A frosty hello this January to fellow APAns! This issue I am revisiting
my November 2003 display of ERB material at the St. Louis County Library
-- Florissant Valley branch. The display ran from my birthday on November
3rd through the 30th of November.
I used quite a few G&D hardcover, Ballantine and Ace paperbacks
and various fanzines. The G&Ds were for readers of my father¹s
generation, and the Ballantine and ACE paperbacks were for my those of
my generation. I added several G&D juveniles with fanzines, biographies,
and reference books to round out the display. I wrote a blurb that was
part of the display, and is reprinted here. I had as a centerpiece an autographed
pic of ERB from March 3ed, 1937. It is a very nice looking display, and
I hope it opens the door to new readers, fans and collectors! As you will
note I plugged many web sites, mailing lists, and fanzines. I hope participation
I saw several patrons pointing to various books saying, ³I read
that, and that, and that....² The library staff related many ERB books
had been checked out, and some reference books were requested via inner-library
loan. As I took down the display as person I see almost daily surfing the
8unternet asked for the essay that was part of my display. I gave it to
So here is the blurb, and the photos, of my exhibit, ENJOY!!!!!!
Umgawa and all the best!!!! Terry
Welcome to the Edgar Rice Burroughs Exhibit!
Edgar Rice Burroughs (ERB) was born 01 September 1875, and was the son
of a decorated Civil War veteran. He did not begin writing professionally
until the age of 36. Prior to that he was a policeman, gold miner, trooper
in the US 7th Cavalry, teacher, battery salesman, and a pencil sharpener
salesman before turning to writing. In all his various jobs he was a failure,
and then success exploded through his overly fertile imagination!
ERB is commonly referred to as the grandfather of modern science fiction,
and his books are still actively read today. His first book, A Princess
of Mars, was published in 1911 as was Tarzan of the Apes (his
3ed story). The last book published in his lifetime was in 1948 as ERB¹s
health was rapidly deteriorating. ERB passed away reading the comics section
of the newspaper on 19 March 1950.
To many fans Tarzan of the Apes, John Carter of Mars, David Innes and
Dian the Beautiful in Pellucidar are as real as you or I! In fact many
fans have tried their hands at forming chronologies of Tarzan¹s life
with real birthdates.
Burroughs was a Master of Scientific Romance! Life on other planets
fought bravely with swords rescuing the preverbal Princess in distress.
What sets ERB apart is the humor interjected into his yarns. There were
villains the reader loved to despise, and smiled at ERB¹s poking fun
at the organized churches of the day.
In my opinion ERB¹s books are a Time Portal to the past, present,
and future here, within the Earth, and on other planets. Several books
being set in the 1915 to 1925 era giving us today an idea of what life
was really like? Especially in the uglier side of life. Burroughs got his
start writing for pulp magazines, which were the paperbacks of the day.
They were popular between 1900 and 1954, and gave way to modern paperbacks
and television for entertainment.
The upper shelves have hardcover editions of Burroughs¹ works from
the 1920s, 1930s, and one from the 1940s. They are reprint editions made
from the original first edition plates. Many have between 4 to 8 illustrations
visually accenting the stories. Sadly, many paperbacks today are without
illustrations. It is a real kick to see how some of the best (at that time)
artists saw ERB¹s scenes!
The next shelves contain many of the initial paperbacks that erupted
into bookstalls everywhere in the early 1960s. Ace (smaller books) and
Ballantine (with its semi uniform editions drew thousands of new readers
by fantastic artwork on the covers. Some Dover editions preceded them to
start the ³Burroughs Boom² in 1962.
The Dover, Ballantine and Ace editions were made "politically correct"
for readers of the time. While Tarzan is NOT a racist character (as many
seem to believe) it is instructive to note that some of the characters
in the books were. A librarian in California viewed ERB as a racist writer,
and had all his books removed from the library shelves. This was followed
by many libraries around the nation soon following.
The confusion all stems from the Tarzan films. The first Tarzan movie
was in 1918, and ERB said he did not care what the producers did to his
character. The result was a totally different Tarzan in movie theatres
from the one in pulps and books! People were judging books without reading
them using, instead, the films of 1918 through 1948! From the very beginning
ERB or Tarzan fan clubs sprang up around the world! There are many fan
clubs in existence now along with web sites, mailing lists, and Yahoo Groups
where ERB fans talk about their love of ERB¹s words and stories, and
anything new on the ERB scene.
Edgar Rice Burroughs had many jobs prior to taking up writing, and he
failed at all of them! He was 36 when he wrote his first story A Princess
of Mars, which was originally titled "Under the Moons of Mars." Because
of that there is an Edgar Rice Burroughs Amateur Press Association that
is limited to 36 active members. Each member must send at least two pages
of ³original² material each quarterly issue. The many differing
viewpoints of the same book never ceases to amaze me!
ERB was the first writer to incorporate himself, but had difficulty
throughout his life living within his means. In order to get more of the
profit of his works he decided to PRINT his books as well through ERB,
inc. from 1932 through 1948. ERB¹s stories lapsed in the 1950s with
only a few juvenile hardcover and two paperbacks seeing print. Then came
the 1960s, and the incredible Burroughs explosion!
Throughout the remainder of the 1960s and the 1970s more titles were
reprinted along with several biographies of ERB found along the bottom
of the case. In 2000 and 2002 three more ERB books were published for the
first time ever. ERB paperbacks appear sporadically with each new Tarzan
TV series or movie, and the internet has drawn an incredible number of
new fans to Burroughs. The magic is still there!
Fans now write chronologies of Tarzan as they see the timeline of a
"real" person to be. The differences are not that many, but interesting
nonetheless. Speculation of the date of Tarzan¹s birth is debated
from what is stated in Tarzan of the Apes and questions of the age
of Tarzan¹s son in the story Tarzan the Terrible has been the
subject of "several creative" articles recently.
The books of Edgar Rice Burroughs are very easily acquired in second-hand
book stores and through the Internet, and many are available through this
library! Burroughs fans gather several times each year to talk, trade or
purchase new items for collections, hear symposiums, and just have a great
time together! The Burroughs Bibliophiles titles their conclave as "The
Dum-Dum" the dance of the Great Apes from the Tarzan books. Small gatherings
are held for ERB¹s birth, and wakes to commemorate his passing each
Many fans are unsatisfied with a lack of new ERB books so many have
ventured into the world of pastiche writing. Numerous pastiches of ERB
characters appear on several web sites, and some have been printed for
sale. Some have been approved by ERB, inc. and published by Ballantine
(Del Rey) books. Now Print on Demand books is gathering a significant following.
Some fans just want more books for their collection! In addition to First
editions, hardcover reprints and all the paperback reprints ERB fans collect
comics, videos, DVDs, fan magazines toys, and a host of do-dads all related
to Tarzan or other ERB creations. The scholarship appearing in the ³fanzines²
is stunning! A wealth of information is there for the reading along with
great, good, and fair fan artwork. They are labors of love rather than
publishing perfection, and eagerly sought after by ERB fans. The success
of the Print on demand books and some reprints are due to the lapse of
copyrights on ERB books. Allowing some books to be printed without royalty
payments despite the fact that they are sold for profit. There is talk
of a movie version of A Princess of Mars being in the works in Hollywood
now, which is fantastic news for the fans. With the advent of computer
generated art and movies ERB can now be illustrated as ERB wrote them.
The Martian books just were beyond the scope of film producers prior to
Since 1999 several small ³print on demand² publishers are
coming out with new editions of ERB¹s public Domain tomes. Bison Press
from the University of Nebraska has over a dozen titles thus far, and Jerry
Schneider¹s ERBville Press is reproducing ERB's stories in their pulp
Various paperback reissues have appeared, and Pat Adkins has published
of Love and Murder, which is a sampling of ERB¹s short stories
not published previously. In a recent article longtime fan, J. G. Huckenpohler
states that the past 10 years has seen the most productive for ERB fans
with reissues and fan fiction!!
Just under 100 years after his first published story Edgar Rice Burroughs
is still being published and read. The ranks of his fans are ever growing
swelling the ranks lessened by the passing of the "old guard." Although
ERB appeals mostly to boys and men the number of female readers is increasing
especially online! Giving a fresh, different appreciation of ERB¹s
stories. Type in an author search on the library computers, and you will
be very surprized how many listings there are in the library¹s holdings!
Many different printing and editions are available to any person wanting
to just read the stories. Some are free on Project Gutenberg and other
web sites. If you want to read the ³original² version of ERB¹s
books then you will have to collect the hardcover first and reprint editions
or the new editions from University of Nebraska Press and the smaller print
on demand publishers. Either way great tales are coming your way!
If you are interested in fan clubs devoted to Edgar Rice Burroughs here
is a little list:
by Bruce Bozarth
(Fan Magazines) Several fanzines are available at various rates. I have
placed several of each title on the bottom shelf with mailing details.
They are as follows:
www.ERBzine.com Bill Hillman¹s
MAMMOTH ERB Tribute Site
Hillman's ERBzine Weekly Online Fanzine Archive
ERB-APA has websites: www.erbzine.com/mag3/0328.html
The University of Louisville has an incredible ERB collection. The
Mecca of ERB fandom!
(Edgar Rice Burroughs Chain of Friendship)
Several Yahoo Groups serve ERB fans. Just run a search through Google,
Private e-mails flow between members outside the lists as well. ERB
fans are the most friendly and helpful that I have encountered. Knowledge
is shared freely, and fledgling collectors can discover a wealth of duplicates
for sale or trade on the above lists.
The Burroughs Bibliophiles produce four issues of the Burroughs Bulletin
and a monthly newsletter, The Gridley Wave for per year $35. They "feature"
one ERB story per issue in chronological order.
ERBania $9 for 4 issues from Pete Ogden in Florida at email@example.com.
Many back numbers are available.
ERB Collector $10 for 2 issue subscription from Bill Ross in Maryland.
For the fanatic collector of all things ERB. firstname.lastname@example.org
ERB NewsDateline $12 from Mike Conran in Michigan two ish sub. (TANAR@juno.com)
ERB News Beat from James van Hise in California $10 per year (six issues.)
(email@example.com) Recently Revived.
The Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs By Frank Westwood in the
UK at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
$24 for 4 issues. Sometimes issues may be combined.
ERBzine Weekly Online Fanzine. A new issue appears, free of charge,
each Friday at: www.ERBzine.com/mag
In closing please enjoy looking at some of the books and items from
my ERB collection. Give yourself a treat also by reading Edgar Rice Burroughs
from this library. Discover sword fights, love, romance, lost cities where
time has stood still, and legendary Opar, the lost colony of Atlantis in
the middle of Africa. Opar is ruled by the sun worshipping high Priestess
and Queen of Opar, the exotic LA. These books are NOTHING like the films
so please do not read with pre-conceived notions!
I have started an ERB special interest group through MENSA locally.
We have an online mailing list through Yahoo Groups, but I am in hopes
of finding other Burroughs fanatics who would like to meet informally on
a monthly basis to discuss what is new, show off old collectibles or new
collectibles. Discussing one¹s hobby with other like minded people
makes it all the more enjoyable! Please reach me at:
7449 Hazelcrest Drive Hazelwood,
Missouri 63042-2201 USA
(email@example.com) Still in use