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Tarzan Weekly, a British comic series from 1977, likely is unknown to most (American) ERB fans, but it features many artists they are aware of, including Russ Manning.
I had never heard of this comics magazine until I found two issues at a local Half Price Books. I recognized it was British from the 12-pence price and the “backwards” (Ed: most common worldwide format outside of the US) way of listing the date. I was inspired to find out more about it.
An ERBzine.com listing said the first issue was June 11, 1977. I was to find from two sources that only 20 issues were printed, all in 1977. And five monthly and 17 Tarzan issues followed, as well as three Korak specials.
The “comparatively high sum” of 12 pence for each issue may have contributed to its downfall, speculates website http://britishcomics.wikia.com/wiki/Tarzan_Weekly.
American artists featured included Mark Evanier, Dan Spiegle, Danny Bulanadi, Russ Manning, Don Glut, William Rotsler, Dave Stevens, Rick Hoberg, Bill Wray, Will Meugniot, Mike Plog, Alex Nino, Pay Boyette and Doug Wildey, according to the comicvine and albion websites.
Finnish publisher Byblos Productions Ltd. (inside the magazine is a London address) published this magazine-sized comic that featured new material by the Russ Manning studios that never had been seen in America, according to Michael Tierney of the Wild Stars website.
The website of mycomicshop.com, owned by Jake "Buddy" Saunders, states the series reprinted stories that originally appeared in America, as well as Manning material that never appeared here. Since I only have two issues, I cannot say whether the Byblos material is original.
The issues were 32 pages; 8-by-11 inches; made of newsprint; had no separate, slick back cover; had black-and-white interiors; and lasted until Oct. 22, 1977. The back covers are printed in four colors and my issues have one color (pink) sporadically inside. Some issues had a bonus “survival kit bag.”
Besides Tarzan and Korak stories, Akut, King of the Apes, was another feature, according to Bronze age of blogs.blogspot.com
But here is a list, thanks to www.mycomcshop listings, of the Tarzan and Korak stories for those who want to compare American and British versions (but is not often clear which are Tarzan and Korak stories; the story name on the cover CAN DIFFER from what is inside; I do not have all the issues):
“Tarzan of the Apes and the Glorious” – June 11,
”Tarzan and the Juggernaut” – June 11, June 18
“Tarzan and the Monster Men” – June 18, June 25
“Tarzan and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” – June 25
“Tarzan and the Cloud Dwellers” – July 7*, July 9
“Lord Byron’s Machine Gun” – July 7*
“The Devil Beast” – July 9
“Tarzan and the Taureq Queen” – July 16
“Tarzan and the Immortal Centurion” – July 16, July 23
“Revolution” – July 23
“River of Death” – July 30
“Tarzan and the Merchants of Death” – July 30, Aug. 6
“Zuflager, the Loyal” – Aug. 6
“Tarzan Meets Africaine” – Aug. 13
“Tarzan and the Search for Nu” – Aug. 20
“Tarzan at War With The Gorilla God” – Aug. 27
“Battle with Bolgani” – Sept. 3
“Land of the Amazons” – Sept. 10
“The Flying Dutchman” – Sept. 17
“Jungle Quest” – Sept. 17
“Inferno” – Sept. 24
“The Black Death” – Oct. 1
“Jungle Quest” – Oct. 8, Oct. 15
“The Elephants’ Graveyard” – Oct. 15
“Poacher’s Trap” –Oct. 22
* (July 7 may be July 2, due to 7-day intervals between dates)
“Night of the Leopard Men” –June 11, June 18
“Akut, King of the Apes” – June 11, June 18
“Nine Lives of the Cat” – June 25, July 7*
“Web of Danger” – July 9, July 16
“Lord and Master” – July 23, July 30
“Countdown” – Aug. 6
“The Bowmen of New Lothar” – Aug. 13, 20
“Korak and the Jungle Express” – Aug. 20
“Creature from the Caves” – Aug. 27
“Korak and the Insidious Mr. Shaaark” - Sept. 3, Sept. 10
“The World Outside” – Sept. 3
“The Town That Hated Tarzan” – Sept. 10
“The Last Laugh” – Sept. 24
“Operation Janus” – Oct. 1, Oct. 8
“The Demons of the Snow” – Oct. 22
An obituary for artist Dave Stevens in issue 307 of the Gridley Wave, states ERB Inc. wanted to create its own comic book studio to produce Tarzan and Korak comic strips for the European market.
It states: “David Kaye's Byblos Productions of London producing England's first weekly Tarzan magazine featuring original stories rather than American newspaper strips. Russ Manning was hired to edit, write and draw some of these new comics and he also hired several young comic book artists to pencil and ink stories. Dave Stevens was among this group and he inked four of these and, with others, assisted on inking two.”
Tierney continues: “When the weekly Tarzan series ended in October 1977, it was immediately followed by five monthly comics featuring stories by Mark Evanier and more art from the Russ Manning studio.”
Byblos then made 11 unnumbered, seasonal Tarzan Specials, with the spring special in 1978 and 1980, summer special from 1978 to 1981, winter specials from 1979 to ’81 and autumn specials in 1979 and ’80. The 1978 summer special mostly contained Manning reprints from the United States and was the only special with Manning art, he said.
Byblos also released three “Korak, Son of Tarzan” seasonal specials in 1980 and ’81.
In March of 1981 Byblos launched its final Tarzan run, with six monthly issues. No art credits are listed but Tierney speculates it could be from Filipino artists who worked for Marvel and DC in the 1970s.
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