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Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
ERB 100-Word Drabbles
FEBRUARY II Edition :: Days 1-15
See Days 16-28 at ERBzine 7099a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
SINGING IN THE RAIN FOREST
February 1: On this day in 2000, Tarzan was the 37th animated Disney feature film. It spawned two direct to video sequels, “Tarzan and “Jane and “Tarzan II.” The Legend of Tarzan, a television series created by The Walt Disney Company in 2001, based on the Tarzan character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, soon followed. The series aired on ABC from July 13 to September 7, 2002 as part of its "Disney's One Saturday Morning" lineup. The Legend of Tarzan picks up where the 1999 feature film left off. Tarzan, using Phil Collins' award winning score was then adapted into a a stage musical that ran in USA, Holland, Germany, Ukraine, Canada, etc. on hundreds of stages. The play is regularly staged in regional theatres around the world.
The film starred the voices of Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Glenn Close, Rosie O'Donnell, Brian Blessed, Lance Henriksen, Wayne Knight, and Nigel Hawthorne.
ERBzine has several Disney ‘Tarzan’ articles - https://www.erbzine.com/mag1/0181.htmlis a good place to start for more information. Full coverage of Tarzan the Stage Musical is presented at: https://www.erbzine.com/stage
“Singing in the Rain Forest” is today’s drabble and all 10 of the song titles from the Disney film are included in the 100 words. The Italian song titles have been translated into English.
Professor Porter and his daughter, Jane, huddled around cold firepit. Tarzan joined them.
Singing in the Rain Forest
Jane said, “The jungle and civilization are two worlds. I bet this was a lively place when gorillas were trashing the camp.”
“I once thought, ‘I gorilla, you Jane,’ but I’m the son of man. I’m not a gorilla”
Porter said, “He says he not a gorilla, but he moves like one.”
Jane replied, “Tarzan, you belong here. I don’t. People I meet are strangers like me. I love you. You’ll be in my heart forever.”
Tarzan hugged Jane. “Come away with me. We’ll be one family.”
FLEA FI FO FUM
February 2: On this day in 1991, actress Natalie Kingston, died in Los Angeles, California. She was born on May 19, 1905 in Vallejo, California and her birth name was Natalie Ringstrom. She was descended from General Mariano Vallejo, who commanded the army which surrendered California to General John C. Fremont. Her great-grandfather on her mother's side was Hungarian-born Agoston Haraszthy, credited with creating the California wine industry.
After several bit parts in the 1920s, she landed the role of castaway Mary Trevor, in Tarzan the Mighty. The film generated sufficient revenue for Universal to warrant an immediate sequel, Tarzan the Tiger, in which Natalie became the fifth woman to portray Jane.
From then, it was pretty much all downhill. With the advent of talking pictures, Natalie became one of many silent stars and starlets who, for one reason or another, failed to make the transition.
“Flea Fi Fo Fum” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Frank Merrill complained to his costar, Natalie Kingston, “The insects out here are killing me and it’s hundred degrees. How do you stand it?”
Flea Fi Fo Fum
Natalie answered, “Your costume has more clothes than mine does. Stop whining and scratching. The sooner we finish this scene, the sooner we can go inside.”
“Good idea. My clothes are soaking wet. The flies are vicious, the mosquitoes huge, I’ve caught fleas from the lion.”
“Just finish the scene.”
Three fleas crawled from Frank’s hand onto Natalie’s arm. “Join me for a shower and dinner.”
“Hell, no. I told you to stop bugging me.”
February 3: On this day in 1946, the Ruben Moreira and Burne Hogarth Tarzan Sunday strip “Tarzan and the Tartars” concluded. Many folks believe that the strip began on July 15, 1945 and ran for thirty weeks. I disagree. I believe the strip began a week earlier, July 7, 1945, with the Sunday page entitled “Kurdu the Tartar.”
Ruben Moreira started working for Fiction House's Planet Comics on Reef Ryan in July 1942. He later contributed to the Fiction House titles Fight Comics between August and October 1943, to Rangers Comics between October 1943 and August 1944, and to Wings Comics from December 1943 until April 1944. He took over the Tarzan Sunday page from Burne Hogarth in 1945. He was its sole artist and writer until 1947, using the pen name Rubimor. Burne Hogarth then returned to the series.
Here’s my favorite panel from the February 3 installment. No Tarzan, but the details in the panel are amazing.
Today’s ERB inspired drabble is “Condiment Question.”
Tarzan encountered Kurdu, an exiled Tartar prince, near the rotting body of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Tarzan asked, “Did you kill this great lizard?”
“Not I. When the wild horses of the plains stampede, they trample everything and everyone in their path. Even mighty lizards die beneath their thundering hooves. My people and the animals flee side by side. Many are crushed underfoot.”
Tarzan inspected the rear feet of the lizard. Its claws were caked with blood and mushy ooze soaked clothing. Tarzan poked the slime with a stick. “Is this tartar sauce?”
“No,” said Kurdu. “It’s called cream of tartar.”
WHAT'S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE
February 4: On this day in 1979, another Tarzan story began in the Sunday Pages. "Tarzan and the Games of Ibizzia," ran for 21 weeks. The artwork was by Russ Manning, and the story was a team effort between Manning and Mike Royer. This was the last Russ Manning Sunday Tarzan comic story. After “Games of Ibizzia’ ended on June 24, 1979, Gil Kane and Archie Goodwin took over the Sunday Pages. Tarzan and the Games of Ibizzia is available online at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag21/2139.html
It was also included in “Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips Volume Four: 1974 -1979.” The foreword is by ERBAPA and Burroughs Bulletin editor, Henry G. Franke III.
“What’s Good for the Goose” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs, Russ Manning, and Mike Royer inspired drabble.
General Mwalafeo had a simple motivational technique for his athletes who competed in the Games of Ibizzia. He couldn’t stand to lose a single contest. Win or die was his policy.
What’s Good for the Goose
Men competed against elephants, crocodiles, lions, leopards, and other dangerous beasts. Tarzan intervened and saved some men from a certain death.
Tarzan and Korak eventually captured Mwalafeo and forced him to compete by using a trapeze to clear a pit filled with crocodiles.
Mwalafeo couldn’t do it. He boasted, “I’m not afraid. I just don’t believe that it’s fun to swing.”
His fifth wife laughed, “That’s news to me.”
February 5: On this day in 1949, “Tarzan’s Magic Fountain” was released. Science fiction writer Curt Siodmak was one of the two screenwriters. Curt Siodmak worked on the script for The Invisible Man Returns (1940). He wrote the screenplay for The Wolf Man starring Lon Chaney Jr. (1941) and went on to write dozens of screenplays and several novels.
Lee Sholem directed the first Tarzan film in almost two decades that didn’t feature Johnny Weismuller. Lex Barker shaved his chest to debut as Tarzan and Brenda Joyce appeared as Jane.
Evelyn Ankers played the aviatrix who crashed her aircraft in darkest Africa and found the fountain of youth. Evelyn Felisa Ankers often played the cultured young woman in trouble in several horror films. She was known as the “Queen of the Bs” and the “Scream Queen.” She appeared in over 50 films including “The Wolf Man,” The Ghost of Frankenstein,” “Son of Dracula,” “Jungle Women,” “The Invisible Man’s Revenge,” and “Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror.” She was married to actor Richard Denning from 1942 until her death of ovarian cancer in 1985.
Silent Screams is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs and Evelyn Ankers inspired drabble.
Evelyn Ankers approached Lee Sholem, the director. “I’ve a problem with the script. I always scream in my movies. I hardly scream at all in this film.”
“Talk to the writer, Siodmak. Haven’t you worked together before?”
“Yes. This film doesn’t even have monsters. I do this thing where I gasp, frame my face with my hands, scream, and then pass out. Watch.”
“Impressive, Evelyn. I’ve seen your films. This one’s different. No fainting, no wilting, and damn little screaming.”
“If I can’t scream and faint, whatever shall I do?”
“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
FIT TO PRINT
February 6: On this day in 1915, All-Story Cavalier Weekly published part three of “Sweetheart Primeval.” “Sweetheart Primeval” is part two of “The Eternal Lover” by A. C. McClurg on October 25, 1925. The novel includes appearances by Tarzan and Jane.
Frank Condon and Perley Poore Sheehan had stories in the issue. Condon was born in Toledo, Ohio and went on to become a prolific screenwriter, mostly for silent films, and magazine writer in Los Angeles.
Perley Poore Sheehan, a novelist and film director, wrote hundreds of pulp stories. Two of his story collections, “The Leopard Man and Other Stories” and “Kwa of the Jungle” are available from Pulpville Press. Both are shameless Tarzan pastiches.
I haven’t identified the cover artist, but the illustration isn’t for “Sweetheart Primeval.” It illustrates Sheehan’s ‘Great Romance,’ “Judith of Babylon.” The title certainly conjures up an image of debauchery, iniquity, and all around vile behavior. Sounds like a good time.
Today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired 100 word drabble is “Fit to Print.”
When the tribe decided to relocate, Nu, son of Nu, remained behind. “I will wait here for Nat-al to return.”
Fit to Print
Nat-al thought Nu dead, and Nu thought Nat-al lost or kidnapped. In truth, the evil Hud desired Nat-al, and he planned to guide her aimlessly through the forest primeval until she gave up searching. She resisted his advances, but Hud believed that she would be his once she accepted Nu’s death. Nu also searched, but they didn’t find each other.
Hun and Nat-al entered the tribe’s new village. Hud asked, Is Nu here?”
“Excellent. No Nu is good news.”
NEW JOB, NEW NAME
February 7: On this day in 1908, Clarence Linde Crabbe II, known professionally as “Buster” Crabbe was born in Oakland, California. Crabbe grew up in Hawaii and competed in two Olympic Games as a swimmer, winning a bronze medal in 1928 and a gold in 1932.
His role in the serial, “Tarzan the Fearless” began a career where he starred in more than 100 films, including “King of the Jungle.” “Jungle Man.” and “King of the Congo.” He also starred as Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon.
Later in life he appeared with Johnny Weissmuller in two “Jungle Jim” movies, “Swamp Fire” and “Captive Girl.” He appeared in 13 westerns as Billy the Kid, and 23 more as Billy Carson. I saw him first on black and white television in the mid-1950s playing “Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion.”
He was a lifelong fitness buff. During his senior swimming career, Crabbe set 16 world and 35 national records. He continued swimming through his sixties and in 1971 set a world record in his age group.
The photo today is of Buster as Flash Gordon with sword in hand. A little homage to another interplanetary swordsman, perhaps. View a gallery of Buster Crabbe photographs at https://www.erbzine.com/mag5/0595a.html
The Edgar Rice Burroughs and Buster Crabbe inspired drabble today is called, “New Job, New Name.”
Sol Lessor, the producer, said, “Okay, Clarence, you look the part. I need a new Tarzan. I know you can swim, but can you swing through the trees.”
New Job, New Name
“Yessir, I watched that Weissmuller guy. Anything he can do, I can do better.”
“Can you do the Tarzan yell?”
Clarence “Buster” Crabbe roared.
“That’s pretty good. You’ll do. We’ll have to change your name. Nobody wants a Tarzan named Clarence.”
“In college, the kids called me Larry.”
“Not liking Larry so much either.”
Crabbe shouted, “Look, buster. I like my name.”
Lessor smiled, “Larry, don’t be so crabby. Buster it is.”
OPENING AD LIB
February 8: On this day, Marcia Nellie Hathaway was born in Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia. Marcia was best known for the Australian films, “Shadow of the Boomerang” (1960) and “Harlequinade” (1961). She was killed by a shark near Sydney, Australia on January 28, 1963.
Floodlights of St. Stephens Church were donated in the memory of Marcia. A plaque, inside the Church, reads: "The floodlights of this church were donated by members of the performing arts to the glory of God and in memory of Marcia N. Hathaway, actress and devout Christian, victim of shark attack in Middle Harbour 28/1/63."
Marcia created the role of Jane for the Australian produced 1953 radio show, “Tarzan, King of the Apes.” Actor Rod Taylor voiced Tarzan. She voiced characters on dozens of Australian radio shows including the soap opera, “Blue Hills.” Some weeks she performed in as many as 20 different shows, running from studio to studio to make the next live broadcast.
Today’s drabble, ‘Opening Ad lib,” is inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Marcia Hathaway.
Marcia said her last line in Wednesday’s episode of “Tarzan, King of the Apes,” dropped the script to the floor, and ran for the exit. “Tarzan” was off air at 6:15. At 6:30, Marcia would be a conniving housewife on the soap opera, ‘Blue Hills” for a competing network.
Opening Ad Lib
Marcia dashed through traffic and into the studio as the opening music started. The assistant director handed her the script. She fought for breath. The director pointed. An actress said, “Isn’t Marvin handsome.? I believe he’s quite taken with you.”
Maria panted and ad libbed. “Oh, he takes my breath away.”
February 9: On this day in 1928, Frank Frazettawas born in Brooklyn, New York. During his lifetime, Frazetta drew countless comic books and covers in all genres, including western, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, love, funny animal, war and historical drama. He worked with Al Capp on the daily comic strip, “L'il Abner,” and I have the original art for one of the pages that he drew.
He illustrated paperback editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard paperbacks during the 1960s and 1970s. Several illustrations were used for album covers. During his career he won the Chelsey Award three times, a Hugo in 1966, and the Spectrum Grand Master of Fantastic Art Award in 1965. His appeal was nationwide. I immediately bought any book with a Frazetta cover without question.
His work is as popular and copied as ever. Books, clothing, and more details about his life and work are available from https://www.frazettagirls.com/. Several gallerys and articles are available at www.erbzine.com.
I met the man once in the 1980s. I’d just purchased my Little Abner page in a Husker Room. I asked him about the drawing. He looked at it for a minute and said, “Yea, it’s one of mine. You want to sell it.” I said no. He said, “Okay, then. I won’t ruin the artwork by signing the drawing.”
He turned it over and wrote his name and the date on the back. Wonderful man and wonderful artist. I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I think of Tarzan, Conan, John Carter, and Dejah Thoris, I see a Frazetta painting in my mind. Thank you, Sir.
Frazetta was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999.
The drabble today, “Natural Talent,” is only 89 words long, but it is a 2010 quote from Frazetta.
“When I drew something, she would be the one to say it was wonderful and would give me a penny to keep going. Sometimes I had nothing left to draw on but toilet paper. As I got older, I started drawing some pretty wild things for my age. I remember the teachers were always mesmerized by what I was doing, so it was hard to learn anything from them. So I went to art school when I was a little kid, and even there the teachers were flipping out.”
LANDINGS ARE MANDATORY
February 10: On this day 86 years ago in 1934, Edgar Rice Burroughs took delivery of his new Security Airster airplane.
He named the plane ‘doodad’ after the colophon design on the spine of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. books.
ERB soloed two days later. Three days after that, Edgar and Hubert sponsored a solo dinner party at the Hollywood Athletic Club on February 15, 1934. Special dishes included, Aquaplane cocktail, Happy Landing Dressing, Fuselage de Bossy, New Peas en Tailspin, Pototaoes au Ground Loop, and Clover Field Salad.
The next day, Hubert lost control while attempting to land at Clover Field in Santa Monica and crashed into nearby trees. He suffered only minor injuries, but the plane was a total wreck.
“Landings are Mandatory” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
“Congratulations on your first solo flight, Mr. Burroughs. Nicely done.”
Landings are Mandatory
“How soon I get my license?”
“That’s entirely up to you. You’ll need at least a dozen more flights around Clover Field and then a couple of cross country trips before you attempt your pilot’s certification.”
“Can I do more than one flight a day?”
“Sure, you and Hubert can each fly twice a day.”
“Any advice for an old man and his son.”
The flight instructor said, “Watch the weather. Flying is optional, landing is mandatory. Keep your head out of the clouds and your airplane out of trees.”
February 11: On this day in 1905, Edgar Rice Burroughs artist, Zdenek Michael Frantisek Burian, was born in Koprivnice, Moravia, Austria-Hungary. He was well-known in Czechoslovakia as a palaeoartist and his for his palaeontological reconstructions. He painted accurate and magnificent reconstructions representing all forms of prehistoric life from many parts of the world and eras, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds, as well as panoramic vistas of the landscapes in which they lived.
He painted over 500 prehistoric images between the early 1930s and 1981. His paintings influenced our visualization of ancient lifeforms.
Zdenek was active over six decades and produced 15,000 to 20,000 paintings during his lifetime. He illustrated several book covers and interiors including Robinson Crusoe and numerous Tarzan books. Several pieces of his art are on display in the front offices of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
His work is considered to be a nation treasure in his native Czech Republic.
“Prehistoric Accuracy” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
“Zdenek, this painting isn’t accurate. Men didn’t fight dinosaurs. Even if they did, they didn’t wear headbands.”
“It doesn’t matter. I accepted a commission to illustrate Tarzan books. Tarzan battled everything sooner or later in one of the books. I this one,Tarzan goes to a hidden valley called Pa-ul-don. Dinosaurs are still alive there.”
“Fantasy. You’re a admired palaeoartist and you’re drawing fantasy.”
“Don’t be. I render the beasts accurately, unlike other artists.”
“Rent isn’t a fantasy. I get paid when the book is published, when I sell the art, and for reprints. That’s not a fantasy, either.”
WHERE'S MY MOTHER
February 12: On this day in 1921, Argosy All-Story Weekly published the first installment of “Tarzan the Terrible.” The cover by P J. Monahan was for the Burroughs’ story, which was the only story listed on the front of the magazine.
The other writers in this issue included Max Brand, Edgar Wallace and Ray Cummings.
I confess that this is one of my favorite ERB books. The imagery of Korak traveling through the jungle carrying and Enfield rifle and three cartridge belts, along with a knife, a bow, and a quiver fascinated me when I was 13 years old. I recently reread the book and it was as entertaining as I remembered.
I took most of today’s drabble from the Ballantine edition of the book. Some unknown editor wrote most of it, I added one sentence to make it 100 words. The title is “Where’s My Mother?”
Lieutenant Obergatz had fled in terror from the seeking vengeance of Tarzan of the Apes. And with him, by force, he had taken Tarzan's beloved mate, Jane. Now the ape-man was following the faint spoor of their flight, into a region no man had ever penetrated. The trail led across seemingly impassable marshes into Pal-ul-don—a savage land where primitive Waz-don and Ho-don fought fiercely, wielding knives with their long, prehensile tails—and where mighty triceratops still survived from the dim dawn of time. And far behind, relentlessly pursuing, came Korak the Killer, determined to find and save his parents.
Where's My Mother
TAKE IT EASY
February 13: On this day in 1927, Lloyd Berrell, the second man to portray Tarzan on Australian radio, was born. The first was actor, Rod Taylor. The radio show, “Tarzan King of the Apes,” began in 1953 and ran for over 1000 episodes. It came on at 6 PM five nights a week.
Berrell was born in Wellington, New Zealand, but moved to Australia as a boy. Berrell received acclaim for playing the title role in the radio play, “Ned Kelly” in 1942.
He appeared in the Australian films ‘His Majesty O’Keefe,” “King of the Coral Sea,” and “Long John Silver” in the early 1950s. Film production was very limited in Australia the fifties and Lloyd decided to relocate to England to further his career. He died of a heart attack on board ship while travelling to London.
The photo is of Lloyd playing Captain Mendoza (El Toro) in the 1954 film, “Long John Silver.”
Today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs and Lloyd Berrell inspired drabble is “Take it Easy.”
When the last day of filming for ‘Long John Silver” finished, Rod Taylor said, “Lloyd, I’m off to Hollywood. You should leave Australia and join me.”
Take It Easy
“Thanks, but the wife and I’ve booked passage to London. Good luck with the Yanks.”
“You be carefully with those Pommy Bastards. Remember they exiled our ancestors to prison over here. You should come to America.”
“The Brits shipped my great grandfather out from Plymouth. He robbed a train or two. He might’ve killed a couple of men in pub fights. I get angry thinking about it.”
“Relax, don’t give yourself a heart attack.”
SO MANY FILMS, SO LITTLE TIME
February 14: Valentine’s Day, On this day in 2018, The Tarzan Film Centennial Celebration started with “Valentine’s Day with Tarzan and Jane.” The event was held at the Hollywood Heritage Museum in Los Angeles, California. Scott Tracy Griffin, Director of Special Projects for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. discussed the film franchise's storied history.
On June 6, 1916, Burroughs sold the film rights to his novel “Tarzan of the Apes” to producer William “Smiling Bill” Parsons for a $5,000 cash advance, stock, and five percent of the gross box office. Parsons immediately encountered difficulties meeting deadlines and paying Burroughs’ advance, until he was finally able to raise the money by hiring David Watkins as a sales agent.
Watkins procured the capital from a Wyoming cattlemen’s association. On Oct. 28, 1916, Burroughs received $10,000 in stock and the balance of his $5,000 advance for film rights to his novel.
Today’s drabble is “So Many Films, So Little Time.”
Scott Tracy Griffin finished his presentation and said, “Any questions?”
So Many Films, So Little Time
“Yes, please. How many Tarzan films are there?”
“Let me check.” Scott opened a pet carrier and a rooster hopped out.
Scott asked, “How many Tarzan movies?”
The rooster wrote 60+ on a chalk board.
“He refuses to count television shows or all of the straight to video stuff.”
“How many Tarzans?”
The rooster wrote 24. An audience member said, “I thought the number was higher.”
“Again, the rooster refuses to count some actors and voice actors. It annoys me. I hired him to be a mathamachicken, not a critic.”
February 15: On this day in different years, several Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first editions were published, but 82 years ago on this date, Edger Rice Burroughs Incorporated published the first edition of “The Lad and the Lion.”
"Men and Beasts" was ERB's original working title for “The Lad and the Lion,” written in 1914. Twenty-three years later he added another 21,000 words for the hardback publication. The final book was 317 pages long and ran approximately 61,000 words. 3500 first editions were printed, but ERB, Inc. sold 1560 of those to Grosset and Dunlap. G & D printed their own dust jackets for those 1560 copies.
Author Moacyr accused Yann Martel of stealing the premise for “Life of Pi” from him. This ignores the fact the Edgar Rice Burroughs put a boy on a boat over 100 years ago. To quote George McWorter, “Burroughs himself once said that there's nothing new under the sun and the best we can do is put new clothes on old ideas."
“Old idea, New Clothes” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble. I occasionally use the names, Pat and John in my drabbles and I want to emphasize that Pat and John are not based on my old friends and Burroughs fans from New Orleans, Pat Adkins, rest his soul, and John Guidry, unless of course, that’s what the reader thinks. I can’t help that.
Pat said, “John, did you read “Life of Pi?”
Old Idea, New Clothes
“No. Saw the movie. Martel stole the idea from Edgar Rice Burroughs.”
“What about Moacyr’s book, “Max and the Cats.”
“Stolen from Edgar Rice Burroughs.”
“John, surely not both of them.”
“Absolutely. Rudyard Kipling’s the worst. Those Mowgli stories were stolen straight from Tarzan.”
“John, The Jungle Book was published in 1894, long before Tarzan.”
“Timing is no excuse. Don’t forget that limerick credited to Edward Lear about the lady and the tiger. Literary theft.”
“What about Noah’s Ark. I suppose that was stolen from Burroughs.”
“Now you’re beginning to understand.”
Copyright 2020: Robert Allen Lupton
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