Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell
John Carter and Dejah Thoris on Mars
Art by Boris
Vallejo and Julie Bell: John Carter of Mars Movie Site
I'm not talking about singing along when you know the tune but don't know
the lyrics. I'm not stuttering about the state of someone's brain.
I AM talking about the sound of the jungle drums in Edgar Rice Burroughs'
Tarzan stories. They call the Mangani - Tarzan's Great Apes and natives
gathering was held in Louisville, Kentucky. The Burroughs
Bibliophiles came from all over the jungle. Natives blew in from all
points of the world. Two came from Vienna, Austria, one from London and
the rest were from all over the United States and Canada.
T. McWhorter was the host. He's hosted more meetings than any other
native. Why? He has the world's largest, most complete Burroughs collection.
And he's unrivaled as a host.
I've attended many Dum-Dum's. As an X Tarzan, I have
a lifetime pass. They are great fun, these fans of ERB. Among them you'll
find serious book collectors, movie buffs, toy collectors, authors of books
about the men who have played the role of Tarzan on film, and artists who
have illustrated the books and the posters and lobby cards and the calendars
for ERB stories.
Boris Vallejo and his wife Julie Bell are two of the
most famous and talented of these artists. They were the guests of honour
Their fans knew Julie and Boris were going to attend
the Dum-Dum. So many of them brought artwork for them to sign.
The waiting line stretched for metres across the huge
I've been to a lot of these fan conventions. I've watched
big-name stars from Steve Allen to Buddy Hackett, Don Knots, Bruce Bennett,
Anne Francis and others to see how they receive this outpouring of adoration
from their fans.
Some make it an assembly line experience for the fan.
The star very seldom makes eye contact with the adoring fan. The star keeps
signing their photographs, head down, ignoring the excitement, the pure
joy that they are being bathed in.
Other stars and artists take the time to let the walls
down, open themselves to this strange ritual. They talk with each fan.
They are sincere in their "thank you's." After all, these admirers have
wept and laughed and been entertained for years by these actors and artists.
The fans are showing their gratefulness, and yes, even their love by giving
the star money for an autographed photo or illustration.
I could see Julie and Boris appreciated it. They appreciated
this aura, this kindness -- a gift, a tribute from their fans.
Have you ever seen or talked with people that are completely
comfortable in their skin? They are satisfied with who they are. They have
easy access and welcome yo into their world. The password is, "Hello."
Julie and Boris are like that.
Their art shows the human body as the Greeks saw it
in their Golden age. Julie and Boris have developed their muscles. The
layman calls it bodybuilding. It's a very simple process. A muscle grows
when you make it work harder than the day before. The next day you work
other muscles, while you rest the ones you worked today. You feed the muscle
groups nourishing food and they will become stronger, bigger and more defined.
The key word here is WORK. Let me correct that. HARD WORK.
In their illustrations, they present the human body
in the beauty that it can be. they capture perfectly-developed men and
women in action, or poised to spring into action. We admire these humans
as fantasy. But Boris and Julie know they are real. They have lived in
I had the pleasure of sharing a meal with them at the
Dum-Dum. I have a degree in kinesiology from UCLA. Physical education is
what that word means. It's the study of muscles and how they move us through
our lives. for years I have signed my letters "Stay healthy." I want to
remind people I care about to take care of themselves. After just a few
minutes with Julie and Boris, I could tell they don't need reminding. The
world they live in reflects the world they create with their art. It's
a healthy world and because of that, a world with much beauty.
click for full-page posters
Refs: ERBzine Photo Archive
Boris Tarzan Cover
Vallejo and Julie Bell Website