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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
JUNE IIIa Edition :: Days 16-30
See Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7384
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
June 16: On this day in 1928, Argosy All-Story Weekly published the 5th installment of 6 parts of “Apache Devil.” Roger B. Morrison drew one black and white illustration for the issue. The cover of the issue was by Edgar Franklin Wittmack and it illustrated the novelette “The White Antelope” by Charles L. Hall. Other stories in the issue included ‘One Man’s Brain, Inc.” by John Wilsach and “The Monkey’s Mate’ by Robert Beith.
The drabble for today is “Some Folks,” and it was inspired by the mixed reception that “Apache Devil” received in the 1920s. Some fans of Burroughs’ Tarzan and interplanetary romances didn’t know what to make of a story about the American West – especially not one where Native Americans weren’t portrayed in the traditional pulp magazine or dime novel style. Thanks to the band, Sawyer Brown, for the the chorus of their song "Some Girls," modified for the last line of this drabble.
Apache Devil sat on the bookshelf in the bookstore next to a copy of “The Princess of Mars.” Apache said, “Hi, you’re the twelfth copy of Princess this month. Last month, there were seven more of you.”
Princess said, “Don’t worry about it. You’ll sell soon enough.”
“I’m concerned that people have been writing mean things about me. People who don’t like me should be punished!”
“If you’re a good book, you’ll survive any criticisms. They still write bad things about me too. I don’t try to please everyone. Some folks don’t like books like me, but some folks do!”
June 17: On this day in 1914, A. C. McClurg officially published “Tarzan of the Apes.” McClurg printed 5000 copies, ordered 2500 copies from another printer (with an acorn on the spine) and another 2500 copies without the acorn. For details on how to tell if your copy is a first edition, one source is “Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Bibliography. The first and simplest test is ‘who published the book.’ A. L. Burt and ‘Grosset and Dunlap’ DID NOT print any first editions written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. “Tarzan of the Apes” has to be published by A. C. McClurg to be a first edition. If it’s a McClurg, all that’s left to figure out is which of the three states the copy is.
I suggest this website: http://www.erbfirsts.com/tarzan-html/t1.asp
For illustrations and publishing details, visit: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0483.html
Today’s 100 word drabble, “Acorn,” features my old friends from New Orleans, “John and Pat.”
“Pat, I found a first edition of “Tarzan of the Apes” at the book fair yesterday.”
“A. C. McClurg?”
“Which of the three states? Is there an acorn on the spine? Is W. F. Hall Printing on the copyright page printed in Old English typeface or in Gothic typeface?”
“I didn’t check those things. Why does anyone care about the typeface or a stupid acorn?”
“An old English proverb obviously applies here. “From a single acorn, a mighty oak tree grows.”
“Pat, you just made that up.”
“Yes, but think about it. If the parable fits, wear it?”
June 18: On this day in 1903, British actor, John Warburton was born in Drogheda, Ireland. Some sources give his birthday as June 18, 1899. In 1915, he stowed away on a freighter in order to reach America, where he embarked on an acting career. His first film was RKO’s “Secrets of the French Police” in 1932. Warburton appeared in 35 episodes of television’s “Fireside Theater” and had a role on the Star Trek Episode “Balance of Terror.”
Warburton portrayed Carl Marley, the man who financially backed the safari of the unscrupulous big game huntress, Tanya Rawlins, in the film “Tarzan and the Huntress.” Weissmuller appeared as Tarzan, Brenda Joyce played Jane and Johnny Sheffield was Boy.
For details about "Tarzan and the Huntress" visit https://www.erbzine.com/mag6/0627.html
The drabble for today is “Old Enough” and it was inspired by John Warburton.
“Mr. Warburton, I understand you stowed away on a freighter in 1915 to come to America.”
“Yes, war was brewing in Europe and I wanted to be in pictures. They weren’t making many films in Ireland. The theater scene in Dublin was pretty bleak. I wandered down to the wharf, picked up a bag of flour, tossed in over my shoulder, and walked aboard a freighter. I hid for five days.”
“You were what, 12 years old?’
“Maybe I was 12 or maybe a little older. Certainly old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway. ”
BE LIKE TARZAN!
June 19: On this day in 1937, Rob Wagner’s Script Magazine published the article, “Birth of Tarzan by His Poppa.” Script Magazine published several articles and stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs, including the Inspector Muldoon Murder Mysteries.
Wagner, who discovered early on that he could make more money writing about the film industry than writing for it, covered the industry for “The Saturday Evening Post,” “Collier’s,” Liberty,” “Photoplay,” and others, founded the Motion Picture Relief Fund in 1921, along with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D. W. Griffin. Wagner and his wife started “Script” in 1929. Besides Edgar Rice Burroughs, Walt Disney, William Saroyan. Ogden Nash, Dalton Trumbo, Ray Bradbury, and Charles Chaplin wrote for the magazine. Bradbury regularly contributed short stories from 1940 through 1947.
The photograph is of Rob Wagner and artist, Leo Politi, circa 1940. Politi wrote and illustrated children’s stories – his “Son of the Swallows” won the Caldecott award in 1950.
The drabble for today, “Be Like Tarzan!’ is an excerpt from that article. It was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Tarzan of the Apes wasn’t written primarily for children, and my files contain letters of appreciation from men and women of all ages and from all walks of life -- school teachers, librarians, college professors, priests, doctors, lawyers, soldiers, sailors, and business men, among which are names internationally famous; but possibly the greatest pleasure I have derived from the publication of my stories has come through the knowledge that they’ve appealed also to children and that I have given them a character, however improbable he may seem, that will set them for a higher standard of manliness, integrity and sportsmanship."
BE LIKE TARZAN!
KORAK ON THE PROWL
June 20: On this day in 1921, A. C. McClurg published “Tarzan the Terrible.” The novel had been serialized for seven weeks in Argosy All-Story Weekly earlier that year. The first edition cover and nine interior illustrations were by J. Allen St. John. The first edition print run was 45,000 copies and the book was 408 pages long.
Robert B. Zeuschner lists 32 printings in his “Edgar Rice Burroughs The Bibliography, Joe Lukes identifies 20 Grosset and Dunlap “Pre-war” variants, and Jimmie C. Goodwin lists 19 variants in his “Edgar Rice Burroughs The Descriptive Bibliography of the Ace and Ballantine/Del Rey Paperback Books” (Two of the variants are in combination with “Tarzan the Untamed.”
Publishing details, an electronic version of the novel and covers for several editions are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0494.html
Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. has recently reprinted the novel with a magnificent cover by Joe Jusko - http://edgarriceburroughs.com/erbauthorizedlibrary/
The drabble for today, ‘Korak on the Prowl,” is the blurb from the first Ballantine publication of the novel in 1963. The last sentence refers to Korak seeking his parents. One of my strongest memories of my first reading of the Tarzan novels as a child is the image of Korak trekking through the jungle carrying a rifle and ammunition, but refusing to use it to defend himself, reserving the weapon to save his parents once he found them. Good stuff.
Lieutenant Obergatz had fled in terror from the seeking of vengeance by 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 that 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 the mighty triceratops still survived from the dim dawn of time. And far behind, relentlessly pursuing, came Tarzan and Jane’s son, Korak the Killer.
KORAK ON THE PROWL
BY THEIR BOOTSTRAPS
June 21: On this day in 1944, Edgar Rice Burroughs, war correspondent extraordaire, had his autograph book out for business.
The autographs that ERB received on June 21, 1944 included Georges Orsilli, the Governor of French Ociania (Tihiti) and a Colonel in the Signal Corps, named Frank Capra. Jack Renfro, a corporal from Drumright, Oklahoma, ERB’s driver also signed the book. Renfro later passed the officers candidates test and was scheduled to attend OCS as the war came to an end.
Scores of pages from ERB's autograph book are online at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag27/2776.html
The drabble for today is “By Their Bootstraps,” and it is inspired by the two men featured in it who both battled long odds to achieve success.
“Pleasure to meet you, Colonel Capra. I loved “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Would you please sign my autograph book?”
BY THEIR BOOTSTRAPS
“Only if you sign mine. I liked your Martian books the best. Maybe someday, I’ll get to direct a film featuring Dejah Thoris.”
“Certainly, I've read about you, Frank. Your family came to America in steerage class and yet, you became a famous director.”
“And you, Ed. You couldn’t even sell pencil sharpeners, but you became a popular novelist. Now, we’re both famous.”
“Frank, it’s a wonderful life.”
“Ed, That’s a great turn of phrase. I may use it someday.”
GOOD FOR ME
June 22: On this day 63 years ago actor Bruce Lorne Campbell was born in Royal Oak, Michigan. Campbell is well known for playing Ash Williams, he of the chainsaw hand, in “The Evil Dead,’ Evil Dead Two,” “Army of Darkness,” and the series “Ash Vrs. The Evil Dead.” He also appeared as Autolycus, King of Thieves in “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and Xena: Warrior Princess. He played semi-retired spy, Sam Axe, on USA Network’s “Burn Notice.”
I nearly forgot to mention his appearance as Elvis in the classic, “Bubba Ho-Tep.” But most importantly, Bruce voiced the character, Max Leibing, in Disney’s “The Legend of Tarzan” in the 28th episode, “Tarzan and One Punch Mullargan.” Leibing was One Punch’s loudmouthed manager and promoter.
Watch the episode at: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3jsa4q
The 100 word drabble, “Good For Me,” is cobbled together from a series of quotations by Bruce Campbell, taken pretty much out of context and used to create an interview that never happened.
“Mr. Campbell, why did you become an actor?”
GOOD FOR ME
“My prospects were depressing; Adulthood meant that I’d have to stop having fun and do something I really didn’t want to do for the rest of my life – which was apparently a considerable chuck of time.
“Some of your films didn’t fare too well.”
“Such is an actor’s life. We must ride the waves of every film, barfing occasionally, yet maintain our sense of dignity, even as our Herculean efforts are keel-hauled before our very eyes.”
“So you’re proud of your work.”
“All men think they’re fascinating. In my case, it’s justified.”
June 23: On this day in 1998, actress Maureen O’Sullivan, Jane Porter to generations of Americans, died in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her death was the result of complications from heart surgery.
Besides playing Jane in six Tarzan films, she appeared in over 60 films including “The Thin Man,” “Anna Karenina,” “A Day at the Races,” and “Pride and Prejudice. She had reoccurring roles in three soap operas, “All My Children,” “Guiding Light,” and “Search for Tomorrow.”
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – it faces the star of Johnny Weissmuller.
She was the mother of actress Mia Farrow and when she learned that Frank Sinatra wanted to marry her daughter she observed, “At his age, he should marry me!”
A detailed tribute to the actress is available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag45/4569.html
The 100 word drabble for today, “Resume,” is taken from comments by Maureen O’Sullivan about playing Jane Porter.
“There was a period when I got so sick when they would ask me about Tarzan, as though I had done nothing else. I changed my mind when my oldest son said he was very proud that I was Tarzan's mate.
“Edgar Rice Burroughs was a nice guy . . . He asked me if I’d read any Tarzan books, and I had to say no. I had barely heard of Tarzan. He sent me a copy of every one of his books . . . He thought Weissmuller and I were the perfect Tarzan and Jane, which is lovely."
STACK OF CAPRONA
June 24: On this day in 1971, Actor Christopher Clare Showerman was born in Jackson, Michigan. Chris played the lead role of George in Disney’s “George of the Jungle 2” and also the character “Stack” in Asylum’s 2009 direct to video production of “The Land That Time Forgot,” a remarkably unfaithful movie version of the novel.
Showerman has appeared in dozens of films and television episodes, including the two short films, “Frankenbabe,” and “Batman, Personal Issues.”
The drabble for today is “Stack of Caprona,” and it’s based on – well, once upon a time there was this song about a jungle man named George, who had an elephant named Schlep and an ape friend named Ape, and ….
Captain Cole Stevens said, “This island is full of cave men, dinosaurs, and who knows what else. We gotta get out of this place. Stack, you got any ideas?”
STACK OF CAPRONA
“I’m strong as I can be. I swing from vines and trees.”
“That’s not helpful.”
“If my elephant, Schlep was here, we could schlep away on Schlep.”
“No elephants! Just dinosaurs that want to eat us. Run!”
Stack ran. The captain screamed, “Watch out for that tree.”
Stack bounced ofF the trunk and a tyrannosaurus ate him. The captain said, “I’ll miss Stack, he was a friend to you and me.”
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH
June 25: On this day in 1922, the Los Angeles Times published the article “’Just Made A Living’ in Business; Now He’s Rich.” Roselle Dean wrote the article about Edgar Rice Burroughs, focusing primarily on Tarzana, Burroughs’ ranch.
The article mentions pure bread Hampshire swine, bulls, cows and horses. Read the entire article, complete with several photographs at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag13/1358.html
The drabble for today, “Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch,” is taken from that article.
After his success, Burroughs bought and christened Tarzana Ranch, which is reached through a red, ragged-robin rose hedge, and riding through this floral bower, hovered over by humming birds and butterflies is an experience at once and forever engraved upon the memory.
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH
With orioles and mourning doves fluttering in the sycamores, it was difficult to record anything about Tarzana other than the glories of nature.
His fortunes have in no way affected him and as he looks about his beloved Tarzana, one realizes just how contented and happy is his existence in the beautiful hills that almost conceal his home.
LOVE AND MARRIAGE
June 26: On this day in 1967 the first installment of the “Boss Lady” story arc began in the Tarzan daily comic strip. “Boss Lady” was written and illustrated by John Celardo. It ran for 73 days and ended on October 16, 1967.
All of the John Celardo daily strips are available at www.erbzine.com, but this specific one is located at https://www.erbzine.com/mag46/4688.html
The boss lady, Miss O’Hare, travels to Port Banaga, Africa after another payroll is hijacked on its way to her rubber plantation. Jacqueline O’Hare arrives in Africa about two weeks into the storyline demanding answers from her plantation manager and the local bank. She immediately fires Tom Drake, the manager.
She accompanies the next payroll shipment, which is predictably hijacked. Tarzan and Tom Drake save her. She and Drake fight constantly. While in the jungle, a gorilla captures her. Drake saves her from the gorilla, but it overcomes the man. O’Hare comes to the man’s rescue and they fall in love. (What a surprise.)
Meanwhile, Tarzan tracks to bandits and recovers the payroll. O’Hare and Drake decide to marry and O’Hare resigns as president of a major international corporation and tells her future husband that they can live on his salary. June Cleaver would be proud.
The drabble for today is “Love and Marriage,” inspired by the comic story arc “Tarzan and the Boss Lady.”
Tom Drake kissed Jackie O’Hare and said. “I love you, but you live in America and I live in Africa. I could move to America.”
LOVE AND MARRIAGE
“No, Tom. We’ll marry and I’ll resign my job and move here.”
“We’ll buy a nice townhome in Port Banaga.”
“No, we’ll live on the plantation.”
“Okay, the schools are far away, but at least we don’t have children.”
“We will. Two boys, two girls.”
“How’s our marriage going to work if you don’t do what I tell you?”
Jackie smiled. “Everything will be fine. You’ve got a lot to learn about marriage, don’t you?”
June 27: On this day in 1941, Amazing Stories Magazine published “Black Pirates of Barsoom,” a story which would be ultimately published as the second part of the novel, “Llana of Gathol.” The magazine cover and two interiors were by J. Allen St. John. The rear cover of the issue featured the Frank R. Paul illustration for the short story, “A City on Pluto,” by Henry Gade, a house pseudonym used frequently by editor Raymond Palmer. It’s always nice to buy your own work.
The issue also contained the article, “Meet the Authors: Edgar Rice Burroughs” by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Publication details and several illustrations are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0738.html
The drabble for today is “Bigger Sword,” and it was inspired by a fight scene in “Black Pirates of Barsoom.”
John Carter was forced to fight in the Lessor Games of Kamtol, an Olympic type event, against the mighty Nolat, who understood he stood no chance against the Warlord of Barsoom.
Nolat replaced Carter’s sword with a shorter weapon, but Carter rapidly disarmed him three times. Carter appealed to the judges. “Stop this fight before I kill him. This isn’t my sword, Nolat’s cheated and switched my sword with a lessor weapon.”
The judges completed their short arms inspection and ruled Carter the winner. Carter said, “The sword’s size doesn’t matter to a man who doesn’t know how to fight.”
June 28: On this day in 1947, Edgar Rice Burroughs was notified by Dell Publishing that the new Tarzan Comic, Dell Four Color Comic # 161, titled “Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr” had sold extremely well. The 52 page comic had a cover date of August 1947. It was written by Robert P. Thompson and illustrated by Jesse Marsh, who illustrated the Tarzan comics for several years.
The entire comic may be read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag23/2398.html
“Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr” was based on a radio drama of the same name. Various websites have all or part of the radio serial available to hear or purchase. All 39 episodes are yours to listen to with a click on your computer. Go to: https://www.erbzine.com/mag31/3141.html
In the story, Tarzan and his companions search for the lost city of Tohr, and unfortunately find it. A Tohrian patrol of yellow men lead by Mungo, who is only a pawn in the game of life, capture the entire party. Their ruler, Queen Ahtea desires Tarzan. Like La, she offers Tarzan the chance to save everyone by become her mate. He refuses twice. During the climactic battle, the Queen falls into the “Fire of Tohr.” Mongo leads Tarzan and his friends back to civilization. Everyone else lives happily ever after.
The drabble for today is “Flexible Definition,’ based on the Fires of Tohr.
Mungo said, “Tarzan, Ahtea is the queen and high priestess. She will decide the fate of you and your companions.”
Queen Ahtea offered to free Tarzan’s friends if he would become her mate.”
Tarzan refused, but later asked Mungo. “Will she keep her word if I comply?”
“The Queen keeps her word however she chooses to do so. She may free your friends by letting them leave or by throwing them into the holy blue fires of Tohr.”
“She might kill my friends even if I agree to become her mate?”
“Take care. The Queen defines terms to suit herself.”
FORBIDDEN RED STAR OF ASHER
June 29: On this day in 1965, actor Victor Rodman died in Los Angeles, California. Victor, the son of Hungarian immigrants was born as Victor Rottman in Augusta, Arkansas, is best known for his work on Dragnet in 1955. He had a long career as a radio actor, performing in “Speed Gibson,” “This is your FBI,” “The Whistler,” “Lux Radio Theater,” “Suspense,” and “Tarzan and the Diamonds of Asher.” Rodman played “Wolf” in the Tarzan Radio serial. Rodman once suffered a disabling accident and took almost a thirty-year break from films, concentrating on radio productions until he began taking television roles in the 1950s.
“Tarzan and the Diamonds of Asher,” was the basis for the novel, “Tarzan and the Forbidden City,” To hear the entire radio series and read detailed information about it: https://www.erbzine.com/mag31/3140.html.
The drabble for today, “Forbidden Red Star of Asher,” was written by Vern Coriell, founder of the Burroughs Bulletin, and taken from his preface to his 1974 reprint of “The Red Star of Tarzan,” the name that Argosy had used for the magazine version of “Tarzan and the Forbidden City.”
When "The Red Star of Tarzan" appeared in Argosy magazine in 1938, it caused a minor stir among Burroughs fans. Some thought that ERB wasn’t the author of the story. Later, in September, 1938, when the book version, “Tarzan and the Forbidden City,” was published, fans noted a great difference between the versions. With the publication of the book, I simply filed it in my mind as a genuine Burroughs product, and the magazine's version as the tampering of Argosy's editor. The original version of this story was produced as a radio drama entitled "Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher."
FORBIDDEN RED STAR OF ASHER
A PRINCESS OF MARS
June 30: On this day in 1911, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing his first novel, “Under The Moons of Mars.” He wrote the story on the back of old business letterhead. The novel was purchased by All-Story magazine and published in six installments by All-Story from February through July in 1912. A. C. McClurg published the first edition of the book using the title, “A Princess of Mars,” on October 10, 1917 with a cover by Frank Schoonover and five interior illustrations. Modern Mechanics and Invention Magazine reprinted the story using a third title, “Carter of the Red Planet,” from April through July of 1929.
A copy of a check for $400.00 from Munsey Magazines is included with this article. It was the first payment for the story. I don't know who has the check.
Detailed information about the novel, dozens of illustrations, and the complete text of the story are located at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0421.html
Some people have a gift for writing. The drabble for today is the first 100 words of chapter one of the novel. “A Princess of Mars,” the point in the book where John Carter begins to tell his story. I was fascinated by this passage when I first read the book over 60 years ago, and I still am.
"I am a very old man; how old I do not know. Possibly I am a hundred, possibly more; but I cannot tell because I have never aged as other men, nor do I remember any childhood. So far as I can recollect I have always been a man, a man of about thirty. I appear today as I did forty years and more ago, and yet I feel that I cannot go on living forever; that some day I shall die the real death from which there is no resurrection. I do not know why I should fear death."
A PRINCESS OF MARS
See Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7384
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