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Coming in early 2016 at .
Written in 1941 but not published until 1967 -- and just the second historical novel written by Edgar Rice Burroughs --
this is a stark tale of madness as told by a slave of the decidedly insane (consensus opinion) Roman emperor Caligula.
It promises to be a very different online adventure strip, and I'm thrilled to be collaborating with talented H.P. Lovecraft Award winner Mike Dubisch on the project!
~ Thomas A. Simmons

Michael Wm Kaluta


Murdoch Mysteries ~ Episode 89

Set in Toronto at the dawn of the 20th century, Murdoch Mysteries is a one-hour drama series that explores the intriguing world of William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson), a methodical and dashing detective who pioneers innovative forensic techniques to solve some of the city's most gruesome murders. Murdoch’s circle of associates are valuable allies who help Murdoch solve his varied cases and traverse the many stratums of Victorian-turned-Edwardian society.
Journey to the Centre of Toronto - Episode 89
Detective Murdoch investigates a series of robberies where the thieves have dug through the the ground and into various shops or banks. The thieves only steal diamonds however. Murdoch suspects the thief is using some type of boring device and that he and Julia may have actually felt it burrowing under the ground the night of the first robbery. Constable Crabtree develops his own theories after interviewing Elva Gordon, a deep cave explorer who believes the Earth is hollow and that there might be an entire world of people living underground. Crabtree now believes "mole people" may be at work. That theory doesn't impress Murdoch who decides to use modern technology to track the boring machine.
Historical References
The concept of a "Hollow Earth" has been prevalent throughout various mythologies and folklore in the ancient world. During the 19th century John Cleves Symmes Jr., a former soldier, gained notoriety for his theory that earth is actually a hollow shell. John Quincy Adams was supportive of a quest to go and find the Hollow Earth, but his successor, Andrew Jackson quickly put an end to any and all possibility of such an expedition.
See the Edgar Rice Burroughs connection at our PELLUCIDAR companion site:
Canadians may view the series on CBC-TV and at their online site:

Hillman Interview by President John Goodwin
For the extensive film documentary on the
Importance Pulp Fiction and Authors:
L. Ron Hubbard and Edgar Rice Burroughs
At the Hubbard Library Location for Galaxy Press
Also on Hollywood Blvd but near Grauman's Theatre



Author Scott Tracy Griffin and Actor Casper Van Dien drop by

ERB Fans stop at Gillette Castle on their return from
The 2015 Dum-Dum at Clinton Connecticut

Lost ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Film 
Discovered After Almost a Century
Those ERB fans who visited the Gillette Castle on their way back from this summer's Dum-Dum at Clinton, Connecticut, may be interested in seeing actor William Gillette in the 1916 SHERLOCK HOLMES film which is about to start on TCM. He was responsible for the famous Holmes costuming -- deerstalker cap and pipe.

So amazing that TCM was finally able to show this "lost" silent - the only surviving film appearance of revered and eccentric stage legend William Gillette, who played Sherlock Holmes over 1,000 times onstage.

He was very famous and very rich from his tour of Sherlock Holmes so he bought a large amount of land on cliffs overlooking a river and built a castle with rooms that Sherlock Holmes himself would have. Bookcases that would turn into other rooms, secret passageways, stairs to nowhere, etc. Gillette, just like Arthur Conan Doyle himself, also enjoyed the then legal cocaine powder, which only added to his eccentric behavior. 

The 1916 film is quite a find - of course, stilted and dated - they basically just filmed the play he was touring with at the time - it still is wonderful to watch.

Note: We will present a virtual tour of the Gillette Castle in a future edition of ERBzine.
Part of our Dum-Dum 2015 coverage
The 2015 Dum-Dum at Clinton Connecticut

Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell at Illuxcon 2015 in Allentown, PA.
The two lovely ladies in the middle are the creation of the genius sculptor, Thomas Kuebler.
He calls them Adelpha and Her Sister.
Official Website:

A must for every ERB collector!

Perhaps the most controversial artist of ERB's books.
ERB fans know him for his ERB illustrations, but he did much more
- a tremendous body of work, spread over many decades.

In the first half of the 20th Century, was he a failure or a visionary?
The mysterious memoir, the curious account, the peculiar portrayal . . .

Bawdy? Salacious? Brave?
It's all here, and then some.
Illustrator Mahlon Blaine revealed, in words plus 100 select pictures.
For more about this book and for purchase information see



A Fighting Man of Mars
The Moon 'Men'
Land That Time Forgot
The Monster Men
Tanar of Pellucidar
At the Earth's Core
Mahlon Blaine Tribute

Two portfolios from the 1970s reprinting
Frank Frazetta's work on the Edgar Rice Burroughs properties,
as well as his early comic book art.

A Frank Frazetta portfolio produced by Russ Cochran,
reprinting the eight cover illustrations Frazetta produced for Famous Funnies.

A Frank Frazetta portfolio produced by Jewel of Opar Press in 1973
that reprinted Frazetta's earlier art plates for Tarzan and other Edgar Rice Burroughs properties
for a total of 22 images, one of which is in color.

An artistic prodigy, Frank Frazetta broke into comic books at the age of 16 out of economic necessity. A series of landmark Buck Rogers covers for Famous Funnies and several outstanding EC jobs brought Frazetta to the attention of comic strip artist Al Capp, and he was soon hired to assist on the Li'l Abner Sunday strips from 1952-61. By the time that Frazetta had quit working for Capp, the comic book market had atrophied and his freelance opportunities had all but dried up. Frazetta was forced into the illustration market at large, and it proved to be a blessing in disguise. After creating a series of well-received movie posters and paperback covers, Frazetta's fortune was secured when he painted his world-famous paperback covers for Robert E. Howard's Conan character. A string of spectacular covers for Warren Publishing's titles Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella added to his success. Frank Frazetta is now widely regarded as the master of modern fantasy art.

Visit the ERBzine Collection of Frank Frazetta ERB Art

Thirteen Volume Brazilian Tarzan Set. (Sao Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1959).
Text in Portuguese. Illustrated, with color plates.

Tarzan novels were serialilzed regularly in London's Boys' Cinema Weekly.
This is a collection of covers featuring various parts of these novels from Sept. 11, 1920 through Aug. 5, 1922.
Various Tarzan Novels appeared in Boy's Cinema Weekly. [London: Boy's Cinema],
The covers above ran from Sept 11, 1920 through August 5, 1922 featuring parts of:
Tarzan of the Apes, Return of Tarzan, Beasts of Tarzan, Son of Tarzan, and Jungle Tales of Tarzan



Johnny Weissmuller birthplace
In the small village of Pardanj, near Zrenjanin in Serbia
Courtesy Peca Kircanski


Three Monkeys:
Ray Harryhausen  ~ Forrest J Ackerman  ~ Ray Bradbury

Edgar Schmedgar
by John "Bridge" Martin

I went into a bookstore,
Enquiring, "Any ERB?"
The clerk looked somewhat puzzled,
And asked, "Did you say Herb?"

"No, ERB, as in E-R-B,"
I spelled it out for her.
"Arby's?" now she brightened,
"It's 'round the corner, sir."

"No, I don't want a sandwich,"
I tried another tact:
"Edgar...Edgar Burroughs,"
I tried to be exact.

"I've heard of Medgar Evers,"
She said with puzzled air,
"But Burroughs -- You mean William?"
She frowned and scratched her hair.


"I think we have one volume,
"It's more than just a hunch.
"It's on this shelf"...but then she blushed...
"It's called, uh, Naked Lunch."

"Forget the name of Burroughs.
"Do you have any Tarzan?"
Again she wrinkled up her face.
"Do we have any cars...and...?"

"No, Tarzan...of the Jungle!
"The one who goes like this:"
I yodeled out my bull ape cry
And struck my chest with fists.

The clerk now looked quite frightened;
She screamed and sought the door.
"You bully, get away from me!
"And don't come back no more!"

I wondered, while departing,
Should I be more precise?
Would it make any difference,
If I'd said "Edgar Rice?"


John Martin is a member of the Art Cover Exchange,
whose members create original art on envelopes and mail them to each other.
John was quite happy recently to receive a cover from Kristen Hermanny of Indiana,
modeled after the first edition jacket for Tarzan of the Apes,
and one featuring Disney's Tarzan, as illustrated by Robin Sparrow of New Zealand.

Recent ERB Montages promoting features in our ERBzine Archive

Click for poster size



What lessons can be learned
from the pencil sharpener salesman from Chicago?
Phi Beta Kappa News ~ 2014.11.05 ~ By Alex Silverman

September 1st marked what would have been the one hundredth and thirty-ninth birthday of American writer and businessman Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950). As the author of some seventy-three novels, Burroughs is remembered as the father of both Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Mars. 

Edgar Rice Burroughs dreamed of adventure. His stories painted protagonists lost in foreign and exotic worlds, fighting against herculean odds for honor and for love. And yet, the majority of Burroughs’ life was markedly bland. Though he served as a private in the Seventh U.S. Cavalry, Burroughs never saw action while serving in the military. And according to his biography on, despite his request to “chase the Apaches” at Fort Grant in the Arizona desert, Burroughs “never caught up with them.” Moreover, while Burroughs built an empire from stories based in African jungles, he never even set foot on the continent. A self-described average Joe, Burroughs wrote his first novel under the nom de plume “Normal Bean” (his editor, failing to realize the intention, corrected it to Norman Bean). For most of his life, Burroughs fell significantly short of the adventure he so cherished—of the adventure his protagonists embodied. In Tarzan Forever, John Taliaferro quotes Burroughs as once admitting to an editor, “All the interesting things in my life never happened.”

Even his path to writing was more mundane than his success would suggest. It was only after a series of failures and poor business ventures—when he found himself middle-aged, unemployed, and with three hungry mouths to feed—that Burroughs accepted a job selling pencil sharpeners. In a 1929 essay “How I Wrote the Tarzan Books,” published in the Washington Post & New York World Sunday Supplement The World Magazine, Burroughs recounts, “I was thirty-five and had failed in every enterprise I had ever attempted.” Out of sheer desperation, Burroughs began to write. “If people were paid for writing rot such as I read in some of those magazines,” Burroughs proclaimed, “I could write stories just as rotten.” 

His first novel (now known as A Princess of Mars) earned him $400. His second attempt was a flop, rejected from publication. His third changed history. At thirty-six years of age, the pencil sharpener salesman from Chicago published only his second story. Between the pages of the October 1912 issue of The All-Story, Tarzan first met Jane, and an icon was born. Burroughs, out of necessity, had become a writer.

Whatever Burroughs lacked in experience or training, he made up for in raw creativity. Over the next several decades, Burroughs would pen almost one hundred stories. Eleven of which would occur on the surface of Mars, six at the center of the Earth, five on the planet Venus, and twenty-three of which would return to the jungles of Africa and to the king of the apes. But it wouldn’t stop there. In fact, forty-one films and fifty-seven one-hour television episodes would spawn from the Tarzan mania, making Tarzan the first international pop-culture hero. 

Yet, despite this incredible success, discontent and difficult times would plague Burroughs. Burroughs once told the Los Angeles Times, “I don’t think my work is ‘literature,’ I’m not fooling myself about that.” He added that writers like him were in “the same class with the aerial artist, the tap dancer, and the clown.” Jest aside, his work was repeatedly, and entirely, rejected by the American cannon, and he was left reliant on the penny-per-word payment of pulp fiction. 

“Even in years when his income exceeded one hundred thousand dollars—most years it was far less—his appetites and expenses always seemed to leave him cash poor,” writes John Taliafero in Tarzan Forever. Indeed, after two expensive divorces, Burroughs found himself alone in a cramped bungalow in Niumalu, Hawaii, once again struggling to make ends meet. Severe depression and illness shrouded Burroughs. According to Taliafero, Burroughs “became a virtual shut-in… talking to no one for days. An old bladder problem flared up, and he was hospitalized. He suspected he was dying… He might easily have perished,” when he was saved by—of all things—the bombing of Pearl Harbor. 

The attack near his home became a watershed moment for Burroughs, and at 66 he was invigorated by a sense of purpose. Burroughs rallied to become America’s oldest correspondent to cover WWII, where he finally found the action and adventure he desired, living up to the feats of the characters he wrote about.

From a Walter Mitty-esque pencil sharpener salesman, to one of the greatest popular literature minds of our time, Burroughs’ significance remains contested. Burroughs has ignited imaginations of countless young readers, transporting them to the jungles of Africa, the plains of Mars, the center of the Earth, and to the surface of Venus and back again, giving them a thirst for adventure and opening minds to new ideas and worlds of possibility. Before J.K. Rowling, George Lucas, or even Walt Disney, Burroughs captivated a generation. He inspired writers, scientists, and intellectuals like Jane Goodall, Carl Sagan, and Ray Bradbury.

He may have never soared through the “middle terraces” of the African bush like Tarzan, and his war correspondence can not compare to John Carter’s Martian escapades, but Burroughs does live up to his protagonists. In the Paris Review, Bradbury goes so far as to credit Burroughs as the most influential writer of all time. “By giving romance and adventure to a whole generation of boys,” Bradbury asserts, “Burroughs caused them to go out and decide to become special.” And that achievement, is truly magnificent. An influence too great to be measured, Burroughs’ impact is—like his protagonists—larger than life. 

So to the father of Tarzan and John Carter, for captivating the thinkers of our time, “Happy-belated Birthday, Mr. Burroughs.” 

Alex Silverman is a recent graduate of Wofford College in humanities and German. 
He became a member of Phi Beta Kappa in his senior year. Wofford College is home to the Beta of South Carolina Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

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Our thanks to John Martin for sharing many of these cartoons
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