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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
OCTOBER II Edition :: Days 16-31
See Days 1 - 15 at ERBzine 7160
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
GET IT RIGHT
October 16: On this day in 1927, the Edgar Rice Burroughs written article, “The Illustrator and the Author” appeared in "The Authors’ League Bulletin." Burroughs praised the artwork of J. Allen St. John, but he also complained about a number of the illustrations of his work.
His comment about the magazine illustration by Paul Stahr for “The War Chief,” is the drabble for today, “Get it Right.”
"If I were going to offer any suggestions to illustrators or art editors, it would be that if a story is worth illustrating, it is worth illustrating well.
GET IT RIGHT
“Referring to the magazine cover illustration of a recent Indian story of mine It is the story of an Apache Indian and in the text I describe in detail the costume worn by Apaches on the war path and when actually in battle. The illustration in question is effective, but it is not a picture of an Apache, -- but, as my son would aptly remark, "Who cares, and what of it?"October 16:
FIT TO PLAY TARZAN
October 18: On this day in 1939, Edgar Rice Burroughs appeared on the radio show, “The Texaco Star Theatre,” hosted by Ken Murray. During the broadcast, Murry tried to convince Burroughs to let him replace Johnny Weissmuller in the Tarzan films. Murry interviews Ed and the remainder of the first half of the hour long broadcast was essentially a skit featuring Murray, Frances Langford, Kenny Baker and Irene Ryan titled, “The Home Life of Mr. and Mrs. Tarzan or The Apes of Wrath.” Tarzan has to deal with dirty dishes, domestic conflict, and a cannibalistic neighbor. Burroughs holds his own on the radio show. He never got flustered or missed a beat. Nice.
This is one of few surviving examples of Edgar Rice Burroughs voice and the entire radio show is available to listen to by clicking on this link:
https://www.erbzine.com/mag15/texaco.mp3“Fit to Play Tarzan” is the drabble for today and it was inspired by Burroughs’ interview on this show. Ken Murray asked,” So Mr. Burroughs, do you spend more time writing or wandering around Africa looking for story ideas?”
FIT TO PLAY TARZAN
Burroughs answered, “I have to confess that I’ve never been to Africa.”
“I suppose you’re going to say you’ve never been to Mars either.”
“Ken, no one has been to Mars. I don’t need to go somewhere to write about it.”
Murray said, “Interesting. Irene Ryan was telling me that I should be your next Tarzan. I haven’t been to Africa either.”
“It doesn’t matter that you haven’t been to Africa, but it wouldn’t hurt you to visit a gym."
I CAN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF
October 19: on this day in 1927, Edgar Rice Burroughs presented daughter Joan with a rough draft of a play he wrote especially for her. The play, “You Lucky Girl,” as never performed or published commercially in either of their lifetimes. It was published by Donald M. Grant Inc. in 1999 in a deluxe edition in slipcase and a trade edition. The play was performed in 1997 at the Palmdale Playhouse in California.
For extensive details about the play: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0774.html
Today’s drabble is “I Can Take Care of Myself,” is taken from Danton Burroughs’ introduction to the published version of the play. Thank you, Danton
"You Lucky Girl!" in theme and subject, was years before its time and reveals Ed had a modern attitude towards women. He ridicules the accepted part of women in the marriage bond: subservience to her husband, belonging at home, a bearer of children as her major role, an extension of her husband, but remaining in the background. The idea of a woman's independence and individuality are portrayed through the conflicts endured by the female leads and how they resolve relationships with the men in their lives. It refutes the oft prevailing attitude that Ed's heroines merely exist to be rescued.”
I CAN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF
October 20: On this day in 1971. Gene Pollar died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Born Joseph Charles Pohler on September 16, 1892 in New York, he portrayed Tarzan in the film titled, “The Return of Tarzan,” aka “The Revenge of Tarzan.”
Pollar was a real life firefighter and we thank him for his service. He battled four lions at one time while filming “Return / Revenge,” including a very unhappy momma lion. He fought an orangutan named, “Joe Martin,” who decided the fight was for real after a branch slapped the beast in the face.
After surviving the filming and a career as a firefighter, Pollar died after a toe operation. Not blaming the operation, after all the man was 79 years old.
If you haven’t seen the film, it’s because almost no one living has, there are no know surviving copies. A copy is rumored to be in storage at UCLA, but the rumor is unconfirmed and the cost of restoration would be prohibitive.
The drabble for today is, "Outmatched," and it’s inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the reminisces about “The Revenge of Tarzan” by Gene Pollar.
The Sunday Star Newspaper reported said, “You’re the oldest living Tarzan, but I’ve never seen your movie.”
Gene Pollar replied, “Nope, the copies were all cellulose nitrate stock. They’re gone with the wind. Publicity photos and posters are still around.”
“Was filming dangerous?”
“I lived on set with the lions and apes. I fought Joe, the orangutan. He decided the fight was real. He didn’t monkey around. It was pretty hairy.”
“What did you do?”
“He was strong with really sharp teeth. What could I do?” Pollar laughed. “After he killed me, I retired from pictures and moved to Florida.”
WITH A WIMPER
October 21: On this day in 1929, Universal Pictures released the serial, “Tarzan the Tiger,” based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, “Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.” Frank Merrill and Natalie Kingston reprised their roles from “Tarzan the Mighty.”
Universal reacted to the success of “talking pictures” and added music and sound effects to the serial – allowing the audience to hear Merrill’s “Tarzan Yell” for the first time. His yell sounds like “Neee – yaaa.” Not the best version ever recorded and Univeral decided that Merrill’s voice wouldn’t work for talking pictures and cancelled they’re plans for another film, “Tarzan the Terrible.”
"Tarzan the Tiger" was successful in spite of the timing. It was released about the same time as the stock market crash. Burroughs wasn’t paid anything for either Universal film.
Details and stills from the film are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag5/0593.html
Hear Frank Merrill’s Tarzan yell by clicking this link:
The drabble for today is “With a Whimper,” and it was inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Frank Merrill’s version of the victory cry of a bull ape.
Henry McRae, the director of “Tarzan the Tiger” stopped Frank Merrill. “The studio insists of dubbing sound into this film, but is that the best yell you’ve got. Move closer to the microphone and try again.”
WITH A WIMPER
“For God’s sake man, it’s a victory cry. Sound like you just won a fight, not like a lion just ripped off your damn balls.”
Merrill rubbed his throat. “I’ll deepen my voice and try again.“Nee-yaaa.”
“You’re not ordering a Nehi grape soda.”
“Stop. We’ll use it. It’s not like either of us are getting any money to record this crap.”
WHO'S ON THE EASEL
October 22: On this day in 1882, artist Newell Convers Wyeth, known professionally as N.C. Wyeth, and one of the best known American artists in the 20th century was born in Needham, Massachusetts. He drew the cover illustrations for three issues (June, August, and October 1913) of New Story Magazine, when the magazine featured the serialization of “The Return of Tarzan.” www.recoverings.com reports that in spring of 1913, Wyeth was commissioned to create two covers for parts one and three of “The Return of Tarzan." The first has Tarzan dressed in European clothes riding a horse and the second is his painting of Tarzan hanging from a tree branch. The second painting was used for the cover of the first edition and several reprints of the novel.
Wyeth did a third cover illustration of New Story Magazine during the run of “The Return of Tarzan.” The illustration was not for the ERB story, but rather for ”The Burglar,” by Edward Rutledge. While Burroughs didn’t receive the cover illustration, “The Return of Tarzan” is mentioned on the cover – above the masthead. That October 1913 cover is included with this post.
Wyeth created over 3000 paintings and illustrations. He illustrated 112 books, 25 for Scribner’s classics. Hs illustration for “Treasure Island” is considered a masterpiece and it’s claimed that the illustration paid for Wyeth’s studio.
Burroughs attempted to buy the painting of Tarzan on horseback in 1913, but Wyeth wanted $100 for it. Burroughs declined saying, "I want to thank you for the trouble you have taken relative to the cover design by Mr. Wyeth. I am afraid, however, that Mr. Wyeth wants it worse than I do, so I shall be generous and let him keep it.” Several years later in 1965, Hulbert Burroughs purchased the traditional Tarzan Wyeth painting for $1500.00.
Burroughs aficionados, Pat and John, are featured in “Who’s on the Easel,” the drabble for today and it’s inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs, N.C. Wyeth, Bud Abbott, and Lou Costello.
John said, “Who drew the cover for the “The Return of Tarzan” first edition?”
WHO'S ON THE EASEL
Pat smiled, “Wyeth.”
“Because I don’t know. Stopping speaking old English. Who’s the artist?”
“I’m not speaking old English. Not who, Wyeth.”
“No, John. Watt invented the steam engine. The Who are a band. Wyeth was the painter.”
“Have it your way. Wyeth not.”
“John, stay with me. Wy Knott was a character in Heinlein book."
“I’m trying. So who’s the painter?”
“Don’t start this again. If you won’t tell me, fine. If you say, 'I don’t know, third base,' I’ll bust your nose.”
A LOT OF EFFORT
October 23: On this day in 1917, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “The People That Time Forgot.” His working title was “Cor Sva Jo.” “The People That Time Forgot” would be published in Blue Book Magazine in October 1918. The cover is a painting of an attractive young woman’s head, as was Blue Book’s cover policy of the time. They discontinued the policy in February 1919 with a cover drawn by W. H. D. Koemer that illustrated a western, “If A Woman Will,” by Elizabeth Dejeans.
For publishing details, visit https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0766.html
Other stories in the October 1918 issue included “The Mother of Bruce” by Albert Payson Terhune, “The Ambush in the Sky’ by Edwin Balmer, and “The Devil Unchained” by Clarence Herbert New, who wrote over a hundred pulp adventures. His detectives, the Bradys, appeared over a dozen times in “New York Detective Magazine.” His best known novel was “The Unseen Hand.”
The cover of an audio production of “The People That Time Forgot” produced by AudioRealms in 2007 is included with today’s ‘On this Day” article.
The drabble for today, “A Lot of Effort,” is inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Caspak trilogy.
Tom Billings left his airplane and saved a woman from a large cat and a horde of hairy men.
A LOT OF EFFORT
The two rested in a cave. Tom said, “I’m confused, you aren’t like the spear-men, arrow-men, and rope-men. What tribe or you?”
“I’m cos-ata-lu. I’ve journeyed from the starting pool many times and reached an evolutionary status where the winged Weiroos will steal me away to bear their children.
“Seems a lot of trouble to just to be kidnapped.”
“This from a man who traveled across the world to hide in a cave.”
“Sounds silly when you say it like that.”
October 24: On this day in 1940, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “Yellow Men of Mars” using the working title, “Escape on Mars.” He also used a second working title, “Llana of Mars.” “Yellow Men of Mars" was published by Amazing Stories in August of 1941 and became part three of four parts of the novel, “Llana of Gathol,” published by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. on March 26, 1948.
J. Allen St. John drew the cover and two interior illustrations for the “Amazing Stories” issue. Other writers and stories in the issue included “You Ought To Be Dead” by Robert Moore Williams, “Taxi to Jupiter” by Don Wilcox (Cleo Eldon Wilcox), and “A City on Saturn” by Henry Gade, a pseudonym for the editor, Raymond Palmer.
Details about the book and all four parts of “Llana of Gathol,” are located at
https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0738.html“Frozen,” the drabble for today is 100 words, as always, and inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs. John Carter entered the city of Pankor and assigned as the ruler’s personal bodyguard. The domed city required climate control because of its polar location.
Carter went outside and found several thousand frozen corpses hanging by their feet. Horrified, he asked, “Are these bodies stored for food?”
Hin Abtol answered. “That’s disgusting. They’re slaves. We keep them frozen until needed. That way we don’t have to feed them or provide them with clothing or other needs.”
“Before I rose to power, my father spent years hanging frozen outside the city.”
Carter smiled, “So your father was a popsicle?”
NOT SURE WHO AM I
October 25: On this day in 1915, Edgar Rice Burroughs penned the first words to “H. R. H. The Rider,” a thirty-eight thousand word story. It was serialized in three parts in December 1918 in “All Story Weekly.” H. R. H. The Rider,” a novella, was combined with “The Oakdale Affair” for book publication in 1937 by Edgar Rice Burroughs Incorporated.
The European nations, Karlova and Margoth had warred for centuries, but peace was eminent with the upcoming marriage of Princess Mary and Prince Boris. However a highwayman, known only as the Rider secretly involved himself in the wedding plans and things began to fall apart. Confusion about who is whom wreaks havoc on the two kingdoms. The story features mistaken identities, intentional and otherwise, themes that appear in several Burroughs’ novels.
I included the Ace Books’ cover by Frank Frazetta with this article. For more information about Frank Frazetta, visit
www.ERBzine.com/ff and https://www.facebook.com/frazettagirlsH. R. H. Rider publication details are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0764.htmlToday’s drabble, “Not Sure Who Am I,” is inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Prince Boris encountered a masked horseman on the road. “Who the devil or you,” he demanded.
NOT SURE WHO AM I
The man replied. “I thought I was the Rider, but I saw myself stop a carriage yesterday.”
“That was me, you idiot, pretending to be you.”
The highwayman paused. “And I was pretending to be Prince Boris.”
Boris replied, “Are you the Rider, a prince pretending to be the Rider, or a highwayman pretending to be a prince?”
“I’m confused. Are you the real prince, or a highwayman masquerading as the prince?”
“I’m not sure anymore. Let’s find a tavern and sort it out.”
SHOW ME THE MONEY
October 26: On this day in 1936, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote “The Lightship Murder," an Inspector Muldoon mystery. It was published in “Rob Wagner’s Script, a weekly magazine distributed primarily on the west coast. The story was included in the book, “Forgotten Tales of Love and Murder,” published by my friends, John Guidry and Pat Adkins,” in 2001. The complete story is available at:
https://www.erbzine.com/mag64/6409.htmlERBInc. is publishing Inspector Muldroon Mystery comic strip online at:
Today’s drabble, “Show Me The Money” is inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and his tales of Inspector Muldoon.
After questioning the sailors, Inspector Muldoon interviewed Ester MacTeevor, a woman who was somehow involved with the murdered man, Daniel MacTeevor. Ester admitted she was related to Daniel, but denied being “blood kin.”
SHOW ME THE MONEY
Muldoon said, “The men say you fought with Daniel.”
Ester sneered. “About money. What do you think? I’d ask him for money, ten dollars, twenty dollars, sometimes five dollars, and even a hundred dollars a couple of times.”
“Miz MacTeevor, what in the world did you spend all that money on?”
“I didn’t spend it on nothing. The cheapskate never gave me any.”
October 27: On this day in 1967, the 7th episode of season two of “Tarzan” starring Ron Ely debuted. This second season episode, “The Fanatics,” featured actress, Diana Hyland.
Tarzan helps a crusading woman reporter (Diana Hyland) expose a fraudulent tribal election.
Diana Hyland, born Diana Gentner, in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, originated the role of “Heavenly Finley in Tennessee Williams’s “Sweet Bird of Youth” on Broadway. During a 22 year acting career, she appeared in “The Man From Uncle,” several episodes of “Dr. Kildare,” “Wagon Train,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “The Fugitive,” “I Spy,” and “The Green Hornet,” among several other television shows. She was cast as Joan Bradford in “Eight is Enough,” but died from breast cancer after filming four episodes.
Today’s drabble, “Enough Already,” is based on the Tarzan episode, and the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
“Tarzan,” said Diana, a reporter, “The foreigners are trying to buy the tribal election. They’ll destroy the rainforest. You have to slop them.”
“Cut, said William Whitney, the director. “Diana, it’s stop them, not slop them. Try again. Take six.”
“Tarzan, the foreigners are scrying…”
“Cut. They aren’t scrying. They don’t have a crystal ball. “Take seven.”
“Ron, said Diana.”
“Cut. Call him Tarzan, not Ron."
“Tarzan, the foreigners are trying to influence the tribal election. They’ll cut down the rainforest. You must stop them.” She turned to Whitney. “How was that?”
“Close enough. No more takes. Eight is enough.”
LIKE VINTAGE WINE
October 28: On this day in 2012, author Scott Tracy Griffin's first signing session for "Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration" was held at the University of Louisville's Ekstrom Library on a Sunday. The book is a wealth of information and a must have for the Burroughs’ collector.
Celebrating one hundred years of Tarzan, Titan Books presents the only official commemorative illustrated history of this worldwide phenomenon. To celebrate the Lord of the Jungle’s 100th birthday, internationally-acclaimed Edgar Rice Burroughs expert Scott Tracy Griffin presents the ultimate review of a century of Tarzan. Lavishly illustrated and with fascinating insight into every element of Burroughs’ extraordinary legacy – from his first writings to the latest stage musical – this is a visual treasure trove of classic comic strip, cover art, movie stills, and rare ephemera.
From the first publication of the smash hit Tarzan of the Apes, Burroughs’ ape man captured the hearts and the imaginations of adults and children across the globe, whether by written word, moving image, comic strip or radio. Each of the 24 original novels and the many varied appearances on stage, screen and in print receive a detailed commentary, illustrated with some of the most evocative and beautiful artworks, illustrations and photographs, many rarely seen in print before.
The book is available for $39.95 from several online retailers including Amazon:
Details about the book and the centennial are at the link:
https://www.erbzine.com/mag38/3899.html“Like Vintage Wine” is the drabble for today and it’s inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tracy Scott Griffin’s book, “Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration.” The reporter said, “Mr. Griffin, this is a beautiful book, but I wonder if Tarzan would still appeal to people today. He’s not faster than a speeding bullet and he can’t fly. He doesn’t have any superpowers.”
LIKE VINTAGE WINE
“He can talk to jungle animals. He’s tireless. Most importantly, he’s brave and honorable.”
“Perhaps, even so, I wonder if he’d be able to compete with today’s superheroes and villains like the X-Men and Wolverine. Could he beat Wolverine today?”
Griffin answered. “Of course, but it might take him a while.”
“He was born around 1888. He’d be over 130 years old.”
GET WHAT YOU WANT
October 29: On this day in 1933, the Hal Foster Sunday Tarzan Comic Strip was “Combat.” The magnificently illustrated full page comic is summarized in prose and reproduced in ERBzine at:
https://www.erbzine.com/mag59/5945.htmlPrince Kamur, rushed upon the ape-man. But Tarzan ducked and met the giant with a deadly blow. Kamur staggered breathless and the ape-man leaped upon his back, locking him in the steely grip that had broken the back of Numa the lion. Nikotris, torn between love and duty, could desire neither defeat for Kamur, who fought for her love, nor defeat for Tarzan, who fought for her peopleThe battle was over so quickly that the watchers stood stunned to silence, all but Nikotris, who clasped Kamur to her and implored him to speak.
The Pharaoh called upon Tarzan to name his own reward for the victory.
"I ask no reward for myself, O Pharaoh," said the ape-man. "I ask it for Nikotris. Yield her in marriage to Prince Kamur." The Egyptians cried out in horror at the request. But the Pharaoh said, "So be it. I have promised only if my sister weds Kamur, she dies to me and mine. And you Tarzan, stand forever banished from my kingdom."
Today’s drabble, “Get What I Want,” is based on that strip and the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Nikotris and Tarzan walked alongside the soldiers who carried Prince Kamur, who Tarazan had defeated in combat, on their shields. “Tarzan, I’m torn. We’ve have been banished. The Pharaoh and his people think we’re evil.”
GET WHAT YOU WANT
Tarzan laughed. “Think about it this way. You’ll marry your true love, Prince Kamur, You don’t have to kowtow to your brother. I get to do home. One thing I learned in the jungle is that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose and it doesn’t matter what people think – as long as you get what you want. That makes us all winners today.”
THE PRICE OF BETRAYAL
October 30: According to ERBzine , on this day 90 years ago in 1930, the first installment of “Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle” appeared in the October issue of Blue Book Magazine. The novel was published as the book, “Tarzan the Invincible,” by ERB Inc. on November 21, 1931 with a cover by Studley Burroughs.
The Blue Book issues featured cover art by Laurence Herndon on six of the seven issues. From 1918 until 1938 he painted pulp magazine covers for Argosy, Blue Book, Complete Stories, Over The Top, Sea Stories, The Popular, Top-Notch, War Birds, and Western Story.
In 1934 he began to teach illustration at the New York School of Applied Design for Women at 160 Lexington Avenue. In 1955, a fire in his New York studio destroyed most of his paintings. How sad.
“The Price of Betrayal” is the drabble for today and it was inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and “Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle.”
La, the High Priestess of Opar, was overthrown and imprisoned by her rival, Oah. Tarzan helped her escape.
THE PRICE OF BETRAYAL
After surviving a storm, La was attacked by a leopard. Jad-bal-ja, Tarzan’s lion killed the leopard. La, dazed by the storm wandered aimlessly and was captured by slavers.
A slaver tried to rape La. She killed him with his own knife. La and Jad-bal-ja reunited with Tarzan and his tribe, the Wazari, and returned to Opar. La regained her throne.
Tarzan suggested mercy for the usurpers. La said, “No, they die. The Flaming God requires the price of disloyalty to be death.”
October 31:, 2020 was the first Halloween ever that we haven’t decorated and passed out candy to trick or treaters. I mean from when I was a small child. It just isn’t prudent this year.
However, on t in 1903, Edgar Rice Burroughs began his life as a writer by writing his first piece of fiction. “Minidoka 937th Earl of One Mile Series M. An Historical Fairy Tale.”
The story consisted of 82 handwritten pages on the backs of letterhead and other odd sheets of mismatched paper. This first writing effort foreshadows some Burroughs’ themes and techniques. He makes up colorful names – that are suitable to the behavior of his characters. Evil people have names that evoke evil. There are strange words that seem normal in the odd settings that Burroughs creates.
In his heyday, many of Burroughs’ books saw magazine publication within days of completion. The 937th Earl wouldn’t see print for 95 years when it was published by Dark Horse Comics, Inc. It was 6 pages long and edited by Peet James. The books cover was by J. Allen St. John. How nice is that.
As for the story of the 937th Earl, I’ll let the Dark Horse Comics pre-release promo for the first edition of the book speak for it. Today’s drabble is excerpted from that promotion written by editor, Peet James. Call it “The First Dance.”
“The Minidoka manuscript is complete, right down to ERB’s corrections of the typewritten pages. Minidoka is the strongest glimpse yet into the mind of the Master of Adventure, a masterpiece hidden away for almost a century.
THE FIRST DANCE
Minidoka follows the pattern of many ‘Jack’ fables, but Burroughs puts his singular spin on it, adding social commentary, at times with subtlety, and at times with a sledgehammer. The result is a sprawling fairy tale bright enough to delight younger readers, yet sophisticated enough to entertain adults. This is something that Burroughs fans and fans of 20th century American literature should not miss.”
Back to Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7160
OCTOBER IIa ILLUSTRATIONS COLLAGE
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Copyright 2020: Robert Allen Lupton
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