the ant-men's wars. They had their plans for the ape-man. By the advanced science of the little men, Tarzan was shrunk to their size and set to work as a quarry slave.
Chapters: 22 untitled chapters

John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
LORD 
GREYSTOKE'S 
ART
GALLERY


NOTE: The smaller images below are for reference.
They do not link to larger images.
J. Allen St. John: Tarzan and the Ant Men - wrap-around DJ - sepia FPERB's worksheet for Ant MenERB's worksheet for Ant Men
February 2, 1924: Argosy All-Story WeeklyTarzan escapes the corral: Axel Mathiesen 1933Tarzan escapes to the cambon's burrow to  escape lion
Tarzan and the Ant MenEsteban and Uhha: art by Axel Mathiesen - Danish edition 1933Tarzan and the Ant Men - Boris 1978
Tarzan and son of the First Woman: Motoichiro Takebe 1967Zertalacolol finds Tarzan: Milan Fibiger 1992 Czech editionTarzan saves Komodoflorensal from Zertalacolol: Dutch edition 1950Prince Komodoflorensal on diadet
Trohanadalmakus, the domed city of the ant men: Milan Fibiger, 1992Princess Janzara stabs Tarzan: Axel Mathiesen, 1933Tarzan rescues Talaskar and Janzara: Milan Fibiger, 1992Tarzan escapes on iron hook ladder

U.S. Paperback Covers
McClurg 1st Edition Cover ~ Sept. 30, 1924 ~ 10,000 copies printedBallantine 1963: Richard Powers coverBallantine 1969: Robert Abbett coverBallantine 1972: Robert Abbett coverBallantine edition 1981: Boris Vallejo cover artDel Rey double: Ant Men and Golden Lion
U.K. Paperback Covers
Pinnacle edition UK4 Square edition: Edward Mortelmans cover4 Square Edition UK4 Square edition: Edward Mortelmans cover
Japanese EditionArgosy All-Story: February 2, 1924



Tarzan and the Ant Men
Frazetta ACE cover painting (click)
 

TARZAN AND THE ANT MEN
Review contributed by Doc Hermes ERB Reviews

From the February and March 1924 issues of ALL STORY (where it was serialized before being published in hardcover), this is a pretty wild adventure with strong elements of satire. People who have only a passing knowledge of Tarzan may think the books are a simple series of fights with wild animals and African tribes, but this book in particular shows a vivid imagination with a good use of extrapolated detail that makes the improbable events more convincing. Along with the three previous books, this is the phase of Burroughs` career where I like his prose best. It`s still eloquent and expressive, but not as overly wordy as the earliest books and not the sparse, brittle tone of the rest of the series.

The major part of this story is fine, a classic example of pulp adventure, but the two lengthy subplots are a bit too much added weight and lessen the impact. First, there`s the misadventures of Esteban Miranda, the crazy Spaniard who looks exactly like Tarzan and who comes to be believe he IS Tarzan (carrying method acting a bit too far). We first met Miranda in the previous book, TARZAN AND THE GOLDEN LION, and here he`s still a prisoner of a cannibal tribe which is unsure what to do with him. Miranda`s usefulness in this book seems to be that (by showing up amnesiac at the Greystoke plantation and leading even Korak and Jane to mistake him for the Apeman), he provides a bit of suspense at the thought that family might be fooled and Jane might, well, carry out her wifely duties. Also, when Tarzan himself turns up at the cannibal village, the natives think he`s the rather ineffectual Miranda and get quite a surprise when they try to capture him. The comic aspect of this falls flat, and might better have been developed as a humorous short story, with mistaken identity  and slapstick. Here it just seems like paddding.

Then there`s the lengthy interludes with the Alulus, a strange society where the men are meek little wimps who hide in the forest from the hulking, muscular women. This whole concept, which could have been interesting, is handled so clumsily that it gets the book off to a false start which probably discouraged many readers from continuing. Just the idea that these people are so primitive that they don`t have a spoken language, only simple gestures, is impossible to believe in a series where the Great Apes carry on conversations with human beings. Apparently this is Burrough`s reflection on what giving women the vote will lead to, and it rings false from beginning to end.

To be fair, there is a huge amount of fiction aimed for a female audience which features matriarchal societies full of kind, loving, noble near saintly women, while the men are all brutal hopeless thugs. From Wonder Woman to CLAN OF THE CARE BEAR (err, CAVE BEAR) to all those 600 page fantasy paperbacks by authors like Robert Jordan, they present a viewpoint just as skewed to their audiences. So it`s not like Burroughs is unique in this.

But the bulk of the story, and the best part, is the Apeman`s encounter with the Minuians, the Ant Men of the title. These are eighteen inch tall Causians with an elaborate warlike society, the original pygmies of myth and legend, not the tribes of short African natives now associated with the name. The Minunians are a terrific creation, their cities of hundred feet high stone `ant hills` are described in great detail, and the working of their class conscious society is explored. Just a few inches shorter than the smallest recorded midgets, the Minunians are not so tiny as to be completely unbelievable (as if, say, they were six inches high).

And there is nothing cute or elfin about them. They are heroic warriors with a strong code of honor, riding small antelope into battle, and Tarzan (and the reader) takes an immediate liking to them). Any resemblance to GULLIVER`S TRAVELS is superficial beyond the basic premise of a normal man interacting with warring cities of tiny humans, Captured by Minunians of an enemy anthill in a vivid scene, Tarzan is (surprisingly enough) shrunk down to their size by scientific doubletalk and taken as a slave. Adding more tension is the nagging knowledge that at some point he will abruptly regain his normal size.. not an appealing thought if it happens while he`s in a small stone room.

Making the best of things, Tarzan has a grand old time among the Minunians, befriending the Prince Komodoflorensal who was captured with him. When he inevitably makes his near hopeless escape attempt, the Apeman is determined to also bring with them a slave girl who had been kind to them (anything to make it more difficult). In a startling moment, Tarzan discovers that he has retained most of his normal strength and is now capable of bending thick steel bars and leaping effortlessly several times his own length. (Remind anyone of a certain Virginian on Barsoom?) Unfortunately not much is made of his new superhuman powers, and I wish Burroughs had cut back on the anti-feminist Alalus premise to instead show some spectacular scenes of Tarzan leaping over the charging army, strangling a wildcat as big proportionately as a lion, or fighting with a club as large as his body. As it is, our hero is normally so overwheming that he hardly seems any different here.

But underneath the classic pulp adventure is a large dose of Burroughs` social criticism, as we find the Minunians are suffering through their own Prohibition, and that the king has been taxing wealthy people so heavily that they have to work harder than ever just to stay afloat (being rich and famous was not all Burroughs thought it would be. "...those who work hard and accumulate property have only their labor for their effort, since the government takes all from them in taxes.") As satire goes, it`s pretty blatant but not really overbearing, and it provides an interesting counterpoint to the bitter remarks in GULLIVER`S TRAVELS.

Doc Hermes


From the Brian Bohnett collection
An Edgar Rice "Burrows" Counter Card

Read the Gold Key Comics in ERBzine:


Web Refs
ERB C.H A.S.E.R. Illustrated ERB Bibliography
Hillman ERB Cosmos
Patrick Ewing's First Edition Determinors
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute
Summary by David A. Adams
J. Allen St. John Bio, Gallery & Links
Edgar Rice Burroughs: LifeLine Biography
Bob Zeuschner's ERB Bibliography
J.G. Huckenpohler's ERB Checklist
Burroughs Bibliophiles Bulletin
G. T. McWhorter's Burroughs Bulletin Index
Illustrated Bibliography of ERB Pulp Magazines
Phil Normand's Recoverings
ERBzine Weekly Online Fanzine
ERB Emporium: Collectibles ~ Comics ~ BLBs ~ Pulps ~ Cards
ERBVILLE: ERB Public Domain Stories in PDF
Clark A. Brady's Burroughs Cyclopedia
Heins' Golden Anniversary Bibliography of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Bradford M. Day's Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Bibliography
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