I thought it would be fun to
start scanning and sharing such covers
on the anniversaries of the dates they were originally postmarked.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 157
The Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee received more than 40,000 suggestions a year for new stamp subjects, so it really is a remarkable thing that a stamp was approved for Edgar Rice Burroughs and issued on Aug. 12, 2012. Many fans, including George T. McWhorter, had written the stamp committee over the years with valid reasons why ERB should be honored on a stamp. But in the end it took the personal touch to achieve the milestone.
Denny Miller, a good friend of George as well as a former Tarzan actor, happened to visit the home of the chairman of the stamp committee as part of a celebrity tie-in for the opening of the Clinton Presidential Library. Denny didn't hesitate to suggest to the man that there be a stamp honoring Edgar Rice Burroughs on the 100th anniversary of the year his first story was published.
The rest of the story is told here:
Here are some first-day covers in my collection, some made by me and some by others:
--Denny Miller and Joanna Barnes from "Tarzan The Ape Man" (1959). The cover maker isn't identified. It might be by Tris Fall of Pensylvania. Official first-day cancellation from Tarzana.
--Comments on ERB's shrewd business dealings in maintaining rights to his creations. By The Cover Monster with his personal "First Day of Issue" rubber stamp and an official cancellation on the first day from the Elyria, Ohio, post office. Also, one by The Cover Monster with a Joe Jusko trading card image and the words: "Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote twenty-six Tarzan books without ever visiting Africa."
--Chimpanzee, drawn by Darlene Altschul of the Greater Los Angeles area, official first-day cancel obtained in person at the ceremony in Tarzana
--Official invitation to first-day ceremony with bullseye first-day cancellation from Tarzana
--Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., official business envelope with ERB stamp and official cancellation
The rest are ones I made:
--Hal Foster image from Tarzan coloring book
--Lex Barker photo from Tarzan Dell comic book
--Glued-on Disney Tarzan DVD ad
--"The 5th Wave" comic with Tarzan
--Tarzan Valentine glued on with heart rubber stamp and sticker, plus Love stamp to accompany ERB stamp
--Tarzan knife by Smoky Mountain Knife Works, clipped from catalog and glued onto #10 envelope.
More first-day covers and other ERB covers here:
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 158
Darlene Altschul of Southern California couldn't quite fit all of this familiar Tarzan cartoon from Gary Larson's The Far Side on the front, so she continued it on the back. I'm showing both sides of the cover she mailed my way on Aug. 18, 2003, with a Purple Heart stamp and a purple raptor stamp of her own design. The cover has a machine cancel of Aug. 18 but somehow also got a hand cancel of Aug. 1! The letter inside is dated Aug. 16. I'll also throw in a Superman cover made by the trivia-loving Cover Monster of Ohio and postmarked Aug. 18, 2011.
I don't know why it took three men to get him out of his costume unless one had to undrape the cape, one had to unbuckle the bullet- and brick-proof vest, and one had to make sure the springs in his boots didn't sproing.
It looks as if this cover may have gotten run over by a speeding freight train.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 159
Jim Norris of Sidney, Ohio, printed Johnny and Maureen onto this envelope, added a jungle green border, and mailed it to me on Aug. 19, 2010.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 160
Paul Gerwitz, New York, member #341 of the Art Cover Exchange, put this thoughtful fellow on an Aug. 20, 1999, cover to muse: "I wonder how Tarzan always found vines of the right length and in the right place in order to go from place to place?"
A lot of fans of ERB books have also wondered how the movie Tarzan managed to do that!
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 161
Many ERB fans devote all or a part of their vacation to ERB pursuits. In 2015, I couldn't afford to travel to Africa to visit the estate of Lord Greystoke, so instead I went to a gathering of the Northern California Mangani, which has since been renamed the North Coast Mangani to accommodate those of us who dwell in the forests closer to the Arctic Circle. Actually, the Arctic Circle in Centralia, Washington, closed a few years ago and the building is now used by a Teriyaki joint.
I mailed out these covers to some fellow members of the Art Cover Exchange on Aug. 22, 2015, and sent one to myself as well. The cover image is an actual photograph of some of the Mangani assembling prior to a Dum Dum dance.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 162
Even with a large, No. 10 envelope, the Greystoke poster wouldn't quite fit, so The Cover Monster simply turned it sideways for this cover, mailed with a Year of the Manu stamp on Aug. 28, 2005, from Cleveland, Ohio.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 163
The awesome Tyrannosaurus Rex not only terrorized other living creatures, but it also showed up to harass the heroes and heroines of Edgar Rice Burroughs books, and the appearances of those blood-spillers spilled over to the comic book versions as well.
When the Postal Service issued four Tyrannosaurus Rex stamps on Aug. 29, 2019, I used all four for some first-day covers with a local postmark. That one was canceled with a postmark with red ink, which appears to have seeped out a bit over the past year, thus adding some blood-like splatter to the creatures, not unlike what they may have had on their bodies after a delicious meal.
After making my locally canceled cover, I spent some time creating some cover designs for the individual stamps. Four of the designs featured book covers from adventures of Tarzan and others in Pellucidar, the land of terror at the Earth's core, and from the saga of Caspak in The Land That Time Forgot. I sent these in for the distinctive official first-day pictorial cancellation.
The last cover design is one of my grandson, Schuyler White, taken on a guy trip to Montana and other northwest locales in August of 2017. This one has Schuyler next to one of the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons at the Museum of the Rockies on the Montana State University campus in Bozeman. That isn't the only trip I've taken with Schuyler. He rode the Coast Starlight with me to the Dum Dum in August, 2012, when the Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp was issued. His biggest thrill there was meeting Denny Miller and he talked to Denny a couple of times on the telephone in months following.
More Tyrannosaurus Rex covers by me and others:
Imagining ERB on a guy trip (dinosaurs, cave bears, the 7th Cavalry, and more):
STAMP FEATURES IN ERBzine
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. I
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. II
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. III
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. IV
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. V
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. VI
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. VII
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. VIII
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. IX
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. X
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. XI
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. XII
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. XIII
Pushing the Envelope: Pt. XIV
The Story Behind the Stamp by John Martin
John Martin's Fun with First Day Covers
The Stamp Story by John Martin
ERBzine Stamp Dedication Ceremony Coverage in Tarzana
First impressions of the Stamp
Tarzan Stamp Previews
Read All The John Martin Features in ERBzine
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