Bob and Becky Hibbard
Bill asked me to write an introduction for ERBzine pages that would feature
some of my leatherwork, I was surprised, pleased, and humbled. I never
imagined that my efforts would be so well received!
I have been an ERB fan for some
57 years, and have always marveled at the wonderful, evocative artwork
associated with his creations. I wished that I possessed an artistic talent
that I could use to express my appreciation for the years of pleasure ERB
has given me...but I can't draw well.
Then, in 1972, when I became
an Arlington, TX, police officer, I learned about leather craft. One of
my fellow officers made custom leather holsters, handcuff cases, and the
like. I decided to try my hand at leather, and found something I could
In the pre-internet days I was
sort of aware of ERB fandom (Dum-Dums at World Cons), and I had become
a member of the Burroughs Bibliophiles (#997) while in high school, but
had no opportunity for anything else.
I was a solitary ERB collector,
and I made a few ERB-related leather pieces for my own edification.
changed in 1984, when I had a dealer's table at a Dallascon, and met Ralph
Brown (he was wearing a tee shirt with the wording: "I buy Tarzan/Edgar
Rice Burroughs material." emblazoned on the back.) Ralph bought my first
leather notebook that has the Arting Apes cover carved on it.
A couple of weeks later, I received
a letter from a guy named George McWhorter, requesting that I make him
one as well. I did, and it is now residing in the U of Louisville Collection!
Talk about feeling proud!
With the advent of the internet,
my ERB fan contacts have exploded, along with my ERB-related leather projects.
I started attending ERB gatherings and making leather items to give to
fellow fans, starting with leather pinbacks and key fobs.
In 2012, a Tarzan Centennial
Bowie Knife was produced... but no sheath. This was a simple choice for
me; to make custom leather sheaths to fit that knife, incorporating various
Tarzan logos from the books and comics, as well as the ERB colophon.
I hope you enjoy looking at my
humble efforts. My greatest reward is the approval of my fellow fans.
~ Bob Hibbard