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Volume 4978

Eclectica Archive
Edgar Rice Burroughs

ECLECTICA v.2014.07

Eclectica Archive


2014 ECOF and Dum-Dum Conventions
See our coverage of the ECOF Event starting at:
FARGO ECOF 2014 - Thursday, June 19th through Sunday, June 22nd.
The event, hosted by Rudy Sigmund, included a number of guests of honour and
a special showing of the 1927 silent classic, "Tarzan and the Golden Lion",
starring James Pierce, the future son-in-law of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Still of the Friday Banquet and Fargo Theatre by Bill and Sue-On Hillman from


Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips Volume 3 (1971-1974)
Russ Manning (Author, Illustrator)
This third volume of a four-book series collecting the entire run of the Tarzan newspaper strip by Russ Manning
presents the final two, complete daily storylines, plus four extended Sunday adventures.
In the dailies from August 2, 1971 through July 29, 1972, Tarzan returns to the Earth's core,
while Korak plays guide on the dangerous white water river. In the Sundays from January 24, 1971 through March 17, 1974,
Tarzan travels to Pal-ul-don and Korak enters the City of Xuja.
Available at your local booksellers or online at Amazon

ERBzine's Russ Manning Tribute
which includes all the Tarzan strips
is featured at:


Edgar Rice Burrough's Immortal Classics, Together In One Volume...
The Easton Press Edition
Written by America's great science-fiction genius Edgar Rice Burroughs,
the "Moon Maid" trilogy envisions the fierce struggle of rival civilizations beyond Earth.
This stunning volume brings you all three volumes, and
features 3 new full-color works of art specially commissioned for this edition.
6" x 9", 400pp
3 Monthly Installments of just $39

See ERBzine's Online Bibliography 
for full information on all the ERB Books


Coming in November 2014, a beautiful art book featuring Virgil Finlay art
from the collections of Robert Weinberg, Doug Ellis, Glynn Crain, and Robert K. Wiener.
Virgil Finlay was one of the premier artists of science fiction, fantasy and horror art of the 20th Century.
His work appeared in every major SF magazine and on the most prestigious of the small press SF books.
Premiering at the World Fantasy Convention in Virginia in conjunction with the Centenary celebration of Finlay's birth,
this collection will contain some of the finest reproductions of his B&W work to date,
with most printed at their original size, so you can truly appreciate his fine artistry.
The color pieces will be printed on a 200 LPI press, assuring a beauty and faithfulness to the image hard to surpass.



Stan Lee and Tars Tarkas

circa 1934 ~ Courtesy Rob Tonkers
More many more of the rare photos we have featured over the years:

100 Years Ago

Submitted by Rick Barry
See much more on ERB's third novel in ERBzine
ERBzine's Biblio-Pro-Philes

Burroughs Family Stories

These Insanely Detailed Maps Of Mars Are The Most Accurate Yet ~ July 15, 2014
After 16 years of painstaking work, the U.S. Geological Survey has released a series of geologic maps that offer the most thorough representation of the Red Planet's surface to date. The revealing project will help mission planners target future areas for robotic — and potentially human — exploration.

The USGS is no stranger to producing otherworldly maps. Back during the Apollo Moon landings the organization compiled lunar maps for NASA. Some four decades later, the USGS has turned its attention to Mars.

The geologic map, which is available here, was created using the instruments on board the Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. The high-quality data sets generated by these probes allowed the mission scientists to re-map the global scale geology of Mars in unprecedented detail.

The mapping effort reveals that the Martian surface is older than previously thought. Approximately three times as much surface area dates to the planet's first major geologic time period than previously mapped, the so-called Early Noachian Epoch. This period, which is the earliest part of the Noachian Epoch, ranges from about 4.1 to about 3.7 billion years ago. This era was characterized by high rates of meteorite impacts, widespread erosion of the Martian surface, and the likely presence of abundant surface water. In total, the Noachian makes up 45% of the surface, the Hesperian 29%, and the Amazonian 26%.

The map also confirms the hypothesis that Mars was once a geologically active place. There's evidence that major changes in Mars's global climate supported the presence of surface water and near-surface groundwater and ice. Over time, these changes were responsible for major shifts in the environment where Martian rocks formed and eroded. The new maps will serve as a key reference for the origin, age, and historic change of geological materials anywhere on the planet.
Plate tectonics confirmed on Mars

After nearly forty years of research, scientists have finally proven that plate tectonics exist on Mars …READ MORE

In addition, all impact basins greater than 150 km in diameter have been dated and show a dramatically reduced rate of formation over time.

And as noted, the maps will inform future missions.

"Findings from the map will enable researchers to evaluate potential landing sites for future Mars missions that may contribute to further understanding of the planet's history," noted USGS Acting Director Suzette Kimball in a statement. "The new Mars global geologic map will provide geologic context for regional and local scientific investigations for many years to come."

Watch a Day in the Life of a Terraformed Mars
Detailed maps for all of the 
Fantasy Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs

Tarzan’s Revenge ~ 2014.06.20

Glenn Morris as Tarzan with Cheetah

There may be stranger reasons for sitting down to watch a movie, but I’ve got a good one here: I’m about halfway through Steven Bach’s book Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl, when all of a sudden, I come across a biographical nugget I had forgotten about from reading Riefenstahl’s own memoirs some years earlier: In her autobiography, the infamous director of the Nazi propaganda documentary Triumph of the Will claimed she’d had an affair with Olympics decathlon champion Glenn Morris, during and after the 1936 games in Berlin.

Morris, as die-hard Tarzan film fans know, became the eighth actor to play Edgar Rice Burroughs’ apeman when he was cast in the 1938 jungle opus Tarzan’s Revenge. Produced and distributed by 20th-Century Fox, this quickie/budget adventure was released even as MGM’s celebrated series with Johnny Weissmuller continued, the lukewarm reception to Tarzan Escapes perhaps suggesting to producer Sol Lesser—who had already mounted Buster Crabbe’s vine-swinging turn in Tarzan the Fearless—that he could benefit from realizing another rival Tarzan film that might better satisfy the jungle lord’s many fans.

My copy of Tarzan’s Revenge—contained within a budget DVD collection that also features the Crabbe film as well as Elmo Lincoln’s silent classic Tarzan of the Apes, Tarzan and the Green Goddess (starring the more Burroughs-faithful, well-spoken Herman Brix), and the Gordon Scott outing Tarzan and the Trappers—had gone woefully unwatched in full; with so many good-looking films available to view, I can get easily discouraged when a print is too shabby or the sound too subpar. But this crazy intersection of Riefenstahl/Tarzan trivia got my longtime affection for the character energized again, and sent me right to my TV and a sit-down with Morris’ sole appearance as the Earl of Greystoke.

The film is often derided as one of the worst-ever incarnations of the Burroughs character. Know what? It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s not the Bo Derek travesty, either.

The film’s storyline is an “original” one, which is to say it’s not based directly on any of the novels, but it contains many of the ingredients fans could expect to be mixed together in any Tarzan picture: A beautiful woman (Eleanor Holm) on safari, accompanied by her boastful-but-less-than-manly love interest (George Meeker); an exotic plot for the heroine to be kidnapped, this time by a turban-wearing royal (C. Henry Gordon) determined to have her as the plus-one in his 100-wife harem; stock footage of jungle wildlife; clashes with headhunters; a fight with a lion; swimming with crocodiles; and of course, comic relief from Cheetah.

George Meeker ~ C. Henry Gordon ~ Joe Sawyer

Along with Meeker as Tarzan’s romantic rival Nevin Potter (a sniveling, faux-man name if ever there was one) and Gordon portraying cut-rate-Chandu-esque stalker Ben Alleu Bey,  the film adds a third principal opponent for the jungle king in the form of the “Great White Hunter”-type Olaf Punch (!), played by Canadian screen actor Joe Sawyer. Sawyer’s shady safari leader, given the oh-so-sinister tic of an eye twitch, has made a secret deal with Alleu Bey to deliver Eleanor (Yes, that’s Holm’s name in the movie, too; she plays “Jane” in everything but name) to his palace, located in a vaguely Arabian-looking setting—I suppose Tarzan fans can content themselves to believe it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of Opar.

Also added to the narrative strains of the kidnapping scheme, the central romance of “Me Tarzan, You Eleanor” (a quote featuring twice as many words as are actually spoken in the exchange, but more on that in a moment), and the MacGuffin of Holm’s family and wimpy suitor Potter pursuing game to bring back for exhibition (including a super-rare white alligator!), Tarzan’s Revenge treats us to the intermittent comic repartee between Eleanor’s parents, played by journeyman George Barbier (Philadelphia born! Pardon the indulgence of a local shout-out) and renowned gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.

George Barbier ~ Hedda Hopper ~ Eleanor Holm

What’s most amusing (to me) about Barbier’s turn as Eleanor’s father is how readily he accepts the idea of his daughter staying behind in the jungle with the savage Tarzan. Hopper’s jam in Tarzan’s Revenge is to fall victim to hilarious (?) fits of sneezing in nearly every scene. I really expected this running gag to eventually “mean” something to the story—like maybe her sneezing would give the party away while they tried to hide from cannibals, or some such devilish twist—but that just shows how much I’ve been successfully conditioned by modern screenwriting, where even the most seemingly trifling of character bits is revealed somehow to be hugely consequential to the storytelling. No such luck here—it’s really just a lot of funny sneezing.

There are occasional dialogue howlers, too—but nothing beats this little gem from she-man Nevin Potter when he raises his rifle and takes aim after hearing a rustling in the bush:

“I can’t see what it is, but it’s something!”


Turns out it’s an adorable little deer he wounds. The animal scampers away; Potter, unaware of whether or not he’s hit or killed anything living, just shrugs. (Ultimately, Tarzan attends to the poor little beast) When Eleanor gently ribs her questionably masculine protector about running out of bullets, he curls his lip into a cocksure sneer and boasts he’s still got a whole boxload of ammo left. What a guy!

So much for the lowlights of Tarzan’s Revenge; there are some bright spots, too. True, neither Glenn Morris nor Eleanor Holm are accomplished actors (they’d both abandon The Biz entirely after this film flopped); lucky for us, Morris is aided by the fact that he says exactly three words in the movie: “Tarzan,” “Eleanor,” and “good.” Otherwise, he lets his physique do the work; running and jumping around, and dangling from various vines—once upside down, by foot! Credit due, I assume, to a stuntman—he’s lean and muscular enough to make an acceptable Tarzan. Sure, his face looks a little like Harpo Marx (especially when he bares his pearly whites in mischievous smiles), but if you’re in a really forgiving mood, you can try to pretend he’s Lex Barker with a Herman Brix yodel.

Eleanor Holm in Fetching Swimwear

Like Morris, leading lady Eleanor Holm was an Olympic champion (swimming, in the 1932 games)—and her athletic abilities are showcased in the film. Her appearance brings to mind a kind of hybrid Judy Garland/Joan Crawford, and her delivery of lines is frankly no more or less stiff than her colleagues’. Her wardrobe is certainly a cheesecake-lover’s letdown for coverage that’s far more conservative than Maureen O’Sullivan’s hugely appealing (lack of) attire in the pre-Code Tarzan and His Mate…but I’m hard-pressed now to remember if Ms. O’Sullivan ever actually outswam a croc the way Holm is shown to do here.

Eagle-eyed (and eared) film buffs will also enjoy the cameo by Western star “Wild Bill” Elliott. I “knew” the voice immediately, but had to look up the name.

The qualities that struck me as surprisingly fine in Tarzan’s Revenge were two: The cinematography by George Meehan (who shot a good many 1940s Westerns), even observed through the muddy, damaged prints that are the best we’re ever likely to have, occasionally shines—especially during night scenes that are lit more moodily than we’re used to seeing in a bargain-basement Greystoke picture. Also superlative is the near-constant musical score by prolific composer Hugo Riesenfeld. Smartly arranged with recurring leitmotifs corresponding to action, romance, comedy, or natural wonder, the score incorporates pre-existing material that includes the oft-used “Gruesome” segment of Misterioso Infernale by Gaston Borch; I couldn’t really tell you exactly how much of the score is original or recycled—but whatever the nature of his contributions, Riesenfeld does a fine job of helping move the film along with well-chosen musical ideas.

If Tarzan’s Revenge doesn’t rise to quite the levels reached by the more outstanding of the Burroughs-inspired films (and it certainly doesn’t), its rough-hewn charms aren’t a serious embarrassment to the general screen legacy of the apeman. It’s pulpy and disposable; call me a Tarzan fan too easy to please, but sometimes a quick and silly swing through the trees is worth issuing the victory cry of the bull ape!

Tarzan's Fight on a Rope Bridge


    Fantastically Wrong: 
The Legendary Scientist Who Swore Our Planet Is Hollow ~ July 2, 2014

This ad should have a huge asterisk somewhere explaining that Koreshanity was 
a cult started by a guy who shocked himself and woke up thinking he was Jesus.

In 1869 an American physician named Cyrus Reed Teed, whose very own brand of medicine combined alchemy with zaps of electricity and doses of magnetism, electrocuted himself so badly that he passed out. Which is just as well, for when he came to, he realized he was the living incarnation of Jesus Christ. Not only that, he also decided that the Earth is actually an inverted sphere: We line the inside and look in on, not out to, the rest of the universe.

Fantastically Wrong
It's OK to be wrong, even fantastically so. Because when it comes to understanding our world, mistakes mean progress. From folklore to pure science, these are history’s most bizarre theories.

So he started a cult called Koreshanity in Florida to convince the world of his geologic discovery. And on a beach near their commune, for five months the Koreshanites deployed the rectilliniator, a device of their own creation, to scientifically measure that the Earth is in fact concave. Naturally, it was a success.

Madness, to be sure, but also the product of an idea put forth 200 years previous by one of history’s greatest scientific minds: Edmond Halley. You see, Halley noticed that the Earth’s magnetic field is rather unpredictable, with its lines shifting from year to year. And Halley, after whom the famous comet is named, reckoned that the Earth’s hollowness is to blame—we’re standing on an outermost shell with three more concentric shells within. And it’s the poles of these inner shells that throw off our magnetic field. Oh, and according to Halley, there’s undoubtedly life flourishing deep down there.

Variations in Earth’s magnetic field from 1590 to 1990. 

This is the strange tale of the hollow Earth, a theory that even Halley himself realized was a tad unbelievable. “If I shall seem to advance anything that looks like Extravagant or Romantick,” he wrote in 1692, “the Reader is desired to suspend his censure, till he have considered the force and number of the many arguments which concurr [sic] to make good so new and so bold a Supposition.”

Halley was actually working off of his friend Isaac Newton’s recently published masterpiece Principia, “the work that forms the foundation for modern physical science,” according to Bucknell University’s Duane Griffin in his essay “What Curiosity in the Structure: The Hollow Earth in Science.” “Insofar as the publication of the Principia marks the beginning of modern science,” adds Griffin, “Halley’s hollow Earth theory can thus be treated as the first prediction of the modern scientific era.”

OK, well, off to an interesting start. But the idea of a hollow Earth was hardly a new one, Griffin notes. It appears in folklore the world over, not to mention elsewhere in Europe in Halley’s time. A German named Athansius Kircher, for instance, published Mundus Subterraneus in 1664, in which he claimed the Earth contains a central fire (kinda true, really) and vast underground lakes and lava chambers. At the north pole is a gaping vortex that sucks water down to the central fire, where it’s heated and expelled out the south pole, much to the delight of the penguins there, I’d imagine.

Athansius Kircher’s fanciful imagining of Earth’s interior from his work Mundus Subterraneus. 
In fairness, though, he’d never been to the center of the planet before, unlike Brendan Fraser in 
the 2008 film Journey to the End of an Actor’s Career Center of the Earth.

Kircher hadn’t a lick of data to back up his claims, but Halley sure did. As strange as it seems, his theory was wrong but well-reasoned given the scope of human knowledge at the time, and it often incorporated ideas from Principia, according to Griffin. Halley argued that the variations in Earth’s magnetic field couldn’t be due to some sort of magnetic body wandering around in rock, what with the rather solid nature of rock, so there must be unseen circles spinning around beneath our feet.

“The Earth is represented by the outward Circle,” he wrote, “and the three inward Circles are made nearly proportionable to the Magnitudes of the Planets Venus, Mars, and Mercury, all which may be included within this Globe of Earth.” There’s no danger of them ramming into each other, by the way, because like with Saturn’s concentric rings, they’re held in place perfectly well by gravity.

Edmond Halley, brilliant scientist and hater of smiles.

Because magnetism is a stronger force than gravity, the inside of the shell must be lined with “Magnetical Matter” that keeps the thing from crumbling and caving in on itself. There is the problem, though, of cracks forming in the outer shell, with gravity sucking ocean water and debris toward the center of the Earth. But Halley reckons that “Internal parts of this Bubble of Earth should be replete with such Saline and Vitrolick Particles” that would plug up a leak (he would later on in 1716 attribute a particularly intense bout of aurora borealis to luminous vapors escaping from a crack in the Earth).

In a time when science had not yet divested itself of religion, there was the question of why exactly God would arrange things this way. What use could the empty spaces between the circles within our planet be? For Halley, who believed that all of the other planets in our solar system were inhabited, it was just another place for God to stash life. Earth, he argued, was essentially a giant building made by the Almighty. “We ourselves, in Cities where we are pressed for room, commonly build many Stories, one over the other, and thereby accommodate a much greater multitude of Inhabitants,” he wrote.

There is of course then the problem of the light required for such life. No problem, really, said Halley. “The Concave Arches may in several places shine with such a substance as invests the Surface of the Sun; nor can we, without a boldness unbecoming a Philosopher, adventure to affect the impossibility of peculiar Luminaries below, of which we have no sort of Idea.” (Read: I have no clue what’s happening down there, so here’s a guess.)

Halley’s imagining of the interior of Earth, which proves 
he didn’t do nearly as much mescaline as Athansius Kircher. 

Halley’s theory of the hollow Earth had a generally “meh” reception, according to Griffin, and he never really expanded on his work after its publication. But that isn’t to say he abandoned it. Quite the contrary: Over 40 years later he sat for his official portrait as Astronomer Royal, and in his hand was the illustration of Earth and its three concentric circles, shown at left.

We’ve obviously now determined that our planet is anything but hollow. But Halley was on the right track: Earth is indeed composed of layers, from the inner core to the crust we tread. We know this thanks to Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann, who monitored an earthquake in 1929 and determined that the different kinds of waves it produced, which behave differently in liquids and solids, had deflected off of a liquid outer core and solid inner core. And appropriately enough it’s the churning of the outer core that not only produces our magnetic field, but causes it to vary over time. Halley had actually been close to finding the right answer.

And though he had been wrong, “the geomagnetic data Halley compiled excited considerable scientific interest,” writes Griffin. And as the first real prediction of the scientific era, it wasn’t really such a bad way to start off. If science is anything, it’s forgiving. Halley’s theory was mistaken, but early hypothesizing like his helped build the framework for the disciplined scientific pursuits we enjoy today. And there’s still that comet of his flying around, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

Griffin, D. What Curiosity in the Structure: The Hollow Earth in Science
At our Companion Site

Worth a Visit:


Mark Wheatley's latest painting is an illustration from THE CHESSMEN OF MARS
The crab-heads are Kaldanes and they attach themselves to Rykors to have bodies. 
So his title is a play on that. This also started life as one of his watercolor paintings 
that he'll have for sale at his booth at the San Diego Comic Con.

Submitted by Ted McKosky

Barsoom Art by
The Great Roy G Kenkel

Rare 1922 Lithographs by
J. Allen St. John (1872-1957)

From Swiss Family Robinson

Tarzan by Kent Melton

1934-44 Beehive Group 1 -- Tarzan -- SGC 50
One of the rarest Beehives known.

The first FULL Hebrew translation of the Princess of Mars
Published by Sial in June 2014.
The translator is Emanuel Lotam.
A partial translation of the PRINCESS OF MARS 
was published in a children's magazine MAARIV LANOAR in the the '50s.
The translator was well-known poet Moshe Dor with pictures of well-known artist Zeev.
It was unfinished however. 
Online magazine "Yekum Tarbut" has republished it in several parts
 Israeli Tarzans published by S.OR in 1972-1975
There were 20 in all (numbered issued 17)
They are far more rare than the comics issues by Mizrachi published in Israel
Each issue included a reprint of old Israeli Tarzan story and a comics of Tarzan or some other unrealated story by Marsh 
(Issues no 1-2) by Kubert Foster and Hogarth
(nos 5—10) by Manning
(nos 10-15)
Nos 10-11: 1. Tarzan Returns to the Land of the Ant Men 
Nos 12-15: 2. Tarzan and the Return of Dagga Ramba 
A Korak story by Frank Thorn taken from korak no 49 published by DC

Submitted by Eli Eshed
For links to all the Eli Eshed features in visit:
From the ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Illustrated Bibliography Series



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