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Volume 0726
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J. Allen St. John: Tarzan and the Lion Man - 5 interior b/w platesJ. Allen St. John: Tarzan and the Lion Man - GD reprint - only interior b/w plates
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TARZAN AND THE LION MAN
ERB's writing commenced on February 9, 1933
J. Allen St. John Art ~ Pulp and Book Covers ~ Publishing History
Summary ~ Cast ~ Chapter Titles ~ Lord Greystoke's Gallery



PUBLISHING HISTORY (USA)

PULP
Liberty: 1933 November 11, 18, 25, December 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 ~ 1934 January 6
    Ray Dean: 18 colour-tinted interiors ~ fewer words than final novel
FIRST EDITION
ERB, Inc. Tarzana: September 1, 1934 ~ bound in grey cloth ~ 313 pages ~ Print Run: 5,245 ~ Approximate word count: 70,000
    J. Allen St. John: DJ "Janus" face and five interiors
REPRINT EDITIONS
ERB, Inc.: 1935 ~ 313 pages
Grosset & Dunlap: 1936
    J. Allen St. John: DJ art different from 1st edition and only two interiors
Grosset & Dunlap: 1940 ~ no interiors
ERB, Inc. Tarzana: 1940 ~ 1st edition DJ
    J. Allen St. John: DJ G&D reprint version and frontispiece
Ace paperback: July 1963 ~ 223 pages
    Frank Frazetta cover and title page art
Ballantine paperback: March 1964 ~ 192 pages
    Richard Powers cover
Ballantine paperback: April 1970
    Robert Abbett cover
Ballantine paperback: November 1975
    Neal Adams cover
For detailed information see:Robert Zeuschner's
ERB: The Exhaustive Scholar’s and Collector’s Descriptive Bibliography
Dial 1-800-253-2187 to order a copy from McFarland for $46.50
Tarzan and the Lion Man
Tarzan and his lion companion Jad-bal-ja discover a mad scientist with a city of talking gorillas. To create additional havoc, a Hollywood film crew sets out to shoot a Tarzan movie in Africa and brings along an actor who is an exact double of the apeman, but is his opposite in courage and determination. Later, as John Clayton, Tarzan visits Hollywood to find himself in a screen test for a role in a Tarzan movie. (He is deemed unsuitable for the lead role because he is "not the type.")
.

Click for full-size collage
See all nine Liberty covers at
ERBzine 0228
CAST (in order of appearance)
Milton Smith ~ Executive V.P. of B.O. Studios
Tom Orman ~  motion picture director
Joe ~ motion picture scenarist
Major White ~ big game hunter, B.O. Studios consultant
Clarence Noice ~ motion picture sound director
Stanley Obroski ~ actor, Tarzan look-alike, Lion Man star
Naomi Madison ~ "The Madison," female lead
Gordon Z. Marcus ~ Naomi's father
Rhonda Terry ~ Naomi's stunt double
Bill West ~ chief cameraman
Sheykh Ab el-Ghrennem ~ headman of film company's Arabs
Jerrold Baine ~ film company employee
Atewy and Eyad ~ Arabs accompanying the film company
Kwamudi ~ headman of film company's Blacks
Pat O'Grady ~ assistant director
Rungula ~ Chief of the Bansutos
 TARZAN of the Apes ~ John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
God ~ ancient Englishman living with gorillas
Buckingham, Suffolk, King Henry the Eighth, Thomas Wolsey, Cranmer, Howard ~ gorillas created by God
Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, Catherine Parr
                ~ gorilla wives of the gorilla King Henry
Mpugu ~ village Chief friendly to Tarzan
Balza ~ beautiful blond creature of God
Mal'yat ~ Balza's gorilla-like "he"
Freeman Lang ~ Los Angeles radio announcer
Reece ~ John Clayton's Hollywood guide
Billy Rourke ~ Reece's friend
Abe Potkin ~ movie producer
Dan Puant ~ movie scenarist
Ben Goldeen ~ producer for Prominent Pictures
For detailed information see:Robert Zeuschner's
ERB: The Exhaustive Scholar’s and Collector’s Descriptive Bibliography
Dial 1-800-253-2187 to order a copy from McFarland for $46.50

Book Blurb Summary
from Ballantine Books
A great safari had come to Africa to make a movie. It had struggled across the veldt and through the jungle in great ten-ton trucks, equipped with all the advantages of civilization. But now it was halted, almost destroyed by the poisoned arrows of the savage Bansuto tribe. There was no way to return. And ahead lay the strange valley of diamonds, where hairy gorillas lived in their town of London on the Thames, ruled by King Henry the Eighth. Behind them came Tarzan of the Apes with the Golden Lion, seeking the man who might have been his twin brother in looks—though hardly in courage!
CHAPTERS TITLES
I. In Conference
II. Mud
III. Poisoned Arrows
IV. Dissension
V. Death
VI. Remorse
VII. Disaster
VIII. The Coward
IX. Treachery
X. Torture
XI. The Last Victim
XII. The Map
XIII. A Ghost
XIV. A Madman
XV. Terror
XVI. Eyad
XVII. Alone
XVIII. Gorilla King
XIX. Despair
XX. "Come With Me!"
XXI. Abducted
XXII. The Imposter
XXIII. Man and Beast
XXIV. God
XXV. "Before I Eat You!"
XXVI. Trapped
XXVII. Holocaust
XXVIII. Through Smoke and Flame
XXIX. Death at Dawn
XXX. The Wild-Girl
XXXI. Diamonds!
XXXII. Good-bye, Africa!
XXXIII. Hello, Hollywood!

John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
LORD GREYSTOKE'S GALLERY
J. Allen St. John Gallery of Interior Art
(5 of 5 interiors)

US Paperback Covers
Frank Frazetta art: Ace 1963Richard Powers art: Ballantine 1964Robert Abbett art: Ballantine 1970Robert Abbett art: Ballantine 1974Neal Adams art: Ballantine 1981Neal Adams art: Ballantine 1992

UK Paperback Covers
Goulden UK edition 1950Edward Mortelmans art: Four Square UK 1965New English Library UK edition 1974Tarzan and the Lion Man: Japanese edition

Tarzan and the Lion Man
Frazetta ACE cover painting (click)


ERB Painting by Enric Torres Prat (click)

Gold Key Comic
ERBzine 4186

 

TARZAN AND THE LION MAN
Review contributed by Doc Hermes ERB Reviews

From 1933, where it was first serialized in LIBERTY (a bit more prestigious a magazine than the usual ALL-STORY pulp), this is one of the weaker entries in the series. It gets off to a dreary start, detailing a bunch of unlikeable characters entering Africa to film a movie, and it`s almost half over before things start to perk up. On the other hand, it does have the wild concept of a lost city of talking gorillas who till fields and build stone castles, and who are named after 16th century figures from English history like Henry the VIII and the Duke of Buckingham. There`s also a great mad scientist villain who calls himself God, and some amusing if heavy-handed satire as Tarzan reacts to Hollywood and its denizens.

The Lion Man of the title is not, as one might expect, a genuine rival for Tarzan like Kaspa or Ka-Zar might be, but a character in a proposed film to be shot deep in Darkest Africa. This feral hero is to be played y Stanley Obroski, a hunky tower of beef who, strangely enough, resembles Tarzan enough that the two can impersonate each other without being detected. (There seems to be a lot of these guys. It`d be interesting if Tarzan got this Stanley and Esteban Miranda in the same room and gave Jane something to fantasize about.) Although Stanley looks the part, he`s a rather dim guy without much courage.

The rest of the movie crew are basically unpleasant specimens whose struggles to get their massive equipment through the jungle make for some dismal reading ("Oh well, you got to treat these niggers rough" says one of the crew as the drunken director is using a whip on the natives hired to do the hard work.) A stunt woman named Rhonda Terry, however, is down to earth, resourceful and good natured, and although the movie star Naomi Madison starts out as a grotesque caricature of a diva, she starts to see the light as they`re hunted by cannibals, kidnapped by Arab slavers, chased by lions... you know, the usual stuff.

One thing about Burroughs that never fails to irritate me is his attitude toward human beings. He fills his books with the worst examples of people available and then compares them with the allegedly pure, noble animals of the jungle who don`t have any vices. Of course, the fact that he doesn`t seem to know much about wildlife really stacks the deck. In fact, most animals who live in groups are constantly scheming and struggling for status and dominance, trying to challenge the alpha males or push out dominant females as soon as they feel up to it, and animals which are weak or getting old are in constant danger of being mauled or abandoned by their own kind. It sure doesn`t sound like they have any moral superiority over humans. Sometimes it seems that Burroughs didn`t so much glamorize other beasts so much as he disliked his own species.

Anyway, the mastermind behind the Gorilla City which is called "London" turns out to be a one hundred year old Briton who did research with early geneticists like Mendel and actually discovered a way to implant "germ cells" from humans into gorillas and vice versa. Settling in Africa, he began basically transferring human DNA (although of course neither he nor Burroughs uses that term) into gorillas. Sure enough, in a few generations, the great apes began to start speaking and grasping the rudiments of agriculture.

If that`s not wild enough, the cells which the mad scientist used had been taken from the dead interred at Westminster Abbey! So these talking gorillas have a natural affinity to English culture and are an odd lot indeed. As if a settlement of these critters isn`t enough to deal with, not far away is a colony of their outcasts... offspring which look partly gorilla and partly human or else resemble California surfers but have ape brains. These mutants are not much fun to visit, either, although the gorgeous and completely uninhibited Balza might be a fun date if she didn`t drop a rock on your head.

As for "God" himself, once he started getting all creaky and aged, he reversed his genetic process and started injecting cells from healthy young gorillas into himself. So now he`s a bizarre hybrid of both species, piebald black and white skinned, with patches of fur and fangs in a human face. This is the stuff of classic pulp horror of this era, and I wouldn`t be surprised if this guy wouldn`t eventually have made his way to Harrisonville, New Jersey and found himself being shot by Jules de Grandin. "God" intends to regain his complete human physiology by simply eating his prisoners, which works faster than all that cell implant business and he implies that before he eats the beautiful Rhonda, he might have something else on his agenda.

There is a lot of humour in this book, much of which is rather obvious but there are some genuinely amusing moments. When Tarzan meets one of the talking gorillas, he growls at him in the mangani speech. The gorilla answers in perfect English, and this reversal of the expected stuns both of them. It`s also a nice touch that the Apeman blithely allows everyone to think he`s the cowardly Stanley, purely for his amusement. Tarzan`s mischievous trickster nature is one of the more appealing sides of his complex personality. (Stanley`s unhappy fate seems unnecessary but it also keeps the reader from being too sure about which way the story is going to go.)

Hollywood and its inhabitants come in for severe thrashing by the author, reflecting Burroughs` unhappy experiences with the Tarzan films. And in an epilogue set a year after the main story, the Apeman travels to California as John Clayton to see what this mythical place is like.

Just as a goof, he decides to audition for the lead role in a Tarzan movie and is flatly turned down as being the wrong type. (Hey, wait a minute.... doesn`t he look exactly like Stanley Obrosky, who was chosen as the perfect type by the same company?) And when a supposedly tame lion gets rowdy and seems about to devour the genuine star, Tarzan leaps upon the beast in his long practiced routine and stabs it to death. ("My God, you`ve killed our best lion. He was worth ten thousand dollars if he was worth a cent. You`re fired!")

You might think he`d take Jane with him to hobnob in Hollwood but in fact she`s not even mentioned in the book, and for all a new reader could tell, Tarzan is just a happy Apeman lounging around the jungle with his big golden lion buddy. Having Tarzan married but with his wife offstage meant that he could never really have any romantic adventures and that he lost the benefit of his supporting cast.. one reason why the second half of the series seems a bit downhill.

Web Refs
ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Online Encyclopedia
Hillman ERB Cosmos
Patrick Ewing's First Edition Determinors
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute
ERBList Summary Project by Duane Adams
J. Allen St. John Bio, Gallery & Links
Edgar Rice Burroughs: LifeLine Biography
Bob Zeuschner's ERB Bibliography
J.G. Huckenpohler's ERB Checklist
Burroughs Bibliophiles Bulletin
G. T. McWhorter's Burroughs Bulletin Index
Illustrated Bibliography of ERB Pulp Magazines
Phil Normand's Recoverings
ERBzine Weekly Online Fanzine
ERB Emporium: Collectibles ~ Comics ~ BLBs ~ Pulps ~ Cards
ERBVILLE: ERB Public Domain Stories in PDF
Clark A. Brady's Burroughs Cyclopedia
Heins' Golden Anniversary Bibliography of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Bradford M. Day's Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Bibliography
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