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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
AUGUST II Edition :: Days 1 - 15
See Days 16 - 31 at ERBzine 7158a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
DRESS THE PART
August 1: On this day in 1941, “Goddess of Fire” was published in Fantastic Adventures. Edgar Rice Burroughs was paid $405.60 for the story that became the second section of “Escape On Venus.” The cover by J. Allen St. John was considered too risqué by the publisher and W. H. McCauley was hired to draw clothes on the nude goddess drawn by St. John. Fantastic Adventures was published by Ziff-Davis and edited by Ray Palmer, who had a tendency to buy his own stories.
McCauley illustrated hundreds of pulp magazines and created a genre unto himself, known as the Coca Cola Mac Girls, however his only Edgar Rice Burroughs illustration was dressing the nude goddess of fire. The McCauley illustration in this post wasn’t for an Edgar Rice Burroughs story, but it could have been.
Today’s drabble is “Dress the Part.”
DRESS THE PART
“Palmer at Ziff-Davis. I bought Burroughs’ new story and J. Allen St. John drew the cover. He drew the woman buck naked and he refuses to redraw it.”
“Sure, but I owe you three covers right now.”
“I don’t want a new cover. I want you to draw clothes on the girl.”
“Maybe you should hire Bergdorf Goodman. He’s the top fashion designer in the country right now.”
“The goddess isn’t going to lunch at the Waldorf Astoria.”
“Okay, a hundred bucks.”
“I could buy a real dress for that.”
“A real dress won’t fix your cover problem.”
I DRAW WHAT I READ
August 2: On this day in 1962, the Oxford University Press published, “A Princess of Mars” as part of their educational series, Stories Told and Retold.” The book contained 6 pages of “exercises” in the back of the book. The series consisted of books by predominately British writers, A. Conan Doyle, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Shakespeare, and the like– Edgar Rice Burroughs was the only American on the list. Nevertheless, A.M. Hadfield was hired to condense “Princess” and retell the tale.
Gay Galsworthy drew 19 sketches for edition. The illustrations are remarkably faithful to the text of the novel. All the illustrations may be viewed at
Alice Mary Hadfield, was a British book editor and author, the co-ordinating editor of the first edition of “The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations” (1941), and the librarian at Oxford University Press's Amen House. Her first published work was “What Happens Next” (A novel), published by Falcon Press in 1950. She wrote on a diverse range of subjects that included British and local history, particularly of her native Cotswolds, produced a number of works with her husband, who was an expert on British canals, and wrote a children's series known as "The Williver Chronicles".
The Edgar Rice Burroughs and Gay Galsworthy inspired drabble for today is “I Draw What I Read.”
“Gay, I’ve looked at your lovely illustrations for “A Princess of Mars.” I’m a bit shocked by the lack of clothing.”
I DRAW WHAT I READ
“Mary Alice, you said to be faithful to the books. John Carter was naked when he arrived on Mars. The Green Martians wear nothing but a weapons’ harness. Red Martian men wear the same. The women wear jewelry.”
“I rather thought that Carter would obtain proper clothing once he reached the red planet.”
“It’s not like he could pop into a Harrods or a Marks & Spencer for a fitting appointment. There’s not a department store on the planet.”
STILL IN SHAPE
August 3: On this day in 1934, actor Patrick O’Gorman was born in Visalia, California. He played Conrad in Asylum’s 2009 direct to video production of “The Land That Time Forgot.” Gorman has background in musical comedy and he performed with Judy Garland around the country and at the Palace Theater in New York City. He also did shows with Donald O’Connor, Sammy Davis Jr. and Jimmy Durante.
He has appeared in several films and television shows including “Three Days of the Condor, “Rough Riders,” “Westworld.” “Happy Days,” “MacGyver,” and ”NCIS:LA.” He was Chris Evans’ body double in the role of the elderly Steve Rogers (Captain America) in Avengers: Endgame.”
Patrick retains his work-ethic from dance and still trains in Aikido and was awarded his 4th Degree Black Belt in May 2015. The man is 86 and he still rocks.
“Still in Shape” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs and Patrick O’Gorman inspired drabble.
“Patrick,” said Thomas Howell. “We’ll run a quarter mile from here to that cliff in the next scene. Special effects will add the tyrannosaurus later. I know that you’re over 70. Do you need a double for the shot?
STILL IN SHAPE
“Thomas, I’m a third degree black belt. I run three times a week. How old are you, forty-five.” I’m sure I can outrun you.”
“Big talk. Can you outrun all of us?”
“Maybe. If this was for real, I wouldn’t have to. There’s one tyrannosaurus and six people. I only have to outrun you and I can damn sure do that.”
VISIONS OF MARS
August 4: On this date in 2013, the Mars Phoenix mission was launched from Cape Canaveral. The launch vehicle was a Delta II. The Phoenix Lander touched down on May 25, 2008 at Vastitas Borealis on the arctic plains of Mars. The mission was completed on November 2, 2008.
The lander is still sitting quietly near its landing location. Details concerning the mission are available at: https://mars.nasa.gov/internal_resources/817/
One of the lesser known facts about the mission is that it established beyond a shadow of a doubt that John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Tars Tarkas, Woola, Vad Varo, and every other character who appeared in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ eleven Barsoom books is on Mars. Part of the mission payload was an archival silica-glass DVD designed by The Planetary Society and sent along on the spacecraft.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, of Tarzan fame, paid no attention to scientific considerations in his early 20th century Mars novels, which are also represented on the disk. Nevertheless, the immense popularity of his tales of high adventure taught millions to think of Mars as a place to go to, a possible setting for human action. His successors, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Poul Anderson, and Arthur Clarke expanded on Wells' and Burroughs' images with scientifically informed and culturally sophisticated visions of a possible Martian future. They, and many others included in the disk, form a rich and nuanced tapestry of what the Red Planet has meant to humans at the end of the second millennium. Simply put, this modest looking disk is a digital record of our collective dream of Mars.
I think it’s fitting that Burroughs’ stories of the Red Planet are now on Mars. There’s no doubt in my mind that he inspired most of men who were responsible for the spacecraft. Our fascination with Mars is, in no small part, a product of ERB’s work.
Today’s drabble was written by the Planetary Society. Here’s "Visions of Mars.”
“Visions of Mars is a message from our world to the future human inhabitants of Mars. It launched on its way to the Red Planet on August 4, 2007 aboard the spacecraft Phoenix. Along with personal messages from several leading space visionaries of our time, Visions of Mars includes a priceless collection of Mars literature, and art, and a list of hundreds of thousands of names of space enthusiasts from all around the world. The entire collection was encoded on an archival silica-glass mini-DVD provided by The Planetary Society, designed to last hundreds -- if not thousands -- of years.”
VISIONS OF MARS
YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND
August 5: On this day in 1932, Blue Book Magazine published an editorial entitled, “Tarzan for President.” Donald Kennicott, Blue Books’ longest tenured editor, is credited with writing the short piece. The issue had a cover date of July 1932. Joseph Chenoweth drew the cover illustration for the “The Moon Gods” by Edgar Jepson and Sidney Gowing. “Tarzan and the Leopard Men” began in the next issue.
The entire editorial is available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0074.html
Today’s drabble taken from that editorial, with apologies to the Muppets for use of the title, is “You’ve Got A Friend.”
“A citizen, well wearied with political pettifoggery and propaganda, recently wrote a letter to a New York newspaper. The desperate citizen had a brilliant and simple suggestion which the newspapers liked well enough to pass on to its readers.
YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND
"Let us elect Tarzan to the Presidency. He at least went places and did things."
Unfortunately we cannot have many of the things we want. We cannot, for example, have Tarzan for President. We can, however, have him for a job that is individually more important to us: We can have him for a friend in need and a needed refuge.”
I'LL BE BACK
August 6: On this day in 2016, Scott Tracy Griffin’s magnificent book, “Tarzan of Film” was published. Amazon lists the publication date as August 2, 2016, but the author says the actual publication date was August 6th. The 224 page coffee table size book was published by Titan Books. In this profusely illustrated authoritative volume, writer and historian Scott Tracy Griffin traces the development of the history-making Tarzan franchise, from the motion-picture industry’s early silent films and serials, through the high point of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer era featuring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan, to modern worldwide hits like Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes and Walt Disney Studios’ animated Tarzan.
The book is available for purchase online from Barnes and Noble and Amazon, among other places.
Details on the book and an interview with the author are at:Today’s drabble was written by Scott Tracy Griffin and has been slightly edited to exactly 100 words. It refers to 1970s, a period when Tarzan was mostly absent from television and films. Let’s call it “I’ll Be Back.”
“When Tarzan left the cinemas, it wasn’t because of lackluster attendance at his films. Like an athlete retiring at his peak, the ape man when out on a high note, still drawing theater goers … before springing back into action with success of 1981’s “Tarzan the Ape Man,” “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan” and Disney’s “Tarzan."
I'LL BE BACK
Tarzan hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s still there. Watching, Waiting. Ready to pounce on an unsuspecting public and delight them.
Enjoy the fifty plus incarnations on the big and small screen and 24 novels and then try to withhold that ape cry. I dare you.”
August 7: On this day in 1925, General Hamas Carrillo, on behalf of the of the Mexican Arm, paid $1000 for ERB’s horse, Brigadier Rex at a public auction at the Breakfast Club polo field. The intent of the purchase was to provide breeding stock to improve the horses available to the Mexican Army. The Mexican Revolution had seriously depleted the available horse stork in Mexico.
The press release represents Brigadier Rex as a five-gaited horse. The gaits are walk, trot, cantor (gallop), rack (a fast lateral four beat gait where each foot meets the ground at specific intervals) and stepping pace (similar to the rack, but the hind foot hits slightly before the lateral forefoot.) Five gaited horses are considered rare. Brigadier Rex was set free in the open range. I hope he had a nice life.
A photocopy of the press release is located at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag33/3399.html
Today’s drabble, "Brigadier Rex,” is taken from the press release dated October 3, 1925.
General Hamas Carrillo of the Mexican Army is engaged in the purchase of breeding stock to replenish the saddle horses of Mexico.
The most outstanding individual in this class is the well-known saddle stallion, “Brigadier Rex,” owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Brigadier Rex, a six year old five-gaited stallion, was purchased by Mr. Burroughs as a two year old and was used as a saddle horse at this home ranch, Tarzana , in Southern California.
Rex will be set at liberty on the open range with three hundred mares where he doubtless will become a veritable “king of wild horses.”
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY OF YOUR BIRTHDAY
August 8: On this day in 1928, Joan Burroughs married the man who played Tarzan in “Tarzan and the Golden Lion,” James Pierce, at Tarzana Ranch. It was also the groom’s 28th birthday.
The wedding was held on the scenic grounds of Tarzana Ranch on one of the hottest days of summer. It was catered by the Elite Catering Service and the grounds were packed with limousines and Marmons, Packards, Auburns, Cords... and Jim's new Nash roadster -- a twin-ignition car, the first and last of its kind. The whole event was recorded on 16 mm film.
While Pierce was given a contract to make another Tarzan film as a wedding present, he never played Tarzan on the big screen again, but he and his bride, Joan Burroughs Pierce appeared on the radio as Tarzan and Jane for several years.
“Happy Anniversary of Your Birthday” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired 100 word drabble.
Edgar Rice Burroughs asked his daughter, “Why did you decide to get married on Jim’s birthday. Is it because you only have to remember to buy your husband one gift a year instead of separate gifts on his birthday and anniversary.”
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY OF YOUR BIRTHDAY
“Dad, that may be true, but this way he’ll probably remember our anniversary. You don’t seem to do too well at that.”
“Joan, are you saying that I don’t know my own wedding anniversary?”
“Well, when is it?”
“I wrote it down somewhere, I write everything down.”
“Uh, January, maybe February.”
“Check your notes. I won’t tell mom.”
LOST IN THE DEEP JUNGLE
August 9: On this day eight years ago in 2012, Christopher Paul Carey’s novel, “Exiles of Kho,” was published by Meteor House. The novel is a prelude to Philip Jose Farmer’s Khokarsa series, which was based on the ancient African city of Opar – created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The book was released in limited signed paperback and signed hardback editions. Both have long since sold out, but the book is available Nook and on also on Kindle at the following link:
The drabble today is an excerpt from the blurb about the book – I expect it was written by Mr. Carey, himself.
Hundreds of years before the hero Hadon sailed forth from his shining city of gold and jewels upon his legendary adventures, the heroine-priestess Lupoeth set out upon the decree of the oracle to discover a new land upon the untamed shores of ancient Africa’s southern sea. But Lupoeth finds herself little prepared for the trials ahead, as well as those that follow upon her heels—for the jealous queen who wants her rival banished has appointed a worshiper of the sun god as the expedition’s priest, hoping to undermine the mission and seal its doom. Lost in the deep jungle…
LOST IN THE DEEP JUNGLE
August 10: On this day in 1923, The Macaulay Company published “The Girl From Hollywood.” The dust jacket illustration was drawn by PJ Monahan and his drawing was repeated in black and white for the frontispiece. The Macaulay Company published eight, maybe nine editions of the book- each with slight differences. Some editions omit the words, “he said,” from the frontispiece.
According to Robert B. Zeuschner in “Edgar Rice Burroughs The Bibliography,” the true first edition does contain the words “he said” on the frontispiece caption and the reddish cloth binding has a rough horizontally woven grain texture. It isn’t pebbled or bubbled.
I believe the cloth binding is Joanna Western Arrestox, a book binding cloth produced by Joanna Western Mills in Kingsport, TN. My copy meets those requirements, which is purely luck, since I had no idea there were so many variants when I found it. Maccaulay was based in New York and active from 1909 to 1939. There are several publishers with similar names in both the US and England.
The drabble for today is “Publicity Still.”
Grace Evens was arrested by an undercover narcotic’s officer. Detective George DeMille.
He handcuffed her and took her to the police station. She was charged with possession of a controlled substance, soliciting, and driving under the influence.
Grace’s fingerprints were taken and she was shoved into place for her booking photo.
She said, “A moment, please.” She wiped her face on her sleeve and ran her fingers through her hair. She looked at her reflection in the glass and dabbed at her mascara and lipstick.
She stepped into position and faced the camera. “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”
August 11: On this day In 1994, Peter Cushing died in Canterbury, England. Cushing is the only actor, so far, to play Abner Perry, inventor of the iron mole and explorer of Pellucidar on screen. He played the role in 1976’s “At The Earth’s Core.” During his career, Cushing performed a role in almost every horror, fantasy, and science fiction franchise. He made 22 films for Hammer Studios including, “The Curse of Frankenstein,” “The Revenge of Frankenstein.” “The Evil of Frankenstein,” “Frankenstein Created Women,” “Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed,” and “Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell.” He portrayed Doctor Van Helsing in six vampire films, five of which were Dracula films. He played Sherlock Holmes, appeared in “The Mummy,’ The Abominable Snowman,” opposite Richard Green in “The Sword of Sherwood Forest,” “The Gorgon,” and three erotic vampire films.
I can’t list everything in this post, but will mention one more role. George Lucas approached Cushing to play Obi-Wan Kenobi, but Cushing was too busy with “At the Earth’s Core” and “land of the Minotaur” and didn’t have enough time available for the demands of that role and settled on playing Gran Moff Tarkin. The man influenced the childhood of every fan of horror and science fiction. He still does.
The drabble for today is “Divergent Dialogue.”
“Mr. Cushing,” said Kevin Connor, “You play an elderly scientist who’s invented a machine that can tunnel into the Earth’s core. You’ll act the role as a brilliant man who’s a little confused.”
“Sounds like type casting. I think I’m brilliant. My wife thinks I’m confused.
“We’re on a tight budget, so the script is minimal. I’ll describe a scene and you and Doug McClure will have to ad-lib. You gotta get it right, I can’t afford more than two takes. I’m counting on you. Remember dialogue from the old Hammer films and improvise. Peter Cushing, you’re our only hope.”
RESPECT AT WORK
August 12: On this day in 2012, comic book artist and writer, Joe Kubert. died. He founded the Kubert School and is best known for his work illustrating DC Comics, including Tarzan, Sgt. Rock, and Hawkman, and Rima the Jungle Girl. He is credited with creating Tor, Son of Sinbad, and The Viking Prince. At DC Comics, he supervised the production of Weird Worlds.
On his watch, the Edgar Rice Burroughs comic adaptions were considered some of the most faithful ever produced. Even his original story lines retained the flavor and feel of ERB works. He was the managing editor of St. John Publications and produced the first 3-D comics. Kubert was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1998.
“Respect the Work” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs and Joe Kubert inspired drabble.
Julius Swartz said, “Kubert, it’s great that we’ve got the Edgar Rice Burroughs’ rights. I can’t wait to see Tarzan and Batman together. Imagine the Martian Manhunter battling Tars Tarkas.
RESPECT AT WORK
“You’ll need to put someone else in charge. I won’t mix the universes. Tarzan stays in his world and Superman stays in his.”
“We bought the rights, Joe, we can do what we want.”
“There’s a difference between want and should. Too often movie producers by a book and then change everything about it. If you liked it well enough to buy it, respect it enough to leave it alone.”
BOX OF CHOCOLATES
August 13: On this day in 1975, the Amicus Films production of “The Land That Time Forgot” premiered. American International Pictures largely funded the film and handled most of the distribution. Stuart Whitman was originally cast in the lead, but American International Pictures objected and threatened to withdraw funding if he wasn’t replaced. Doug McClure was promptly hired. Kevin Connor directed and the script was credited to James Cawthorn and Michael Moorcock. Doug McClure was the only person in the cast that I knew by name when the film was released. Bobby Parr played Ahm and Susan Penhaligon portrayed Lys LaRue. The movie was filmed in the Shepperton Studios in England, the Canary Islands, and the Scottish Highlands.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs and Stuart Whitman inspired drabble today is "Box of Chocolates."
Kevin Connor said, “McClure, I’m glad to have you onboard.”
BOX OF CHOCOLATES
“What happened to Stuart Whitman? Is he sick or is he too busy right now?”
“No, at first I thought the producer confused him with that singer, Slim Whitman.”
Doug said, “They wish. Slim sold over seventy million records.”
“American International executives hated Stuart’s screen test.”
‘You mean like a Whitman Sampler?”
Doug smiled. “You know what they say, life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
“Never heard that before.”
“I just made it up. I bet it’ll be a famous saying someday.”
KORAK ON PATROL
August 14: On this date in 1920, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “Tarzan the Terrible,” the eighth book in the Tarzan series. The book begins where “Tarzan the Untamed” ended. It was serialized in Argosy All-Story Weekly in 7 episodes beginning of February 12, 1921. The A. C. McClurg first edition, with St. John cover and nine interior plates, was published on June 20, 1921. Tarzan the Terrible was reprinted in 1922 by McClurg and Grosset & Dunlap in 1923, 1934, 1940, 1943, 1949, 1955, and 1959. Whitman published a Big Little Book in 1942. Ballantine and Del Rey published paperback reprints – the last one in 1967. Russ Manning did a great adaption of the story for the Sunday comics.
Today’s drabble, “Korak on Patrol,” is the blurb from the back of the first Ballantine edition of the book.
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, seeking to find and save his parents.
KORAK ON PATROL
August 15: On this day in 1936, actor Michael Dennis Henry was born in Los Angeles. When I started writing this post, my first reaction was “This can’t be right. Mike Henry can’t be +85 years old!” Henry portrayed Tarzan in three movies: "Tarzan and the Valley of Gold," "Tarzan and the Great River," "Tarzan and the Jungle Boy" Mike was film Tarzan number 14. His portrayal of the apeman was, in my opinion, the most visually faithful to the Tarzan character as described by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The former Pittsburg Steeler and Los Angeles Ram, Mike appeared in “Rio Lobo,” “Soylent Green,” “The Longest Yard,” and three Smokey and the Bandit movies. Rafer Johnson, an Olympic decathlon champion appeared with Henry in two of the films, “Tarzan and the Great River’ and “Tarzan and the Jungle Boy.” Johnson was drafted by the Rams in 1959, but never played pro football.
As a side note, Henry’s daughter, Tracy Reiner, is a film actress with an impressive list of credits. Tracy, whose mother is Penny Marshall, appeared in “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Big,” “Diehard,” “Beaches,” “When Harry Met Sally,” and “Apollo 13” – among others.
“Professional Rivalry” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs and Mike Henry inspired drabble, a conversation that never took place.
Mike Henry and Rafer Johnson battled on a narrow bridge over the great river.Mike Henry gasped, “Rafer, that hurts. You’re choking me too hard. We’re supposed to be acting.”
I’m acting like I’m choking you. Act like you’re choking. What’s the matter, is a 13th round draft pick hurting the football star?”
“I am choking. You turned down a pro career to be an Olympic Champion. I was a Steeler in 1959. Don’t blame me that the Rams didn’t sign you.”
“Why shouldn’t I blame you?”
“Neither of us were on a Wheaties box.”
Johnson loosened his grip. “Fair enough.”
See Days 16-31 at ERBzine 7158a
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