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ECLECTICA v.2013.03

Eclectica Archive


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Writers of the Future

From Serial Squadron
"A few months ago . . .(ERBzine.com). . . announced that a cache of nitrate film reels was discovered in Louisiana which appeared to include unknown Tarzan material. We've identified it as the first 6 episodes of the 1928 re-release version of ADVENTURES OF TARZAN, and guess what . . . we've got them. The version of the serial we currently offer is based on the 1928 release, and while the chapters in the second half of the Squadron DVD are close to complete, the first 5 or so were presented from edited versions made for home movie release, all we could get our hands on at that point. SO look for a pledge drive soon to fund transfer and restoration of this new footage into a new and much more complete DVD edition of the serial, which we'll offer in a deluxe collector's edition along with the Adventures of Tarzan novelization and reproductions of original lobby cards!"
Between Man and Beast by Monte Reel
A new book about the Victorian era explorer Paul Du Chaillu - March 13. 
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2013: When Paul Du Chaillu set out to bag the gorilla in the name of science (and as a shortcut to academic credibility), it was still the quasi-mythical njena of the Western imagination: a savage, bloodthirsty beast deep in the forests of equatorial Africa, seen only by the tribes that dwelled within. He got his animal--he got many, by way of his rifle--but when he eventually made his way to England, he and his stuffed specimens became unlikely pawns at the center of the burgeoning debate over evolution in the wake of Darwin’s insurgent hypothesis. While jealous explorers questioned his bona fides and jaded scientists glibly dismissed his methods and observations, Du Chaillu's status as a death-defying killer of monsters granted him celebrity status, lifting the often bewildered hero to rarified levels of London society. With the unlikeliest of heroes at its center, Between Man and Beast is a fast-paced and fun blend of adventure and history. --Jon Foro

"Reel provides a robust intellectual history by embedding Du Chaillu’s story within the debate over evolution, the relationship among the human races, the rise of Christian fundamentalism, and the nasty backbiting that was common in the scientific arena of the time. He expertly probes the history of the enigmatic Du Chaillu, someone who purposefully shrouded his past from scrutiny....In Reel’s hands, Du Chaillu’s adventures in Africa, including his discovery of Pygmies and his part in a smallpox epidemic, were no less harrowing than his interactions with many of the world’s leading scientists and explorers."
--Publishers Weekly

Hardcover and Kindle at Amazon.ca

Paul Du Chaillu features in ERBzine
Edgar Rice Burroughs Personal Library
Me Tarzan, you Jessica?
New York Post ~ March 6, 2013
Jessica Chastain, Queen of the Jungle? The overworked actress and recent Oscar nominee is said to be the first choice to play Jane in a new version of “Tarzan,” reports The Post’s Richard Johnson. 

Alexander Skarsgard is reportedly in the running to play the title character in the Warner Bros. reboot. In this story, the jungle boy is fully assimilated to life in London when Queen Victoria asks him to investigate troubles in the Congo. 

Samuel L. Jackson is rumored to play an ex-mercenary who helps Tarzan save the Congo from a vicious warlord. David Yates, who helmed four “Harry Potter” movies, will direct.

Tarzan - Season One: Part One
Ron Ely ~ Manuel Padilla Jr. 
(4 Discs) (2008) ~ Price:  $44.48
Premiering on NBC in 1966, Edgar Rice Burroughs' immortal creation, Tarzan, took to the nation's TV screens for the first time. Still in the capable hands of producer Sy Weintraub, the TV Tarzan (Ron Ely) continued the more recent (and more authentic) interpretation of Lord Greystoke as a sophisticated, articulate jungle adventurer as seen in the Tarzan films of Gordon Scott, Jock Mahoney and Mike Henry. Also carried over from the big screen was young actor Manuel Padilla (Tarzan and the Valley of Gold, Tarzan and the Great River), now playing the jungle lord's kid sidekick alongside Cheetah, the simian one. The first half of his inaugural season finds Tarzan rescuing seeing-eye lions, endangered leopards, and pampered princes while battling man-eaters, despots and deadly arachnids in this 4-Disc, 15-Episode collection. Guest stars include former Tarzan Jock Mahoney, Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols, Woody Strode, and Russ Tamblyn.
Release Date: April 11, 2012
750 Minutes ~ 4 discs
DVD Warner Archive
Tarzan - Season One: Part One
Ron Ely ~ Manuel Padilla Jr. 
(4 Discs) (2008) ~ Price:  $44.48

Ron Ely continues his memorable run as Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan in the second half of his first season. This 16-Episode, 4-Disc collection sees the Lord of the Jungle and his stalwart second bananas, Jai the jungle boy (Manuel Padilla) and Cheetah the chimp, facing off against some of their most formidable challenges alongside a bevy of powerhouse performer guest stars. Stage and screen legend Julie Harris makes her first appearance as the imperiled, imperious missionary Charity Jones and Maurice Evans makes his memorable debut as Sir Basil Bertram. And the action continues to heat up with volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, phantom dinosaurs and more fantastic jungle menaces. Adding their talents to the drama and the dangers are Susan Oliver, Chips Rafferty, Gia Scala, Sally Kellerman and Jack Elam.

Release Date: April 11, 2012
 4 discs
DVD Warner Archive


Art by Daren Bader
Sequential Pulp To Publish Edgar Rice Burroughs' 
Sequential Pulp Comics, a graphic novel imprint distributed by Dark Horse Comics, specializing in works of classic and pulp literature is proud to announce a new graphic novel based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic novel, Jungle Tales of Tarzan.

The one hundred and forty four page graphic novel will be authorized by ERB, Inc.  All the events of the original work take place within chapter eleven of Tarzan of the Apes between Tarzan’s avenging of his ape foster mother’s death and his becoming the leader of his ape tribe. The original stories ran in Blue Book magazine from September 1916 through August 1917 prior to the book’s publication in 1919.

Writer Martin Powell will helm the graphic novel. Powell is well known for his work as the author of hundreds of science fiction, mystery, and horror stories. He has worked in the comic book industry since 1986, writing for Marvel, DC, Malibu, Caliber, Moonstone, and Disney, among others, and has been nominated for the coveted Eisner Award. He is also a respected and award winning author of children’s books, and frequently contributes prose for many short story anthologies. He resides in Saint Paul, MN.

Along with Powell, Sequential Pulp is bringing a veritable who’s who of exciting illustration talent. With an amazing cover and specialty art by Daren Bader to exciting story art by Pablo Marcos, Terry Beatty, Will Meugniot, Nik Poliwko, Antonio Romero Olmedo, Mark Wheatley, Diana Leto, Steven E. Gordon, Lowell Isaac, Tom Floyd and Jamie Chase. 

Each story will run twelve pages in length and the book will be in full color. Sequential Pulp is planning a standard trade paperback and a very limited signature deluxe signed edition. 

Mars Babylon: A Review of 
John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood by Michael D. Sellers
Amazing Stories.com ~ March 3, 2013
Reading Michael D. Sellers’ fascinating book, John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood, we learn all the reasons why John Carter, Disney’s film version of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars, failed at the box office. This extensively researched volume finds there was a perfect storm of incompetence on the part of just about everyone involved in making and promoting the film. From top to bottom, from studio heads to publicists, just about everyone is given a portion of the blame.

The story that Sellers tells is not really new. Hollywood bungling the adaptation of popular novels to the screen has been going on since the motion picture industry began. What is new is the massive scale of this particular blunder, and the vast amounts of money that were involved. And even more serious, and perhaps sinister, are the huge forces that were working in the background as decisions were made more on the basis of corporate ambition rather than artistic concerns.

Sellers gives a preliminary rundown of events leading up to the decision in 2006 by Disney Studio chief Dick Cook to green light the film with Stanton as director. Prior to that Paramount had planned to make it, with helmsmen Kerry Conran, Robert Rodriquez, and Jon Favreau slated at different times. Various problems forced Paramount to give up on it, allowing Disney to acquire it. During the development process A-list actors were considered for the leads. Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts were attached at one time to play the title character and his love interest, the lovely Dejah Thoris. As time went on, with the script being rewritten by Michael Chabon, Stanton decided to eschew big names, and concentrate more on the story and the special effects needed.

A budget of $250 million was agreed to, putting it on a par with the most expensive movies ever made. Cook okayed it, and then basically let Stanton have free reign over the project. There was a lot of trust in Stanton who had never done a live-action film before. His previous animated hits, Wall-E and Finding Nemo were big box office winners, and no one doubted Stanton’s Carter film would make its money back. Well, except maybe Disney CEO Robert Iger, who seemed to have doubts from the beginning.

Cook was increasingly coming under fire from Iger, who publicly criticized him during a conference call to investors, saying the Disney movie studio was performing poorly compared to other parts of the corporation. But Sellers notes that at the time Iger was really more interested in finishing a deal that would result in the acquisition of Marvel Comics. Iger felt there was more box office potential with the Marvel characters than with John Carter, which had a much smaller fan base. The result was that Cook was fired, Disney acquired Marvel and at the same time Iger began courting George Lucas to acquire the Star Wars franchise.

Other factors cited by Sellers that resulted in the John Carter fiasco include the hiring of a marketing executive by the name of M. T. Karney, a New York executive who came to Disney from her own company. Iger hired her as someone savvy with social media, which he saw as the new way to promote films. It was her decision to drop “of Mars” from the films original title, “John Carter of Mars.” Sellers claims that this decision had a negative effect on the production, by cutting out the exotic context of the film, leaving people not familiar with the Burroughs novel wondering, “Who the heck is John Carter?” Karney, according to Sellers, did little to promote the film through social media and seemed more concerned with flying back to New York every weekend to be with the two children she’d left there. Karney and Disney soon parted ways.

To his credit Andrew Stanton, under Richard Ross, who replaced Cook as studio head, completed the film on time and on schedule, despite press reports that he had lost control and the budget went beyond expectations. None of that was true, Sellers writes. But what was true was that Stanton saw the John Carter story differently than the way Burroughs wrote it. In particular he changed Carter from the heroic swashbuckler of the novel to a Civil War veteran who was “damaged goods.” The hero was given a backstory about his having a wife and child killed while he was off fighting in the War, hence making him an embittered loser of sorts. Stanton also changed the opening of the story by giving a lengthy prologue that tried to provide a capsule version of Barsoomian history, leading up to Carter’s arrival.

The prologue was, in most everyone’s opinion, confusing and unnecessary. For old time fans of the book, the change in Carter’s character—a concession to current writing trends— undermined Burroughs theme of man’s innate heroism. There’s a lot more to the story. But in the end, the film had a poor opening weekend and never recovered from it. Iger declared a $200 million loss and fired Ross.

In addition to the detailed account of how the movie flopped, there is a very well-done beginning section about Burroughs life, and career, and a thoughtful analysis of his writing technique and what it is about his books that keeps them in print 100 years after they were written.

Reading the book is an engrossing experience–kind of like watching the Titanic heading toward that fateful iceberg. The only quibbles I have with the book are the number of typos, at least in the ebook version I was sent, and Sellers fan-boy approach—so much so that he is one of those spearheading a social media movement to convince Disney to produce not one but two more sequels. After all that he’s written here, after all the missteps that were taken, why in the world would anyone trust Disney to do justice to any further interpretations of Burroughs work? And why would they bother? Iger landed the Star Wars franchise. Good luck to J.J. Abrams.

John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood, by Michael Sellers, Universal Media, is available at AMAZON.COM

A John Carter Review that’s actually worth reading
TheJohnCarterFiles.com ~  February 24, 2013

Jeffrey Richert is the head of publicity and marketing for Magnolia pictures and the owner of Reverse Shot, a thoughtful film blog with an impressive list of contributors.  His review of John Carter is intriguing to me for two reasons.  First, he makes a vivid, articulate summary about how the negativity that was ‘in the wind’ about John Carter impacted the critical response — and keep in mind his position at Magnolia, which gives him a pretty impressive professional perch from which to make such assessments.  Secondly, when it comes to analyzing the movie itself, he subjects the movie to a far more comprehensive review of all the things a director is responsible for — doing so in a way that illuminates the full creative challenge faced by a director of a film like John Carter.

No Chance for Escape by Jeff Reichert
John Carter never had a chance. . . .
Read the whole review at ReverseShot
TARZAN: The Jungle Warrior
By Andy Briggs
Pulp Fiction Review ~ Feb 23, 2013
Several weeks ago we reviewed the first book in this new, licensed Tarzan series; The Greystoke Legacy.  Following in the footsteps of Tarzan’s creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Andy Briggs continues his new adventures of the Jungle Lord exactly where he left off in this second installment.  Anyone familiar with the original classics is knows that “Tarzan of the Apes” and “The Return of Tarzan,” were actually one story told in two parts.  So it is with this series though it dares to be even more ambitious and by the conclusion of this excellent sequel the saga is far from over.

In the first book, young Jane Porter and her widowed father, Archie, are living in the Congo.  Archie is operating an illegal tree cutting operation with his lifelong friend, Clark. Working at the camp is a young American named Robbie Canler who is on the run from the law.  By the end of that first story, Jane had met the wild jungle man, Tarzan, and earned his trust and friendship.  She had also discovered he might very well be the long lost heir to a British fortune.

In Burrough’s classic “Return of Tarzan,” the principle villain was a sadistic Russian named Nikolas Rokoff and his henchman, Alexi Paulvitch.  Tarzan foiled their various schemes until in the end they traveled to Africa and allied themselves with his cousin, Lord Cecil Clayton, in an attempt to destroy Tarzan and thus nullify his claim to the Greystoke fortune.  In “The Jungle Warrior,” Briggs wonderfully reintroduces Rokoff as an obsessed big hunter who has made a fortune bagging endangered wild animals for his rich clients.  Having heard the rumors of a “white ape” inhabiting the heart of the Congo, Rokoff and his aid, Paulvitch, set out to find and capture this legend.  The cruel hunger has become jaded and much like his fictional peer, General Zaroff from Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game,” believes Tarzan will provide him with the most challenging hunt of his life.

Once again we are given a fantastic adventure with some of the most incredible action sequences ever written.  In his works, Burroughs made Tarzan larger than life, almost superhuman in some aspects and reimagining him as anything less would have been a serious mistake.  Not so with this new and exciting interpretation.  Here is wild, amazing action that knows no boundaries and a Tarzan as courageous, magnificent and totally unstoppable as he has ever been.  Reading these new Tarzan exploits is a joyous, fun experience; one no true pulp fan should miss.  We can’t wait for volume three.


Jungle Tales of Tarzan
John Carter of Mars Film
The Andy Briggs Project I  |  II
ERB Movie Guide


Humans COULD be raised by apes
Says Desmond Morris, Zoologist
Author of The Naked Ape
The Sun ~  29th February 2012

AHHHHH, ah-ah-ah-ahhhhh, ah-ah-ah-ahh! Him Tarzan, him birthday boy.

The shortest step ... Desmond Morris thinks apes could raise humansIt's 100 years since readers of the US mag All-Story were introduced to Edgar Rice Burroughs' tale of the ape man.
But could a human child really be brought up by apes? Zoologist Desmond Morris, whose 1967 book The Naked Ape — comparing human behaviour to that of animals — believes the Tarzan story could happen. Dr Morris said: “When I first went to the movies and saw Tarzan, I thought it was just a fantasy. As a child, of course, I grew up in a era when apes were thought of as horrible monsters.”

Speaking on Radio 4 this week, he added: “But there is a famous story of a little boy who fell into the gorilla pit at Jersey zoo. “They filmed it and the gorillas did not do any harm to the boy at all. “When I saw that I thought, ‘That takes me back to Tarzan’ because in the key moment in the Tarzan story the little baby has lost his parents and is screaming. “An ape called Kala has lost her baby and she hears this screaming, picks up the baby and, of course, she is fully maternally cued to start looking after an infant because she has had one and lost it. It has died.

“The big problem, of course, is that a human infant is not strong enough to hold on to her fur, as her baby would. “We know that when an ape’s baby dies, the mother will carry it for days, so we know if a baby is incapable of holding on to the mother, the mother holds on to the baby.

“I have changed my whole view of the Tarzan story and I think it could actually have happened. “I think that a female ape — with her breasts full of milk, don’t forget, because she has lost a baby — would actually get relief from feeding a human infant. “There is a photograph in a book which my wife and I wrote in the Sixties, called Men And Apes, of an African woman feeding an abandoned baby ape. “It is a reverse of the Tarzan situation but we are close enough so, if it works that way, why would it not work the other way?”

Whether or not Burroughs’ creation could have been a reality, it was an instant hit. There were 24 more books and around 90 movies — and Burroughs, who died in 1950, made a fortune. There were Tarzan comics, TV and radio shows, toys, petrol, underwear, ice cream — and even running shoes. It’s a far cry from the depths of the jungle.

Tarzan at the movies
TARZAN – John Clayton III, Viscount Greystoke, orphaned son of a British lord and lady marooned in Africa – was first played by silent film star Elmo Lincoln in 1918. Then, most famously, in the Thirties, the lead was taken by Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller. Buster Crabbe, Frank Merrill, Ron Ely and Christopher Lambert have also been Tarzan.

Apey days ... Johnny Weissmuller and Desmond Morris

Jumping with John Carter of Mars
EveryDayEinstein ~ Episode 43: February 15, 2013
by Lee Falin, PhD
One of my all-time favorite science fiction movies is John Carter. It has the perfect mix of action, romance, adventure, superior story-telling, and just a touch of Victorian steampunk. I’m ashamed to say, however, that I very nearly gave up on the film soon after the protagonist’s arrival on Mars. This moment of weakness came about when I first witnessed John Carter’s remarkable jumping ability, which the film attributes to the lower gravity of Mars. Thankfully, I was able to keep from thinking too much about this long enough for me to enjoy the rest of the film. But today, I allow my thoughts free reign as we explore the science required to calculate just how high someone can job while visiting the red planet.

White Men Can’t Jump
The first clue we’re given as to why John Carter can jump the way he does comes from scientist/warrior princess Dejah Thoris. She attributes his jumping ability to his higher bone density. Additionally, we can assume that the lower gravity of Mars also plays a role.

As we learned in my episode on density, the density of something is its mass divided by its volume. In other words, how much stuff is crammed into the space it takes up. It’s important to note that this definition of density isn’t the exact same one that doctors are using when they talk about bone density. To a doctor, bone density means the amount of mineral content in your bones. While that’s slightly related to the physical definition of density, it isn’t exactly the same thing.

Unfortunately, neither of these ideas has anything to do with jumping. While it is true that people with higher bone density typically also have greater muscle strength, bone density itself is only useful for preventing fractures, not for increasing your jumping skills. Additionally, the denser something is in the physical sense, the more mass it takes up in the same space, so the more force would be required to accelerate that mass. So let’s ignore this issue of bone density and focus on the difference between Earth’s gravity and the gravity of Mars.

Does This Planet Make Me Look Fat?
As you probably are well aware, gravity is the force that causes objects to be attracted to one another. There are several forces that do this: magnetism, electrostatic forces, and nuclear forces. However, gravity is interesting because the amount of gravitational pull an object has is related to its mass. The force exerted on an object by gravity is called weight. The weight of an object can be calculated by multiplying its mass times the gravitational acceleration applied to it. The acceleration due to gravity on Earth is 9.8 m/s2 while the acceleration due to gravity on Mars is only 3.71 m/s2. This means that the gravity on Mars is about one third as powerful as that on Earth.
See also: Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion

You can figure out what your weight on Mars would be by multiplying your weight on Earth by a factor of 0.38. Or you can use this handy calculator from NASA to figure out your weight on every planet in the solar system at once. So let’s assume that Carter weighs around 175 pounds on Earth. That would make him about 66 pounds on Mars (that’s quite a diet!). NASA tells us that an easy way to calculate how high you can jump on Mars is to use that same gravity factor, but applied to your jumping height on Earth. Just take how high you can jump on Earth and divide it by 0.38, and you’ll know approximately how high you could jump on Mars. (Assuming you could still breathe on Mars.) If we give John Carter a lot of credit and assume he can jump 48 inches on Earth, which is about as high as some people believe Michael Jordan could jump in his prime (depending on how you measure it.) This means that Carter would be able to jump about 10.5 feet on Mars. That’s about as high a jump as you would need to jump from the ground to the top of the roof of a one-story house.

So while you would be able to jump pretty high on Mars, you wouldn’t be able to jump anywhere near as high as John Carter does in the movie. If you’re looking for tips on improving your own jumping ability on Earth, check out these tips from Get-Fit Guy, which are considerably easier than teleporting yourself to Mars.

Burroughs Country

Idaho was the 43rd state admitted to the union on July 3, 1890.


Past Press
Rare Photo Archive
John Carter of Mars


Prominent Writers at Authors' Legion Banquet in the Mid '30s
A group of prominent writers join together at a banquet to form the Authors' Legion, a branch of the National Recovery Administration. 
Standing, left to right, are Nunnally Johnston, Rob Wagner, John Russell, Lewis Browns, Horatio Winslow, chairman Rupert Hughes, Jack L. Warner, Jack L. Warner, Jr., W.R. Burnett, Edgar Rice Burroughs; Mark Lee Luther, and Frank Craven. Seated, left to right, are Nina Wiloux Putnam, Vina Delmar, Upton Sinclair, and Preston Sturges.
Source: Corbis Previews

The Clarence Swensen Gorilla Group with Johnny Weissmuller
Photo courtesy of Ted McKosky
From Ted McKosky's Upcoming ERBapa Reprint:
Is It The Suit. . . or The Man

Past Press
Rare Photo Archive
ERBzine Silver Screen


Click for poster size


ERBzine Poster Collage Archive
Hillman Poster Collage Archive

Large (24"x28") oil painting by Frank Frazetta
Available for purchase from Russ Cochran
One of many unique handmade items from Etsy.com
Writer Doll Miniature ERB Art Collectible

Submitted by Ted McKosky

ERB Art Encyclopedia
Frank Frazetta ERB Art
Tarzan On Record
Tarzan Clubs:
Signal Oil
Tribe of Tarzan
Tarzan Clans
UK Tarzan Club

I'm an ApeMan by Neil Innes -Ungawa - YouTube Video
Suggested by Rob Donkers
How To Get To Mars

ERB in Film
Hamburg Tarzan the Musical
Update from Ron de Laat

Tarzan the Musical winds up its long Hamburg run this summer.
Phantom of the Opera will follow.
See the ERBzine coverage of the 2008 Premiere
Classic tale of "Tarzan" at Unity
SanLuisObispo ~ Feb 21, 2013



Rachelle Ann Go is Jane in 'Tarzan' 
ABS-CBNnews.com ~ Feb 21, 2013
Kelrik Productions puts on a lively adaption of Disney’s family-friendly
take on the Edgar Rice Burroughs story
Disney’s "Tarzan” makes its Central Coast debut with a lively, 
family-friendly production. . . 
This is an entertaining show, especially for pre-teen kids and their families, fitting well into the family niche Kelrik has created.
MANILA, Philippines -- After making her stage debut as the teen mermaid Ariel, Rachelle Ann Go will portray Jane in the local staging of the Broadway musical based on Disney's "Tarzan" film. 

This was announced Wednesday by Viva Atlantis Theatricals, Inc., the local theater production company that will stage the musical in the Philippines starting June 14 at the Meralco Theater.


See the ERBzine Coverage of Premieres
Tarzan: The Musical





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