Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 6725e

Envelope Packets 72-75
by John Martin
My "other hobby," buying, exchanging, making and mailing postal art covers,
ties in with my Edgar Rice Burroughs hobby quite a bit.
I enjoy making covers featuring Tarzan or other ERB characters,
and friends of mine have made and mailed me such covers as well.

I thought it would be fun to start scanning and sharing such covers
on the anniversaries of the dates they were originally postmarked.


I enjoy making envelopes out of pictures I find in magazines, calendars, advertising flyers and whatever else there is that has an image that would work in a 3 ½” by 6 ½”. These are Edgar Rice Burroughs first-day covers I made from various images. In some cases, the picture might not have anything directly to do with Tarzan, but adding a Tarzan sticker from Dover onto the cover takes care of that.

I use a piece of stiff cardboard the size of an envelope to fold the art around to make it into an envelope. You have to plan carefully so you leave a good spot to sick the stamp where the cancellation will show up best.

Canceled Aug. 12, 2012, seven years ago.

Von Horst counted on the fact that a mammoth never forgets a kindness.

Sheetah prowls the Serengeti

Plenty of vines to choose from.

The Ape Man on the rocks.

The cover of The All Story from 1912 folds nicely into an envelope.
I found the old magazine at a garage sale for two bucks.
It was falling apart and I really didn’t need it as I have a copy of the book,
so I just tore off the cover and tossed the rest of the magazine into the recycling bin.

The mammoth learned there was no such thing as peaceful coexistence with sabre-tooth tigers.

The great outdoors itself serves as the deodorizer for Tarzan’s toilet.

Hawai’i – ERB’s home away from home.

Original art, added to the envelope by the artist, always makes for a unique and collectable cover. Here’s four examples of covers with the first day of issue cancellation for the Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp.

Two of these also feature printed art of elephants operating on a vast plain. I bought a packet of these envelopes at a liquidation store and hung onto them for several years in case a good opportunity ever came up to use them in connection with Burroughs. On August 17, 2012, that happened, with the issuance of the ERB stamp, so I had many of envelopes with this design canceled, some also featuring an older 6-cent stamp with elephants.

I know a local artist named Barb Tippery and asked her to add a leopard to one of the covers, which she did. I also took some to a gathering of the North Coast Mangani in Willows, Calif., where Thomas Yeates added the image of Tarzan shooting an arrow. Notice that Tarzan is not aiming at Tantor or ERB, but over their heads!

I have more of these that need to have original art added but sometimes forget to take any of them along with me to ERB gatherings. Maybe next time!!

The lone elephant cover was made by Don Thompson of Micco Enterprise and the scene of Tarzan giving his ape yell was by Sabrina Curtis. She and David Curtis are well known for making covers by carving images in rubber blocks, then inking the blocks and applying the images to covers with a hand-roller. Many are done in one color. To do one in full color takes a lot of planning, as the first color is applied and then more of the block is carved away for application of the second color, and so on. It’s an exacting process and I can image that there are some which don’t quite work out and have to be discarded.

The first two covers feature one-of-a-kind art but Sabrina made 24 of the block-printed one (the one shown is No. 15) and Don made 11 with the elephant outline printed on the cover and then it and the surrounding landscape handpainted with watercolors. Mine is No. 4.

Barb Tippery's leopard was added to this printed cover with watercolor pencils.

Thomas Yeates put Tarzan in the sky on this first-day cover.

Carved printed block cover by Sabrina Curtis.
She carved the image and printed it one covers one at a time and one layer of color at a time.

Don Thompson's elephant. Elephant outline printed onto 11 covers
and each then colored and landscape added with water color.

I’m not sure if there’s a post office on Barsoom but since people live so long there they probably don’t have a rule like the U.S. has had about not putting living people on stamps. So just as Great Britain puts living royalty on its postage stamps, the stamps on Barsoom very likely feature images of national heroes and heroines such as John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Tars Tarkas and others.

Here on Earth, we have a living person, Tarzan, depicted on the stamp featuring Edgar Rice Burroughs. To honor residents of Barsoom on postal covers, one must use the cachet area on the postal cover for that. So here are postal covers I made on for the Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp issued Aug. 17, 2012.

McClurg’s St. John art adorns first edition of “The Chessmen of Mars,” used on this cachet. The additional stamp, with a scenery of Yosemite Valley painted by Albert Bierstadt, is used because it looks somewhat like satellite images of the River Iss on Barsoom.

St. John’s cover for “Warlord of Mars” is paired with the ERB stamp and another stamp with Mars in the background as the Viking Orbiter approaches it, temporarily making a third moon for Barsoom. The Viking Orbiter stamp, celebrating the exploration of Mars, is paired with the ERB stamp.

“John Carter on Jupiter” should have been the title for ERB’s last book. In addition to the ERB stamp the cover has a stamp showing the Pioneer II explorer spacecraft approaching Jupiter.

Images of the four Mars omnibuses published by the Science Fiction Book Club are teamed with a sticker of the planet Mars. The additional stamp is the Viking Orbiter stamp, celebrating the exploration of Mars.

Images clipped from an ad for the book publication of the John Carter of Mars Dell comic book were glued to this cover, along with a Mars sticker. The Viking Orbiter stamp, explorer of Mars, is used as well as the ERB stamp.

This closeup of Mars was on the cover of the Sunday newspaper magazine, Parade. The cover was clipped into an envelope shape, folded and glued together. The stamp showing Viking Orbiter about to explore Mars was used along with the ERB stamp.

Frazetta's "A Princess of Mars" from the Sci-Fi Book Club jacket.

An image of the cover of the “John Carter of Mars” compilation was clipped form advertising material and glued onto this cover, franked with the ERB stamp and the Mars Viking Orbiter stamp.

Romance on Mars cover includes a Love stamp as well as an ERB stamp.

When John Carter got back to Mars they told him he’d need to get a chest tattoo if he wanted to stay, so he got one with his wife, his best buddy, and his calot.

Dejah Thoris, as portrayed by Lynn Collins, on a first-day cover for the Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp.

Tars Tarkas Appreciation Day

Woola outpolls Taylor Kitsch in popularity survey

Some believe that this would have been a better poster for the movie than that big red swath they used.

The good old days when Barsoom rode the dead sea bottoms on pulp covers.

Comics we’d love to have in our collections.

Comics we’d love to have in our collections.

I don’t have this book but at least I have a postal cover with a picture of it.

6x9 cover with big image clipped from Sci-Fi book club flyer and glued onto envelope, overlaid by Viking Mars Orbiter stamp and first-day bullseye cancellation.

Program for the John Carter ECOF in March 2012, brought to 2012 Dum Dum in August and canceled with first-day-of-issue postmark.

Postcards like this one promoted more John Carter movies.

Front of postcard from the Take Me Back to Barsoom movement.

Robin Sparrow of New Zealand made the large cover of Disney's Tarzan and mailed it on Aug. 22, 2013, with a one-dollar Kiwi stamp and two other stamps featuring images of the nation's "Classic Travel Posters." The postmark itself ended up on the back of the envelope with the words: "Carried by New Zealand Post."

Joanne Trombley sent a cover on Aug. 22, 2012, with a pencil sketch of "Tarzan's Friend" with a stamp featuring art by William H. Johnson in the American Treasures series, issued April 11, 2012.

On Aug. 22, 2016, Dennis Gelvin made a cover with a Tarzan cartoon and added a Cedar Waxwing stamp from the Songbirds in Snow series issued Aug. 4 of that year.


Read All The John Martin Features in ERBzine


Visit our thousands of other sites at:
All ERB Images© and Tarzan® are Copyright ERB, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work © 1996-2019/2020 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.