Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
ANNIVERSARIES OF ERB'S LIFE
A COLLATION OF THE DAILY
EVENTS IN ERB-WORLD
FROM THE PAGES OF THE HILLMANS'
Collated by John Martin
With Web Design, Added Events,
Illustrations and Photo Collages
by Bill Hillman
JANUARY Part II
January 8 :: January
9 :: January 10 :: January
11 :: January 12 :: January
13 :: January 14
*** The serial of “Carson of Venus” began in "Argosy"
on Jan. 8, 1938, and ran for a total of six installments.
The primary location of this story, the third book in
ERB's Venus series, is the kingdom of Korva in the country of Anlap, centered
around the cities of Sanara and Amlot. But there was a brief interlude
at the start of the book where Carson and Duare played capture and escape
with a tribe of people in which women dominated, and the weak men answered
to names such as Lula and Ellie.
The Nazi-like Zanis controlled the city of Amlot and
were besieging Sanara, but with Carson on the job the war was soon won
by the guys with whom Carson was friendly, and he not only won the right
for him and Duare to live in Sanara, but also became the adopted son of
Taman, the new jong of Sanara.
ERB began writing "Carson" in 1937 and the rise of Adolf
Hitler’s Nazi Germany influenced him to bring a Nazi-like regime in as
Carson’s new foe. The story is a smorgasbord of satire, with ERB using
his Zani characters to show that much of Nazi practice was ridiculous,
while – at the same time – illustrating the horror of it all.
The Del-Rey paperback of the story shows the copyright
date as 1930 – a neat trick for a book not written until 1937 and not published
for the first time until 1938! Someone with only the Del-Rey paperback
might incorrectly conclude that all of ERB’s Nazi-Zani references were
an amazing bit of prophetic writing!
Some of the things ERB parodies, such as the Nazi greeting,
salute and marching style, were well-known when he wrote the story. However
he is indeed prophetic, in Chapter
10, "The Prison of Death," in which he describes the horrors of
Zani imprisonment and torture, and even includes a furnace where the bodies
of the slain prisoners are cremated. Though the Nazi persecution of the
Jews and others was well under way, in ever-escalating phases in the 30s,
the death camps and furnaces were a thing yet in the future when ERB wrote
Assigned to prison staff duty, Carson was given a tour
by a Zani guard who showed him an imprisoned doctor whose crime was that
he had alleviated the agony of an Atorian who was dying of an incurable
disease. “Can you imagine?” asked the guard.
Carson’s reply was far over the head of the guard’s discerning
abilities: “I am afraid that my imagination is permanently incapacitated.
There are things that transcend the limits of a normal imagination. Today
you have shown me such things.”
Carson of Venus: ERBzine Bibliography series
Carson of Venus: Pulp covers in the ERBzine
Articles on Amtor
Carson of Venus: Read the e-Text edition in
*** As the years passed, and
more about the murderous Nazi regime became known, ERB took other shots
at them, and in particular at Hitler. On Jan. 8, 1942, in a “Laugh It Off”
column, ERB wrote:
"THE YANKS ARE COMING! That war cry brought hope to our
embattled allies 24 years ago. As it rings out again today, it brings hope
to the whole world of human beings -- which does not include Hitler and
"It has been reported that when Adolf is thwarted he
flies into a hysterical rage, throws himself on the floor and chews the
edge of the rug. After he heard the President's promise of 60,000 planes,
45,000 tanks, and 8,000,000 tons of shipping this year and about twice
as many next year, the nazis had to refurnish the room completely."
(Almost sounds like something he could have written about
The Laugh It Off columns:
*** "Tarzan and a Daring Rescue,"
a Whitman Big Little Book, is one of those items that is so rare you seldom
see it, and when you do see it, it has a rather high price! It was copyrighted
Jan. 8, 1938, the same date as the first "Carson" installment in "Argosy,"
and was a Pan-Am Motor Oil giveaway.
But if you don't have it, you can see the cover as well
as the covers of many other Tarzan BLBs in ERBzine:
Big Little Book Cover Gallery
...and the inside is 31 illustrations and story adapted
from the Rex Maxon strip, "The Return of Tarzan," and you can see
ALL the Maxon panels in ERBzine:
The Return of Tarzan: The Rex Maxon adaptation in
*** "Across the Everglades,"
by Gray Morrow and Don Kraar, began in newspapers Jan. 8, 1984, and ran
for 12 weeks.
Across the Everglades: 12 Tarzan Sunday pages by Morrow
*** In the world of ERB, there's the BSA of Van and the BSA
The Van was the Van Nuys News in Southern California,
which carried ERB's byline for several days in late August and early September
of 1928, when it printed a series of articles he had written about the
history of the BSA -- the Boy Scouts of America.
The Von was Willhelm Von Horst, hero of ERB's late 1930s
BSA story -- "Back to the Stone Age."
When it first appeared in print on Jan. 9, 1937, the
latter story was unknowable by the BSA initials, however, since its first
title was "Seven Worlds to Conquer." That was the title used by "Argosy
when it serialized the account over six issues of the
pulp magazine. Emmett Watson did the color cover for the first issue and
Samuel Cahan provided a black and white interior for each installment.
Von Horst had been aboard the dirigible, the O-220, in
which Tarzan and others had flown through the polar opening to the Earth's
core, to rescue David Innes from a dungeon in Korsar. Much of the crew
had become temporarily lost in Pellucidar in that story, "Tarzan at
the Earth's Core," but all -- with the exception of Von Horst -- eventually
found their way back to the ship.
BSA detailed the stranded Von Horst's adventures in fighting
his way through peril after peril while winning the heart of the spunky
The ERB / Boy Scouts Connection
Back to the Stone Age: ERBzine's C.H.A.S.E.R.
info page on the story
Back to the Stone Age: Read the entire text
quick summary of the book
*** Thomas Metcalf was a lot harder to please
than most ERB fans. When ERB submitted his manuscript for a story he titled
Ape-Man" to Metcalf, the editor of "The All-Story" wrote back
with a load of criticism, starting with the fact that he didn't like the
way the story started! And it seems he didn't like much else either.
Fans, though, have always found much to like about the
story, which was retitled as "The Return of Tarzan" when it was
eventually published by Metcalf's rival, "New Story." One of the things
I personally liked was the part where Tarzan and the Waziri follow the
marauding Arabs and start picking the enemy off one by one. Metcalf, however,
found that to be "tedious."
After ERB wrote his Jan. 9, 1913, cover letter to "My
dear Mr. Metcalf," along with the manuscript, only to receive a wad of
Metcalf's picky comments in return, ERB dropped the niceties and addressed
his next letter, simply, "Dear Metcalf."
And that should have proven to Metcalf that ERB was,
indeed, a great writer, with the ability to get his point across even with
the shortest of salutations!
The Return of Tarzan
The Burroughs / Metcalfe Letter Exchanges
*** "The Roof of the World,"
by Gray Morrow and Allan Gross, began in newspapers Jan. 9, 2000, and ran
for 16 Sundays.
The Roof of the World: 16 Tarzan Sunday pages by Morrow
*** Back on Nov. 6, 1935, the MGM film "Tarzan Escapes"
was released. Two months later, on Jan. 10, 1936, The
Little Book version of the story was copyrighted. Read the Big
Little Book version
Tarzan Escapes: ERBzine Silver Screen
Tarzan Escapes: Adapted to a Big Little Book
*** Some of the Big Little Books, were abridged
versions of ERB stories, and some, such as "Tarzan in the Land of Giant
Apes" and "Tarzan and the Journey of Terror," were based on
Dell comic stories. Five were based directly on movies. In addition to
"Tarzan Escapes," there was "Tarzan
the Fearless," "Tarzan
of the Screen," "New Adventures of Tarzan" and "Tarzan's
Tarzan the Fearless: Big Little Book adaptation keyed
onto the web by Bill Hillman
Tarzan of the Screen: Big Little Book adaptation
keyed onto the web by Bill Hillman
All about Tarzan (and John Carter) Big Little Books
My how things have changed! Back then, after a film played
for maybe three or four days at the local theater, you never saw it again.
And after you and your friends had read all of your comics until the covers
and middle pages were missing, it would have been nice to find a BLB that
reprinted the comic story. Today, with old movies on TV and the internet
and DVD copies we can watch just about any movie any time we want -- including
"Tarzan Escapes." It's nice to be so spoiled!
*** For his Jan. 10, 1942, "Laugh It
Off" column, ERB made a note about Man Mountain Dean: "Appropriate:
Man Mountain Dean, the 280 pound wrestler, has enlisted in the tank corps.
I have met a lot of chaps on Oahu who could qualify for the tank corps,
though not necessarily on the strength of avoirdupois." Man Mountain
Dean served both in World Wars I and II.
ERB's "Laugh It Off" columns:
Mountain Dean in Wikipedia
*** We all know that ERB tried a variety of occupations before
he finally succeeded as a writer, but he also continued to explore and
sometimes try various other occupations after he became a professional
writer, as well.
Once, ERB announced that he was ready to start his own
transit system, to be known as The Tarzana Stage Line. It was on Jan. 11,
1923, when the L.A. Times ran the story about the "Laird of Tarzana"
filing an application with the city.
"I have no desire to go into the
stage line business," he said, "but I am interested in obtaining stage
service across San Fernando Valley. The existing stage line buses go like
h--l, are always crowded, and give no local service, so I thought I'd start
a stage line myself."
Was ERB serious? He was no doubt serious about wanting
stage service, but perhaps, in filing his application, he was not that
serious about starting such a company himself, but more than likely was
lighting a fire under the existing company by raising the specter of competition.
The story states that he would withdraw his application if the existing
company worked out some way of providing the service he desired.
We can imagine that something was worked out. And so,
when ERB gatherings take place in the Tarzana neighborhood -- alas -- there
will be no opportunities for ERB fans to pose for photos in front of a
vintage motor coach with the name "Tarzana" on it.
LA Times Story on ERB
*** Not everyone keeps track of
exactly what day they acquired each ERB book, but Bill Hillman is one who
did. "Until the ACE, Ballantine, and Canaveral editions
flooded the market in the '60s, finding these titles was a major accomplishment
for a kid," said Bill. "With blissful ignorance,
I lovingly entered my name, address and date of purchase into each book
as it fell into my hands."
Two of those dates are Jan. 11, for "The Return of
Tarzan," the 1950s G&D edition, in 1955, and, for "The
Monster Men," the old G&D, in 1958.
List of ERB books in the order I found them (early
years) - Bill Hillman
The Monster Men: ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Biblio info
(Why did Bill get at least two different ERB books in
two different years on that particular date? Maybe they were birthday presents!)
William G. Hillman: A Burroughs Biblio-Pro-Phile
Happy Birthday, Bill Hillman! (Thanks John - BH)
*** "The Revolt of the
Beasts," by Rex Maxon and Don Garden, began Jan. 11, 1943, in daily
newspapers and ran for 58 days.
The Revolt of the Beasts: 58 daily Tarzan strips by
Maxon and Garden
*** "Tarzan and the Ghost" by John Celardo and
Dick Van Buren, began Jan. 11, 1954, in daily newspapers and ran for 34
Tarzan and the Ghost: 34 daily strips by Celardo and
*** The Supremes didn't sing "Baby Love" and they
didn't do the "Baby Elephant Walk" when they played three nuns on an episode
of Ron Ely's TV "Tarzan" on Jan. 12 in 1968. As nuns, though, they
paddled their canoe while singing "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore." That
one didn't make it onto their album of "The Supremes Greatest Hits." See
the summary of this Episode and dates and summaries of the entire
Ely Tarzan series at ERB-TV:
ERB-TV Tarzan Summaries
*** On Jan. 12, 1908, the history of Joan
Burroughs (pronounced Jo-Anne by the Burroughs family) began as she
was born to Ed and Emma at Chicago's Park Avenue Hospital. From the ERB
Bio Timeline: "Ed dotes on new baby: Joan is
a son-of-gun, she is THE BOSS of the ranch. She is spoiled, ruined curdled.
But what do we care. We are proud of it."
Just what Joan thought the first time she got a glimpse
of her father hasn't been recorded. However, on another Jan. 12, in 1942,
ERB described himself in unflattering terms. Writing in his "Laugh It
Off" column, he said, "I had my picture taken
the other day for my press pass. If Chief Gabrielson or the FBI ever sees
it, I'll be wearing horizontal stripes. They are all that it lacks."
Joan Burroughs Bio in ERBzine
ERB Bio Timeline
*** In the same column, ERB wrote: "It
is reported that Nazi morale is going -- probably to join their morals,
which have always been gone."
Yes, ERB had reason to be a bit miffed at some Germans,
and the onset of World War II didn't help matters. Many years earlier,
he had written a brief article about his book-writing career and several
newspapers had run it, including "The Tacoma News Tribune" on Jan.
Among other things, ERB wrote in that article: "In
Germany he (Tarzan) aroused the jealousy of a publisher because of his
popularity, and this good sportsman dug up a story that I had written during
the heat of anti-German propaganda in this country following the sinking
of the Lusitania. He had a book written and published, telling all about
the two horrible creatures, Tarzan of the apes and Edgar Rice Burroughs;
and he distributed it so effectively that the German press made Tarzan
an issue, lambasting him editorially and advising all good Germans to throw
their Tarzan books into the garbage cans -- which they did."
The German issue cropped up periodically during ERB's
career. On another Jan. 12, in 1928, he "...expresses bewilderment to his
publisher that his name is not in Publishers' Weekly list of the ten most
popular authors in America. By all reports, his book sales are among the
three highest in the country. He attributes this rejection to the snobbishness
of the literary intelligentsia and the German furor against some of his
The ERB/German Incident
The News Tribune Article:
*** "Korak and the Elephant Girls," by Russ Manning,
began Jan. 12, 1969, and ran for 20 Sundays.
Korak and the Elephant Girls: 20 Weekly Sunday Pages
*** ERB's "Laugh It Off" column would continue to
run in the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" through Jan. 28, 1942. Here's
some of what he wrote on Jan. 13:
"These," said a man finishing a
midnight snack during blackout, "must be a new brand of sardines. They
had a different flavor." His wife turned her flashlight on the empty can.
"That was canned dog food, you sap," she said. "You have eaten Fifi's breakfast."
A young seaman was bending over
his work below deck on the morning of December 7 when something hit him
in the seat of his pants. He wheeled around and swung a haymaker for the
chin of the fresh guy, only to find that there was no one there. Then he
felt around and pulled a shell fragment out of his trousers. It had come
in through an open porthole.
From a letter signed only "Sylvia": "The
reason the war is 'running out' on you, is that you live at a hotel where
there are flunkies to do the blackout and air raid shelter work." Sister,
we ain't got any air raid shelters; and the flunkies are so busy laying
out our evening clothes and putting studs in our dress shirts that they
haven't had time to dig 'em.
Sylvia also says that some of us
guys who have been released from guard duty and have nothing to do should
volunteer to dig shelters for defense workers who are employed all day
long. That is a sound suggestion, and I am sure that the proper authorities
would receive generous response from men physically able to do this work.
Sylvia again: "I don't suppose
that you resemble Tarzan: but if you can play tennis, you can dig." If
you could see my tennis dear, you might change your mind. Furthermore,
I dug my quota of ditches in Arizona for the commanding officer of the
7th cavalry, probably before Sylvia's father was born; and I ain’t digging
no more ditches. However, if anyone wants to dig a ditch, I'll loan him
a shovel and help him grunt.
The Laugh It Off Columns:
*** Speaking of ERB's tennis, in a letter a few days
before the Jan. 13 column, ERB had written to daughter Joan and said, "Hulbert
and I manage to get in from three to five sets of tennis every day. It
helps to keep us in condition.
"Our partners are usually Cecil
Burnside, whose husband is a submarine commander, and 'Duke' Wylie (sic),
a Mainland business man stranded here like myself.”
The photo accompanying this post shows the foursome of,
from left, Hulbert, Willey (Wylie), Deedee "Cecil" Burnside, and ERB.
Rare Wartime Photos from the Deedee (Cecil) Burnside
Collection shared with ERBzine
The World War II history book, "Silent Victory,"
by Clay Blair Jr., mentions Cecil’s husband several times. Lt. Commander
John L. "Johnny" Burnside was skipper of the USS Saury, SS-189, a Sargo-class
submarine named for the long-beaked relative of the flying fish, found
in the temperate regions of the Atlantic.
The Saury was in Manila when Pearl Harbor was attacked
and immediately began the first of three patrols under Burnside. A patrol
could last from one to two months, on average.
The Saury seemed to be out of luck in engaging the enemy,
its orders taking it to areas where action may have been anticipated but
didn't materialize. On a couple of occasions, when the Saury did have an
opportunity to fire torpedoes at Japanese destroyers, it missed. That may
not have been the Saury's fault. The book notes: "The war had shown some
deficiencies in U.S. submarines. The most serious...were torpedo problems.
It was now clear that the Mark XIV was running deeper than set and that
the magnetic exploder was not always reliable. The H.O.B. engines had not
borne the test of combat well; those boats with H.O.B engines would ultimately
receive Wintons or Fairbanks-Morses as replacements." [Burnside's Saury
was one of those with the less than efficient engines.]
The Saury under Burnside did have some close calls, when
it had to dodge depth charges from Japanese destroyers.
Eventually Burnside was moved to surface ships and the
Saury assigned to someone else. With its upgraded power, it went on to
sink several ships and win seven battle stars.
Cecil was spared the loss of her husband in combat. Unfortunately,
however, he contracted Hodgkin's disease, spent most of the rest of the
war in hospitals, and passed away on Oct. 9, 1946, more than a year after
the war ended.
*** James Pierce said his one outing as the ape-man
in "Tarzan and the Golden Lion" helped to kill his film career,
since he had been typecast.
He almost got a chance to be in another Tarzan film,
though. On Jan. 14, 1929, ERB inked a contract with two moviemakers --
G. Walter Shumway and Jack C. Nelson, for a new film to be titled "Tarzan
the Fearless." ERB made sure that the contract specified that Pierce,
who had become his son-in-law, would get the title role.
However, along came Sol Lessor in 1932. Lessor bought
out the contract and gained the right to cast whomever he wanted. Pierce
had apparently put on a few pounds and had less-toned muscles, so Lessor
wasn't anxious to use him. He gave him a perfunctory screen test, though,
and then said to Pierce, "Don't call us. We'll call you. And by the way,
don't call yourself Tarzan." (or something like that...)
But, like John Carter, Pierce could say "I still live,"
as he lived on... playing Tarzan on many radio episodes.
Listen to 77 Tarzan Radio Shows starring Jim Pierce
and Joan Burroughs
Tarzan and the Golden Lion: Silent film starring James
Tarzan the Fearless: ERBzine Silver Screen entry
*** "Tarzan the Fearless" isn't near the top of
many fans' lists of favorite Tarzan stories, but it has had a remarkable
number of encores in various formats. It was originally a 12-chapter
serial, released in 1933, but the first four episodes were edited
into a movie with the same title. Read the serial's Chapter One script
"Tarzan the Fearless" has also been available as a Big
Little Book by Whitman, featuring stills from the film; a magazine-size
paperback by L.W. Currey, Inc., and VHS and DVDs by any number of companies
with a variety of sleeve and clamshell art.
The Maxon comic story in the Currey book includes
Dr. Brooks and his daughter Mary, characters from the movie-serial, but
also uses characters with other names and different settings.
Tarzan the Fearless: Serial
Tarzan the Fearless: Serial Script for Ch. One
Tarzan the Fearless: Big Little Book
Tarzan the Fearless: 96 Daily comic strip adaptation
by Rex Maxon
*** At least one of Tarzan's adventures was never printed
in the official canon, but found its way into print, instead, via "Rob
Wagner's Script," the magazine for which ERB is well-known for having
written several short detective mysteries.
But Tarzan himself made his appearance in "Script" on
Jan. 14, 1939, in a story titled "Even Apes Fight For It." The story
was not identified as a Tarzan story, but began with a peaceful jungle
scene featuring an ape tribe and such other Tarzan novel characters as
Tantor, Numa and Usha. The head ape, Um-Gah, goes on a rampage and a "jungle
lord" arrives to stop him. Near the end of the story it is revealed that
this jungle man is Tarzan himself. And then there's another surprise revelation
-- which explains why the story was written in the first place!
"Even Apes Fight For It" in Script Magazine
*** With a few books already under his belt, ERB broke
into new territory on Jan. 14, 1914, when he finally saw some of his poetry
published. "The Chicago Tribune" did the honors with "Nay, It
Hath Not Gone" which carried the byline of Normal Bean.
Nay, It Hath Not Gone: Poem by ERB
NAY, IT HATH NOT
Poems by ERB
This and other poems from ERBzine's 1996 ERB Poetry collation
were reprinted in the book (without Danton Burroughs' approval)
VISIT THE PHOTO ALBUM FOR JANUARY WEEK TWO
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