The First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages and Webzines in Archive
Volume 0757
A Collector's Hypertexted and Annotated Storehouse of Encyclopedic Resources
J. Allen St. John: Mucker - 5 b/w interiors
Click for large cover images
See DJ image
ERB began work on part 1 sometime between August and October, 1913 ~ Part 2 on January 24, 1916


All-Story Cavalier Weekly: October 24, 31 & November 7, 14, 1914 ~ "The Mucker"
    P.J. Monahan front cover ~ no interiors
All-Story Weekly: June 17, 24 & July 1, 8, 15, 1916 ~ "The Return of the Mucker"
    P.J. Monahan front cover ~ no interiors ~ (working title: "Out There Somewhere" the title of a H.H. Knibbs poem
Methuen (UK): October 6, 1921: Pt. 1 The Mucker
A.C. McClurg:  October 31, 1921 ~ 414 pages ~ US 1st Ed. Print Run: 17,000 ~ Total: 122,830 ~ Heins word count: 138,000
    J. Allen St. John: DJ and five interiors
McClurg: 1922 reprint
Methuen (UK): January 26, 1922, March 1927, December 1928, August 1939
     The Man Without A Soul (The Return of the Mucker) ~ 209 pages
    Frank Leist: DJ ~ no interiors
Grosset & Dunlap: 1922
J. Allen St. John: DJ and four interior plates
Grosset & Dunlap: 1940 ~ No illustrations ~ 414 pages
Canaveral Press: November 14, 1963
    St. John DJ and five original interiors
Ballantine Books: January 1966 ~ U6039 ~ 320 pages
    Robert Abbett cover
Ace Books: June 1974 ~ (Part 1) The Mucker ~ 190 pages
    Frank Frazetta cover
Ace Books: June 1974 ~ (Part 2) Return of the Mucker ~ 212 pages
    Frank Frazetta cover
For detailed information, see Robert B. Zeuschner's
Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Bibliography (ERB, Inc., 2016).
Click on or call 214-405-6741 to order a copy.
The Mucker
The Mucker: Spawned by the slum jungles of Chicago, Billy Byrne was a vicious animal -- ruthless, powerful and blood thirsty. Before long, his natural ability for finding trouble left him shipwrecked in a Far East jungle where he was free to unleash the savage nature that was his only chance for survival.
The Return of the Mucker: The Mucker spent his life fighting. He fought his way out of the worst of Chicago's slums, he fought his way out of a jail sentence for a murder he didn't commit. Then, forced to fight for his freedom, destiny led him through a startling series of further adventures to Mexico -- and a fight for his life in the middle of a bloody revolution. Like two thieves they crept along in the shadow of the canyon wall. Inwardly Billy cursed the darkness of the night which hid from view everything more than a few paces from them. Yet it might have been this very darkness which would help save them, since it hid them as effectually from an enemy as it hid the enemy from them.
Mucker Definition
A person who removes dirt and waste, especially from mines or stables.
An informal British term for a friend or companion.
In the Canadian or British Armies it applies to 
a comrade -- a friendly, low-ranking soldier in the same situation.
It is a dated term in the US for a rough or coarse person.

Graphic prepared by Jeff Long


All-Story Cavalier Weekly - October 24, 1914 - The Mucker 1/4All-Story Weekly - June 17, 1916 - The Return of the Mucker 1/5
All-Story Cavalier Weekly - October 24, 1914 - The Mucker 1/4All-Story Weekly - June 17, 1916 - The Return of the Mucker 1/5
More in our ERB Illustrated Pulp Bibliography in


McClurg First Edition: Bruce Wood's ERB Jacket StoreG&D Jacket: Bruce Wood's Jacket Store
Byrne, escaping the furious cut of the parang, leaped to the savage Malay's neck.Horrified, the girl realized she was in the clutches of fierce warriors of a long-dead age.Byrne was wondeful -- huge, muscular, alert, he towered above his antagonists
The Mexican leaped into the arroyo, running for his life like a frightened jackrabbit.I'm hit, said Eddie, unemotionally, as Billy Byrne's revolver answered the shot from above.
Roll-over to see captions
Click for larger images

Cover painting by J. Allen St. JohnRobert Abbett Ballantine cover artFrazetta Ace coverFrank Frazetta Ace edition cover artFrank Frazetta art for The Return of the Mucker

Promo adOakdale Affair frontispiece by John Coleman BurroughsERBapa 36Russian paperback edition 1991

Methuen: Man Without A Soul
The Mucker, was published in Great Britain on October 6th 1921 in hardcover
- nearly four weeks before A.C. McClurg would publish the novel.
However, Methuen only used the first half of the story that Burroughs wrote in 1914.
The sequel, The Return of the Mucker that was written two and a half years later was included in the U.S. hardback.
Methuen eventually published the sequel under the new title The Man Without A Soul on January 26th 1922.
The book title The Return of the Mucker as used by Ace Books, was never used in the United Kingdom.
Thanks to Laurence Dunn of the British ERB Society

One of the editions Danton Burroughs and Bill Hillman retrieved
from his father's storage lockers in the Valley in 2003
ERBzine 1065

The 1922 UK Edition of The Return of the Mucker
Cover art by Frank Leist

Canaveral Press ~ November 14, 1963
    St. John DJ and five original interiors

Frank Frazetta Art

Special 2010 Dum-Dum Souvenir Limited Illlustrated Edition published by the Chicago Muckers
Cover art by Thomas Floyd
Edgar Rice Burroughs was a product of the streets and alleys of Chicago’s great West Side. And so was one of his most complex heroes – Billy Byrne.

Reared in a harsh environment where life was cheap and brute strength ruled, Billy’s transformation in The Mucker from hulking thug to gallant gentleman rivals the rise of ERB’s most famous creation, Tarzan, from savage beast to noble savage.

Both were torn by inner battles that pitted upbringing against intellect, underscored by the desire of each to become more than a mere accident of birth could dictate.

Burroughs explored the theme often, in settings that ranged from the Arizona plains among the Apaches to the laboratory of a mad scientist who dared create a race of Monster Men.

ERB never mined those contrasts so thoroughly, however, as he did with Byrne and Lord Greystoke. Billy’s urban jungle proved no less a challenge than the one conquered by John Clayton in Tarzan of the Apes.

Both novels are pure fantasy, with twists and turns and exotic locales worthy of the Master of Adventure’s extraordinary imagination. But The Mucker adds a grain of gritty realism. It’s the story of a troubled city youth, raised in a setting that rings familiar today. While the ethnicities may have changed in Billy’s West Side Chicago neighborhood, the seemingly insurmountable obstacles faced by the young men who live there remain.

There’s a crucial difference between Clayton and Byrne.

Burroughs explored the way Tarzan’s noble lineage drove his ascent to a lofty position above beasts and unscrupulous men. Billy, the scion of an alcoholic mother and absent father, had no such advantage. Unlike many other Burroughs novels, the conclusion of The Mucker holds no dramatic revelation about a separation at birth from wealthy or royal parents. That makes Byrne’s ultimate triumph all the more impressive.

In true Burroughs fashion, each hero owes the spark for his determination to a woman, who helps him become more than his background might have allowed. For Tarzan, it was Jane Porter – a Baltimore belle who rose herself to meet with dignity and vigor the challenges of the grim and dangerous circumstances thrust upon her by fate. Fate also introduced Billy Byrne to Barbara Harding, the New York socialite whose strength and self-confidence became a beacon to a man who might have otherwise wallowed among society’s forgotten dregs.

Burroughs never visited Africa. But he was intimately familiar with Billy Byrne’s streets and alleys, born in 1875 near the corner of Washington Boulevard and what was then called Robey Street, known to Chicago residents today as Damen Avenue. That’s a stone’s throw from "The Land of Grand Avenue" where young Billy prowled.

I’m convinced that ERB knew the people described in this book. From the muckers who were ready to "insult the first woman who passed," to the cops at the Twenty-eighth Precinct on Lake Street who adhered to their own chivalrous code. Old Man Schneider was probably like a dozen barkeeps populating that working class neighborhood of Old Chicago.

My own grandfather, born in 1905 in the same neighborhood, swore he knew the people ERB wrote about in this book. And the archives of The Chicago Tribune reference such social problems of the day as young boys fetching pails of beer from local saloons in the way that six-year-old Billy Byrne did for Kelley’s Gang.

When the Chicago chapter of the Burroughs Bibliophiles formed in 2006, we naturally took our name from the ERB book that opens on the streets of our great city.

The Muckers are pleased to present it to you now, as we host the 2010 Burroughs Bibliophiles Dum-Dum. It’s richly illustrated by artists – professionals and fans – who know and love ERB’s work as much as we do. They were recruited by Mucker and longtime Bibliophile Joan Bledig, who also designed this new edition.


The Chicago Muckers:
Joan Bledig, Mike Conran, Laurence Dunn, Dave Gorecki, Jim Hadac, J.G. Huckenpohler, Ray Le Beau, Frank Lipo, Jeff Long, Ken Manson, Greg Phillips, Bill Ross, Jerry Spannraft, Ellern Vartanoff, Brad Vinson, and Bruce Wood (1947-2009)

Special Mucker 2010 Edition Title Page Dedications by
the Amazing Tarzana ERB, Inc. Office Staff:
Jim Sullos ~ Cathy Wilbanks ~ Janet Mann ~ Willie Jones RIP

Special Mucker 2010 Edition Dedication
From our Longtime Friend, Joan Bledig
Joan - of the BB Chapter "Chicago Muckers"
- designed this special new 2010 Dum-Dum edition
and recruited the 17 artists who illustrated it.

Here is a sampling of three of the pieces

Mucker Special Edition art by Lovern Kindzierski

Doug Wheatley Illos for The Mucker Special Edition

The MuckerReturn of the Mucker
Frazetta cover paintings (click)

A variant dust jacket was designed by Charles Madison on his website,
“This dust jacket is built around a Vaclav Cutta illustration that was done in 1927
for a paperback edition printed by the Sotec Publishing company in Czechoslavakia."

Follow the Weekly Illustrated Mucker Pages at
Only $1.99 / month
for all 20 ERB novels presented weekly in graphic form.
The Official Publication of The Burroughs Bibliophiles

THE MUCKER New Series #10 :: April 1992 :: Pages 1-36

Click for full-size images

Click for full-size promo collage posters

Web Refs
ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Online Encyclopedia
Hillman ERB Cosmos
Patrick Ewing's First Edition Determinors
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute
Novel Summary by 
Galloway, Salen, Zeuschner, Adams
J. Allen St. John Bio, Gallery & Links
Edgar Rice Burroughs: LifeLine Biography
Bob Zeuschner's ERB Bibliography
J.G. Huckenpohler's ERB Checklist
Burroughs Bibliophiles Bulletin
G. T. McWhorter's Burroughs Bulletin Index
Illustrated Bibliography of ERB Pulp Magazines
Phil Normand's Recoverings
ERBzine Weekly Online Fanzine
ERB Emporium: Collectibles ~ Comics ~ BLBs ~ Pulps ~ Cards
ERBVILLE: ERB Public Domain Stories in PDF
Clark A. Brady's Burroughs Cyclopedia
Heins' Golden Anniversary Bibliography of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Bradford M. Day's Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Bibliography
Irwin Porges: The Man Who Created Tarzan

Armada of ERB Web Sites
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The Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Tarzine: Official Monthly Webzine of ERB, Inc.
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Volume 0757

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