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

Envelope Packets 181 - 193
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.

Jim Norris of Ohio printed out an original ad for "Tarzan of the Apes," folded it into an envelope, added my name and address and a stamp and mailed it on Nov. 13, 2006. The wording notes that the makers of the film rounded up some wild lions (as opposed to tame lions), tigers and other animals, and even found some modern day cannibals to act in the film.


Collectors of Caspak are able to enjoy a hobby where each item is unique, and they often visit the dwellings of others to see wht they have on display.  In this instance, the collector on the right is showing his friend "...a rare Squashed Thog from the T.Rex stampede of the Paleozoic..." This illustratioin of their encounter was featured by another collector, Dennis Gelvin, Olympia, on a cover mailed Nov. 14, 2008.


Jenniifer Souther, California, decorated this cover by drawing a stack of books...Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes and...whaddya know? -- there's a Tarzan book in there, too! She mailed this with a San Francisco postmark on Nov. 18, 2014.


Mr. Crabbe was billed as "Buster" for his 1932 role in "Tarzan  the Fearless" and his 1936 role in "Flash Gordon" but soon after was  being billed as Larry "Buster" Crabbe, such as in his 1938 serial,  "Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars."
    Doc Nichol, a Portland, Oregon, area dentist, was also an active  philatelist and loved making humorous covers to send to friends, this  one featuring a poster for the movie, a picture of Doc himself in a  space suit on one of his own visits to the Red Planet, and a special  stamp of Doc's own design, good for Interplanetary Postage. A clue to  the seriousness with which he took his covers was discernible by the use  of his Bull Mountain postmark from Tigard, Oregon, this one dated Nov.  26, 2003.


Dave Curtis, Virginia, carves images on linoleum blocks or other specially crafted blocks and then uses them to make prints for his postal covers. One of several Tarzan designs he has made appears on this cover mailed Nov. 28, 2012, in a #10 envelope for the organization's monthly newsletter, "From Cover to Cover."
More info about the group at


Today is the birthday of Jack Davis, who drew hilarious illustrations of Tarzan as well as many other popular characters, both fictional and real. We probably know his work best from Mad Magazine but it appeared in other humor mags as well and in other national magazines such as TV Guide and Time. Jack also designed some movie posters and, by the way, the "Letter Carriers: We Deliver!" stamp on the cover was also the work of Jack.
Postmarked on Jack's birthday, Dec. 2, 2016, a few months after his death.


It was Disney's Tarzan all over as Ohioan Dave Lemon found a flyer for the movie and rearranged it to fit on this cover, which he mailed Dec. 4 in a year whose date seems to be lost in the A and the R. Dave wrapped the little story around the cover so the rest can be read on the back. And he found and clipped a picture of the full-grown Tarzan to glue onto the light piece of cardboard that he placed inside the cover.


The treehouse tree has been decorated in readiness for Christmas in the jungle, with ornaments for the movie trio of the 30s and 40s. Charlie Delgado of Ohio dreamed up this one and put pen to paper to make it a reality, mailing the finished product my way on Dec. 5, 2017, while on vacation in Boerne, Texas.
        On Dec. 5, 2014, the Postal Service issued a couple of stamps honoring Wilt Chamberlain, better known for his starring basketball career than for his movie career. But he did a great job as Bombaata, the warrior ally of "Conan the Destroyer," with future California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the title role.
Schwarznegger always wanted someone to look up to.


This cover is similar to one I posted a year ago in this group as Cover No. 103 in the Pushing The Envelope Series. The difference is that this cover is slightly wider than the other one and includes the familiar photo of Edgar Rice Burroughs and friends observing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. ERB tried a couple of different ways of helping the war effort before finally becoming a war correspondent, donning the uniform required of correspondents, and traveling with military units to cover the war.


"The Quest of Tarzan," a novelette, first appeared in the Dec. 13, 1940, issue of Argosy. It has since been grouped with two other short stories in the book, "Tarzan and the Castaways." This cover was postmarked on Dec. 13, the anniversary of the first publication, but the date of the cover is unreadable, the cachet maker is not identified, and I can't remember where I got this. However, I am happy to have it in my collection, especially since it has an Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp!


Two Tarzan first-day covers found their way to my house, thanks to fan Ralph Brown, both canceled Dec. 14, 2016, in Oran, a province in Algeria. These are first-day-of-issue cancellations for a stamp called the "Lion of Atlas," the cancellation bearing an image similar to the stamp.

The stamp pays tribute to the extinct Atlas Lion, known more generally as the Barbary Lion and also called the Berber lion and the Egyptian Lion.

Tarzan, in his role as a secret agent for the French government, had visited Oran in Chapter 6 of "The Return of Tarzan":
"At Oran he spent a day wandering through the narrow, crooked alleys of the Arab quarter enjoying the strange, new sights. The next day found him at Sidi-bel-Abbes, where he presented his letters of introduction to both civil and military authorities--letters which gave no clew to the real significance of his mission."

In chapter  9, Tarzan kills a lion with his rife:
" No ordinary man could have escaped those frightful claws when Numa sprang from so short a distance, but Tarzan was no ordinary man. From earliest childhood his muscles had been trained by the fierce exigencies of his existence to act with the rapidity of thought. As quick as was El Adrea, Tarzan of the Apes was quicker, and so the great beast crashed against a tree where he had expected to feel the soft flesh of man, while Tarzan, a couple of paces to the right, pumped another bullet into him that brought him clawing and roaring to his side.
"Twice more Tarzan fired in quick succession, and then El Adrea lay still and roared no more. It was no longer Monsieur Jean Tarzan; it was Tarzan of the Apes that put a savage foot upon the body of his savage kill, and, raising his face to the full moon, lifted his mighty voice in the weird and terrible challenge of his kind--a bull ape had made his kill. And the wild things in the wild mountains stopped in their hunting, and trembled at this new and awful voice, while down in the desert the children of the wilderness came out of their goatskin tents and looked toward the mountains, wondering what new and savage scourge had come to devastate their flocks."

Then, toward the end of Chapter 10, Tarzan and the dancing girl are being stalked by another lion and this time the ape man uses a more familiar weapon to make the kill, at the start of Chapter 11:
" The watching girl was transfixed by astonishment at the ease with which the crouching man eluded the great paws. And now, O Allah! He had rushed in behind El Adrea's shoulder even before the beast could turn, and had grasped him by the mane. The lion reared upon his hind legs like a horse--Tarzan had known that he would do this, and he was ready. A giant arm encircled the black-maned throat, and once, twice, a dozen times a sharp blade darted in and out of the bay-black side behind the left shoulder. "
That slaying is depicted on the cover of the truncated Whitman edition of "The Return of Tarzan."

So, Tarzan played a role in bringing about the eventual elimination of the type of lion which is commemorated on the "Lion de L'Atlas" stamps. Of course, he killed both lions in self-defense.

One cover has a design of the first Tarzan comic of Tarzan killing a lion and the other uses a Joe Jusko painting of Tarzan teaming up with Jad-bal-ja, The Golden Lion. The Whitman book cover is by Al Anderson and Sparky Moore.

First-day cover from Algeria honoring the extinct Atlas, or Barbary, lion.
The cachet features the first Tarzan comic book image, showing the ape man slaying a lion with a knife.

First-day cover from Algeria honoring the extinct Atlas, or Barbary, lion.
The cachet shows a Joe Jusko painting of Tarzan running across the veldt with his favorite lion, Jad-bal-ja.


The caption says "Tarzan was right...these ropes are quick transportation! Ho Ho Ho." Carolyn Marks, Minnesota, drew this ape cover design for a piece of ape man-related mail art she dropped in the mailbox to me on Dec. 16, 2019.


Ardis Quick, Minnesota, did a nice pencil sketch of Disney's young Tarzan with Rosie O'Donnell and added a stamp with Sesame Street's Elmo, who shares a first name with Elmo Lincoln, star of the first Tarzan movie. This was postmarked just a year ago on Dec. 20, 2019.


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 © 1996-2021 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.