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Edgar Rice Burroughs Signature
Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure
Creator of Tarzan®  and "Grandfather of American Science Fiction" 
Volume 6604

ECOF 2020
Edgar Rice Burroughs Chain of Friendship Gathering
Hosted by Gary Buckingham
Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
 October 11-13

Art by Dan Parsons

* Dealers Room
* Guests and Panels
* A Special New Tarzan Book Illustrated by Top Artists
* Tour of the Fort Atkinson printing plant where the Burroughs Bulletin is printed

Gary and other Bibliophiles provided recommendations on nearby sites and activities
that attendees might consider while visiting the area. Ideas include:
(1) The House on the Rock, 83 miles to the west of Fort Atkinson.
(2) Cave of the Mounds in Blue Mounds.
(3) Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Aviation Museum in Oshkosh
(4) Circus World Museum in Baraboo, which hosts daily live circus performances throughout the summer,
(5) Wisconsin Dells, with numerous theme parks and entertainment centers.

Host Gary Buckingham put a tremendous amount of work into this event. He carried it off successfully, in spite of the whole country being in the middle of the worst pandemic since the deadly 1918-1920 Spanish Flu disaster. 

We had started promoting Gary's ECOF event in ERBzine near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. We then tried to keep fans updated as Gary made necessary changes in his plans. It was originally planned for mid-summer, but as COVID raged out of control in the US, Gary moved the date to autumn and had to work around a multitude of shut-downs and other obstacles to make the event happen. 

The serious travel restrictions cut down attendance. Sue-On and I had looked forward to attending the gathering, but our Canadian government had shut down to and from he US across our borders early in the year. 

We are fortunate that Ken and Debbie were able to attend and they have sent photos and a description of the event. We have added this account to our long line of ERB Convention reports. 

~ Bill Hillman -
by Ken Manson
With photos by Ken Manson and Debbie Lipinski

 Ken Manson and Debbie Lipinski enjoy refreshments at
the Fort 88 Smokehouse while they wait for the other attendees to join them.

     With all conventions -- pulp, ERB and science fiction, particularly -- cancelling since the Covid-19 pandemic started in the spring, Gary Buckingham still was inspired  to go ahead with the 2020 Edgar Rice Burroughs Chain of Friendship Gathering.

    He took that big step, by himself, from Oct. 11 to 13 in Fort Atkinson, Wis., through two dozen changes and with less than 15 people attending.

    One cancellation was Guest of Honor Daniel Parsons, who did the cover and some interior art for the “Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers” book that was given to those attending the ECOF. But he did do a small piece of art on each of nine books. We each picked a number to select one of the nine special books. I have a Tarzan sketch and I have seen a Jane piece of art.

    Some 350 books were printed and are signed by Dan and Gary and numbered. The 8.5-by-11-inch square-bound book contains the novella “Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers,” authorized by ERB Inc., and the 2015 short story, “Tarzan and the Secret of Katanga” that was printed in the hardcover edition of Will Murray’s book “Tarzan: Return to Pal-ul-don.” Inside the ECOF book is a frontispiece by Neal Adams and art by Parsons, Chris Adams, Peggy Adler and Joe DeVito.

    The banquet that was to be held in a local restaurant was cancelled because of the difficulty finding a restaurant to host so many people during pandemic restrictions. Gary refunded money for the banquet.

     The business that printed “Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers” and is to print the Burroughs Bulletins called off a Tuesday tour of its plant.

     Gary said he selected Fort Atkinson, between Milwaukee and Madison, because his family has lived there for 160 years. Gary now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Plenty of restaurants - including Culver’s, Arby’s, and Taco Bell - and other businesses were near the Quality Inn and Suites convention hotel in a town of 12,500 that is on the Rock River.

    My fiancee, Debbie Lipinski, and I arrived Saturday, the day before the convention, and were looking for somewhere to eat that night.  We chose Fort 88 Smokehouse about two blocks away. Halfway through a fine meal, we were surprised to see J.G. Huckenpohler, Bill Morse, and Jim and Rita Goodwin walk in. We said our hellos and I suggested we meet in the hotel lobby afterward. We did so and were joined by Henry Franke for more than an hour of conversation. The hotel bar unfortunately was closed due to Covid restrictions.

    We enjoyed a free hot breakfast in the hotel and went to the dealers room for setup that started at 8 a.m. Gary had four tables for registration and to sell his goods. Others with tables were author Tom Zachek, Chris Adams. Bill and Huck, Henry, the Goodwins and us. Jim was selling his new book - “Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Descriptive Bibliography of the Ace and Ballantine/Del Rey Paperback Books.”

     Huck was the first to register since he was the first one there to send in his money. He got an ECOF button, Gary’s book and a blue folder with a signed copy of the beginning of Gary’s story “Tarzan and the Secret of Katanga” that is scheduled to be printed in a future Burroughs Bulletin. This story is different from the story of the same name that is printed in Gary’s book.

    Buying commenced and I tried to do my share. Debbie bought a copy of Jim’s book for me as an early birthday present and Jim signed it. Huck was selling items that belonged to the late Bruce Salen, the Brooklyn Banth, and I bought two items along with two old Panthan Journals.Tom was selling his books and Chris was exhibiting some of his art. Henry was promoting the Burroughs Bibliophiles. I also bought at least 20 buttons promoting past conventions from Jim.

    Most panels were through Zoom and technically coordinated by Henry Franke. The first day’s panels were by Gary, talking about his book and editing; Jim, discussing his book; Henry on ERB-related comic strips; and Chris Adams, on his artwork in the book. He showed the color original of the black-and-white art in the book. The room closed at 5 p.m. Time for supper.

     We and the Goodwins went in Jim’s van to Sammy’s Place, a Wisconsin supper club, where we introduced them to an appetizer of saganaki, a Greek flaming cheese. Opaaa!

      Monday was another 9-to-5 day in the dealers room. Panelists were Peggy Adler and Dan Parsons, discussing their art in Gary’s book, and Will Murray, talking about “Tarzan, Conquerer of Mars” and working with Gary. We also took the traditional photo of ERBapa members.

    And the usual farewell breakfast on Tuesday ended a fine weekend. I waved goodbye to Bill and Huck and Debbie and I shared a table with the Goodwins and Henry.

     It was great to see friends I had not seen since the 2019 ECOF Gathering. I am glad they all had the courage to come and wish more had turned out.

    On the way back to the Chicago suburbs, Debbie and I saw several Fort Atkinson sites. The first was the Panther effigy mound – a reverse mound in the shape of the panther scooped out by prehistoric Native Americans. Ten of these mounds were found in the middle 1800s in Wisconsin and this is the only one remaining. Unless you are 20 feet in the air, it is hard to see the shape of the panther.

    We stopped for a photo near the “Welcome to Fort Atkinson” sign.

    Our last stop was at the Hoard Museum and National Dairy Shrine. We saw a film about the mounds and saw historical and dairy exhibits. Debbie also bought me a Fort Atkinson T-shirt.

    For anyone who missed the ECOF and wants a copy of the book, send $24, includes postage, to Gary Buckingham, 5009 Ladera Ct. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111.


Talking in the hotel lobby the night before the 2020 ECOF Gathering are
Bill Morse, J.G. Huckenpohler and Rita Goodwin.

Organizer Gary Buckingham registers Huck as Bill Morse waits

The dealers room before the start of one of the panels.

Henry Franke discusses ERB-related comic strip art.

Chris Adams talks about his artwork in the ECOF book.

Jim Goodwin discusses his new book about Ace and Ballantine editions of ERB works.

Tom Zachek and Jim Goodwin wait for Henry Franke to set up a Zoom discussion.

The traditional photo on the last day of current and past members of ERBapa
Ken Manson, Bill Morse, Huck, Chris Adams, Jim Goodwin and Henry Franke.

Enjoying the farewell breakfast are Debbie Lipinski, Rita and Jim Goodwin and Henry Franke.

Ken Manson stands at the Welcome to Fort Atkinson sign.
Debbie Lipinski near the Panther effigy reverse mound in Fort Atkinson

For more on Jim Goodwin's comprehensive
ERB Paperback Bibliography visit

THE ECOF bonus paperback Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers is presented with the compelling assistance of five artists.
The new novella “Untamed Frontiers” and the second printing of the novelette “Secret of Katanga” benefit by their artistic presentation:
* Neal Adams:  Frontispiece.
* Daniel Parsons:  Wraparound Painting, Convention Logo and Button Art:
The Lu-gash,  Jane and Winston, Battle, Tarzan and Jane with Zulu Warrior.
* Peggy Adler:  Cheetah, Leopard, Honey Badger, and Potto.
* Chris Adams:  The Archer.
*Joe DeVito:  Fighting the Lu-gash.

For more information on The ECOF Bonus Book

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