Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute Site
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Volume 2195
J. David Spurlock - Edgar Rice Burroughs
Though I was born at the very end of the rockin' and rollin' 1950s in Elvis' hometown of Memphis Tennessee, I was really a child of the '60s. I love Elvis and drive-ins and juke boxes, leather and chrome but, like Emerson and Thoreau -- as well as The Beatles and The Youngbloods -- I was more of a Transcendentalist. I think that adds to my appreciation of Burroughs -- Edgar Rice, as well as Beat writer, William S. Burroughs Jr.  My earliest exposure to ERB had to have been -- like multiple generations -- the great old Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan films. I loved them and watched them re-run on Sunday afternoon TV. Those are some of my fondest childhood memories along with The Beatles on Ed Sullivan and The Wizard of Oz.

I also watched regularly, the Ron Ely series that ran on NBC TV from 1966 to 1968. I started drawing and collecting illustration work in comics and paperbacks in the '60s. I discovered Burroughs other worlds in large part thanks to the Roy Krenkel and Frank Frazetta ACE paperback covers. Though I was aware that Jesse Marsh was doing Tarzan comics for Dell, I shied away from them but ate up the DC Burroughs material by Kubert, Anderson, Kaluta and Weiss in the early '70s (Thank you Carmine Infantino). By 1973 I was living in Dallas and was introduced to fandom by attending conventions. My father took me to my first convention; D-Con '73 in Dallas, where I met Buster Crabbe, Harlan Ellison and MAD publisher Bill Gaines. Through fandom, I started learning how great ERB's legacy really was including the works of J. Allen St.John, Elmo Lincoln, Hal Foster, John Coleman Burroughs, Burne Hogarth to name but a few.

Any illustrator with any sense of adventure is drawn to the writings of Burroughs. So many of the artists whose work I love, and who I have been blessed to work with, have some ERB connection: Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Jeffrey Jones, Gray Morrow, Roy Krenkel, J. Allen St. John... I taught at Joe Kubert's school in New Jersey, I taught at Burne Hogarth's school (School of Visual Arts) in New York. I guess it was inevitable that I would cross paths with that dear, wonderful soul, Danton Burroughs. 

Danton had a crystal understanding of how fandom educated people and brought new blood to his grandfather's writings. He was very supportive of our books including the Hal Foster, Roy Krenkel, Frank Frazetta and J. Allen St. John books. Danton and I loved talking about the latest discoveries -- like a couple of old archaeologists. He always wanted to know when I'd be in Tarzana -- so much to see -- so much to talk about. One day Danton phoned me, extremely excited...We practically pulled the Paintings of St. John book off the press to include the previously unpublished St. John painting he had discovered for Lost on Venus! I am humbled to have known Danton as a friend and I am humbled and honored to be cited by ERBzine as having contributed, in my way (with a lot of help from others who know who they are), to the rich legacy of that great man, Edgar Rice Burroughs. Thank you.

~ J. David Spurlock

J. David Spurlock has contributed significantly to ERB history through numerous publications.

An award-winning author, editor and illustrator, Spurlock, is a pop-culture historian and advocate for artists' rights who, has served as President of the Society of Illustrators in Dallas, in addition to working with many of the greatest names in the history of illustration and cartooning including
  • John Carter of Mars comics artist Carmine Infantino,
  • Tarzan book cover artist Neal Adams,
  • The Shadow illustrator Jim Steranko,
  • Famous Monsters artist Basil Gogos,
  • legendary ERB illustrator Frank Frazetta,
  • Tarzan comics artist Joe Kubert,
  • the Wally Wood Estate
  • . . . and more.

    Spurlock's career also includes work for Disney, Sony, Vanguard, DC Comics, Dark Horse, and MTV.
    Burroughs-related works by Spurlock include:

  • Hal Foster Prince of Illustrators,
  • RGK: Art of Roy G. Krenkel,
  • Joe Kubert: How to Draw from Life,
  • The Al Williamson Sketchbook,
  • FRAZETTA The Definitive Reference,
  • Jeffrey Jones Sketchbook,
  • John Buscema Sketchbook,
  • The Art of Neal Adams,
  • The Drawings of J. Allen St. John
  • and, with Stephen Korshak, The Paintings of J. Allen St. John.

  • Spurlock has founded multiple scholarship funds at the School of Visual Arts in New York (founded by Tarzan artist Burne Hogarth & Silas Rhodes) and has taught at the university level since 1986. Spurlock's works have been acclaimed by The New York Times, IPPY Awards, Entertainment Weekly, Eisner Awards, National Public Radio, Locus Awards, Time Out New York, Library Journal, the Rondo Awards, Publishers Weekly, the Hugo Awards, The Village Voice, and more.

    Spurlock was a good friend of Edgar Rice Burroughs grandson, the late ERB Inc. director, Danton Burroughs.  Spurlock and Vanguard have recently released a new printing of Paintings of J. Allen St. John and plan new editions of the Frazetta Reference and the award-wining Hal Foster book along with the new Art of Neal Adams and more with legendary Burroughs illustrator Frank Frazetta -- all this summer! There are also discussions that Spurlock might join his Paintings of St. John co-author Stephen Korshak at this summer's 2010 Dum Dum in Chicago.


    Joe Kubert, Neal Adams, J. David Spurlock, Basil Gogos, Jim Steranko



    Frank Frazetta and J. David Spurlock Oct. 14, 2009

    J. David Spurlock
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