The Barsoomian #15 – October 1969
The original publication date for this issue was May
1968. I started work on it immediately after #13/14 and finished
the layouts in April. I was publishing the issue as a special studies
course for college credit and my printer threw me a curve ball at the last
minute. Fortunately, my faculty advisor accepted the finished layouts
for course credit (and gave me an A+). After graduating in early
May, I was off to Naval Officer Candidate School and a two-year tour of
duty at the U.S. naval base at Subic Bay in the Philippines.
As noted in my apology on page 2, a lot of contributors
broke their necks meeting my original deadline only to wait more than a
year to see the results. Prominent among them was Jeff Jones, who
really scrambled to finish the cover illustration, complete with acetate
overlays for the colors. Also Harry Habblitz for the Elmo Lincoln
illustration and his humorous illustrations for Fred Kwiecien’s article
on “Man’s Best Friend.” (I got a real kick out of the chihauhua biting
Tarzan’s ankle!) Douglas Elmo Brooks also had to contend with long-distance
mail to complete all the details on his massive Elmo Lincoln article.
Once I was settled in the Philippines, I decided to produce
issue #15 and all the reprints to #1-8 in one massive printing (a total
of 100 pages). Naturally, the contents page, editorial, news and
letters page had to be updated. You can tell which pages were re-done
or updated by the differences in type. Reliable Ken Webber came through
like a champ with a new Bar-ry cartoon for the new editorial page, plus
a second one for “It Says Here.” “More on The Naming of Tarzan” by
Allan Tompkins was a late addition to the issue (what it replaced from
the original layouts I don’t recall). But if you skip to the next
page you will find that the article he references from #14 was actually
a hoax – there was no Don Reynolds. Nevertheless, it gave me the
opportunity to run a really nice Neal MacDonald illustration of a young
Tarzan fighting a gorilla.
For me, one of the highlights of this issue was Douglas
Brooks’ article on Elmo Lincoln. He included some truly rare photos
with it. Caz had once told me he always wanted to see a photo of
Tarzan in a tux. Doug supplied it on page 11. You will note
some of the photos are credited to me. Stanleigh Vinson loaned me
a 16mm print of “Tarzan of the Apes.” Using a Honeywell Repronar
unit in the college photo lab I was able to produce very high quality frame
blow-ups on 35mm film. Being a professional photographer, Hully Burroughs
took quite an interest in them and borrowed my negatives to make his own
prints. I was also honored when Gabe Essoe used my frame blow-up
from the back cover (which I neglected to credit to myself) in his “Tarzan
of the Movies” book published by Citadel Press.
The other highlight was my final installment of “Laugh
It Off!” I don’t recall how I stumbled across the six photos of Burroughs
in the successive stages of a laugh. The photos were taken by Hully
Burroughs and published in Life magazine. They go along very nicely
with the subject they illustrated and I was delighted when Time, Inc. and
Hully gave me the approval to use them.
So what happened to issue #16? Well, I got a 14
month “early out” from the Navy due to the Vietnam cutbacks. My wife
and I returned to the states and civilian life. We started our respective
careers and purchased our first home. Reality bit. Roughly
a year after returning, I realized there was no way I could continue publishing.
I had enough material on hand for #16 and a portion of #17, all of which
I returned to the contributors. The Barsoomian was once again history.
I made the right decision, but I do kind of miss those days!
~ Paul Allen