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THE ECOF bonus paperback Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers is presented with the compelling assistance of five artists. The new novella “Untamed Frontiers” and the second printing of the novelette “Secret of Katanga” benefit by their artistic presentation:
The Art of
Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers
* Neal Adams: Frontispiece.
* Daniel Parsons: Wraparound Painting, Convention Logo and Button Art: The Lu-gash, Jane and Winston, Battle, Tarzan and Jane with Zulu Warrior.
* Peggy Adler: Cheetah, Leopard, Honey Badger, and Potto.
* Chris Adams: The Archer.
*Joe DeVito: Fighting the Lu-gash.
The exciting clash that I dubbed “Fighting the Lu-gash” is from the talented pencil of artist Joe DeVito; my appreciation to him for its re-use. I met Joe at the 2012 Centennial Celebration in Woodland Hills, CA. Little did we both know that it would launch our collaboration as sponsor and artist on two cover paintings, along with a friendship with Will Murray and my own writing career.
Chris Adams created “The Archer” in June/July 2019, which I took advantage of to make a perfect inflexion point in my story. His original color painting influenced my decision to “paint” an orange sun.
The subtle but strong depiction of furred animals by Peggy Adler graces these pages with four examples of African wildlife. While three existed prior to my composition, at my request she drew the new honey badger.
In my humble opinion, Neal Adams is the best artist to depict the heroic figure of Tarzan of the Apes. Thanks go out to him for his kind permission to utilize the 2010 original Tarzan sketch in my book collection as the frontispiece/signature page to this volume of Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers.
The four interiors and the absorbing cover painting by Dan Parsons speak for themselves. While my words described the events for the mind’s eye, it was up to Dan’s mastery to flesh them out into near-tangible reality. The preliminary drawing of the cover painting demanded reproduction in the Afterword, it is that good.
And it was Dan who designed the cover text to the book. I obtained the Tarzan logo for Dan’s use from Matt Moring of Altus Press, who so brilliantly designed the three Tarzan novels written by Will Murray.
MOST WRITERS of historical fiction already have the knowledge necessary to begin their next foray into the world of publishing. But they cannot yet flesh out their narrative with the critical details to bring not just the conscious thought of the reader into the milieu of the story, but their entire being. At least that is what the best of us accomplish; the reader cannot put the page-turner down.
Writing With Research Is A Binary
Research is the other half of the binary, for the two go together. It took exactly ten months from the first words I wrote for the novella “Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers” to the pleasurable moment of picking up in my car the 350 newly-bound copies at the printing plant in Fort Atkinson, WI. Some authors never really finish writing their stories. We agonize and tweak and fine-tune the story until it is ripped from our reluctant hands for production in its final form. Then wonder what we could have added.
Edgar Rice Burroughs developed many wondrous concepts and introduced his characters into fantastic worlds and adventures. But he left gaps in his story lines, especially in the life of his most famous creation, Tarzan of the Apes.
So I started the novella “Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers” with the simple concept of relocating the land of Uziri from its first mention in The Return of Tarzan as being near the cabin built by his parents. The only clue was a reference in Tarzan of the Apes to 10 degrees south latitude on the West African coast. This places the tribe of Waziri in Portuguese West Africa, better known as the modern nation of Angola. Although intervening stories mentioned African estates, it was not until Tarzan the Terrible that the new homeland for the Waziri was named as the highlands of British East Africa. This developed into contemporary Kenya.
By the time of my new narrative, Tarzan has only roamed the region of Angola with the tribe of Kerchak, then met Paul D’Arnot and Jane Porter. This precipitates him to the north woods of Wisconsin and a time in Paris. The sojourn in the City of Light ends with his extensive mission to Algeria for the Deuxième Bureau of France. His subsequent voyage down the West African coast concludes his learning about the continent of his birth, at least before my story begins.
Having read biographies of Theodore Roosevelt, I knew of his East African safari soon after he left the presidency in 1909. The explorer and big game hunter Frederick Courteney Selous was featured in TR’s book, African Game Trails. Since he was living in London by 1912, it was simplicity itself in getting Lord Greystoke to meet him.
ERB described John Clayton in Paris as being a voracious reader and museum visitor. So our protagonist visits the British Library and the Royal Geographical Society to learn about a better land for his tribe of Waziri, also realizing that he cannot remain as their chief.
Much of my knowledge of Africa has come from reading all the novels of Wilbur Smith. Two other authors helped significantly in describing the environs of “Untamed Frontiers.”
The Ghost of Africa by William Stevenson set out the four-year campaign of the German schutztruppe of Ostafrika against the British in World War I. I learned of the askari marching song “Heia Safari.”
And Petru Popescu’s Almost Adam outlined the discovery of living australopithecines in modern Kenya.
Both of these novels supplied interesting descriptions of the terrain, animals and plant-life of Africa. The Ghost of Africa excelled in providing details of the German colonial environment.
As helpful as they are, the aforesaid novels are respective creations of their authors. The study of volumes on actual history is illustrative of times before our own. And visiting the major museums of Chicago, Washington, DC, and New York City, as well as those of London, Paris and Rome has widened my knowledge.
All of this is research for the scribe of fiction who concentrates on particular historical periods and places.
In reading African history, two of the best (and the thickest) have been Thomas Pakenham’s The Boer War and The Washing of the Spears by Donald Morris.
For “Untamed Frontiers,” I shortened (in time) the journey of our heroes by using water routes in Darkest Africa. Explorers David Livingstone, Henry Stanley, Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke were among those who blazed the trail in the nineteenth century. Seeking the source of the Nile River was the driving impetus for many discoveries. The Congo River (known as The Mighty) and its tributaries saw exploration for decades.
The Manyuema were recounted by ERB as antagonists of the Waziri in The Return of Tarzan. David Livingstone had lived among the actual Manyuema tribe, reporting these cannibals to the European public in 1871.
Even with all my prior reading and research, I was not aware of or entirely forgot a most monstrous denizen of rivers in the Congo. It was fortuitous when I sketched an internet search for “dangerous animal Congo River,” for I did not want to be caught up in the trope of expected animal foes for the Lord of the Jungle. The goliath tigerfish is accurately depicted on the book cover.
None of this would have been possible without the gracious permission of Jim Sullos and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., which has registered their trademark of Tarzan®.
This background for Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers grows long. It is time to set down my pen and propose that you read the book, for adventure awaits!
A PRODIGIOUS reader of fiction, Gary Buckingham always had an abiding interest in history and political geography. But he realized early on that career prospects in those fields were minimal. So he became an electrical engineer. By the time he was done with higher education, he had degrees in physics (one) and EE (three), accompanied by minors in mathematics, astrophysics, industrial engineering and marketing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
World travel has imparted additional knowledge through his visitation of all 50 states and the ten provinces of Canada, journeying often to western Europe. Then the singular trips to New Zealand/Australia and Greece.
Working for seven agencies and 16 distinct occupations as a federal engineer, Gary decided it was time to follow-up his voluminous reading and extensive travel by finally writing some tales of Tarzan.
Although his 45 days in Puerto Rico detailed to hurricane relief for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Nov-Dec 2017 was brief, he came away with an appreciation of the island territory’s people in adversity. Eventually, he hopes to bring Tarzan to the Commonwealth.
His parents, Lynn and Allen, had purchased the new Whitman edition of The Return of Tarzan in 1967, starting his life-long attentiveness to all the narratives written by the Master of Adventure, Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Joining the Burroughs Bibliophiles in 1976, he finally attended a Dum-Dum in 2010 to join the more active members of the ERB fan group.
With the kind combined recommendation to ERB Inc. by Will Murray, Joe DeVito and Matt Moring, Gary became line editor of the Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs for the first ten new books of that series.
Also reviewed under his editor-eye were Will Murray’s King Kong vs. Tarzan and Jim Malachowski’s Song of Opar.
While continuing his review for Will of each new pulp hero escapade, Gary carried on with his writing of Tarzan fiction. “Tarzan and the Secret of Katanga” was published in 2015 as a bonus to the hardcover edition of Will Murray’s Tarzan: Return to Pal-ul-don. “Katanga” was the first of seven featuring the iconic jungle lord.
The softbound Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers limited signed edition sees the debut of the second tale in that line of adventures.
A native of Wisconsin, Gary could not resist placing Jane Porter’s north woods WI farm on Crawling Stone Lake near Lac du Flambeau, a locale known well by his family.
THIS YEAR'S ECOF 2020
October 11-13 :: Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
Art by Dan Parsons
Contact Gary Buckingham