The First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Issue 0681
A Biblio-Pro-Phile
From The Den Of The Old Tiger

ERBzine 0678
ERBzine 0679
Landmark Events I
ERBzine 0680
Landmark Events II
ERBzine 0681
Feature Articles
ERBzine 0682
ST. JOHN Biblio
ERBzine 0683
ST. JOHN Line Art Collection
ERBzine 1137
Burroughs/Lovecraft Connection
.Richardon Publications
Showcasing St. John Art
ERBzine 1523

Memphis, Tenn.,
Sunday, December 9, 1979

If  Dr. Darrell C. Richardson could be transformed into a talking doll, his first words would probably be, "Me Tarzan, you Jane."

The Memphian, acknowledged as the world's greatest authority on the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs, made Tarzan his hero even before he picked Jesus as a permanent life-model. "That's the first declaration I made to the athletes at Furman College (in Greenville, S.C.) after my arrival there on scholarship. Fellows, I told them, I have tow heroes -- Tarzan and Jesus of Nazareth."

After spending a lifetime getting better acquainted with both, he's still making the same declaration, both in his three secular lives (archeologist, author and dedicated collector) and form the pulpit.

"Tarzan was a man without fear. That's the reason he's my hero -- along with the fact that he didn't have to wear a tie.

"But in actuality, the character created by Burroughs as the king of the jungle was much deeper. Burroughs has never been acknowledged as the great satirist he was -- I consider him on a par with Jonathon Swift. But what are the Tarzan books except a satirization of society as we know it?

"He fulfilled my boyhood ideals of what was important: He was a revolutionary, which I was; he was an ecologist, which I was, long before I left Flat River, Mo."

Dr. Richardson is so saturated with "Tarzanosophy," it is a simple matter to picture him as the real-life manifestation of Burroughs' famous jungle man. The retired Baptist minister, editor of publications for the Brotherhood Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, no longer has the litheness of youth. But he's still a big, strong man, impressive in the bush clothes he wears.

His introduction to his hero came early. "I was 8 years old when I saw my first Tarzan book. A schoolmate across the aisle from me was reading Beasts of Tarzan. I caught a glimpse of one illustration and that was it.

"The book he had was a Grosset and Dunlap reprint which sold at the time for 75 cents. Well, the only money I had was 15 cents a day for lunch, but it didn't take me long to figure out that if I went without lunch I could buy one book a week. My parents never knew why I was eating two or three suppers every night.

"I traded my marbles for books and then my scooter. When I got to high school, I worked and saved the money to make a trip to Kansas City, with an extra $20 to buy an overcoat. But I happened across an out-of-the-way book store and instead of an overcoat, I went home with 15 Burroughs first editions to keep me warm.

"Let me tell you about those out-of-the-way bookstores. You can put me down anywhere in the world, and I'll just happen across one immediately. My instinct directs my feet."

Dr. Richardson started a correspondence with Burroughs while he was in junior high school. Since then he has made many trips to Tarzana, Calif., originally Burroughs' private estate. He has become friends with everybody connected with Burroughs or his writings: Publishers, illustrators, actors and collectors all over the world.

But he never met Burroughs. The reason was, he was getting on with his own life: Degrees in archaeology and journalism, and then to the seminary to prepare for the ministry. And he was also beginning to write ; he found a market in the pulp adventure magazines. He has had 41 books published under the pen name D. Coleman Rich, many of them science and space fiction.

But he never forgets his other hero. His latest book, published under his own name is "The Christian Facing a World of Change."

Dr. Richardson served as pastor of several Baptist churches, as an Army chaplain in Korea and later in the Army Reserve, and as an archeologist in the Mideast and African digs. He has earned four masters degrees and is working on his second doctorate. "And that doesn't matter a hill of beans," he said Degrees don't make you any better, but you learn a lot."

His usual educational background has given him some extra clout in carrying the banner for Burroughs and other adventure story writers. "The literary people, librarians and English teachers have absolutely scorned these writers," he said. "They have perpetuated the claim that nobody was interested in such imaginings except the unlettered, because of their own narrow-mindedness about his financial success.

"But there's been some breakthrough. Not along ago, an Oxford professor said that Burroughs' vivid terse, descriptive writing in Princess of Mars was on a par with the best of H.G. Wells.

"And certainly Burroughs has been one of the most appreciated authors in all walks of life. With the possible exception of Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan has been the most widely-read character in the world. That's a strong statement, but I'll stand behind it.

Dr. Richardson shares the honor of "best collection" with nine other Burroughs Bibliophiles (the name of the collectors' international organization), but he has the most foreign printings of Tarzan books. He said, "Do you believe there are 52 titles in Arabic that were published in Cairo and 22 in Hebrew?"

Dr. Richardson ranks tops in another area. "All of the Burroughs stories were published serially by magazines before they became books. And I have every magazine issue in which a story he wrote was published -- including some that never became books." He also has some unpublished manuscripts.

He is also noted for having the finest collection of old pulps in the world -- 19,000. I am often consulted by the Library of Congress because it doesn't have nearly the volume of material I have." And his collection of 29,000 other books includes early boy's fiction, Western, space and science fiction.

"I mean, who needs 48,000 books?" he said, laughing, before adding, "Except the world of the future. So, I'll keep on going on treasure hunts. I was convinced a long time ago that my instinct as a boy was mighty good.

Dr. Darrell C. Richardson
never tires of reading about Tarzan

Well-Read Minister Finds No Need For Censorship
by John Beifuss
Memphis, Tenn., Friday Morning, March 30, 1984
George Orwell may be getting all the press in 1984, but for Dr. Darrell C. Richardson, Edgar Rice Burroughs is the author of the year -- or any year.

Burroughs was the creator of Tarzan of the Apes and numerous other heroes of primeval jungles and alien worlds.

Dr. Richardson is the creator of his own alien world, filled with relics of Burroughs' Venus and Mars (or Barsoom as its green four-armed natives call it), Pellucidar (the land at the Earth's core) and the mysterious Africa that existed only in the author's imagination.

I do have the largest Burroughs collection of anybody in the entire world," Dr. Richardson said, "It includes so many thousands of items that I really have lost count."

Dr. Richardson is an author, archeologist and Southern Baptist minister. HOw a man of the cloth became so interested in the man of the loincloth is something that has perplexed his fellow clerics for years. Dr. Richardson is as likely to say he's going to curl up with a good book as the Good Book.

"From anybody's standpoint, these hobbies are kind of oddball for a Baptist minister. But then, I've never been a run-of-the-mill human being."

Dr. Richardson says Tarzan is "today the most popular character of fiction in the history of the literature on this planet.

"I'm basing that on the whole area of the communications media," he said. "Long before such things as 'Star Wars' hit almost the entire gamut of exploitation idea, this is true of Tarzan. A pretty close rival to him is Sherlock Holmes."

Of course, the Tarzan of Burroughs' works was a far jungle-cry from the primitive ape man of Hollywood and vine fame, as epitomized by the late Johnny Weissmuller. The author's Jungle Lord was also an English Lord, self-educated and multilingual. At the same time, he was capable of a savage fury that would have made Buster Crabbe blanch, often using his teeth to tear open the throats of his enemies.

The Ape Man first appeared in All-Story Magazine in 1912. Dr. Richardson has copies of that issue, and all other book and magazine appearances of Burroughs' works in almost every language  -- even editions smuggled from a predetente Red China. He has mint-condition copies of the first edition Tarzan novel that are valued at $3,700 each.

Dr. Richardson's ERB collection, however, is just the tip of his iceberg of memorabilia. HIs collections are truly -- to quote the title of one pulp mag -- "Amazing."

He estimates he owns 29,000 hardcover books, 19,000 pulp magazines 14,000 movie items, 8,000 paperbacks, 6,000 Westerns (he says "Western Americana" may be his main interest) and 1,000 mysteries. He has first editions of all works by H. Rider Haggard, A.E. van Vogt, Robert Heinlein and other authors. He doesn't collect comics, but has managed to acquire about 8,000 of them, anyway.

"I decided many years ago to put all my liquor and tobacco money into books, and look what happened."

Like the Blob, his collection continues to consume his home. He has built two back-yard garages, one of which was completed a few weeks ago, for the overflow of some 10,000 items -- "but that's just a drop in the bucket."

Perhaps the most fabulous part of the collection is the more than 300 original artworks, originally commissioned for the covers of books and pulp magazines. Many depict scenes of savage combat.

He says, "My study of history has shown me  man hasn't changed that much. I'm sorry to say."

Dr. Richardson owns paintings by J. Allen St. John, who created covers for the firs editions of many Burroughs works; Frank R. Paul, the "father" of fantasy pulp art; John Coleman Burroughs, ERB's son; Frank Frazetta, whose work is the most expensive and sought-after of active fantasy artists; and even N. C. Wyeth, who did a cover for an early edition of "The Return of Tarzan."

Dr. Richardson bought his first St. John in 1947 -- for $7.50. "It's very garish. He wanted to see if he could get by with painting vermilion rocks and yellow sky and lots of purple."

In the pulp era, the magazine company would own all rights to the art. "The artist in those years never saw it again. It was not for posterity or my collection."

Dr. Richardson's love for fantastic tales of lost kingdoms and races complements his interest in archeology and anthropology. He has a wide collection of textbooks.

"I can read them with the same avid interest I'd read a really fantastic, wild story of adventure, and love 'em both. Very few of my scholar friends can do that. Somehow they've lost their spirit  of adventure.

"I always put first things first, and that's fun. Though I have four master's degrees and two doctor's degrees, I've never allowed that to interfere with my life particularly," he explains.

Unlike some ministers, Dr. Richardson has never been one to favor extreme censorship measures.

"Even though I'm a retired Baptist preacher, I have truly catholic tastes. I've read all my life, since I was 5 years old and read every day of my life. My tow sons were brought up in a pastor's home, and brought up to read literally anything they wanted to read.

"I've always been a practicing Christian. You can't pick and choose parts of the Bible. However, you don't have to let someone else do your interpreting for you, either.

Dr. Richardson has traveled around the world, and his interests have enabled him to meet such people as Weissmuller, Frazetta and the Burroughs family, among others.

"I've had such great and wonderful adventures," he says, "that my life is so rich and full, if I would die tomorrow I would be satisfied."

Why that sounds like something Tarzan might say.

Dr. Darrell C. Richardson with part of his collection
Dr. Darrell C. Richardson
with part of his collection

For the latest in Tarzan movies, turn to the review on Page C2.
* * * * *
Continued from Page C1: Swinging through world's largest Burroughs collection.

by Thomas Fox
Memphis, Tenn., Friday, March 30, 1984
Those heavily exposed to movie versions of Tarzan might find "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes," an unwelcome swerve from the tradition of jungle adventure.

 The standard line of introduction, "Me Tarzan, you Jane," is nowhere to be heard. This Tarzan does not wrestle rubber crocodiles or parade around atop a pet elephant; his jungle bellow has no music; there is no cute Cheetah and no Boy; about half the film unfolds in Scotland.

The hero in this version of Edgar Rice Burroughs' jungle myth isn't even called Tarzan. By the time he has a name at all, it is John Clayton of the Greystoke line.

While this is a more adult and serious-minded Tarzan movie than any we have seen before, there are a few points that almost everyone will recognize. Tarzan's parents are shipwrecked on the African coast, and soon after the tot is born Mom drifts off in a fever and Pop is killed by rampaging apes -- or, more accurately, actors in ape costume.

The boy is taken into the viny wilds and, with the help of a knife and evolution, grows up to become leader of the simian band. Just as he comes of age -- old enough for Christopher Lambert to step into the role -- along blunders an English expedition, with guns blazing in an orgy of "sport and blood, the stuff of life."

With a sympathetic Belgian (Ian Holm) as his guide and protector, Tarzan is shipped to the ancestral spread in Scotland, there to become the joy of his grandfather's last days. Ralph Richardson, in his final film, plays the elder Greystoke as a combination of creeping senility and endless understanding.

Richardson's is an important contribution, bringing a touch of humanity and humor to the stifling atmosphere of aristocratic propriety.

When his unrefined grandson picks up his bowl and drinks his soup in front of guests, Richardson abandons his spoon and slurps along. In their brief time together he tries to pass on as much as he can to the young man caught in an unsure transition from nature to civilization.

Land is everything, he advises while looking over his own square miles, and nothing is more important than keeping everything you are born to.

There is more sociology than sweat in the film's second half, as Lambert is exposed to the realities of society while still hearing the echo of the jungle, where life was little more than squabbles within his ape family, feasts of termites and an occasional fight to the death.

There has to be a Jane, of course, and here she is an American (Andie MacDowell) who finds the jungle visitor an irresistible hunk of intelligence, good looks and innocently primitive ways. What young woman of proper breeding could refuse a wealthy suitor who chills her with cat growls and comes creeping into her bed on all fours?

While Hollywood tradition has reduced Tarzan to the level of a B-movie superman, "Greystoke" (at the Hickory Ridge and Quartet) is an expensive and intelligent recasting directed by Hugh Hudson ("Chariots of Fire"). ONce past the gore of the jungle, it turns away from the call of the comic book to concentrate on Tarzan as a sympathetic and sensitive figure in the tussle between the nobility of life in the wild and civilization's smug opinion of its own virtues.

by Lloyd Dinkins

BB 39: Summer 1999 - Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle - St. John DJ for 1st Ed.

Among fictional characters, Tarzan probably is the biggest swinger of all. And the Rev. Darrell C. Richardson of Memphis is the world's foremost authority on the Ape Man and his creator.

In Dr. Richardson's neat home at 899 Stonewall are almost 12,000 books and 14,000 pulp magazines to make up the world's best collection of its type. Tarzan is represented in rare first editions in every major language of the world.

"I started in the second grade saving all my money to buy books. I've had a lifelong interest in books of all kinds. This developed into my own private library of almost 12,000 books representing all areas of knowledge.

"I had read every book in the library at my home town, Flat River, Mo., but I got interested in Tarzan when I was in the third grade. A boy across the aisle from me had a copy of The Beasts of Tarzan, with a big geography book in front of it, sneak-reading it in class. I saw some of those great old J. Allen St. John illustrations. The one I saw was Tarzan leaping down from a tree on top of a panther's back with his knife raised, saving the life of an ape. That was right down my alley."

And ever since that day, Dr. Richardson, an ordained Baptist minister, former pastor, former Army chaplain, active leader of the Boy Scout movement and prolific writer of science fiction books and stories.

He also has the best collection in the solar system of the paintings and drawings of the late J. Allen St. John, who illustrated most of the Tarzan stories when they first appeared in magazines and books.

Edgar Rice Burroughs brought Tarzan to life in 1912. Dr. Richardson says the continuing popularity of Tarzan stories is a phenomenon "frightening to publishers." Several times each year, some publisher brings out a reprint of one of the 24 Tarzan books, which now have been published in 58 languages.

Dr. Richardson has every Burroughs book, including all of the "Venus" series, the books about the planet Mars and the Pellucidar books that chronicle a hidden world at the earth's core, as well as the better-remembered Tarzan series.

"I have at least one copy of each, all in first editions, and in most cases, in excellent condition. Many of the books I have are the very best of some 20-30 copies that have passed through my hands. So the ones I have kept are the best among many identical books.

"In addition, I have some 2,000 Tarzan and other Burroughs books in foreign editions. There is a complete set in Chinese, for example, and the first editions in German, Greek, Dutch, Turkish, Finnish, Arabic and about 30 other languages.

"I have personally picked up many of the foreign editions in Turkey, through Africa, in Europe and the Arabic world. In fact, of the 24 books Burroughs wrote about Tarzan, I have more than 50 titles in Arabic, because publishers over there plagiarized the character of Tarzan and invented new stories around him, stories that Burroughs himself never heard of."

In that regard, the "outlaw" publishers treated Tarzan as Hollywood treated him, but at least the movie producers paid Burroughs who pocketed from $100,000 to a million dollars for every Tarzan film.

"The first two movies, which starred Elmo Lincoln in 1918 and 1921, were fairly faithful to the Burroughs character. After that, Hollywood swung out on its own," Dr. Richardson says.

Vine-swinging for instance, is a Hollywood invention. Nowhere in the Burroughs books does Tarzan actually swing on a vine. "And even as a small child, Tarzan of the books is far too intelligent and educated ever to saw, 'Me Tarzan, You Jane,'" the collector says.

But unfortunately, the movie version is the best known, at least in the United States.

"Of course, Tarzan has been communicated in just about every medium there is. These include books, magazines, recordings, newspapers, comic strips and comic books, television and radio. I believe Tarzan has been in more kinds of media and exposed to more people than any other single character ever known. I suppose Sherlock Holms runs about equal, or maybe just behind Tarzan.

"And when Tarzan became the character for a newspaper comic strip, he became the forerunner of ALL adventure strips. All the other adventure series came along after Tarzan in the funnies," Dr. Richardson says.

As an international authority on Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tarzan, Dr. Richardson is called upon by many editors for articles for books, collectors' directories and magazines. Many of these are written under his pen name, D. Coleman Rich. (His regular job as an editor for the Baptist Brotherhood Commission also calls on his writing talents).

The associated material in the Richardson collection includes a complete print of the first Tarzan movie, "Tarzan of the Apes," in addition to the St. John illustrations and samples of the more than 2,000 commercial products and gadgets bearing the Tarzan trade mark.

At least two towns, Tarzana, Calif., and Tarzan, Texas, were named after the jungle king, and there have been sweatshirts, toys and countless souvenir items labeled Tarzan.

Why do readers like Tarzan? Dr. Richardson says: "I think I know. I think Mr. Burroughs knew. Before he died, Mr. Burroughs said, 'We like to picture ourselves as roaming free, the lords of our selves and of our world. In other words, we would each like to be Tarzan. At least I would. I admit it.'"

The Ape Man led an exemplary life, too, Dr. Richardson likes to point out.

"Tarzan would never smoke a cigaret, swear or get into an immoral situation. In fact, Mr. Burroughs' contracts with the movie producers set out those conditions. And Tarzan had a social conscience.

"Long before anyone else was worried about it, Mr. Burroughs had Tarzan practicing conservation and protection of the environment. Mr. Burroughs also predicted in his books the crowded, polluted cities of today.

"And although Tarzan for many years had no literary recognition, I now have an English textbook for high schools in which the textbook authors outline and analyze 'Tarzan of the Apes,' putting him alongside the characters of Kipling and other literary figures."

For anyone whose Tarzan knowledge is limited to the Saturday afternoon escapades of Johnny Weissmuller, it is enlightening to hear Dr. Richardson extoll Tarzan's virtues. Tarzan is brilliant, cultured, self-educated and at home with the beasts of the jungle.

He is a fighter for right, healthy and has an uncanny ability to judge the never-ending procession of heroes and villains who trek through his forest domain. Even though they all wear white pith helmets, Tarzan can spot the bad guys.

"He's no chimp.

Dr. Darrell Richardson's home is filled with Tarzan memorabilia,
including  rare original illustrations.

Among Dr. Richardson's Tarzan books are these foreign language first editions.
Below is a copy of the first Tarzan book, "Tarzan of the Apes."
It rests against a clipping of the Edgar Rice Burroughs success story and
a copy of an early Tarzan comic strip -- the first such newspaper adventure strip.

Issue 0681

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