Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
ERB'S LIFE and LEGACY :: DAILY
A COLLATION OF THE DAILY
EVENTS IN ERB-WORLD
FROM THE PAGES OF ERBzine
CREATED BY BILL HILLMAN
Collated by John Martin and
With Web Design, Added Events,
Illustrations and Photo Collages
by Bill Hillman
FEBRUARY CONTENTS: WEEK 2
Feb 8 ~ Feb
9 ~ Feb 10 ~ Feb 11
~ Feb 12 ~ Feb 13 ~
BACK TO FEBRUARY WEEK I
FEBRUARY WEEK TWO PHOTO ALBUM
Click for full-size images
Bandit of Hell's Bend: All-Story Pulp Magazine
~ Bill Hillman at Billy the Kid's Grave and
'Standing on a Corner in Winslow, AZ ~ A Princess
of Mars: 1st Ed and reprint ~ ERB's Library and Book Plate
*** 1828: Jules Verne was born on this date -- Feb.
8, 1828. Before some of us discovered ERB during the publishing surge of
the 60s, Verne was the go-to guy for fantastic adventures. Most of us probably
first heard of him through the movies "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under
the Sea" (1954) or "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1959).
Either that, or we'd bought the Classics Illustrated comic books
of his tales and if we got the comics first we were soon watching the movies,
or vice versa. And if we had discovered Verne, we had also discovered H.G.
Then came ERB.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, too, was a Verne fan and
had several Verne books on his shelf: "The Castaways of the Flag,"
"Doctor Ox and Other Stories," "English at the North Pole,"
"Journey to the Center of the Earth," "Tour of the World in 80
Days" and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."
To see the images of the Verne books on ERB's
shelf, go to the ERBzine ERB Personal Library Project. There's a
link at the bottom to take you back to the Contents page if you want to
see what other authors were represented on ERB's bookshelf.
*** My ERB Personal Library Project
is ongoing. Every year or so since 2004, I scour the Web to find more covers,
bios and e-texts to illustrate the work of authors cited in the titles
of ERB's library. The project involved countless hours on the phone with
Dan in Tarzana. He wasn't too comfortable using computer for communication
so I took copious handwritten notes during these calls. Some of the info
he had the girls in the office send via mail and e-mail. During the years
this took to compile I made numerous visits to Danton's Tarzana office
and home where I took many photos and of course made more notes via pen
and video camera. I typed out this information across many Webpages, compiling
author names in alphabetical "shelves" A-1, A-2, etc. The next task was
to illustrate the titles and authors - some with photos of the actual books
which survived in Dan's library - but most cover images, author photos
and bios, and even actual e-texts for the books I've found through Web
A major frustration is the unreliable
nature of some of the off-site links for bios and text that I've included.
Since I began ERBzine back in 1996 I've often referenced my research with
off-site links and sadly many of these sources are short lived and unreliable.
It involves countless hours to weed out dying links and to find alternatives.
For this reason I've cut back a bit on quoting outside sources and rely
more on pages I've created and are all readily available in my archives
. . and are all searchable through my internal Google search feature
found at the top of all my archive pages. (BH)
ERBzine ERB Personal Library Project:
Jules Verne books in ERB's Library
Master List in eText
*** ERB, Verne and Wells all have
stories in at least one omnibus volume together. "Classic Tales of Science
Fiction & Fantasy" contains Verne's "Journey to the Center of
the Earth," ERB's "A
Princess of Mars," and "The War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells.
Others represented are Doyle, Nowlan, O'Brien, Bellamy, London, Gilman
and Lovecraft. With all that, it's a book with more than 1,000 pages. The
volume might be easily located at Barnes & Noble or ordered off amazon
or other places on the web. The "Classic Tales" foreword to "A
Princess of Mars" has some complimentary things to say about ERB:
Rice Burroughs there may very well have been no Star Wars. There are essentially
two great styles in science fiction: the philosophical science fiction
descended from H.G. Wells, and the pure adventure science fiction descended
from Burroughs's John Carter books. When he was writing the screenplays
for Star Wars, it was to John Carter that George Lucas turned for inspiraion.
The desert planet, the hero's extraordinary abilities, the strange beasts
and aliens, the evil cult, the speeders, and the sword fights all find
their antecedents in John Carter's Barsoom....
"Tarzan was even
more influential from a business standpoint, in that it laid the groundwork
for the merchandising that made Lucas and Disney so wealthy. Seeing the
incredible popularity of the ape man, Burroughs wanted to exploit him in
every medium that he could -- books, comic strips, film, toys, etc. Others
advised against it, but Burroughs went ahead and created a multiplatform
business that became the formula for Disney's and, later, Lucas's success.
"But it was
the popularizing of science fiction as pure adventure, putting it in the
same category as pirate stories, westerns, and chivalric romances, where
Burroughs made his biggest impact. Astronomers, writers, filmmakers, and
astronauts have all listed the John Carter stories as the inspiration for
their careers. Ray Bradbury, author of 'The Martian Chronicles' and 'Fahrenheit
451,' called Burroughs the most influential writer in history."
A Princess of Mars in ERB C.H.A.S.E.R
A Princess of Mars e-Text edition
1981: In 1950, the tombstone marking the grave of Billy
the Kid was stolen and remained missing for 26 years. After it was
found, it was stolen again on Feb. 8, 1981, but recovered four days
later in Huntington Beach, Calif.
ERB wrote about "The
Bandit of Hell's Bend," not Billy the Kid, but we have transported
this into our "ERB Life and Legacy Project" anyway because of information
that Sue-On and I picked up on one of our return trips from Tarzana. We
made many photo stops along Route 66 from our "High
Desert Eden Adventure" visit with Robin Maxwell, the author
of "Jane: The Woman
Who Loved Tarzan," One of our stops was at the site of Billy the
Kid's grave in Fort Sumter, N.M. The tombstone is now surrounded by high
iron bars so that no one can take the Kid's gravestone again.
And yes, while down that way, I was immortalized standing
on the corner in Winslow, Arizona.
Interestingly, young Billy the Kid
spent his early years working near Fort Grant -- the fort where ERB served
his time with the US Cavalry. It was here that "The Kid" shot his first
Billy The Kid / Fort Grant / ERB Connection
Billy the Kid's Grave
High Desert Eden Adventure
The Bandit of Hell's Bend
Robin Maxwell's "Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan"
Frank Frazetta: Self Portraits and John Carter and
Dejah Thoris art ~ Dejah Thoris and Tardos Mors
(Lynn Collins and Ciaran Hinds) ~ Stellan Windrow:
The First not-to-be film Tarzan actor
*** 1942-1944: Tarzana Army Camp. I spent interesting
times with Danton's friend Ralph Herman who had taken possession
of Tarzana Ranch many years ago. Riding in a golf car, we explored much
of the ranch area that now belongs to the Caballero Country Club. Ralph
also guided me all around ERB's former Tarzana mansion site and through
the remaining buildings. He is the leading authority on the history of
Tarzana and shared many enthralling stories of the Ranch before, during
and after ERB's time.
One of the little-known pieces of
history is the role than Tarzana Ranch played during WWII -- the years
that ERB was far away in the Pacific Theatre serving as the war's oldest
The Tarzana Army Camp was located in its entirety
on the Tarzana Ranch from February 1942 through November 1944. The Camp
was the little-known Coastal Defense Command Headquarters, which
was maintained on "The Hill" (aka "The Knoll"), at 18500 Tarzana Drive.
The building that stands today, although highly modified, has buried within
its walls the original Garage,Theatre, Ballroom and Writing Quarters that
Edgar Rice Burroughs personally supervised construction of during 1920.
The Tarzana Army Camp additionally
contained many buildings constructed in part from packing crate material
-- the first mass recycling during the War years . Thes buldings on the
Tarzana Ranch grounds contained Search lights, Anti-Aircraft Guns, Ammunition,
Equipment, Food and other supplies necessary to operate a camp of this
size and nature. One of the primary buildings was the Radio Shack, which
was located approximately seventy-five feet east of the ERB-constructed
swimming pool that also exists today.
The Radio Shack was the primary communication
centre for the Headquarters, and maintained communications with units on
offshore islands and military installations throughout the U.S. There are
interesting stories associated with the Radio Shack. Ralph Herman who took
over ownership of the Tarzana Ranch created a memorial plaque made of wood
from the Shack along with attached artifacts from other Tarzana buildings.
A photo of the plaque with its accompanying text description is featured
in ERBzine 4197.
Ralph Herman's History of Tarzana Ranch in WWII
ERB: The War Years
*** 1928: The great
Frazetta (February 9, 1928 - May 10, 2010) was born on this date
in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of eight, at the insistence of his school
teachers, Frazetta's parents enrolled him in the Brooklyn Academy of Fine
Arts. He attended the academy for eight years under the tutelage of Michele
Falanga, an award-winning Italian fine artist. At 16, Frazetta started
drawing for comic books that varied in themes: westerns, fantasy, mysteries,
histories and other contemporary themes -- often signing his work as "Fritz".
Much of this work was done in collaboration with friends Al Williamson
and Roy Krenkel.
In the '50s Frank worked for nine
years with Al Capp on his Li'l Abner comic strip until 1961. During this
time he was also producing his own strip, Johnny Comet, as well as assisting
Dan Barry on the Flash Gordon daily strip. Eventually he helped Harvey
Kurtzman on the parody strip Little Annie Fanny in Playboy magazine. He
went on to do a series of high paying magazine ads and film posters.
This led to major work on paperback
covers and interiors which coincided with the Burroughs boom and the great
popularity of Conan and other SF/Fantasy books and magazines. Countless
fans of the fantasy worlds of Tarzan, Barsoom, etc. were first drawn to
these titles by Frazetta's spectacular cover art. Frazetta's primary commercial
works were in oil, but he also worked with watercolor, ink and pencil alone.
Today, Frazetta's work is so highly
regarded that even incomplete sketches of his sell for thousands of dollars.
Frank was plagued by health problems in his later years. A series of strokes
forced him to switch to drawing and painting with his left hand. Frank
Frazetta died of a stroke on May 10, 2010, in a hospital near his residence
Through the years I have compiled a multitude of ERBzine
pages featuring his life and work.
Portal to the Frank Frazetta Tribute
Gallery of FF Collages and Art Links
*** 1953: Ciaran Hinds got to
hold the hand of Dejah Thoris in Disney's
"John Carter." Hinds played the part of Tardos Mors and
he holds Dejah's hand when he leads her down the aisle toward an overgroomed
groom, who she ends up not marrying after all because she quickly was reunited
with someone she liked better.
Hinds was born this date, Feb. 9, 1953, in Belfast, Northern
Disney's John Carter (of Mars) film
of Hinds in John Carter
*** 1893 Stellan Windrow (1893.02.09-1959.11.25),
who beat Elmo Lincoln into the treetops as Tarzan of the Apes was
born on this date in Chicago, IL, although that birth date is in dispute
-- some sources claim it was September 2.
It is not generally known that the
man first contracted to play the movie role of Tarzan, and the first to
actually be filmed in the part, was Stellan Sven Windrow of Chicago. He
was born to Swedish parents - both physicians. Stellan attended the University
of Chicago, receiving the Associate in Philosophy in 1915. While there
he excelled in athletics, winning events in swimming and track and field.
When Stellan Windrow met producer "Smiling Bill" Parsons, his six-foot,
four-inch, 200-pound frame led Parsons to exclaim "If we had met you three
months ago we could have saved some money searching for the right man [to
play Tarzan]." He was signed, and filming was paused until his graduation.
In August 1917 Windrow was aboard a special five-car train that hauled
Company executives, cast, crew and equipment on the four days' journey
to Tarzan's "jungle" near Morgan City, Louisiana. During the filming in
intense heat, Stellan used a ground level trampoline to make fourteen foot
leaps into the trees, there to execute death-defying swings in the tree
tops over sharp boulders on slippery hemp hawsers constructed to resemble
After five weeks of shooting, the
treetop work nearly completed, his country called Stellan Windrow to World
War I, in which he served as an ensign in the Navy. National Film paid
him $1000 for his film rights, meaning he would not be credited in the
film. A frantic search began for his replacement, ending a few weeks later
when D.W. Griffith discovery Elmo Lincoln arrived from Los Angeles.
The final movie shows two Tarzans — the limber, athletic Stellan-Tarzan
flying through the jungle canopy, and barrel-chested Elmo-Tarzan fighting
lions and other hostiles on the ground.
After the war he worked for the Swedish
division of Paramount Pictures. Near the end of the 1930s Stellan, his
wife and two daughters moved New York where he worked as a free-lance newspaper/magazine
photographer. He served in the American Red Cross during World War II,
in North Africa. Stellan Windrow died of "hardening of the arteries" November
25, 1959 in New York.
Stellan Windrow Feature Page
In the world of ERB comics:
*** Feb. 9, 1931, "Tarzan,
Lord of the Jungle" began and ran for 96 days. It was illustrated
by Rex Maxon, with continuity by R.W. Palmer.
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle: All 96 Maxon Strips
*** Feb. 9, 1945, "Bogdu
the Ape" began and ran for 56 days. Maxon did both the art
and the continuity.
Bogdu the Ape: 56 Tarzan strips by Maxon
*** Links to all the ERBzine Maxon reprints - titles
ERB the Pilot and his Security Airster with personal
DooDad ~ Tarzan in Colour Reprint
BLB editions: Tarzan Twins, Avenger, John Carter ~
Tarzan and the Golden Lion: St. John Cover Art
*** 1934: Collectors of ERB doodads would probably
love to have at least the tail section of ERB's airplane. It is the ultimate
"doodad," since that's what he named the Security Airster airplane
he took possession of on Feb. 10, 1934. ERB soloed two days later. The
famous ERB doodad, which appears on the spine of his self-published books,
is on the aircraft's tail.
Son Hulbert was given a solo dinner
on February 15 at the Hollywood Athletic Club Special aviation dishes
were devised for the menu: Aquaplane cocktail, Happy Landing Dressing,
Soup de Empennage de Boeuf, Fuselage de Bossy, Broiled, Maitre D'Hotel,
New Peas en Tailspin, Potatoes au Ground Loop. Clover Field Salad, Parfait
The day after his Solo Dinner Hulbert
experienced a major accident in ERB's brand new Airster. While attempting
a landing at Clover Field in Santa Monica, he was hit by a cross wind and
gunned the engine. He lost control of the plane and crashed into the trees
of the nearby golf course. Luckily he suffered only minor injuries but
the plane was a total wreck.
Hulbert described the origin of the
hieroglyph which came about during a 1924 fishing excursion in California's
High Sierras: "One afternoon while resting on the
bank of Mono Creek, Dad and my brother Jack were doodling in the sand with
sticks. It was on this occasion that Dad devised the curious symbol that
became his personal mark. He called it the Doodad. It was later used as
the now-familiar colophon on the spines of the books his company started
publishing in 1930. He frequently signed personal notes and memos with
Ed and his sons also used the symbol
as a sign or signature for messages. This was especially useful while horseback
riding across Tarzana Ranch. With the "doodad" each member of the family
could indicate which direction he had ridden so that the others could then
follow. The location of the small circle established the individual's identity;
a circle on the lower right side was Ed's signature, on the left was Jack's,
and below, Hulbert's.
Inspired by Ed's doodad I created
a variation of his logo in 1996, the parts of which represent Sue-On and
I and our three kids. It is featured in our ERBzine logo at the top of
every ERBzine page. I've added two variations -- Sue-On's and Mine -- at
the bottom of many of the ERBzine pages.
For more information and a photo of ERB standing next
to the doodad, see:
Joan Burroughs Bio III: ERB and Aircraft Photos
*** 1922: Bill Hillman's ERB Odyssey
Calendar notes that on this date ERB began dictating
"Tarzan and the Golden
Lion" on his new Ediphone. That may have been "the problem" as
seen by David Adams, who wrote that use of the recording device
was "...probably not the best way to come up with a solid plot no matter
how much story-telling talent you possess. Burroughs himself judged this
effort to be 'rotten,' and confessed that he felt himself 'written-out'
with his Tarzan.' "
The comment appeared in an essay written by Adams, telling
why he didn't think much of "Golden Lion." He wrote: "I can't think of
another novel even by ERB in which a writer has been able to write two
opening chapters with such promise only to throw his entire premise away
to a botched patchwork of messy meandering. Tarzan of the Apes has a reputation
as a heroic figure, but this novel does nothing to enhance his stature,
nor does this novel raise the confidence of the readers of his tales that
Burroughs could tell a decent story."
You may or may not agree with Adams. To see what else
he had to say about the novel, see:
Convolutions of Tarzan and the Golden Lion by David
Bill Hillman's ERB Annotated Illustrated Calendar:
Tarzan and the Golden Lion: History ~Art ~ Review
GOLDEN LION CLASSIC POSES PAGE
Tarzan and the Golden Lion: Read the eText Edition
(currently on-hold by request)
*** 1939: "Tarzan the Avenger"
was a Dell Fast-Action Book which was copyrighted on this date.
It was the story of "The
Son of Tarzan" all over again, using 95 Rex Maxon interiors
from his 1929-1930
of Tarzan" strip. However, some editorial changes were made in
the copy, mostly in the area of names, with the name of Korak changed to
Meanwhile, "The Son of Tarzan"
was published as a separate Better Little Book in 1939. Thus, fans
could read the story twice -- once with the protagonist as Tarzan and once
with him as Korak!
Dick Moores did the cover for this book, showing
a brown-haired Tarzan in an over-the-shoulder loin cloth pointing out something
to a very interested great ape. That's probably the same Dick Moores who
eventually took over the "Gasoline Alley" strip.
"The Son of Tarzan" strips by Rex Maxon
The Son of Tarzan in ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Bibliography
"Tarzan the Avenger"
*** On Feb. 10, 1946, "Tarzan
and the Vampire Queen" began in the Sunday Comics and ran for 17 weeks.
It has been reprinted in black and white in Tarzan in Color Volume 15B.
Art is by Ruben Moreira and story by Don Garden.
Tarzan in Colour: Reprints in Hard Cover
Huck's list of comic start and stop dates at:
Zdenek Burian: Photos, Plaque and Tarzan art ~ Christopher
Lamber in Greystoke, The Legend of Tarzan,
Lord of the Apes ~ Tarzan Trashing the
Camp ~ David "Nkima" Adams logo ~ Bolgani
*** 1905: Zdenek Burian, ERB artist, was born this
date in Noravia. His art was introduced to American ERB fans by Camille
(Caz) Cazedessus back in the '60s. Much of the Burian Tarzan art is now
showcased in the front office of ERB, Inc., Tarzana
By age 16 his adventure illustrations
were already being published. When he enrolled in an Art curriculum at
the Academy of Prague in the early '20s he was already a published illustrator.
Later, he lived off the land in more remote areas of the country. During
this time experimented with different art techniques -- gradually developing
his own style. His time in the "wilds" influenced his work for the rest
of his life, giving his art a an authenticity and reality reflecting his
kinship with nature. In 1927 he began a twenty-year-long association with
the publisher Vilimek, illustrating magazines for boys: World of Adventure
and Young Readers. He went on to illustrate countless books by both Czech,
English and American authors, mainly adventure books by writers such as:
Edmondo de Amicis, Karel May, James Oliver Curwood, Zane Grey, Kipling,
Verne, Dumas, London.
In 1935, Burian completed his first
fossil restoration, and over the next 46 years, Burian would complete nearly
500 prehistoric animal restorations and landscapes. He is perhaps
best known for his illustrations of prehistoric man and flora and fauna.
Burian was an extremely prolific and versatile artist, possibly creating
up to 20,000 pieces of art in his lifetime. He is highly regarded in the
Czech Republic where his paintings are considered national treasures.
See his Tarzan work in ERBzine:
Zdenek Burian: Tarzan Art Folio
Burian: Tantor's Family I
Burian: Tantor's Family II
*** On Feb. 11, 1977, Valley News in Van Nuys, Calif.,
reported on the latest news coming out of
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
Danton Burroughs in an interview said, "...very
soon Warner Brothers will begin the most spectacular of all Tarzan movies,
a brand new film of Tarzan of the Apes.
"The new movie is going to be a
million dollar production that is written by Robert Towne (who won
an Oscar for Chinatown), that will star an Oscar-winning actor (whose name
will soon be revealed), and that will be produced on location in an actual
tropical rain forest.... The most important thing about the movie, however
will be that all the action will be real. You'll see a real Tarzan as a
brilliant orphaned son of Lord and Lady Greystoke, instead of the inarticulate
oaf previously pictured by Hollywood (to the disgust of my grandfather).
You'll see a scientifically researched dramatization of the relationship
between infant Lord Greystoke and the tribe of apes that raised him as
one of their own and gave him the name Tarzan, meaning white skin. In other
words, the new movie will show the authenic story of Tarzan's origin."
It took a few years, seven to be exact,
but that movie finally made it to the big screen as "Greystoke, The
Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes."
Towne did do the script, at least part of it, but it
was revised to the point where he hated the ultimate script so much that
he substituted his dog's name for his on the film's credits.
And the "Oscar-winning actor" who played Tarzan was Christopher
Lambert, who had not actually won an Oscar and did not win one for
"Greystoke," either. However, he did win one a year later for the movie,
"Subway," so Danton's remarks about an Oscar-winning actor proved to be
See the article, headlined "Tarzan," among those
at ERBzine 1196
ERB Film News Clippings
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan
*** David "Nkima" Adams, sitting
safely on Tarzan's shoulder, tells why he likes the "Trashin' the Camp"
segment of Disney's "Tarzan," and shares other thoughts as well,
in a column he wrote on Feb. 11, 2000.
Chattering from the Shoulder by Nkima
This date in the comics:
*** 1955: "Tarzan
and the Ugambis" started, running for 56 days. John Celardo was the
artist and Dick Van Buren the writer.
Tarzan and the Ugambis: 56 Tarzan strips by Celardo
*** 1963: "Tarzan Tells His Story,"
Part 2, 52 days, written and illustrated by John Celardo.
Tarzan Tells His Story: 52 strips by John Celardo
*** 1990: "In
Forests Dark" 12 Sundays, illustrated by Gray Morrow with text by Don
In Forests Dark: 12 Tarzan Sunday Pages by Gray Morrow
Frank Merrill: Tarzan the Mighty and Tarzan
the Tiger: Theatre Slide and Still ~ ERB: Aircraft and
Solo Party Menu ~ Tarzan the Terrible: All-Story
pulp & 1st Edition with J. Allen St. John cover art
*** 1809: Darwin Day is a celebration to commemorate
the birthday of Charles Darwin on 12 February 1809. The day is used to
highlight Darwin's contributions to science and to promote science in general.
Darwin Day is celebrated around the world.
DARWIN / ERB CONNECTION: A major influence
upon ERB's artistic vision was Charles Darwin and the Theory of Evolution.
In 1895 ERB returned to Michigan Military Academy as
an Assistant Commandant. This appointment included the duties of cavalry
and gatling gun instructor, tactical officer, Foot-Ball/Baseball manager
and professor of geology. In his role as instructor of geology he studied
and taught Charles Darwin's groundbreaking Theory of Evolution in his courses.
Knowledge picked up while teaching this course served him well in his future
stories about prehistoric men and monsters. Years later he incorporated
variations of this revolutionary scientific concept in numerous novels
such as TARZAN OF THE APES and THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT.
DARWIN BOOKS IN ERB'S LIBRARY: One
of the many books in ERB's personal library was Darwin's "Descent of Man"
~ Ed's notation: "E. R. Burroughs Jan '99" appears on the flyleaf.
Inscription: "To Hully from mom and pop 1929"
~ Beneath the notation is a pencil drawling by Ed of a large monkey or
ape in a typical position, somewhat crouching, knuckles resting on the
ground. On the right of the drawing he had written "Grandpa."
CELEBRATING DARWIN DAY
DARWIN / ERB CONNECTION
DARWIN'S "DESCENT OF MAN" in ERB's LIBRARY
ERB / MICHIGAN MILITARY ACADEMY
*** 1966: Frank
Merrill passed away this date at the age of 72 in Los Angeles.
Merrill was a stunt double for Elmo Lincoln, the ape-man in the
first Tarzan movie, before taking on the role himself a few years later,
starring in "Tarzan
the Mighty" and "Tarzan
Frank Merrill won 58 National, Southern
California and Los Angeles championships in gymnastics (Roman rings, high
bars and rope climbing). He was national gymnastics champion from 1916
to 1918. Prior to his roles as the fifth Tarzan, he worked as a stuntman,
doubling for Elmo Lincoln in the 1921 "Adventures of Tarzan". His first
starring role was in "Perils of the Jungle" for Weiss Brother Artclass
Productions. The director of that movie offered him the job of Tarzan when
the man who already had the job (Joe Bonono, already billed as "the greatest
of all Tarzans") fractured his leg and broke his contract. Merrill invented
the vine-swinging techniques used in later Tarzan films and the Tarzan
yell, played on a record accompanying a "semi-sound" version of this second
Tarzan movie. His voice was thought unsuitable for talkies, so he retired
from movies to work with children, as Park Commissioner and recreation
director for the city of Los Angeles. On retirement in 1963, following
a serious operation, he donated his services to the YMCA as a gym instructor.
Read more about Frank Merrill in
this ERBzine feature, reprinting a three-part 1973 Jasoomian
article, "The Hercules of the Screen."
Frank Merrill Remembered I in ERBzine
Frank Merrill Remembered II in ERBzine
Frank Merrill Remembered III in ERBzine
"Tarzan the Mighty" Film Coverage and Many Photos
Read the Novelization in ERBzine Starting At:
"Tarzan the Tiger."
Off-site IMDB page:
the Tiger Youtube Video
*** On this date in 1934, ERB took the
for his first solo flight. He had received delivery of the airplane
two days earlier, after first taking flying lessons. That solo flight went
well, which is why we look back and see that ERB died in 1950 while reading
the Sunday funnies in bed, instead of being killed in an airplane crash.
Had he been, there would have been fewer ERB stories and fewer "surprises
in the safe.His diary entry for his solo flight that day is published in
“Soloed Perfect. Got My Wings. Great Thrill.” ERB
Entry in ERBzine's ERB Bio Timeline at:
*** The "Argosy
All-Story Weekly" on this date in 1921 published the first of a
seven-part installment of ERB's latest story, "Tarzan
the Terrible." The story became a great favorite with ERB fans,
taking Tarzan to Pal-ul-don, a new, unexplored land in Africa, where great
prehistoric beasts roamed and where people had tails. "Terrible," in the
language of the people of Pal-ul-don, was "guru." So, the ape-man was "Tarzan-jad-guru"
to the people of Pal-ul-don. ERB included a lengthy Pal-ul-don glossary
in the back of the book.
In this book the Apeman actually is
Tarzan the Terrible in deed. Not only is he capable of rampaging through
a mob of armed opponents, throwing them in all directions, leaping over
low walls so quickly that no one is sure what happened to him, killing
lions with a knife and so forth, but he`s remarkably callous. Twice, when
he needs to inflitrate, he thinks nothing of killing a Ho-Don priest (who
has done him no harm), cutting off the man`s tail and fastening it to his
loincloth to pose as a Ho-Don. He also lops off the head of a slain warrior,
taking it with him as a sort of trophy. He encounters a false religion
which he manipulates to his own ends, and the situation is handled much
more deftly than in later books.
There is a mention here of Tarzan
supplementing his diet with fruit and berries, a detail neglected in the
later books which seemed to have him thriving exclusively on raw meat.
Tarzan the Terrible: All-Story pulp covers
Tarzan the Terrible: Publishing history, art,
link to the Maxon strips, comics, titles, articles,
and other features:
ERBzine Glossary comparing Pal-ul-don and Mangani
*** 2012: John Powers Severin
(1921,12.26-2012.02.12) who died on this date was born in Jersey City,
New Jersey. After attending the High School of Music and Art he enlisted
in the United States Army where he served in the Pacific Theater during
World War II. He moved to Denver, Colorado in 1970. As a freelance comic
illustrator and cartoonist, thousands of Severin’s illustrations have been
published and admired by fans worldwide. John's work appeared regularly
in humour magazines such as CRACKED, ECCH, MAD, etc. and comics such as
EC. Marvel, Dark Horse, etc. His Tarzan parodies are featured in
ERBzine (See the links below)
Throughout his life, Severin received many, many honourrs,
recognitions, and awards for his illustrations and contribution to the
comic book industry. In 2003 he was inducted into the Eisner Comic Industry
Awards – Hall of Fame
John Severin is survived by his wife of 60 years, Michelina,
6 children, 13 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren, a step great granddaughter
and Severin’s sister, Marie Severin, who is also a comic illustrator and
MELVIN OF THE APES!
TARZ an' the APES!
Foulds Tarzan Figures with Jungle Land Background
~ Foulds Tarzan
painted and unpainted ~ The Lion: Tarzan Sunday Page
by Thomas Yeates
*** 1933: The set of Tarzan figures commissioned
Foulds Macaroni Company was copyrighted on this date.
The figures were given away by the company as a promotion.
They came unpainted, but you could get the paints and color them as you
liked. Thus, today, the figures are found in all manner of colors.
For the completists of the day, there was a standup background
that proclaimed "Tarzan in Jungle Land." The Tarzan figures came
in two varieties: They were nearly identical except that one had Tarzan
and the chimp standing on a base with the word "Tarzan" on it. Hake's once
sold a set of the two figures, unpainted, along with an original packaging
insert sheet, for $555.62.
The 1932 Foulds basic set of statues
is a highly-prized collectible and includes: Tarzan with Cheeta, Kala holding
baby Tarzan, Jane Porter, Numa the Lion, Sheeta the Panther, Witch Doctor,
Pirate with treasure chest, Lt. D'Arnot, Cannibal Warrior and monkey trio.
The statues measure between 1" and 4.5" tall. They were made by GEM Clay
Forming Company for distribution by sponsors of the 1932 Tarzan radio show
which starred ERB's daughter Joan and her husband James Pierce. The statue
sets were offered as a premium by Foulds, Heinz and others.
Also popular is the Foulds "Tarzan
In Jungle Land" stage and statue set. The statues were issued unpainted,
but the Tarzan statue came with a cardboard paint palette with six small
paint discs attached and a paint brush. This palette was intended
for use in painting all statues in set. Some of the statues displayed here
have been painted. The stage is 12.75" x19.5" ith a die-cut marquee sign
and attached accent tree leaf section. It is illustrated with a jungle
scene which shows a tropical bird, monkey and hut which has a door that
To see the figures and brief descriptions, check out
the ERBzine links:
Tarzan in Jungle Land with figures and collectibles
Figures at Hakes
*** 1983: In a Sunday comic reminiscent
of Mark Trail, Thomas Yeates did a Tarzan one-shot on Feb. 13, 1983,
titled "The Lion"
The Lion: Tarzan Sunday Page by Thomas Yeates
The Thomas Yeates website:
Ed Burroughs and Bride Florence on Hawaiian Honeymoon
~ Tarzan Triumphant: Cover and Interior art
by Studley Burroughs ~ ERB's Valentine to Sister-In-Law
Jessica ~ Studley Burroughs: Daughters' Valentines
*** 1947: Ed continued correspondence with long-time English
fan, Frank Shonfeld. They had corresponded since the '20s.
Frank Arthur Edward "Paul" Shonfeld
was born in West Croyden, Surrey, south of London. He discovered the writings
of ERB in 1921 by way of The Son of Tarzan that was serialized in
the weekly "Boy's Cinema" magazine. Finding Burroughs' Tarzana address
that accompanied the story, he wrote the first of what would be many decades
of fan letters. Burroughs answered all the letters but unfortunately
the early letters and most of Frank's ERB collection were later lost when
his flat was firebombed during a WWII German air raid.
Frank's corresondence with ERB continued
occasionally even through the war during which they shared stories and
observations from their respective theaters of war -- a morale boosting
activity for both men. Especially welcome were the numerous first editions
that Frank received from Tarzana through the years. During the difficult
postwar years Burroughs directed ERB, Inc. secretary Ralph Rothmund to
send over boxfulls of foodstuffs, which were very difficult to find in
After ERB's death in 1950, Frank carried
on correspondence with the office staff and the two Burroughs boys -- John
Coleman and Hulbert -- and even Jim Pierce. Later, when John was too ill
to write, his son Danton took over the correspondence -- Frank even helped
in the naming of Danton's daughters: Dejah Ralston and Llana Jane.
Frank exhibited his dedication to
Edgar Rice Burroughs by forming one of the first major International fan
clubs devoted to his life and works: ECOF: "ERB Chain Of Friendship." The
legacy of this club carries on today in the form of the annual ECOF convention
and Jim Thompson's Internet ListServ ERBCOFList.
Frank Shonfeld died in 1990. His lifetime
devotion to all things Burroughs has earned him the right to be revered
as one of the first all-time great fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Frank Shonfeld Biblio-Pro-Phile
Shonfeld and the History of ECOF by Jim Thompson
*** Feb. 14 is Valentine's Day in ERB
On this day in 1905, ERB drew a cartoon Valentine
honoring Saint Jessica the Good. You can see it, and other witty ERB illustrations,
in the ERBzine collection of ERB's cartoon art. Jessie was one of the Hulbert
girls -- ERB's sister-in-law. There are more valentines from the Burroughs
family. Ed's nephew, artist Studley Oldham Burroughs drew Valentine
cards for his two daughters.
ERB's "tongue-in-cheek" Valentine sketch for sister-in-law
Studley Oldham Burroughs' Valentines for daughters
*** In 1927 on this day, Ashton
and Florence Dearholt visited ERB to discuss adapting his books
into movies. Could the first spark of ERB and Florence's future romance
have been struck that Valentine's day? In February 1934 Ed left Emma and
moved into residence at the Garden of Allah in LA. In 1935 Ed
and Flo were married in Las Vegas and honeymooned at the Royal Hawaiian
Hotel in Honolulu
Florence Gilbert Burroughs Tributes
*** In 1929, Tommy guns roared in
Chicago and seven dropped dead in the St. Valentine's Massacre.
According to ERB, one of the gunmen was Danny "Gunner" Patrick,
who eventually wound up in "Tarzan's Jungle" and fell in love with the
exotic Jezebel in "Tarzan
Triumphant." I have an essay about St. Valentine's Massacre gunman,
Danny Patrick by ERBzine contributor RE Prindle at ERBzine 1703b.
Tarzan Triumphant: Two Peas and the Pod by
Tarzan Triumphant Biblio with art by Studley
*** An apology was in order on Valentine's
Day in 1936, when ERB addressed a letter
to daughter Joan, saying: "Darling Joan:
Another paving stone for Hell. I wanted to send valentines to Joan II and
Mike, and here it is Valentine's Day and nothing done." (We can
probably all relate to that!)
ERB's Valentine letter and more about Joan:
*** 1938 was better between ERB
and Joan, though. On that date, "Papa" autographed a copy of "The
Lad and the Lion" to her, writing "with love...." What lady would
not appreciate such a gift?
ERB's Valentine Day Inscription to Joan
The Lad and the Lion: History ~ Art ~ e-Text
*** In 1948 on Valentine's
Day, ERB loved himself enough to quit taking his medicine and switch to
bourbon instead. Those last two years were, thus, very happy ones.
ERB's Bio Timeline: Feb 14, 1948
*** 1919: David A. Kyle
(1919.02.14-2016.09.18) was an American science fiction writer and a prominent
member of science fiction fandom. He wrote two pictorial histories of science
fiction (A Pictorial History of Science Fiction and The
Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Ideas and Dreams ~ and three
licensed novels set in the Lensman universe (The Dragon Lensman,
Lensman from Rigel and Z-Lensman). With Martin Greenberg,
Kyle founded Gnome Press in 1948. He appeared with Paul Levinson, Greg
Bear and many others on the History Channel's 2002 documentary, Fantastic
Voyage: Evolution of Science Fiction. Kyle, was an active fan since the
earliest days of organized science fiction fandom and was an original member
of New York's Futurians. In 1936, published The Fantasy World, possibly
the first comics fanzine. Through his lifetime he wrote hundreds of articles
for various fanzines including articles for ERBzine.
David Kyle was a popular and respected
guest panelist at the Clinton, CT 2015 Dum-Dum. The panel topic
was ERB's Influence On Modern Sci-Fi with Moderater: Scott Tracy
Griffin from ERB, Inc. and Panelists: David Kyle ~ Jake (Buddy) Saunders
~ Diana Leto and Thomas Yeates. The audience was enthralled by David's
vast knowlege of Science Fiction and its authors.
ERB: THE FATHER OF SCIENTIFICTION by David Kyle
Dum-Dum 2015 Panel with David Kyle
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