Meeting artist Joe Jusko was the highlight for many attending the 2019 Edgar Rice Burroughs Chain of Friendship Gathering hosted June 13 to 15 by the Chicago Muckers at the Double Tree by Hilton in Oak Brook, Illinois. Joe was very accommodating – providing cover art for “Bridge and The Oskaloosa Kid,” the Muckers’ edition of “The Oakdale Affair”; bringing original art for three Tarzan covers of books being published by ERB Inc.; selling prints of six ERB-related comic covers he drew; spoke at the banquet; was interviewed by ERB Inc’s Scott Tracy Griffin; and was willing to sign the prints and basically anything fans brought him.
ECOF 2019: OAK BROOK, ILLINOIS
Hosted by the Chicago Muckers
Report from Kenneth Manson - Event Chairman
With photos by Jess Terrell and Bill Hillman
This was Joe’s first appearance at an ERB-related convention since the 1995 Dum-Dum in Rutland, Vermont, where he received the Golden Lion award. Joe said he and his wife, Linda, had a “wonderful time” at the ECOF and his leather badge crafted by Bob Hibbard for this convention “hangs proudly” in his studio alongside his Golden Lion award. ”It was a special weekend for us both.”
Some 49 guests from the United States, Great Britain and Canada signed up for three-day memberships; two for one-day memberships; and 22 extra banquet tickets were sold.
The 2019 ECOF had a large presence on nine ERB Facebook pages - including ERBzine, For the Love of All Things Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Edgar Rice Boughs/Tarzan/John Carter/Meetup - thanks to Jess Terrell and Ken Manson. Fliers were distributed at six local comic book shops to attract interest.
Guests seemed to think the Double Tree was a nice hotel that was surrounded by shopping and restaurants. It also was not very far from Chicago’s two airports.
The ECOF started early on Wednesday night with a trip by about 12 attendees to the home of Doug Ellis and Deb Fulton, to see their pulp magazine art collection. First-timers to the home said “wow” as they viewed three floors, carpet to ceiling, of art covering every space on each wall, Roy Krenkel art and sketches, St. John’s “Mastermind of Mars," and the cover for “The Adventure of the Peerless Peer” were some of the art seen. Doug and Deb also provided pop and ERB-related snacks, such as Jungle Lord’s Cheesecake, Jane’s Lemon Bars, Dejah’s Cupcakes, The Cookies That Time Forgot and Mars bars.
Part of the Doug Ellis Collection
Thursday’s activities started early, as usual, with dealers’ room setup at 9 a.m. and registration one hour later. All 30 dealers' tables were spoken for, with ERB Inc., Joe Jusko, artist Douglas Klauba, Rudy Sigmund, Laurence Dunn, Diane Miller, Bill Morse, a half dozen Muckers and many others selling their merchandise.
A free copy of “Bridge and The Oskaloosa Kid” with art by Joe Jusko and many others, an introduction by Christopher Paul Carey and afterword by John “Bridge” Martin was included in the registration packet. Mucker Joan Bledig built the pages and was responsible, with Bob Garcia, for the dust jacket design. Joe and Douglas Klauba, Mark Wheatley, Tom Floyd, Earl Geier, Gary McCluskey and Uwe Reber contributed interior illustrations. The book was printed by Sheridan Books Inc. of Chelsea, Michigan. Joe Jusko said the reproduction of his art on the cover was one of the best he has ever gotten. The book was limited to 200 copies and still is available for $20 plus $5 for shipping from Jim Hadac at firstname.lastname@example.org ; checks should be made out to The Muckers.
Click for full size
A demonstration and talks all three days on the John Carter of Mars role-playing game were provided by Vicki Lalonde of the John Carter of Mars & Tarzan & All ERB Gaming Group on Facebook. Thursday events ended with a buffet of all-you-can-eat pizza, salad and pop at Giordano’s, known for its Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza.
Friday activities continued with sales in the dealers’ room. At night, the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest opened its museum in a former firehouse for us to tour. Those who saw the building during a similar tour years ago would be surprised by the changes. Frank Lipo, executive director, gave a brief speech. Exhibits on the first and second floors were devoted to former Oak Park resident. Burroughs. Everyone ate on their own afterwards but a small group gathered at Buona Beef in Hillside for their Italian beef sandwiches, a Chicago specialty.
The dealers’ room Saturday was the site of numerous activities besides selling. Joe Jusko gave a brief talk and was interviewed by Tracy Griffin. Jack Norris, the lead designer and developer for the John Carter of Mars role-playing game by Modiphius Entertainment, spoke on "Designing and Writing for Role Playing Games.”
An auction, with Bill Ross acting as auctioneer, ended the day’s activities. Bob Hibbard contributed more of his great leatherwork and Janet Mann of ERB Inc. gave a “Tarzanimals” quilt she made. The auction raised more than $1,500, helping the Muckers to break even.
Tarzanimals Quilt created and donated by
Janet Mann of ERB, Inc.
Displayed by Cathy Mann Wilbanks
Billy Byrne Award Winner
Takes the Floor
The day ended with a buffet banquet at Sawa’s, a Polish restaurant in nearby Broadview. Joe Jusko gave a speech. Joan Bledig received the first Billy Byrne award from the Muckers for her past work. Bill Ross gave the sad news that Jerry Spannraft’s wife, Candy, had died. Also, Jeff Long and his wife, Karen Cole, had an accident on their way to the ECOF in which their vehicle was burned, preventing them from attending. Mucker David Gorecki also had health issues that prevented him from attending everything but the banquet, where his wife, Judi, presented Joan with her award.
The traditional Sunday farewell breakfast was a buffet in the Double Tree.
As chairman, Ken Manson would like to thank:
Thanks to Jess Terrell and Debbie Lipinski for proofreading this article and for their suggestions.
- Joe and Linda Jusko for attending and contributing much to the ECOF;
- Dave and Judi Gorecki for organizing registration materials and selecting the Billy plaque for Joan;
- Jim Hadac for taking registration and book money and mailing out books to buyers,
- Jess Terrell for driving the Juskos to and from the airport and to Sawa’s and Giordano’s and finding Vicki Lalonde for the role-playing game panel;
- Mike Conran for designing and making the pinback badges,
- Gary Buckingham for suggesting Jusko;
- Frank Lipo for hosting the ECOF members;
- Devin Burk pf the Double Tree for all her help and troubleshooting;
- Doug Ellis and Deb Fulton for letting us see their collection;
- Douglas Klauba, Mark Wheatley, Tom Floyd, Earl Geier , Gary McCluskey and Uwe Reber for donating interior illustrations for our book;
- Vicki Lalonde and Jack Norris for the role-playing-game panels;
- Chris Carey and John Martin for their contributions to our book;
- Jim Sullos of ERB Inc. for the letter in the book;
- Bob Hibbard and Janet Mann for their contributions to the auction;
- Jim and Yoko Hadac and Debbie Lipinski for assembling the registration packets;
- Shirley Le Beau for organizing the JANES bags;
- Joan Bledig and Bob Garcia for their work on the book;
- All the Muckers who worked at registration;
- Bill Ross as auctioneer; and
- Debbie Lipinski for her love and support.
Adapted and formatted for Web display by Bill Hillman
Click for full sizes
SOME OF THE DINERS
Jim and Linda Thompson ~ Diane Miller ~ Joan Bledig
Jill and Rudy Sigmund ~ John Martin ~ Henry Franke
Ray and Shirley LeBeau ~ Ginnie and Dick Spargur
Jim Thompson ~ Jim Hadac ~ Jim Goodwin ~ Huck Huckenpohler ~ Jim Sullos
Scott Tracy Griffin ~ Cathy Mann Wilbanks ~ Jim Sullos
ECOF 2019: OAK BROOK, ILLINOIS
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