MEET KURT HATHAWAY
just say it right at the top: Tarzan is my all-time favorite fictional
character in the history of fictional characters -- hands down! Whew --
so thatís off my chest. My story with the Lord of the jungle goes way back
to about 1976 or so. My first exposure to the character -- like so many
-- were the Hollywood Tarzan films that had made their way to TV. Being
16 in 1976, I was much too young to have seen them on the silver screen,
but I saw them all just the same in the comfort of my living room. Johnny
Weissmuller, Gordon Scott, Lex Barker, Buster Crabbe, Jock Mahoney! Wonderful
stuff. I even learned how to do Johnny's victory yell!
I was also an avid comics collector, and while Tarzan
was in then-current DC comics at the time, I never had bought one. I then
ran across an ad in a collecting trade magazine that offered all the DC
Tarzan comics released to that point for sale -- all at once. I bought
'em sight unseen -- and when the package came, I opened it like it was
full of treasure -- little did I know. Treasures they are -- the DC comics
had a different ape-man in its pages than the vine-swingers of the movies.
There was more depth, nobility, savagery, realism, romance, adventure!
I was hooked even more!
It didn't take me long to realize the comics stories were
based on books -- novels. Books! Novels! Featuring my favorite character?!
I had to see -- and read -- for myself. And read I did. Tarzan of
the Apes, Tarzan the Terrible, Tarzan and the Ant Men Ö I ate it
up with a spoon Ö a shovel, even.
Smash cut to decades later: Iíd been a working comic book
lettering designer for many years working for just about every comics company
there is. Plug: http://www.cartoon-balloons.com
But for whatever reason I wanted to write a Bat-Man (the
original spelling) prose pulp story. When the story was done, I knew I
had to make a cover for it -- so I tossed together a very pulp-like Bat-Man
cover to accompany my story. FYI -- that story is available free at my
I had so much fun with that cover, I decided to
make more in between my paying deadlines. The general idea was to take
a character that was never in the pulps (Batman, Superman, Hulk, etc.)
and create what-if covers as if they were in the pulps in decades gone
by. Eventually, I knew I just had to do Tarzan covers. Yes, the ape-man
had plenty of pulp adventures back in the day, but he'd never had his own
series. It was time to see what they might look like -- if he had.
To date, Iíve made more Tarzan covers than of any other
character (did I mention Iím a Tarzan nut?) and posted them around the
web for others to see.
I was thrilled when ERBzine asked to host the images at
their site. I had to think of my journey -- from that 16-year-old kid opening
that box of comics treasure -- to now having my work hosted by the custodians
of the jungle Lord and his long history!
If I could give voice to the victory cry of the bull ape
like I could when I had 16-year-old lungs, I would do so in celebration!