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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
JUNE II Edition :: Days 1 - 15
See Days 16 - 30 at ERBzine 7156a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
June 1: On this day in 1977, Actress Sarah Wayne Callies, was born, in LaGrange, Illinois. She starred as Police Detective Jane Porter on the short lived television series, “Tarzan,” with Travis Fimmel as Tarzan, the heir to the Greystoke Industry fortune. She also appeared in “Prison Break,” “House,” “Colony,” and “The Walking Dead.”
“Be Ashamed,” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
“Mr. Greystoke, I have a warrant for your arrest,” said Detective Porter.
‘Most the police who try to arrest me aren’t as pretty as you.”
“Most people I arrest are wearing more clothes.”
“So am I charged with indecent exposure?”
“No to the contrary, I’d say your exposure is quiet decent.”
Tarzan said, “I think I’m offended by that. I think that’s contact unbecoming an officer.”
“You got a lot of nerve saying that, standing there wearing that little bitty loincloth. Most men would be ashamed of that.”
“Most men have shortcomings to be ashamed of.”
“Modest too, I see.”
June 2: On this day in 1904, Johnny Weissmuller was born. For several years, Winber, Pennsylvania was claimed to be his birthplace. He was actually born in Szabadfalva, Freidorf, in Hungary, which today is a part of Romania, but his parents apparently switched his records with his younger brother's to establish an American origin for Johnny that then satisfied U.S. Olympic Committee “nationality requirements." Weissmuller, of course, was an Olympics swimming champion before he was Tarzan.
In 1975, the Artcraft Company started issuing a series of special postal covers honoring "Kings of Sport," featuring famous athletes on the envelope cachets with appropriate postage and a postmark with their birth anniversary from the town in which they were born. Thus, Weissmuller's cover in the series, No. 7, featured a Windber, Pa., postmark over a flag stamp and a stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of motion pictures.
Later, on June 2, 2004, the country of Romania issued a sheet of stamps to honor its home-country hero on the 100th anniversary of his birth, as well as a series of other special postmarks and covers. The first day covers are reasonably priced and readily available online.
“Birth Certificate” is today’s drabble. It can be construed as political, but I can’t help that. Read into it as little or as much as you want. Peace.
Duke Kahanamoku from Hawaii finished second to Johnny Weissmuller at the 1924 Olympic Games. Duke said, “He swam a good race, but he’s a fake. He’s not a real American. He’s from one of them Eastern European countries, Austria, or Hungary, or Croatia. I can’t keep them straight.”
“His birth certificate says he was born in Pennsylvania.”
“That’s what they want you to think. Well, don’t believe it. I’ve never seen it. He should be disqualified.”
“Are you serious?”
“No, I’m not, just making a fuss about nothing. We’re all Americans and he’s my teammate. Johnny swam a great race."
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN ME?
June 3: On this day in 1964, James Purefoy, was born in in Taunton, Somerset, England. His performance as Kantos Kan in "John Carter" was simply outstanding.
James has appeared in numerous television, film, and stage roles. A few in the science fiction / fantasy genre are “Resident Evil,” Solomon Kane in “Solomon Kane,” “A Knight’s Tale,” “George and the Dragon,” “V for Vendetta,” “Frankenstein” for television, “Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia,” “Altered Carbon,” ‘Pennyworth,” and “A Discovery of Witches.”
He performed in the BBC radio production of “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep.”
On another year on this day, Sue-On Hillman, co-founder of ERBzine, was born in Red China. Her mother smuggled her out with a neighboring family. Her mom tried to follow, but was arrested. Eventually, Mom made it out of Red China and joined Sue-On in Hong Kong. They eventually made it to Canada. As for her birth year year, a gentleman never asks or publishes a woman’s age, but she and I were born the same year. Happy Birthday, Sue-On.
“How Long Have You Known Me?” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Dejah Thoris approached Kantos Kan, a good friend of her father and a better friend to John Carter. “John’s been imprisoned. I need help.”
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN ME?
“He and I escaped together from the vicious Warhoon tribe of green men. I’ll do whatever you need.”
“We have to fly to where he’s being held, sneak into the city and free him.”
“My ship, the Xavarian, is ready. My men and I’ll enter the city under cover of darkness, kill the guards, and free your husband.”
“That plan seems too simple. Will it work?”
“Of course, my name is Kantos Kan, not Kantos Kan’t.”
June 4: On this day in 1925, A.C. McClurg published the first edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first western novel, “The Bandit of Hell’s Bend.” The cover by Modest Stein was the same cover previously used on the Argosy All Story Weekly publication of the story. The 316 page first edition had a print run of 5,000 copies.
Bandit was reprinted in 1940 by Grosset & Dunlap and Gregg Press in 1979. Ace published a paperback version in January 1977 and Charter published a paperback in 1979.
"Hairpin Curve" is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
“Don’t drive so fast. You’ll roll over and we’ll end up bottom-side up in the gulch.”
Bill Gatlin replied, “The Black Coyote gang’s a mean bunch and they ambushes folks around this trail bend. I got to drive fast.”
“We’re no better off with a stage on top of us than we’d be in a shootout. I can fight bandits, but I can’t fight a belly-up stagecoach.”
“I’m the driver and you’re riding shotgun. You do your job and I’ll do mine. Why you care how I drive anyway.”
“In case you ain’t noticed, we’re riding on the same stage.”
WRITTEN THAT WAY
June 5: On this day in 1932, Elmo Lincoln, the first film Tarzan, complained to Edgar Rice Burroughs, that the MGM film version of Tarzan was “without dignity.” Read “My Father, Elmo Lincoln, The Original Tarzan” by Marci’a Lincoln Rudolph.
"My Father, Elmo Lincoln: The Original Tarzan" is a book that explores the life and times of Elmo Lincoln--an actor that changed the face of film and started in some of the greatest and most well known films of all time. His roles in Tarzan of the Apes, Birth of a Nation, and Intolerance have changed the face of film forever. Copies of the book are readily available on EBay, Amazon, and other websites.
“Written That Way” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
“Mr. Burroughs, I’m unhappy with the way I came across as Tarzan in the film. When I took the role, I expected to play a noble savage, not a troglodyte.”
WRITTEN THAT WAY
“Mr. Lincoln, I’m sure you fulfilled the director’s image of the character, even though you were dressed like a cave man and your hair was longer than Jane’s.”
“Yes, but I wanted to play the Tarzan you write about.”
“The movie was a hit, but I won’t change Tarzan of the books and I expect you’ve set the standard for movie Tarzans for years to come.”
‘Kreegah bundolo, indeed.”
June 6: On this day in 1913, Edgar Rice Burroughs submitted the third story in his original Barsoom trilogy, “Prince of Helium” to All-Story. The novel was published as “Warlord of Mars.” Other working titles for the story were “Yellow Men of Barsoom,” “The Fighting Prince of Mars,” “Across Savage Mars,” and “The War Lord of Mars.”
The story was accepted, of course, and serialized by All-Story Magazine from December 1913 through March of 1914. Fred W. Small painted the cover illustration for the December installment.
The final installment of the Rex Stout novel, “Her Forbidden Knight,” was also in the December issue.
“Heavenly Protection” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
John Carter waited with his faithful calot, Woola, for the revolving shaft in the Temple of the Sun to complete its annual revolution and free his wife, Dejah Thoris, Thuvia, and the wicked Phaidor. The evil Therns, who’d deceived the entire planet with false religion, freed the women early and planned to defile and murder Dejah and Thuvia.
Woola detected Dejah’s scent and led John Carter to her.
The Thern guards engaged John Carter. “Foolish Earthman, Issus protects us.”
Woola killed two Therns and Carter spitted a third. He confronted the remaining warriors. “A false goddess makes a poor shield.”
FIGHT FOR THE THRONE
June 7: On this day in 2012, Subterranean Press published “Gods of Opar: Tales of Lost Khokarsa” by Philip Jose Farmer and Christopher Paul Carey. The 576 page deluxe hardcover edition contains three complete novels, “Flight to Opar,” “Hadron of Ancient Opar,” and “The Song of Kwasin.”
Copies of this magnificent volume based on the lost city of Opar, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, are available on the Amazon, Ebay, and other resale markets. DAW Books published “Hadon of Ancient Opar” in 1973 and “Flight to Opar” in 1976.
“The Song of Kwasin” is currently available in paperback and a Christopher Paul Carey signed limited edition hardcover from Meteor House. Here’s the link http://meteorhousepress.com/the-song-of-kwasin/
The standalone edition of “Kwasin” contains previously unpublished bonus material.
I didn’t write the drabble for today. It’s taken directly from the Meteor House website section: “The Song of Kwasin.” Let’s call it “Fight for the Throne.”
Wielding his massive Ax of Victory, forged from the heart of a fallen star, Kwasin sets out to reconquer the throne of Khokarsa. But when he finds himself caught between a vengeful queen who seeks to control him and a conspiring priest who wants him dead, Kwasin must decide between reining in his unruly passions or unleashing them in a fury that could hurl the empire into oblivion. The high priestess has decreed that unless Kwasin can master his wild nature and stop King Minruth before he attains immortality in an unholy ritual, Great Kho will destroy all the land!
FIGHT FOR THE THRONE
June 8: On this day in 1925, a manuscript was written on Barsoom (Mars) and shortly thereafter a man whose identity was never revealed delivered the manuscript to Edgar Rice Burroughs, who eventually published the tale as “Master Mind of Mars.” The first publication was by Amazing Stories Magazine in 1927.
In my opinion, the tale of Captain Ulysses Paxton and Valla Dia is one of Burroughs’ best, hair-raising adventure and cutting edge science.
For whatever it’s worth with isn’t much, the heroine’s name, Valla Dia, in Spanish means Fence Day or Barrier Day. Sounds a lot prettier in Spanish.
“Bad Renter” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Ras Thavas switched the brains and bodies of the ancient Xaxa, the Jeddara of Phundahl, and the young and beautiful maiden, Valla Dia. Ulysses Paxton fell in love with the young mind of Valla Dia trapped in a rotting body.
Paxton fought several battles and overcame countless obstacles and surgically put Valla Dia’s brain and body back together. He kissed her like a prince waking Sleeping Beauty.
“How do you feel?” he asked.
She stretched her arms. “Uncomfortable. After someone else wears your clothes, they never seem to fit right. She’s eaten too much and made me put on weight.”
June 9: On this day in 1974, “Lord of Absolute Elsewhere; A Serious Look at Ballantine’s Tarzan Series” by Leslie A. Fiedler was published in the New York Times Review. Leslie Aaron Fiedler, an American literary critic, was known for his interest in mythography and his championing of genre fiction.
His work also involves application of psychological theories to American literature. He was in practical terms, one of the early postmodernist critics working across literature in general, from around 1970. His most cited work is Love and Death in the American Novel (1960).
Mr. Fiedler wrote today’s drabble, “Corrupted Mythology,” a 100 word excerpt from his review. It doesn’t do his review justice. The complete review is available at https://www.erbzine.com/mag22/2299.html. Take the time to read it, it’s a beautifully written and insightful commentary.
“It’s hard to think of Tarzan without thinking of one's own childhood. It’s been a long time, however, since I last dreamed the dream all the way through. Near tears as I finished the last volume, though I knew I would always begin again. And, again and again. For many years I have encountered him chiefly in comics and movies, on radio. And however such versions falsify the original text, they cannot betray the myth, which like all authentic myths has passed into the public domain, and must be re-embodied in whatever vulgar commercial form has preempted the popular imagination.”
June 10: On this day in 1939, Alexandra Stewart was born in Quebec. She played the part of a woman named Lori in "Tarzan the Magnificent." Lori was one of several passengers on a boat hijacked by the “Banton” gang (Jock Mahoney and others). Tarzan attemps to lead the victims the jungle at the same time he was herding prisoner Coy Banton (played by future Tarzan Jock Mahoney) to justice in Kairobi, with other members of the Banton family in pursuit. One of the Bantons attempts to rape Stewart’s character, but Tarzan arrives just in time.
She also had a role in Otto Preminger's "Exodus," which was released the same year as "Tarzan." She starred, sort or, in the film “Zeppelin.” She had cameo roles in "Highlander: The Series," "The Saint," and "Danger Man." She has worked in English language and French productions and her most recent film was in 2015. She appeared in over 50 films and numerous French television shows. Her career has spanned over sixty years, with her first screen credit in 1955 and her last in 2015. As of this date, she is still alive and living, I believe, in Paris, France.
The film was written and directed by Robert Day. Day also directed “Tarzan’s Three Challenges,” “Tarzan and the Valley of Gold,” and “Tarzan and the Great River.”
“Herding Cats” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Lori complained, “I’m hungry and thirsty. I don’t like the way the Banton men look at me. How far is Kairobi? Are we there yet?”
Tarzan replied, “We’ll be there when we get there. Silence is good in the jungle. Voices attract lions or cannibals.”
“You just want me to shut up. Can’t we move faster?”
“We travel at the pace of our slowest person. It’s difficult to guard a prisoner and shepherd the rest of you.”
“Like herding cats?”
“Lions are easy. They go where I say.”
“You speak lion?”
‘Yes, now be quiet or I’ll feed lions, too.
June 11: On this day in 1936, Robert E. Howard committed suicide. He shot himself. His mother, who had been gravely ill, died the next day. On June 14, 1936 a double funeral service was held at the Cross Plains First Baptist Church, and both were buried in Greenleaf Cemetery in Brownwood, Texas.
It’s impossible to list Howard’s work in a short article. He created Conan the Barbarian, King Kull, Solomon Kane, Red Sonya, James Allison, and El Borak – among others. He wrote over two dozen stories about the boxing sailor, Steve Costigan. His humorous Breckinridge Elkins stories are magnificent.
Poetry by Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and H. P. Lovecraft was collected and recently published in the volume, “Songs of Giants.” Mark Wheatley published and illustrated.
Howard killed himself when he was 30 years old. The lights went out in Cross Plains, Texas.
Recently, I reread Howard’s complete works – according to the publisher, but I expect that some of the “Spicy-Adventure Stories” were missing from the volume.
Here’s a Howard quote, my favorite. “Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars.”
Today’s drabble, 112 words, was written by Robert E. Howard. Enjoy “The Weakling.”
I died in sin and forthwith went to Hell;
I made myself at home upon the coals
Where seas of flame break on the cinder shoals.
Till Satan came and said with angry yell,
"You there – divulge what route by which you fell."
"I spent my youth among the flowing bowls,
"Wasted my life with women of dark souls,
"Died brothel-fighting – drunk on muscatel."
Said he, "My friend, you’ve been directed wrong:
"You’ve naught to recommend you for our feasts –
"Like factory owners, brokers, elders, priests;
"The air for you! This place is for the strong!"
Then as I pondered, minded to rebel,
He laughed and forthwith kicked me out of Hell.
JAMES OLIVER CURWOOD
June 12: On this day in 1878, James Oliver Curwood, one of ERB's favorite authors, was born. The majority of Curwood's books were about the far north of Canada. These were rough and tumble adventures, of which readers in America could not get enough. Curwood loved Canada and made many wilderness excursions into the most rugged regions, even wintering among Inuits under the harshest conditions. Today. most Americans are pretty ignorant of Canada's grand history, but in Curwood's heyday American children were as likely to play Mounties as they were cowboys.
There were several Curwood books in ERB's personal library -- obviously a major influence. “Back to God’s Country,” “God’s Country and the Woman,” “Isobel,” “The Alaskan,” “The Ancient Highway,” “The Black Hunter,” “The Courage of Marge O’Doone,” “The Danger Trail,” “The Flaming Forest,” “The Golden Snare,” “The Grizzly King,” “The Hunted Woman,” “The River’s End,” “Kazan the Wolf Dog,” “The Gold Hunters,” and ‘The Valley of Silent Men.”
Burroughs wrote the following letter to the Editor of the Owosso, Michigan Argus-Press Special Centennial Edition in July, 1936. He signed the letter, “Very Sincerely Yours,
Edgar Rice Burroughs.” A portion of the letter is included herein as today’s drabble, “James Oliver Curwood.” Read the entire letter at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag2/0259.html#ERBletter
“While I didn’t know James Oliver Curwood personally, I was, of course, familiar with his works and, naturally, like countless thousands of others, I am glad to contribute an expression of my esteem for Owosso's famous son upon the occasion of the city's One Hundred Birthday Anniversary.
JAMES OLIVER CURWOOD
An incident which occurred a number of years ago endeared Mr. Curwood to me. It was when my daughter was a little girl and simply devouring Curwood's books. She wrote Mr. Curwood to tell him how much she enjoyed his novels and received a very lovely letter in return, which she still treasures.”
June 13: On this date, artist and illustrator, Alfonso (Al) Williamson, died in upstate New York. Williamson's first professional work may have been helping Hogarth pencil some Tarzan Sunday pages in 1948, although Williamson, who had initially believed so, reconsidered in a 1983 interview and recalled that his Tarzan work had come after his first two pieces of comic-book art: providing spot illustrations for the story, "The World's Ugliest Horse" in Eastern Color's seminal series Famous Funnies #166 (May 1948), and a two-page Boy Scouts story, his first comics narrative, in New Heroic Comics #51 (Nov. 1948). (Williamson is also identified as co-penciler, with Frank Frazetta, of a three-page crime story, "The Last Three Dimes", in Standard Comics' Wonder Comics #20.
Williamson was a prolific contributor to EC comics, drew and inked several daily and Sunday strips, and several stories for Creepy and Eerie Comics. It would take several pages to list all of his work, including Flash Gordon, Star Wars, and Daredevil. He drew covers and interiors for the Canaveral Press Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books and did several illustrations for ERBdom.
Today’s drabble is “I’ve Drawn Everything,” with apologies to Hank Snow.
I'VE DRAWN EVERYTHING
I’ve drawn everything, man
I’ve drawn everything, man
Inked the jungle lord, man
Drew Flash Gordon’s world, man,
Cowboys, droids, and Leia, man,
I’ve drawn everything.
I worked for Avon, Fawcett, Standard and Toby.
Worked with Krenkel, Frazetta, Wood, and Kirby.
Drew for EC, Creepy, Eerie, Atlas, Marvel and DC,
Kitchen Sink, Warren, Epic, Western, Dark Horse, and ACG.
Harvey, Big Apple, Classics Illustrated, Marvel, and Charlton Comics.
Dell, Creepy, Gold Key, Pacific, and Nostalgia Comics
I drew Rip Kirby, Flash Gordon, Modesty Blaze, Skywalker.
Swamp Thing, Superman, Bladerunner and Secret Agent Corrigan
I’ve drawn everything man,
I’ve drawn everything.
I'M AN ACTOR, NOT A HORSEMAN
June 14: On this day in 1992, Actor Daryl Christopher Sabara was born in Los Angeles, California. He appeared on Murphy Brown, Life’s Work,” and “Will and Grace” before becoming Juni Cortez in the Spy Kids’ films. He costarred in the 2009 film April Showers, a movie written and directed by a survivor of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. He played Kyle, a misanthropic teenager in World's Greatest Dad, with Robin Williams, and Peter Cratchit in the 2009 film adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
Several actors and actresses have played Tarzan or Jane through the years, but to my knowledge, only Daryl Sabara has portrayed Edgar Rice Burroughs on the silver screen. He played the consummate storyteller in “John Carter.”
The actor said, “My grandfather read the 'John Carter of Mars' books to me when I was young.”
He attended the 'John Carter' Los Angeles premiere held at Regal Cinemas L.A. on February 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
“I’m an Actor, not a Horseman,” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs and Daryl Sabara inspired drabble.
“Daryl, several actors have played Tarzan over the years, but you’re the first to play Edgar Rice Burroughs. Any thoughts.”
I'M AN ACTOR, NOT A HORSEMAN
“Well, I’m not built like Tarzan. My grandfather read the John Carter books to me when I was a child. I loved those stories, but I can’t jump twenty feet in the air and I can’t use a sword. I’m thrilled they cast me in the film. Playing Edgar Rice Burroughs was an honor.”
“You seemed comfortable.”
“I was. Thank goodness I didn’t have to ride a horse or fly an airplane – or write. Burroughs did those things, I can’t.”
June 15: On this day in 1939, the Harford Connecticut Courant, a newspaper published the article, “Weissmuller Ideal Tarzan Says Creator,” by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The entire article can me read at https://www.erbzine.com/mag17/1788.html
Today’s drabble is 100 words from that article. “Perfect Tarzan.”
“It’s a thrill to see real persons enact one's characters. I’m no longer a critic of my own stories on the screen. Johnny Weissmuller is just Tarzan to me. The fact he’s ideal for the role may have something to do with it.
The real determining factor is Weissmuller’s what the public accepts as Tarzan. If they didn't, the Tarzan pictures wouldn't be the great successes they always have been. I’ve learned that readers are the real critics. No matter what an author may think he thinks, it's the public that tells him what is right and what is wrong.”
See Days 16-30 at ERBzine 7156a
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