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Volume 2399
Tarzan Wild Weapons 
by Jairo Uparella 
ERB Researcher 
It is amazing the number of artists who have designed the Tarzan comics, representing Edgar Rice Burroughs' imagination on paper, so that adults and children have fun reading and watching the excellent drawings of the hero of the jungle. The comic has played an important role in world literature, with its unique style, different colors and shapes to suit all tastes. 
We have read comics from childhood, but reading is not the only influence. actually we learned from the masters of the comics to make ours first lines on paper. Taking a paper and drawing a scene in the style of the great artists were the most accurate means of developing our imaginations. We saw characters from our imagination displayed on paper complete with the colors we wanted. We did not even see who drew or edited the influencing comics but for us this was not important. What was important was the design, color, art. 
Today, however, we can not overlook this detail. The importance lies not primarily on the comic itself, but on the artist. We wonder then, who makes the comic, who designs it and how do they design it. We learned to distinguish the art from the way in which each artist represents his models, and as an "expert" we would try to say with certainty who painted an image, as our way of  appreciating good art. 
There were and are many artists who delight us with their drawings. The particular form in which each of them draw in detail the objects and characters is outstanding to me now. The comic has become more demanding in the art and content and has changed much since its inception, but here we want to pay a small acknowledgment to a number of artists who have allowed the development of visual history on what ERB wrote. 
The artists we have selected are not necessarily more important many others who do not appear on this page. Our selection is not to show who was or is the best. Our choice is to show the way of some of them represent technology and how their designs make the difference, from J. Allen St John to Thomas Yeates -- viewed from the perspective of an engineer like me. These objects are knives, bows, arrows, quiver, spears and shields -- objects that are present in almost every Tarzan comic.
Learning from

the masters 

Edgar Rice Burroughs

James Allen St. John 
Hal Foster 
Rex Maxon
Burne Hogarth
John Coleman Burroughs 
Jesse Marsh
Moe Gollub 
John Celardo 
Russ Manning 
Joe Kubert 
John Buscema
Frank Frazetta
Thomas Yeates 

Mangani Glossary 

ry-balu-den, bow
jarem, quiver
b`wang-gash, knife
jabo, shield
om-b`wang-gash, sword
eta-arad, arrow
kawa, case
arad, spear
b`wang-gash, dagger
bund-rala, weapon

  From James Allen St. John 
To Thomas Yeates 
  Edgar Rice Burroughs
J. Allen St. John's art style is very interesting and professional. It is based on different cultures. Those in which stone spears are the official weapon of hunters and warriors is in contrast to the remarkable Greco-Roman style as described in the epics recounted by Homer.
In general, knives and spears are the most common weapons for hunting large animals emphasizing the ergonomics of these tools.
    James Allen St. John - 1928
Hal Foster delighted us with his North African style. He introduced the curved knife and quiver with special design and color. His shields have special shapes with great geometric figures and in some cases faces were shown which represent power and fear over enemies.
  Harold Rudolph Foster - 1929
Rex Maxon put special details in shields. As we see the shields were designed with colored shapes and symmetric geometry. These shields are more artistic, with different and sometimes frightening shapes.
    Rex Hayden Maxon - 1929
Burne Hogarth has opened a new vision of design. His shapes and mixtures of colors have made the comic a real art form. His shields have special shapes and emotive figures on them, while the spears and knives illustrate new shapes and styles. The quivers are more elaborate with nice colors. 
    Burne Hogarth - 1937
John Coleman Burroughs undoubtedly wanted to follow a style in which models and objects are more realistic and faithful to his father's descriptions. The styles of knives are heavy and large and worthy of a hunter with a bow ready to shoot down its prey with a single shot. The various arrows and shields are very similar to those designed by African tribes such as the Massai or Zulu.
     John Coleman Burroughs - 1939
Geometric designs on their shields gently contrast with the thick jungle. The truth is that many tribes in Africa showed great interest in the shapes and colors of objects which are regularly used on their arts. This may not be his objective, but Jesse Marsh helps us to understand a little about this art in the African Fractals.
    Jesse Marsh - 1947 (Dell Comics Summaries by Duane Adams)
Moe Gollub


Moe Gollub showed us an interesting style of art with elaborated pieces of leather and other materials. His shields and knives show a perfect quality of these elements, and combined with the natural colors and textures applied on them, makes for very attractive art. The spears are long, wide and heavy, being a highlight of his drawings.
    Moe Gollub - 1948
Dell Cover artist

The great quality of the John Celardo comics makes us appreciate comic art even more. His models exhibit clear details, with straight lines and perfect shadows. He used to design large objects such as Tarzan knife, which helps us to imagine the weight of these objects.


    John Celardo - 1953
Russ Manning is the perfect artist who bases his designs on the engineering. He made a lot of models which helps us to understand the great worlds described by ERB. We see the variety of his objects with their appropriate perspectives and with all necessary details. The designs on these shields remind us of the pigmentation and form of a wide variety of wildlife forms such as the shells of beetles and shapes and colors of butterflies.
    Russell (Russ) George Manning - 1967
Joe Kubert is the natural artist, with a great knowledge in the mixture of the art and reality. He shows us the reality of the scenes and events in the jungle with great precision. His details are stronger than most others -- this being his great input to comic art.
    Joe Kubert - 1972
John Buscema follows the same aspect of creating strong details in his art, showing the real condition of living in the wild forest. His unique style shows us a variety of shapes in the elements he drew.
    John Buscema - 1977
Frank Frazetta practically introduced the new modern concept of the comic art. He drew more elaborated comics with high quality in his design and wonderful colors. With Frazetta we advance into a new era of comic art. His models are elaborated with great style and shape.
  Frank Frazetta - 1979
Thomas Yeates' art is extremely elaborate with high quality and precision on the models he designs. Fine detail is present everywhere, making the comic  more appreciated by readers. He makes fine details in the objects which conveys great accuracy in shape and form.
    Thomas Yeates - 1990
    More references
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