Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
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Volume 3611
Back in January 2011, I received a very large, advance illustration of the proposed 2012 ERB stamp, questions, etc., with a request to serve as a consultant to the USPS. This I gladly did since the release of this special stamp is of great interest to all ERB fans. I helped with the text, admired the layout, but provided a rather scathing one-page critique of the artwork - especially of the Tarzan image, suggesting artwork more in line ERB's description of the Ape Man and with the depictions created by the master ERB artists from the past and present. USPS decided, however, to go with what they had already commissioned. Actually, in small image it looks a bit more acceptable.

In any case, the release of this special 2012 stamp recognizing the Master of Fantasy Adventure and the Grandfather of SF is of special significance during the ERB Centennial Year . . . USPS should be commended. I hope the ERB community will make some noise and show appreciation . . . and line up to buy those stamps next year.

My first impressions:

~ Bill Hillman ~ ERBzine


Coinciding with the stamp's  preview release,
the USPS rep has provided links and info that should be of interest:

Dear Bill:
Just wanted to give you a heads-up: Today, the U.S. Postal Service gave the public a sneak preview of the Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp via its new "USPS Stamps" page on Facebook:

For people who don't use Facebook, the 2012 sneak peek is also being mirrored at Beyond The Perf, the Postal Service's online stamp newsletter:

You will, of course, recognize the text that you helped me refine!

And the official Burroughs sneak-peek press release is here:

So far, the reaction on Facebook today has been quite positive. USPS is unveiling several 2012 stamps this week; it's the earliest they've ever started unveiling the next year's stamps, and the public seems very happy not to have to wait until the fall.

I'll be in touch as more Burroughs stamp news develops. It's still too early to know exactly when and where it'll be issued, but as soon as I know, I'll make sure you know, too.

Thanks again for all your help. I hope July is treating you well!
All the best, Jeff

Read some of the current feedback on the preview stamp image over at Delph Forums (click on "Edgar Rice Burroughs" in the left column).  True ERB fans will grit their teeth while reading half of the comments.

Postal Service Continues Sneak Peek at 2012 Stamps
Tarzan Author Immortalized on Forever Stamp and ~ July 2011
WASHINGTON — The Postal Service continues its sneak peek at some of its 2012 stamps by previewing the Edgar Rice Burroughs Forever stamp today though social media outlets. Using social media to reach broader, more diverse audiences is an initiative that began yesterday with a preview of the Cherry Blossom Centennial Forever stamps. Select stamps from the 2012 commemorative program will be previewed one at a time throughout the summer.

Customers may preview the stamps on Facebook at, through Twitter@USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for the back story on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

"The Postal Service is proud to honor Edgar Rice Burroughs, one of the most popular and prolific authors of the early 20th century,” said Stephen Kearney, executive director, Stamp Services. “Best known for inventing the iconic character Tarzan, he wrote more than 70 books, including historical fiction and several popular series of science fiction tales. Social media is a great way to preview our stamp program while also making it easy for people to share the news about stamps of interest with their friends."

Restless by nature, Burroughs (1875-1959 SIC) served with the U.S. Cavalry, dredged for gold, worked as a door-to-door salesman and a railroad policeman, and perfomed many other varied jobs until he published his first story, “Under the Moons of Mars,” in 1912 — and found his destiny as a writer.

This Forever stamp shows Tarzan, Burroughs' most famous literary creation, clinging to a tree by a vine with his left hand and wielding a weapon in his right. Burroughs appears in profile in the background. Hulbert Burroughs, the author's son, took the 1934 photograph that served as the basis for the stamp portrait of Burroughs. The depiction of Tarzan is an interpretation of the character by artist Sterling Hundley of Chesterfield, VA, under the direction of art director Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA.

This stamp issuance coincides with the 100th anniversary of the publication of “Under the Moons of Mars,” and his first Tarzan story, “Tarzan of the Apes,” in 1912.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Ref: Link
In 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs published his first story, “Under the Moons of Mars,” and his first Tarzan story, “Tarzan of the Apes.” The U.S. Postal Service joins with fans around the world in celebrating the centennial of a cultural phenomenon.

This stamp shows Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ most famous literary creation, clinging to a tree by a vine in his left hand and wielding a weapon in his right. Burroughs appears in profile in the background. Hulbert Burroughs, the author’s son, took the 1934 photograph that served as the basis for the stamp portrait of Burroughs. The depiction of Tarzan is artist Sterling Hundley’s own interpretation of the character.

In the past century, Burroughs’ Tarzan stories have been published in magazines, syndicated in newspapers, and republished in more than 24 books, while the Tarzan character has grown into a phenomenon beyond the printed word. In 1918, the silent film Tarzan of the Apes became the first of more than 50 Tarzan movies. Tarzan also became the subject of a comic strip beginning in 1929, radio series in the 1930s and the 1950s, and several television series in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Today, Tarzan is a ubiquitous part of American popular culture.

Burroughs is also remembered for writing historical fiction and several popular series of science fiction tales, especially the 11 books in his famous “John Carter of Mars” series. A new film adaptation of Burroughs’ Mars series is scheduled for release in 2012.

Award-winning artist Sterling Hundley worked with art director Phil Jordan on this stamp. It is Hundley’s second project for the U.S. Postal Service.

The Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.

Tarzan® and Edgar Rice Burroughs® licensed by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Tarzana, California.

Chesterfield artist's depiction of Tarzan to appear on new stamp - Richmond, VA ~ July 20, 2011

CHESTERFIELD, VA— Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author who created Tarzan and a host of other sci-fi heroes a century ago, didn't get much respect for what was considered pulp fiction at the time. Now, the work of a Chesterfield artist commemorating the prolific author is taking a licking - literally.

A brand-new postage stamp showing Burroughs and Tarzan is set to take off around the world. It's the second U.S. Postal Service stamp drawn by Sterling Hundley, an artist, illustrator and Virginia Commonwealth University art professor. (His first was Oveta Culp Hobby, the first woman to hold a presidential cabinet position.) "I kind of got a call out of the blue from Phil Jordan (art director from Falls Church, Va.), who said the postal service was trying to get some fresh blood in there, do something a little bit different," Hundley said. "It's a pretty big deal to have that happen. I was really excited to get the job."

Burroughs, born in 1875, was a father of fantasy adventure. He eventually made a fortune on heroic, sometimes violent, almost superhuman characters who were always saving the girl, but never taking advantage of her. Early on in his life, Burroughs himself was quite the opposite of the powerful figures he later created. His own notes of his younger years say things like, "I am a flop." When he gave up his meager job to write full time, he noted: "Everyone thinks I'm crazy, including myself."

In literary circles at the time, Burroughs was considered "low-lit," a pulp writer for comic-like magazines. When his Tarzan character exploded on the scene a century ago, critics laughed when he decided to spin it into comics, and later, cartoons and movies. Burroughs was a true multimedia pioneer ? starting 100 years ago. (Burrough's John Carter of Mars character is currently being made into a movie.) "He was just savvy and aware enough to realize he needed multiple revenue streams," Hundley said. "At that point, it's not so much what people think, as what you need to do to pursue your art form."

Hundley, like Burroughs, believes in expressing himself in many different ways, in finding your artistic voice and marketing it, too. He's working on his paintings and graphic novels; his illustrations are seen in national magazines. Beyond his teaching at VCU, he's one of the directors of a national online art school. As he tells students and struggling artists, "you've got to put yourself in situations where you're surrounded by other people who are doing what you want you to do," Hundley said. "I think that most artists fail in business, not the art side. We see tons of talented people coming through, it's just figuring out that business is a problem to solve, just like creating a piece of artwork."

While few at the time considered Burroughs a literary artist, he certainly solved the business problem. And time has improved his status as an author, although his writings depicting race and sexual roles are still critiqued. Still, Burroughs wrote about heroic African warriors, as well as independent warrior women, almost 100 years ago. His grasp of the science behind his fiction was also fairly impressive for its time.



Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Biographical Sketches I

Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Biographical Sketches II

Biographical Sketch in

Edgar Rice Burroughs Site

The Tarzana, California Website

Edgar Rice Burroughs Bio Timeline


ERB-Related Stamps Around the World

2004 Request for a Commemorative Stamp for Edgar Rice Burroughs from Tarzana | Alt

Johnny Weissmuller Stamp Exhibit reported in Gridley Wave 313

US Postal Service's first US commemorative stamp set and picture postcards: Columbian Exposition 1893

Jasoomian Editor Bill Dutcher's 1971 Campaign for an Edgar Rice Burroughs Commemorative Stamp

ERBzine News 2004: Use Your Own ERB Photo On a Stamp

ERBzine News 2007: Museum of the San Fernando Valley's effort to pursuade USPS to issue
a 4-stamp block celebrating the genius of the Burroughs family.

ERBzine News: Harlan Ellison Questions Why No Stamp for ERB ~ LA Times 1997

ERBzine Weekly Webzine

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