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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
MARCH II Edition :: Days 1-15
See Days 16-31 at ERBzine 7153a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
MASTER OF ALL I SURVEY
March 1: On this day in 1919, Edgar Rice Burroughs purchased Mil Flores for $125,000, the 540-acre estate of the late General Harrison Gray Otis. Otis founded the Los Angeles Times. Mil Flores was located in the San Fernando Valley in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. Ed rechristened the estate, Tarzana Ranch.
The Girl From Hollywood ~ ERBzine 0769 wasn't well received when it was published. Burroughs had this comment, "The critics have panned “Girl from Hollywood.” They said that no ranch such as I described in the story ever existed. The joke of it was that I merely described my own ranch!"
My father loved his life at the Rancho. He used to get up at five A.M; it was never later than six o'clock -- and go riding. Once, shortly after we had moved to the Rancho, Dad and I were out riding together. We paused at a high point from where we could look out on most of the Valley below, stretching across the Santa Susanna Mountains across the far end. Neither of us spoke and then my father waved his arms to indicate the vista before us and he said, half-seriously and half-joking, "This is mine, all mine."
Joan Burroughs wrote today's Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble, "Master of All I Survey."
HOME FROM THE SEA
March 2: On this day in 1943, the USS Shaw ~ ERBzine 0508 arrived a Pearl Harbor after a month at sea with war correspondent, Edgar Rice Burroughs on board. The ship's captain, Lieutenant Commander G. P. Biggs ~ ERBzine 2782, signed Edgar Rice Burroughs' autograph book, which Burroughs had purchased in Australia. Ed's Wartime Journal ~ ERBzine 6800 entries for this date are featured at ERBzine 6849 and ERBzine 6850
The photo is of the USS Oklahoma as it would have looked when the USS Shaw returned to Pearl Harbor.
For more information, visit https://www.erbzine.com/war/.
"Got up during General Quarters and went to the bridge. Oahu loomed black against the eastern sky. Molokai, Lanai, and Maui seemed very close to starboard. Nothing seemed familiar. I had never approached the island from this direction before. It took us some time to locate Diamond Head, which is usually an unfailing landmark. Many patrol ships and planes guarded us as we approached the harbour. By now it was full daylight, and the island presented a beautiful picture.
Today's Edgar Rice Burroughs' drabble was written by Burroughs. Let's call it "Home from the Sea."
We passed the sunken Oklahoma and Arizona. Later, I telephoned Hully, who seemed both surprised and glad to hear my voice."
March 3: On this day in 1914, Edgar Rice Burroughs had a good day. All Story Magazine ~ See: ERBzine 0222 and ERBzine 0223 bought The Mucker ~ ERBzine 0757 for $1450.00 and The Beasts of Tarzan ~ ERBzine 0485 for $2500. According to the Financial Times calculator, that's over $103,000 in today's dollars.
Paulvitch had the good fortune to capture Tarzan, Jane, and their son. He made Tarzan to sign a ransom check and forced him to leave the ship. Tarzan rowed ashore.
"Hobson's Choice" is today's Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Sheeta, the leopard was trapped and Tarzan freed the beast. The grateful cat stayed with Tarzan and they became hunting partners.
Tarzan defeated Molak, an ape tribe leader. Akut, the next in line, said, "I thought Tarzan only hunt with Numa, the lion.
"Tarzan knows to make do with what he has. Tarzan have leopard, not lion. Wanting bananas when all you have is dates, won't turn dates into bananas."
LOOK YOUR BEST
March 4: On this day in 1922, Argosy All-Story Weekly published part three of my favorite Barsoom novel, The Chessmen of Mars ~ ERBzine 0436
Chessmen wasn't on the cover. The cover illustration by Frank W. Desch was for "Dear Daredevil" by Howard Rockey, and the accompanying blurb said "Escapades of a Fearless Flapper."
Howard Primrose Rockey was born on June 3, 1886, in the City of Brotherly Love. Rockey sold stories to The Argosy, Black Mask, The Green Book Magazine, Munsey's, The Smart Set, Telling Tales, Top-Notch, Young's Magazine, and other titles, including three magazines with similar names, Breezy Stories, Droll Stories, and Snappy Stories. He also wrote for Weird Tales, though just one tale, "The Fine Art of Suicide." His work was also adapted to movies: Li Ting Lang (1920) with Sessue Hayakawa, This Woman (1924) with Louise Fazenda and Clara Bow in supporting roles, and The Chorus Kid (1928).
"Look Your Best" is today's Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Luud, the Kaldane leader, was hideous. He was a giant brain encased in a huge head with spiderlike legs. His face was multicolored. He scuttled around the beautiful Tara of Helium. "I can't decide whether to eat you or make you my mate."
Tara put on a brave front. "All you are is a brain with legs. I am the daughter of the Warlord of Mars and I'll kill you if you touch me."
Luud proceeded to decorate his head with face paint and lipstick.
Tara sneered, "Does that make you feel pretty?"
"No, I'm just making up my mind."
March 5: On this day in 1942, Mike Resnick ~ ERBzine 6319 five time Hugo Award Winner, author of The Forgotten Seas of Mars ~ ERBzine 1931 co-editor of "The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and countless other novels, was born.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, Resnick wrote over 200 erotic adult novels under various pseudonyms and edited three men's magazines and seven tabloid newspapers. For over a decade he wrote a weekly column about horse racing and a monthly column about purebred collies, which he and his wife bred and showed. Resnick wrote more than 70 novels and published over 25 collections. He edited more than 40 anthologies.
Mike passed away on January 9, 2020 ~ ERBzine 6312. I'll miss him.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs and Mike Resnick inspired drabble is about a conversation my friend, John G. liked to relate. He said he'd visited with Mike about the Velvet Comet books. I don't represent any degree of accuracy. The four books were excellent – like everything Mike wrote.
"Mike, you wrote four books at a brothel in space, the Velvet Comet. Seems like a strange idea."
Today's Drabble is called G-Rated.
'John, science fiction is strange ideas."
"Was it because you wrote two hundred adult novels?"
"Those books had nothing to do with it."
It was strange that there was no sex in the Velvet Comet books. The stories were about a brothel. Why was there no sex?"
"Asked and answered. After a couple hundred explicit adult books, the last thing I wanted to do was write another sentence about heaving breasts, panting breaths, and naked thighs. There's enough of that on television."
RIDE 'EM, JUNGLE LORD
1960: On this day in 1960, the British Eastmancolor film, Tarzan the Magnificent ~ ERBzine 1958 was released. The film has no relationship to the 1939 Edgar Rice Burroughs novel of the same name. At several levels, the plot is similar to the 1957 western, "3:10 To Yuma."
The film was directed by Robert Day and produced by Sy Weintraub. Gordon Scott made his final appearance as Tarzan and future Tarzan, Jock Mahoney played the evil Coy Banton. John Clarradine played Mahoney's father. There is no Jane in the movie.
The lead female role, Fay Ames, was played by Betta St. John, born Betty Jean Striegler on November 26, 1929. She created the role of Liat for the musical "South Pacific" on Broadway. She is ninety years old as of today's date. At the age of ten, she was offered a small part in "The Wizard of Oz." Her parents said no.
The movie still is of Betta St. John and Jock Mahoney.
"I'll take Coy to Kairobi for the $5000.00 reward and give the money to the dead policeman's widow."
"Ride 'em, Jungle Lord" is today's Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
"Tarzan, you won't find help. His Dad, Abel Banton, and brothers say they'll kill anyone who helps."
The boat Tarzan planned to take was destroyed by the Bantons. Tarzan guided the passengers and Coy on a trek through the jungle. The Bantons gave chase, but one by one were killed by Tarzan or misadventure.
Tarzan turned Coy in for the reward. "Is there where I ride off into the sunset?"
The director said, "Wrong genre. Just look noble while the credits run."
March 7: On this day in 1925, All-Story Weekly ~ ERBzine 0225 published part three of The Moon Men ~ ERBzine 0767 The magazine cover, illustrating part one of Max Brand's "Senor Jingle Bells" was drawn by Modest Stein. The issue also contained the story, "Cleaning Up" by Fredrick Brown. Frederick Brown should not be confused with Fredric Brown, one of my favorite authors.
On another matter, because my post today is about the moon, I wanted to share this.
A pair of astronomers discovered the miniature moon, about the size of a compact car, on the night of February 15. It showed up in the nightly observations of the Catalina Sky Survey, a NASA-funded project in Arizona. It's a captured asteroid that will orbit Earth for a while and eventually escape Earth's gravitational field. Google Earth's New Moon for more information.
To curry favor, someone told the commander of the Kash Guard, Brother General Or-tis, that a forbidden American Flag was hidden in town. Or-tis demanded that it be produced. It wasn't.
Today's Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble is "Hidden Colors."
"You, your women, and your children will suffer for this rebellion. Men, search the city. Find the flag."
The guards looked in basement and attics. They searched stables and outhouses. They tore open floors and walls.
The citizens moved the flag around and harassed the Kash Guard by fouling their food, water and supplies.
The frustrated guardsmen refused to search further. "We're too old to play "Capture the Flag."
GO, JANE, GO
March 8: On this day in 1913, a five star review of Jane, the Woman Who Loved Tarzan ~ ERBzine 3945 by Robin Maxwell ~ ERBzine 3706 was published. The title of the review posted on Amazon.com was "Jane: filled with Drama and Excitement." Joyce Owen and Robert Owen wrote the review.
"Robin Maxwell, in writing Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan, has created an instant classic and I feel sure it will endure the test of time. Her novel is absorbing and filled with interesting characters that are developed with great skill. The story races to a heart-pounding conclusion.
Today's 100 word drabble is taken from that review. Call it "Go, Jane, Go.
It was a brilliant move to include Edgar Rice Burroughs himself in the story and have Jane relate her narrative to him.
Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan should stand tall with her other works. Or any other author's works.
I love this book and highly recommend it to anyone and everyone."
BET ON THE FAVOURITE
March 9: On this day in 2012 the movie, John Carter was released. The film, based on A Princess of Mars ~ ERBzine 0421 had a 250 million dollar budget, but Disney reported a total cost of $350 million. Total box office was $284 million. Many fans, including myself, blamed the poor performance on Disney's poor choice of name for the film, and overall incompetent marketing. Some go so far as to say that the film was deliberately tanked so that Disney could concentrate on its new acquisition, Star Wars. Don't know if that's true, but if it swims like a fish, looks like a fish, and smells like a fish, it probably can't fly like a bird.
The 2013 book "John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood" cites many factors in the film's commercial failure, but author Michael D. Sellers insists the film tested very well with audiences and failed more because of marketing problems (which included not mentioning "Mars", "Barsoom", or "Edgar Rice Burroughs" on promotional posters, which meant that many fans of the Burroughs books were completely unaware of the film and its subject matter until after it bombed.)
Pat said, "Well, John, it looks like we won't get another John Carter movie. Disney tanked the first film faster than a punch drunk boxer can hit the canvas."
"Bet on the Favorite" is today's drabble, # 640 in the series.
"So disappointing. I waited my whole life for this film. The Green Men were excellent and Woola, the calot, deserves his own television show."
"Are you going to boycott Disney?"
"No, they own Marvel and Star Wars. I can't wait for the crossovers."
"Maybe it's best. I won't miss "Woola meets Wolverine" or Thor Versus Tars Tarkas."
"But the three Musketeers featuring Dejah Thoris, Black Widow, and Princess Leia could be fun."
YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN
March 10: On this day in 1915, A. C. McClurg published the first edition of The Return of Tarzan ~ ERBzine 0484 The book had a print run of 15,000 copies. The dust jacket is a different matter. Robert Zeuschner says, on page 275 of Edgar Rice Burroughs The Bibliography that a first edition dust jacket for this book is extraordinarily rare. The first edition DJ is priced at $1.30 and the word virtue is misspelled on the back of the jacket.
I could be wrong, but I believe that until a few years ago, it was thought that not a single copy of the first edition book in a N. C. Wyeth first edition dust wrapper remained in existence. One copy with a complete dust jacket appeared from the depths of someone's basement, attic, or collection. My memory is that Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. successfully purchased the copy.
More information about the publishing history of the book are available at https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0484.html .
"Tarzan had renounced his right to the woman he loved, and civilization held no pleasure for him. After a brief and harrowing period among men, he turned back to the African jungle. There he heard of Opar, the city of gold, left over from fabled Atlantis. It was a city of hideous men—and of beautiful, savage women, over whom reigned La, high priestess of the Flaming God. Its altars were stained with the blood of many sacrifices. Unheeding of the dangers, Tarzan led a band of savage warriors toward the ancient crypts and the more ancient evil of Opar."
Today's 100 word Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble is taken from
the blurb on the first Ballantine edition. Call it, "You Can Go Home Again."
OKAY, NOW YOU'VE MADE ME ANGRY
March 11: On this day in 1945, The Burne Hogarth Sunday Tarzan Comic strip ~ ERBzine 6900, Tarzan Against the Nazis" concluded. The strip ran for 32 weeks. It has been reprinted in NTM's "Tarzan in Color Volume 13 and 14" and in Titan Books "Tarzan Versus the Nazis," published in 2015. To say that the story reflected the prevalent American World War Two attitude toward the Nazis would be an understatement.
Here's a splash panel from the next to last Sunday page of the story line.'
Nkima, Tarzan's monkey friend, asked. "What Tarzan do to the Nazis"
'Okay, Now You've Made Me Angry" is today's Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
"Tarzan give them to the mountain gorillas. I'll let the apes deal with them."
"Nkima don't like Nazis, but Nkima don't like the mountain apes either. The apes are mean. They yell at Nkima. They throw things at Nkima."
Tarzan replied, "The apes are justifiably angry because the Nazis invaded their land and killed several of them. The apes seek revenge. I will ensure they get it."
Tarzan released the Nazi squad without weapons. The lieutenant asked. "Are these gorillas dangerous?"
"Probably. We call them the apes of wrath."
THE TELL-TALE TELL
March 12: On this day in 1921, Argosy All-Story Weekly ~ ERBzine 0224 published Tarzan the Terrible ~ ERBzine 0494 Part 5 of 7.
The cover illustration by Frank H. Desch is for "The Affair in Portage House" by Edith Sessions Tupper – Unraveling a Tangled Skein of Mystery. I must confess that I don't recognize any of the writers who have stories in this issue except Edgar Rice Burroughs. William Merriam Rouse, Magda Leigh, Charles Alden Seltzer, William Holloway, Richard Barry, Neeta Marquis, and Jim Fellom don't ring any bells. "The Wrath of Amen-Ra" by Richard Barry sounds the most interesting. It was the last story in the issue and there's nothing like a good mummy story to wrap things up.
Tarzan found Jane and Lieutenant Obergatz teaching Om-at, a long-tailed human-like Waz-don, playing gin with a water stained deck of cards.
The 100 word Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble of the day is
"The Tell-Tale Tell." Apologies to Edger Allan Poe and Justin Wilson.
"Jane, why're you playing cards with the German? I doubt Om-at has ever seen a deck before."
The Waz-don put down his cards and raised his long tail in triumph. "Gin."
Lady Jane laughted. "He's a fast learner and a good player. He's beyond thirty points ahead."
Obergatz threw down his cards and scowled. "He's not that damn good!"
Tarzan asked, "If he's winning, why would you say that?"
"When he gets a good hand, he wags his tail."
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
March 13: On this day in 1942, Edgar Rice Burroughs' article, "Dry Firing Makes Experts in BMTC Ranks " appeared in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Edgar Rice Burroughs was the Public Relations Officer for the BMTC, the Businessmen's Military Training Corps.
The entire article may be read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag10/1035.html
Instruction given the business men's training corps is constant, careful and never ending.
Today's Edgar Rice Burroughs written drabble," Practice Makes Perfect," is a portion of that article.
This is especially true of the combatant use of the .45 Colt automatic pistols with which they are armed.
By simulating fire, each man can aim and fire all day without expense. This is called "dry firing."
His problem is to fire five shots, remove the empty magazine, insert another and fire five more shots -- all in 25 seconds.
Many excellent scores were made the BMTC members. These BMTC boys will be bad luck to any enemy foolish enough to come within range of their .45s.
NOT WHAT YOU KNOW
March 14: On this day in 1962, the Mike Grell ~ ERBzine 2966 drawn Sunday Comic Strip story, Tarzan and the Wildlife Artist ~ ERBzine 2971 began. It ran for 13 weeks. Less than a year later, Gray Morrow would take over the Sunday Tarzan.
In the story, a clueless VW hippie van driving artist, named Gus, arrives at Tarzan's home to paint "wildlife. (How he got the van with a peace symbol to Tarzan's home is never explained.) Tarzan agrees to help him. He ignores Tarzan's warnings and is in constant danger, ending up in the hospital.
However, his paintings sell very well.
Tarzan found Gus, the artist, trapped inside an elephant trampled VW van. "Are you alive?"
"Not What You Know" is today's Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
"I can't get out. I think my shoulder and hip are broken."
"I told you not to go outside by yourself. The jungle is a dangerous place. I can read the signs. You were between the female elephants and their babies."
"I listened to everything you told me. I've learned a lot about the jungle, but I didn't know about that."
"My point. The jungle is a mirror for life. It's not what you know that will hurt you, it's the things you don't know."
JUST HANG ON
March 15: On this day in 1940, Edgar Rice Burroughs published the first edition of Synthetic Men of Mars ~ ERBzine 0737 John Coleman Burroughs drew a magnificent cover and five interior illustrations ~ ERBzine 0352. The novel ran about 70,000 words and had a print run of 3500 copies.
The scientist, Ras Thavas, returns in this novel. I wasn't too impressed with the synthetic men he created, but I sure liked the malagors – giant birds that people ride. I sure need one of those, maybe two.
John Carter stood before a cruel ruler, Ay-mad, Jeddak of Morbus. Ay-mad sneered. "You want Janai, the slave girl; fight for her."
"Just Hang On" is today's Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired 100 word drabble.
"We don't fight on the ground for women; we fight on bird back. Ten passes around the city. Full contact. Fail to finish and you and the woman die."
Carter mounted a malagor. "Let's race."
Carter vanquished ten of his eleven opponents and easily outdistance the final rider. The race was his, but his malagor refused to slow down. It bucked, spun, climbed, and dove. Janai screamed at Carter. "Don't fall off, John, don't fall off."
See Days 16-31 at ERBzine 7153a
ERBzine C.H.A.S.E.R. Online Bibliography
Publishing History ~ Cover & Interior Art ~ Pulps ~ E-text
ERB LIFE and LEGACY DAILY EVENTS IN ERBzine
ERB Bio Timeline
Illustrated Bibliography for ERB's Pulp Magazine Releases
Copyright 2019: Robert Allen Lupton
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