The First and Only Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs Signature
Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure 
Creator of Tarzan and 
"Grandfather of American Science Fiction" 

ERBzine 0125

BarsoomSasoomVanah - LunaAmtor - Cosoom
The Many Worlds of
Edgar Rice Burroughs Signature
"The master of imaginative fantasy adventure...
...the creator of Tarzan and...
...the 'grandfather of science-fiction'"


J. Allen St. Johnís Illustrations for
Tarzan the Untamed
A Descriptive Analysis 
Pt. 2
David Arthur Adams (Nkima)
He screamed forth his challenge
Plate 5
[Page 152]
He screamed forth his challenge

     Tarzan is at the center of the picture of a Dum-Dum.
He is surrounded by apes (the mangani)
in a circular composition that is
echoed by the circular moon.
Tarzanís powerful body swings away from the viewer
(with his left arm well away from his body)
but his chest and profile are illuminated by the full moon.
St. Johnís apes are not gorillas,
but wild, gesticulating, hairy apes,
the two on the extreme left almost
reminiscent of demons by Hieronymus Bosch.
There are five apes surrounding Tarzan,
but a great number raise their arms in the background.
It is an extremely fine drawing,
full of Dionysian frenzy, and chiaroscuso effects
in the moonlight that bleeds down the page
from the forest above.

He seemed to be trying to explain something to her
Plate 6
[Page 188]
He seemed to be trying to explain something to her

This is the only rather pastoral drawing in the book.
A large, inquisitive-looking mangani facing the viewer
peers at a small girl (Bertha Kircher)
who is seated on a tree limb.
The ape is standing on a limb slightly below the girl,
and although she is hunching away from him in fright,
he appears to be friendly.
The composition is circular,
driven by the gnarly tree branches
that disappear off the page to the right.

The ape-man swung pendulum-like in space
Plate 7
[Page 234]
The ape-man swung pendulum-like in space

     This is another surreal drawing.
Tarzan is hanging by a rope from an airplane
whose left wing and tail just barely appear
at the top left of the picture.
It is a powerful study of a human figure from the back.
The composition runs from the upper left
to the bottom right in a straight line,
modified by an S-curve of the manís swinging legs,
echoed by another S-curve of the rope around the manís body.

A fierce cut drove through the fellow's collar bone
A fierce cut drove through the fellow's collar bone (colour)
Plate 8
[Page 348]
A fierce cut drove through the fellowsí collar bone

     This picture looks like it belongs in the Mars Series.
A helmeted warrior, supporting a fainting girl behind his back
is making a sword cut at a man,
who is already falling down from the blow.
The scene takes place under an wide Roman arch,
which gives it a classical feel.

Beside Herog XVI was seated a huge lioness
Plate 9
[Page 376]
Beside Herog XVI was seated a huge lioness

     A strangely oriental picture befitting the mad city of Xuja:
a helmeted king sits hunched upon his parrot armed throne
with a parrot flapping on his head.
To his left, a bored-looking lioness sits upright
upon another throne;
soldiers enter from the right beneath a great archway.
Itís a book illustration rather than a masterpiece,
but with so many fine drawings it would be carping to complain.
The lioness is very fine at the center of the picture,
and it does present a suitable mad scene.

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