The First and Only Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure
Creator of Tarzan and
"Grandfather of American Science Fiction"
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"The master of imaginative fantasy adventure...
...the creator of Tarzan and...
...the 'grandfather of science-fiction'"
ERB COMPENDIUM T7
TARZAN THE UNTAMED
Tarzan the Untamed
A Descriptive Analysis
David Arthur Adams (Nkima)
A black-maned lion
stares from the front cover with fiery eyes.
He seems rather gaunt and small in front of the ape man,
even though we only see his head
peering around a blue outcropping of stone.
Tarzan holds his bow in his right hand,
pointing downwards in St. Johnís favorite
ďarm away from bodyĒ pose.
A yellow desert and mountains
stretch away behind them.
The book title is in bloody scarlet,
the T in Tarzan is a knife-blade.
Tarzanís hair is shaggy to his cheeks and
brushes one eye.
He appears handsome, youthful, and intelligent.
His eyes are determined but sad.
It sets the mood for the story within.
Tarzan straddles the left side of an almost bare,
curved branch, while Sheeta, the leopard,
hangs on the very end of the other.
Tarzan holds a spear in his right hand,
pointed at the leopardís face.
His profile is toward the action;
his arm is bent in the familiar St. John pose.
The leopardís tail forms a downward loop which,
aided by a single tree limb,
creates a circular structure to the picture.
The upper left of the picture is dense jungle,
while the lower right is negative space to the ground.
The leopard is higher than Tarzan, and the
visual movement is a strong thrust upward toward the beast.
The leopardís back is literally off the right border,
throwing him off the page.
It is a very fine and powerful composition.
The lion stood straddling Tarzan with his paws
A lion stands over Tarzan lying on the ground.
They are looking eye-to eye.
The beast is turning his body in a curve toward the man,
who is trying to rise and move away at the same time.
The view of Tarzan reveals his powerful back and right arm.
The lionís mane swirls in a black circle
in the middle of the composition,
yet a large tree stump on the right gives the picture
the added dimension of a V, or an inverted pyramid.
The forest background is light and sketchy, so the entire
drawing springs forward with a great, threatening presence.
It is a masterly drawing.
The fight with Ska
This piece is not only masterly; it is sublime.
The best of St.Johnís Tarzan work is able to combine
man and beast so that they seem to become one being.
Here a seated Tarzan reaches his right arm to clutch
the struggling vulture in such a way that the
wing appears to be an extension of his own body.
In a way, the picture is almost surreal,
befitting the desperate scene in the desert it describes.
There is a strong vertical movement in the composition,
yet the shadow of the scene forms an inverted T,
or cross, in the sand.
(It is also a shadow of the man-bird being.)
Tarzanís head is thrown back so that the
birdís other wing shades it into darkness.
His left hand gestures with spread
fingers that echoes the spread feathers of the upper wing.
Detached feathers swirl in the center,
providing added movement.
It is one of St. Johnís decided masterpieces.
BILL HILLMAN .
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