First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages and Webzines in Archive
Volume 6298
The Many Worlds of
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs Signature
"The master of imaginative fantasy adventure...
...the creator of Tarzan and...
...the 'grandfather of science-fiction'"


John Coleman Burroughs photograph by Hulbert Burroughs

Jack Burroughs' idea for Danton Doring came to him in the mid-30s around the time that he and Bob Clampett were working on their animated John Carter of Mars project. It involved the story of a man reduced to insect size and his adventures in the insect world. Like the John Carter project he hoped to sell the idea as a film project. These ideas were a bit before their time and pre-dated advances in film techniques and technology which would have made them possible. 

He also drew a number of Danton Doring test Sunday pages which he submitted to newspaper syndicates. There was some interest, but the project neither the JC animation nor the Danton Doring projcts came to fruition. 

Sometime later he wrote over 100 pages of manuscript, but again the project became stalled -- although he never completely gave up on the idea. For years after he scribbled out possible plot ideas on scraps of paper and many file cards. He also painted a number of illustrations for the story. 

John Coleman died in 1979 without completing this project, although much of the work he had done on it was passed on to his son, Danton. (Both Doring and son Danton were named after JCB's wife's father, Danton Ralston). 

Ten years later son Danton passed the notes and illustrations for this unfinished project along to writer John Eric Holmes (The Mahars of Pellucidar, Red Axe of Pellucidar, etc.) with the hope that the story would finally see light as a novel. In his effort to expand the story Holmes did much research on insects and tried to expand upon many of JCB's ideas. Unfortunately, the project was again left unpublished. 

Through the years JCB had supplemented much of his fine artwork with SF writings -- most of them short stories and many of them written with wife Jane Ralston. Disappointingly most of his tales were rejected by the pulp magazines of the day. Fortunately, during the Burroughs boom of the 1960s his brother Hulbert believed in the abandoned script for a novel and submitted, The Treasure of the Black Falcon, to Ballantine books who published it in 1967. It was a thrill to rediscover the Danton Doring art, the original art for the Black Falcon  (cover art by Michael Aviano) and boxfulls of promotional copies from the publisher 40 years later when Danton and I opened and explored one of JCB's long-locked storage lockers 40 years later. After Danton's death, Sue-On and I explored and organized another large JCB storage locker in San Fernando Valley.

Danton and Bill photographing JCB collection
The short story, Hybrid of Horror, written by JCB and Jane Ralston from Thrilling Mystery Magazine is reprinted in ERBzine 1465.

ERB looks on while
JCB holds son Danton
Danton Ralston holds grandson Johnny

JCB Danton Doring painting
Bill Hillman photographs JCB's rescued Danton Doring paintings

John Eric Holmes at ECOF 2003
John Eric Holmes

Discusses The
"The paintings of Danton Doring were done as tentative ideas for a moving picture script that Bob Clampett and I sold to a producer who had developed a unique and startling method of photographing insects with great clarity and of a quality far surpassing any previously done in that field up to that time."

"At the time Bob and I were working together on the John Carter of Mars animation project, Bob had seen the drawings that I had previously made for a Sunday page adventure strip, based on an idea that had long fascinated me - the concept that at our feet lies a world as wild, as bizarre, as vicious and as beautiful as any heretofore conceived in the wildest dreams of the science fiction writers -- an inconceivably vast world teeming with life and relatively unexplored."

"I had submitted these drawings to five of the largest newspaper syndicates in the country. As I recall, I received answers from all of them asking to see more of my work. Seven more pages were completed in record time, if not in quality. Anyway, one of the largest syndicates almost bought it. I realize now  that my artwork at the time was not good enough. I was without the experience to compete with the older, more talented and established artists."

"The idea and the writing still hold up. Someday I may take another shot at it. As for the motion picture script, it just quietly passed away like so many "good ideas" here in Hollywood, no doubt devoured by some of the insects that the script sought to portray."

"At the time the idea was novel in motion pictures and in comics. When I was younger I would naively worry that my idea would be "stolen". But as I grew older I realized that no story is novel."

"As Tarzan traces his lineage back to the fables of Romulus & Remus, and John Carter was predated by Jules Verne, there will never be another Tarzan of the Apes or John Carter of Mars, so likewise there will never be another Danton Doring. I know him too well, have listened to  him too long, and researched him too much, so I no longer worry about losing my priority in this field."

"Someday I'll write my novel or I shall take Danton Doring's incredible story to the grave with me."

John Coleman Burroughs in a letter to Russ Cochran
Volume 2 ~ ERB Library of Illustration
Copyright 1977 


Danton Doring Project: painting 1Danton Doring Project: painting 2

Danton Doring Project: painting 4Danton Doring Project: painting 3

The rare fifth painting - B/W image from the Web

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