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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
SEPTEMBER II Edition :: Days 1-15
See Days 16-30 at ERBzine 7016a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With ERBzine References by Bill Hillman
September 1, 1875: Happy Birthday to Edgar Rice Burroughs, who was born on this day. A number of first edition hardcovers were released on September first in one year or another.
On this day in 1976, the Amicus Productions film, “At The Earth’s Core,” was released (in USA). The movie starred Doug McClure, Peter Cushing and Caroline Munro. Caroline Munro’s character was renamed “Dia.” Apparently it was too much trouble to leave the “N” in place and call her Dian. The movie was a critical failure, but was well received by the public – it was the 18th most profitable British film of the year.
The New York Times was extremely critical. “All the money used to make "At the Earth's Core" seems to have been spent on building monsters with parrotlike beaks that open, close, and emit a steady squawling as if someone were vacuuming next door. Close up, the monsters look like sections of rough concrete wall, and the decision to film them in close up is only one example of the total lack of talent or effort with which the picture is made...the movie is a kind of no-talent competition in which the acting, the script, the direction and the camera-work vie for last place"
Nevertheless, the film has a steady following and regularly appears on American television.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble for today is “Method Acting.”
Director Kevin Connor inspected the Mahar costume and asked David, the little person working inside the beast, “This stinks like a litter box. Is it comfortable?”
“Hell, no. It sucks. I'm crouched over on my hands and knees. My back is killing me. I can work about fifteen minutes at a time.”
“Okay, I’ll make sure everything is ready before you suit up.”
“Keep the lighting down. It hotter than hell inside this thing.”
“Yeah, I can’t unsuit myself. When I need out, I need out. I’ve wet myself twice.”
“Really, I thought the smell was method acting.”
September 2, 1893: Stellan Windrow was born on this day in Chicago, Illinois. Everyone regards Elmo Lincoln as the first movie Tarzan because he starred in the first Tarzan movie, Tarzan of the Apes, released in 1918. Some people claim Gordon Griffith, the twelve-year-old boy who played Tarzan as a youth, for approximately the first third of the movie should be credited as the first film Tarzan.
The man first contracted to play the movie role of Tarzan, and the first to actually be filmed, was Stellan Sven Windrow. His father, Sven Vindruvva, was a physician in Sweden. His mother, Anna Malmqvist Holm, was also a physician, who left Sweden and became an obstetrician at Chicago's Memorial Hospital, gave birth to Stellan, then divorced Sven, who stayed in Sweden, in absentia.
After five weeks of shooting, the treetop work nearly completed, Stellan Windrow was drafted to World War I, and he served as an ensign in the Navy. National Film paid him $1000 for his film rights and he agreed not to be credited in the film.
A frantic search began for his replacement, ending a few weeks later when D.W. Griffith hired Elmo Lincoln. His stocky five-foot, eleven-inch, 200-pound frame and his fear of heights, kept Lincoln from doing any tree-work. The final movie shows two Tarzans —athletic Stellan-Tarzan flying through the jungle canopy and barrel-chested Elmo-Tarzan on the ground.
“No Credit For You” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Stellan Windrow sheepishly handed the director, Scott Sidney a letter. “Sorry, Mr. Sidney, I can’t play Tarzan anymore.”
“Stellan, you signed a contract. You have to finish.”
“I want to, but I’ve been drafted. I’m going in the Navy.”
“Let me read this. ‘Greetings.’ I see, Well, I can’t fight the government. I’ll pay you a $1000.00, but you won’t get screen credit. Between the baby, Gordon Griffith, and you, I’ve already got three Tarzans. The public won’t stand for four."
I don’t care if you don’t use my name. All my relatives live in Sweden. They don’t read English.”
September 3, 1940: On this day. Edgar Rice Burroughs was interviewed on Radio Station KGMB. Some people believe that Burroughs wrote the biographical script. In any event, the interview was “tongue in cheek” and a good time was had by ERB and the interviewer. The introduction claimed Burroughs was one of the first people ever interviewed on radio – well maybe that day. Burroughs was represented as the personification of perennial youth. He compared himself to Tarzan. After all, they’re the same height and both athletic. Burroughs was almost 59 and played tennis, ice skated, skied and planned to learn to surf board.
Burroughs recognized the influences of Romulus and Remus, and Rudyard Kipling. Ed said that a man actually raised by apes would probably be unpleasant to have around and would probably suffer from athlete's foot, halitosis, BO along with jungle diseases and bad habits.
He mentioned that his family's pronunciation of Tarzan (Tar-zen) differed from Webster's Dictionary and the movies. (I felt good about this, when I read the books, I always pronounced it Tar-zen in my head.) He said that his biggest problem as an author was being typecast as a Tarzan and tall tales writer and being not able to sell other types of material. This lament was aired by more than one movie Tarzan or Jane over the years.
The accompanying photo is a rare copyrighted photo from ERBzine 4139 shared with us exclusively by ERB's Wartime friend Deedee (Cecil) Burnside
“Modesty Forbids” is the Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble for the day and
it’s intended with the same irreverent sense of humor as the original broadcast it honors.
“Welcome Listeners to KGMB Radio in Honolulu. Today we welcome Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author of the Tarzan books.”
“Thank you. Happy to be here.”
“Mr. Burroughs, were you your own inspiration for Tarzan.”
“Modesty forbids, but we’re the same height. I ride horses and Tarzan’s been known to mount an elephant. I’m almost 60, but I’m fit enough to ski, play tennis, and ice skate. Tarzan’s quite intelligent, you know. I’m a better writer and bridge player, but he’s plenty smart for a man raised by apes.”
“Is Tarzan based on you?”
“The evidence is clear. Decide for yourself.”
JUST DRAWN THAT WAY
September 4, 2011: On this day, Edgar Rice Burroughs artist, Dave Hoover, passed away. He’d had two open heart surgeries. His work encompassed a who’s who of American comic books and included Spiderman, Captain America, Wolverine, Star Trek, and the Wanderers.
He was a prolific animator and contributed to the series, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, The Archie Show, Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra: Princess of Power, The Super Friends, The Smurfs, Men in Black: The Series, The Godzilla Power Hour, and RoboCop: Alpha Command.
He was well known for his good girl art and in 2004 Hoover joined EAdultComics's lineup of artists. Having established himself as a good girl artist, Hoover's first assignment for the online adult comics’ publisher was Jungle Love.
He produced several “try out strips” for the Tarzan Sunday newspaper comic, but no new strips were commissioned after Gray Morrow’s. The illustration attached is one of those tryout strips.
Hoover produced four Tarzan Portfolios. Information about those and an interview with Dave is available at www.erbzine.com/mag3/hoover01.html.
“Just Drawn That Way” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs and Dave Hoover inspired drabble.
Spiderman walked into Kirby’s Bar and ordered a round for the house. “A Toast to Dave Hoover. I loved the way he drew me.”
Captain America answered, “You looked okay, but his Mary Jane was awesome.”
Captain Kirk quaffed his Romulan Ale. “He took me where no man has gone before.”
Tarzan replied. “His trees were big, his jungle’s verdant. He made me look good.”
Dejah Thoris smiled. “The man captured my beauty.”
La, the beautiful, but dangerous, jungle priestess was wistful. “I miss him. I’m always beautiful, but when he drew me, I wanted to be a good girl.”
WE GOT A DEAL FOR YOU
September 5, 1992: On this day, Fritz Leiber, the author of “Tarzan and the Valley of Gold” passed away in San Francisco. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. recently added “Tarzan and the Valley of Gold” to the official Burroughs’ canon, meaning the book is officially part of the Burroughs Universe. The beautiful first hardcover edition is available from ERB, Inc.
Besides being a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction, Leiber was also a poet, actor in theater and films, playwright and chess expert. Leiber should be considered one of the fathers of sword and sorcery fantasy, having coined the term.
A complete bibliography and biography would take several pages. The man was a prolific writer and multi-talented. His novels, “The Big Time” and “The Wanderer” won Hugo Awards, as did his Novellas, “Ship of Shadows” and “Ill Met In Lankhmar.” His Novelette, “Gonna Roll the Bones” won both a Hugo and a Nebula. I hope he’s in a bar somewhere drinking with Fafhrad and the Gray Mouser and they’re buying.
Today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs and Fritz Leiber inspired drabble is “We Got a Deal for You.”
“So, Mr. Leiber, we want you to write a novel based on the movie, “Tarzan and the Valley of Gold.”
I’ve won a fistful of Hugo awards and I’m busy with Fafhrad and the Gray Mouser.”
We’ll pay you three times your usual advance.”
“I’m afraid it might hurt my career to be associated with Hollywood.”
“It didn’t hurt Willian Faulkner, Capote, Steinbeck, Raymond Chandler or that F. Scott Fitzgerald guy. It helped their book sales. More money and more publicity. What’d ya say?”
“I always loved Tarzan. Give me the script and tell me how many words you want?”
SAY SOMETHING NICE
September 6, 1953: On this day the Bob Lubbers and Dick Van Buren Tarzan Sunday Strip “Tarzan and the Mongol Horde” concluded after a run of fourteen weeks. Dick Van Buren wrote the Sunday strip from September 24, 1950 through November 16, 1958 and the daily strip from 1951 through most of 1954.
I couldn’t find a photo of Dick Van Buren and I’ve posted photos of Bob Lubbers before in this series. I don’t have any artwork from “Tarzan and the Mongol Horde,” but I found a picture of Tarzan with Genghis Khan and decided to include it in this post.
“Say Something Nice” is today’s drabble. I apologize, but I couldn’t help myself.
Tarzan and Nkima watched the decimated Mongol horde move through the jungle. Their leader, Munch Khan, was shorter than Nkima, the monkey, but a fearsome and ruthless leader.
The horde was like a horde of locusts and devoured everything in its path.
Tarzan called the jungle animals. Elephants, zebras, wildebeests, rhinos, and hippopotami stampeded and trampled the Mongols. Crocodiles caught some in the river, but some escaped into the jungle canopy.
In the aftermath, the diminutive Mongol leader climbed slowly down a jungle vine.
Nkima said, “He looks silly dangling there.”
Tarzan said, “Stop it. That’s a little Khan descending.”
DANGER, LORD GREYSTOKE, DANGER
September 7, 1935: Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. published the first edition of “Tarzan and the Leopard Men.” The book, complete with a J. Allen St. John wraparound dust jacket, was 332 pages in length. The print run was 7,500 copies. The story was originally serialized in Blue Book Magazine in six parts from August 1932 to January 1933.
Detailed publishing information and cover art is available at
Today’s drabble is “Danger, Lord Greystoke, Danger.” I didn’t write it. It was written by some unknown editor at Ballantine Books as the blurb on the back of the 1964 paperback edition.
The steel-clawed Leopard Men were looking for victims for their savage rites. The secret cult struck terror in the hearts of all the villagers. Only Orando of the Utengi dared to declare war on them. And with Orando went Tarzan of the Apes—but a strangely changed Tarzan, who now believed that he was Muzimo, the spirit or demon who had been Orando's ancestor. There were traitors among Orando's people. And in the village of the Leopard Men was Kali Bwana, the white girl who had come to Africa to find a missing man. Now, only Tarzan could save her...
I SOLEMNY SEAR
September 8. 1925: Denise Darcel was born on this date as Denise Billecard in Paris France.
In 1950 Producer Sol Lesser announced a search for a “panther woman” to co-star in RKO’s “Tarzan and the Slave Girl”. The part evolved into a sexy blonde nurse, who wants Tarzan (Lex Barker) and fights Jane (Vanessa Brown).
Denise Darcel got the part and Lesser was so pleased he announced her role might become a recurring one, but it never happened.
Darcel was a nightclub singer before she was named the “Most Beautiful Girl in France.” She played a torch singer in “To the Victor” shot in post-war France. Darcel emigrated to the U.S. with her G.I. husband. She had several movie roles, including “Battleground” “Westward the Women” (1951), featuring “Flame of Calcutta.” She was married five times and died in a Los Angeles hospital on December 23, 2011.
“I Solemnly Swear” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Denise Darcel sat with Lex Barker and Vanessa Brown while the crew prepared for the next scene. Darcel said, “I like these movies. Mr. Lessor promised that he’ll use me in all of them.”
Vanessa laughed. “He says that to a lot of people, but the only characters in every film are Tarzan and his monkey. Even Jane comes and goes. He’s tried to kill her several times.
Actresses are interchangeable in the jungle. Don’t stop looking for work.”
“But he promised me.”
“Brides and grooms make promises, too. You’ve been married three times already. You should pay better attention.”
September 9, 1934: On this day the / Hal Foster/ George Carlin/ Don Garden Tarzan Sunday strip Tarzan and the Mysterious Maiden Part Two began. Part One began on June 17, 1934 and concluded twelve weeks later on September 2, 1935. George Carlin’s contribution to the strip ended with the last page of part one. Tarzan and the Mysterious Maiden Part Two ran for 18 weeks. The episode title was “The Floating Menagerie.”
A summary of each episode is available at www.erbzine.com/mag8/0816.html and the entire series of strips is available at www.ERBzine.com/foster
Tarzan and Princess Mihrama escaped the Sultan’s soldiers by riding their horse over a cliff and into the ocean. They were taken on board a ship filled several caged jungle animals.
Tarzan was angry and the Princess was horrified. Tarzan said, “Watch and wait.”
High winds lashed the sea and crashed the ship onto a stony shore and the beasts escaped, killed their captives, and fled into the jungle.
The Princess said, “You weren’t worried about the animals.”
Tarzan smiled. “The jungle teaches time and patience. Their captors had to win every day. The animals only had to escape once.
September 10, 1912: The October issue of All-Story Magazine was copyrighted and went on sale. The issue contained the novel, “Tarzan of the Apes.” The cover illustration was by Clinton Peete and the black and white title headpiece was drawn by Fred W. Small.
Tarzan of the Apes has been reprinted regularly and published in numerous languages. Ballantine alone published at least 22 editions (that’s how many are on my shelf). The story spawned several sequels, a movie industry, Big Little Books, coloring books, children’s editions, toys, games, television series, cartoons, Broadway plays, and fueled the imaginations of millions of people worldwide. Countless people found gainful employment because of the story.
Imitations grew like Johnson grass in a plowed Oklahoma field. You can’t mow fast enough to stop them, but the original still shines like a beacon after the wannabes have faded into obscurity.
Visit www.erbzine.com/mag4/0483.html for detailed information including numerous covers, reviews, handwritten manuscript pages, and the complete text of the novel.
“Financial Decision” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Pat and John stopped at the 15th Street Newsstand. Pat said, “Look at this one. Cover's got a long-haired man is choking a lion. I’m gonna buy it.”
John said, “Says “jungle romance” on the cover. We’ll get ragged for reading romance trash.”
“Let ‘em laugh.”
“It cost fifteen cents.”
“John, it’s by that Burroughs guy who wrote that Martian Princess story. You liked that.”
“Yeah, but I only got a quarter. I can buy two different ten cent magazines and a soda.”
“I’ll buy you a copy.”
“No thanks, it’ll never be worth anything. I’d rather have a hamburger.”
September 11, 1961: The article “Enid Markley Played Tarzan’s First Jane” by Barbara Bundschu appeared it the Hayward Daily Review. Ms. Markley survived the perils of the jungle and Hollywood. She worked well into the 1960s on stage, screen, and television.
Barbara Bundschu, a descendant of prominent California families and one of the few female reporters covering spies, crooks, and the Cold War during the 1940s and '50s. She was the reporter who, in 1961, took the nation behind the scenes of a new organization called the John Birch Society, which held that President Dwight Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles were communists, and which tried to impeach Chief Justice Earl Warren on grounds that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision against school segregation was part of a communist plot.
Miss Bundschu's seven-part investigative series on the Birchers appeared in newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Chicago Sun-Times.
During the Berlin Airlift of food and supplies in 1948 and 1949, which circumvented a Soviet blockade of the city, Miss Bundschu was aboard one of the cargo planes, and covered the tense drama firsthand.
“Mutual Admiration” is today’s ERB inspired drabble.
Barbara Bundschu said, “Ms. Markley, Was it exciting staring in a two Tarzan films?”
“It was. I was the only Jane to wear a dress. It cost my mother $150.00. My first screen appearance was in 1913 and I’m still on television. I was never tied to a railroad track, but was threatened by lions and tigers and bears. Is it exciting being a reporter?”
“Well, I participated in the Berlin Airlift and investigated the John Birch Society.”
“Really, I should have liked to have played you on screen."
“And I would have liked to work with you on stage.”
I REMEMBER MAMA
September 12, 1925: Argosy All-Story Weekly published part two of “The Red Hawk.” The cover by Norman Price illustrated the story “The Gleaming Blade” by Fred MacIsaac. The issue also contained the short story, “The Law of Cactus Flats,” by some guy named Erle Stanley Gardner. I’m pretty sure that the Cactus Flats’ attorney wasn’t an ancestor of Perry Mason’s, but you never know. Red Hawk is the third part of ERB's book The Moon Maid.
“I Remember Mama” is the Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble for today.
“Okay, Julian, I understand you have memories from your past and future lives. You’ve told me about Julian’s 8, 9, and 20. What’s the first life you remember?”
“I remember Julian 1 and his mother, Julianne. They lived in France in the 1700’s.”
“Why you don’t remember Julianne’s husband’s life, instead of hers?”
“It could be the name or the shared memory ability comes from her side of the family. I don’t have any clear memories before hers.”
“What happened to her?”
“She was accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake.”
“I’ve heard of her, Julienne Fries, wasn’t it?”
WRONG TURN AT ALBUQUERQUE
September 13, 1940: Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. published the first edition of “The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County.” The story was written with two working titles, “That Damn Dude” and “The Brass Heart,” and was first published by Thrilling Stories in three parts earlier in 1940 under the title “The Terrible Tenderfoot.” Parts of the pulp version were omitted from the book publication. The print run was 3500 copies. I love theJohn Coleman Burroughs dust jacket, but I can’t look at it without seeing John Wayne. “Well, pilgrim, I can tell you one thing. I didn’t pose for no painting.”
“Wrong Turn at Albuquerque” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
The rider spoke to the old man sitting on the front porch of a ramshackle homestead house. “Excuse me. Can you tell me how to find the TR Ranch?”
“The dude ranch,” answered Ole Gunderstrom. “Foller that draw two miles west, turn right at the big oak tree, go a mile and then foller the dry creek bed to an abandoned corral. Head east for three miles.”
The rider followed the instructions perfectly and two hours later found himself back at Gunderstrom’s porch. I’m back where I started.”
“Yep. I wanted to be sure you could foller directions.”
BACK TO THE JUNGLE
September 14, 1912: A soldier at Camp E. S. Otis wrote and signed a letter to the editor of All-Story Magazine concerning their October issue. The United States didn’t enter the First World War for five more years. He wrote the word, Panama after his name, indicating where he and his men were deployed.
The photo shows part of the ruins of Fort Sherman in Panama.
The letter follows:
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble today is the 100 word letter
written by a soldier from Camp Otis. Let’s call it “Back To The Jungle.”
TO THE EDITOR OF ALL-STORY MAGAZINE
Your October number of All-Story is fine. Let me send you the voice of hundreds of soldiers here for Norman Bean, or, in his correct name, Edgar Rice Burroughs', and his great story of "Tarzan of the Apes."
Everybody's talking about it, and every one thinks it's great. Some say that Bean should write another about "Tarzan" because he lost the girl, while others wonder if he can get used to living in civilization. What about it, Mr. Editor?
Yours for the other story,
The Soldiers of the 10th Inf. U.S. Army.
FIRST IN LINE
September 15, 1928: A. C. McClurg published the first edition of “Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle.” A.C. McClurg printed this title on four separate occasions for a total of only 7,500 copies making this the smallest print-run of any Tarzan first edition by this publisher. J. Allen St. John drew the cover and five interior illustrations. McClurg issued several reprints after September, 1928. Each printing, except the first, is labeled accordingly. The 2nd printing states "Second Printing" and the date printed, in this case "September", same month as the first edition printing. The 3rd and 4th also states "Third" and "Fourth" printing. All of the printings are identical otherwise. It is unknown how many of each printings were made. The first state of this first edition is one of the scarcest ERB first edition books to locate. A photo first state, first edition book is included in this post.
“First in Line” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
The animal poachers had tracked the elephant herd for ten days in search of ivory when Tarzan dropped into their camp, kicked over their pyramided rifles, and said. “I am Tarzan. You are not welcome in my jungle. Leave now.”
The safari leader spit out his cigar. “We go where we want. You don’t own the bloody jungle.”
Tarzan touched his father’s knife. “The elephants are under my protection. You will not harm them.”
“Who died and made you Lord of the Jungle?”
Tarzan’s malevolent smile gleamed in the firelight. “Actually, several men. If you like, you can be next.”
See Days 16-30 at ERBzine 7016a
SEPTEMBER II ILLUSTRATIONS
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