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PUSHING THE ENVELOPE XIX
Envelope Packets 212 - 220
Including Pearl Harbor
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.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE: No. 212
Laurence G Dunn mailed this cover to me postmarked July 17, 2021, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Acquanetta, who was the adversary of Johnny Weissmuller's ape man in "Tarzan and the Leopard Woman," 1946.
The woman with the exotic name was born Mildred Davenport in Ozone, Wyoming, on July 17, 1921, and lived until the age of 83, passing away Aug. 16, 2004.
Laurence keeps track of some of these important dates and notes that the next centenary will be the one for Dorothy Hart, Jane in 1952's "Tarzan's Savage Fury." She was born April 4, 1922. With a stamp featuring Queen Elizabeth, the British monarch looks across the envelope at one of the barbaric queens Tarzan has encountered in the peril-fraught jungles of Africa.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 213
The US Postal Service on June 18, 2021, issued a set of 10 stamps labeled Sun Science. The sun was presented in different colors as a way of illustrating different purposes it serves.
I had thought of making 10 different Edgar Rice Burroughs-related covers but it was hard to do, since ERB didn't create a lot of worlds with a sun separate from ours. The only ones I could think of that were different were the Eternal Noonday sun of Pellucidar and the sun that is "Beyond the Farthest Star" -- Omos, around which orbits a family of 11 planets all in the same path and with breathable atmospheres connecting one to another.
The interior of ERB's moon is lit up by light from our own sun which filters in through an opening. And the worlds of Barsoom, Caspak, Tarzan's Africa, et al, all have the same sun shining over them.
So, I settled for making three ERB covers instead of 10 -- Omos, the Pellucidar sun and our familiar sun as it shines over Tarzan's Africa, where the denizens of Opar refer to it as The Flaming God.
As I looked for cover images I could use, I had a hard time finding any art at all with images of the sun of Pellucidar. There are some images that show an orb in the sky but I believe most of these are low enough that they have to be the Dead World rather than the sun. So there is a challenge for ERB artists: Depicting the sun of Pellucidar in an appropriate place.
As for my covers, I used the standard popular map of Pellucidar with an image of the sun centered atop it.
The cover representative of our sun is the Richard Powers painting for Ballantine's first printing of "Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar," showing The Flaming God in the background as Tarzan battles one of Opar's beast men.
The art for the Omos system is from erblist.com and is copyright by Bruce David "Tangor" Bozarth, website owner, and used with permission. See:
- - - - -But I still made my set of 10, making cachets for each cover with images of Science Fiction books that have "sun" in the title. I haven't actually read any of these other books but the titles of some are certainly intriguing, and there are more such titles that I didn't have room to use.
I also thought of using titles of other types of novels, such as Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises," but wasn't thrilled enough with that idea to do it.
I did make a few other covers, though, using a couple of Superman comic images concerning stories about the red sun of Krypton, and a couple of comics of the comic book, Sun Girl, who I'd never heard of before.
- - - - -The Postal Service noted that the colors of the stamps do not represent the actual colors of the sun as perceived by human eyesight. Instead, each image is colorized by NASA according to different wavelengths that reveal or highlight specific features of the sun’s activity.
Postal Service art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps with digital images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, a spacecraft launched in February 2010 to keep constant watch on the sun from geosynchronous orbit over the craft’s ground station in New Mexico.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 214
While at the Dum Dum in Albuquerque I visited the table of Henry Franke, editor of The Burroughs Bulletin. Henry likes special postal covers, as I do, and he had three he had made recently for postmarks from Mars, Venus and Tarzan. Those are, of course, Mars and Venus in Pennsylvania and Tarzan in Texas.
Henry had been considering seeking a special postal cancellation from the Mars post office to tie in with Pulpfest, but it didn't work out. So, instead, he made up three special 6x9 covers with images of ERB books and sent them off to the appropriate post offices for the cancellations. He told me the ones from Texas were returned to him right away, the Venus ones came in a few days later, and the Mars postmarks eventually were sent back to him as well.
If you'd like to try this, with these cities or others, it's a fun thing to do and gives you a unique collectible. If you make extras, you can even sell some to other collectors, although many of the fans save their money for buying ERB books instead. Also, bear in mind that this can be a bit of a crap shoot. Attitudes of postal people vary from office to office and the postmaster to whom you send covers may be enthusiastic and do a good job or drag his feet and then do a sloppy job. I have sent for some that I've never gotten back! Glad these from Henry made it back to him as he did a nice job on these large, 6x9 covers, franked with the Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp.
1. Henry Franke made this 6x9 cover for a July 27, 2021, postmark from Venus, from Tarzan, Texas.
2. Henry Franke made this 6x9 cover for a July 30, 2021, cancellation from Venus Pennsylvania.
3. Henry Franke made this 6x9 cover for an Aug. 4 cancellation from Mars, Pennsylvania.
December 7, 2021 ~ Pearl Harbor
NOW AND THEN...
The view is more peaceful today than it was 80 years ago when Edgar Rice Burroughs and friends were watching from a tennis court as the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
I visited the Galvin, Washington, Post Office this morning to get an 80th anniversary postmark on a few commemorative covers I made of a Marine sentry watching over the gravesite of the USS Arizona and many members of its valiant crew. The day that ERB looked this way, the sky was filled with fiery smoke and the silhouettes of overturning U.S. warships.
ERB and friends at first thought the Japanese planes and explosions were a training exercise but soon realized the reality they were witnessing.
ERB sought ways to serve the U.S. cause and ended up as the oldest war correspondent in the Pacific Theatre, as recognized in the second cover in this post.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 215
This lion has great peripheral vision which enables him to see above his head the direction Ron Ely is directing him to in an episode of "Tarzan." This cover, with Edgar Rice Burroughs Forever stamp, was mailed to me in December by The Cover Monster of Elyria, Ohio. He likes sending me ERB covers and I like receiving them!
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 216
Carolyn Marks does mostly original art on her postal covers and sells them on ebay under the dealer name of bellastreasure. She mailed me this special one because of my interest in Edgar Rice Burroughs. It features an image of a Tarzan Secret Message Decoder.
The cover bears the "Mystery Message" stamp and its first-day-of-issue postmark. It was issued by the Postal Service this past summer and contains letters which, when read in a certain order, form a five-word message. Thus, Carolyn's cover cachet is a tie-in with a key to "mystery messages" from the Tarzan club.
As for the Postal Service's "mystery message," if you're driven by insatiable curiosity, there's more about that here: http://virtualstampclub.com/lloydblog/?p=11249
I did a little research to learn more about the Tarzan Secret Message Decoder. This was part of a folded membership card for the Westworld Tarzan Club in England in the 1950s. I found two more images of the card from a Hake's auction website which had sold a card with membership number 8522, which just happened to have been issued to Vernell Coriell, founder of The Burroughs Bibliophiles. The other side of the card has the Decoder and the cover, which features an image of a 1-3/8" tall plastic badge that was issued to members.
The Westworld Tarzan Club was a promotion of the British Tarzan comic. Publisher Donald F. Peters, Ltd. published the first British Tarzan comic in 1950.
The series started off with the title "Tarzan Monthly," which ran for 19 issues. It reprinted a full American Sunday strip on each page.The comic was then taken over by Westworld Publications, Ltd. of London, which changed the title to "Tarzan: The Grand Adventure Comic" for Volumes 1 and 2. With Volume 3 the title was changed to "Tarzan Adventures." It ceased publication after Volume 9.
The comics promoted the Tarzan Club membership, which cost one shilling. There were usually club-related letters and editorials inside the front cover.
Some of the above information came from:
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE No. 217
Mike Henry is the very image of Tarzan as far as a lot of fans are concerned. Here he is in one of his three movies as the ape man. The Cover Monster of Ohio put this image on an envelope and added an Edgar Rice Burroughs "Forever" stamp and dropped it in the mail to me a couple of weeks ago.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 218
The Cover Monster of Ohio never gets tired of sending me Edgar Rice Burroughs covers, this one with an image of ERB himself. I don't know who the artist is but perhaps someone in the group does. The wording says: "Tarzana, California, gets its name from Edgar Rice Burroughs,who bought more than 500 acres after his first Tarzan movie came out. This one was mailed, gaining a Cleveland, Ohio, spray-on postmark in the process, on Nov. 30, 2021.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 219
One of Morris Gollub's Lex Barker covers, this one from Dell's Tarzan No. 59, shows up on this cover mailed to me by The Cover Monster of Ohio with an Oct. 20, 2021, Cleveland postmark.
Want to see the rest of the issue? It's here:
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 220
Someone on ebay is selling the three-page article on Ron Ely from a 1967 issue of TV Guide, so The Cover Monster of Ohio copied the scan of the first page and placed it on this cover, which he mailed to me in September of 2021. The lead-in wording at the top of the article reads: "When Tarzan wrestles with a lion, by gosh, he wrestles with a lion -- and lurking in the jungle bushes was a naked Beverly Hills tennis player who believes he is Tarzan."
The photo at the top has the lion all over Tarzan, which makes it appear as if he's already half-eaten the ape man. But we know that Tarzan lives on!
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