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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
JUNE IV Edition :: Days 16- 30
See Days 1 - 15 at ERBzine 7597
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
BACK TO THE JUNGLE
June 16: On this day in 2016, the illustrated graphic novel “Jungle Tales of Tarzan,” published by Sequential Pulp and Dark Horse Comics was offered for sale on Amazon.
The Dark Horse website, https://www.darkhorse.com/, gives the official publication date as June 17, 2022, but it was available in comic shops well before that date.
It’s still available from Amazon and directly from Dark Horse Comics. The hardcover is $19.99 and a limited hardcover edition signed by three descendants of ERB, Dejah Burroughs, Llana Jane Burroughs, Linda Burroughs, and the management team at ERB Inc. is $49.99. The artists are Diana Leto, Pablo Marcos, Will Meugniot, Nik Poliwko, Steven E. Gordon, Jamie Chase, Terry Beatty, Mark Wheatley, Sergio Cariello, Tomas Aranda, Carlos Arguello, Thomas Floyd, Thomas Yeates, Steve Price, Lowell Isaac, and Daren Bader. I don’t think I left anyone out.
Magnificent volume. Details about publishing history of “Jungle Tales of Tarzan” are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0492.html
Martin Powell wrote the script and Diana Leto was the creative director. Diana also illustrated the opening story, “Tarzan’s First Love.”
The 100 word drabble, ”Back to the Jungle,” for today is taken from the introduction to the book written by Robin Maxwell (Jane, The Woman Who Loved Tarzan)
Sequential Pulp has assembled the greatest living Tarzan artists to illustrate, in very different styles, each of the ‘Jungle’ tales. While staying as faithful to the hundred-year-old source material, they’ve breathed fresh live into it, tailoring the stories to a twenty-first-century audience. Whether they tell of the ape-man’s first romance with a female mangani, his clash with a witch doctor, his dreams, his hallucinations, or his search for God, the stories illuminate the remarkable inner workings of Tarzan’s mind as he pits himself against the human and nonhuman denizens of the jungle. Read on and learn how the myth begins.
BACK TO THE JUNGLE
June 17: On this day in 1918, illustrator Charles Edmond Monroe was born. He was a nationally renowned illustrator, with work published in Life, Colliers, Field and Stream, True, Progressive Farmer and Redbook magazines. He was also a successful wildlife and sporting artist. He painted the covers for the series of Tarzan novels released by Grosset and Dunlap from 1948 and reprinted several times as late as 1963.
A biography of Monroe titled “Brushes of Imagination: The Story of E.E. Monroe,” written by Robert R. Barrett is available at https://www.erbzine.com/mag64/6415.html
The 100 word drabble for today, “Monroe’s Masterpieces,” is excerpted from that article.
In 1947, while living in Bridgewater, Connecticut, Ed Monroe executed his Tarzan paintings. He’d read several of the Tarzan books as a boy. On receiving the assignment from Grosset and Dunlap, he first reread each of the books, noting illustrative possibilities and making numerous sketches. His illustrations were actual size or larger than the published image. He enjoyed doing the Tarzan work, but G&D didn’t return the originals and he’s sure they were destroyed during one of the publisher’s periodic house cleanings. Of the eight Tarzan titles published from April 1948 through January 1950, Ed painted the jackets for seven.
June 18: On this day in 2005, Ripley’s ‘Believe It or Not’ included an entry that said, “Believe it or Not! Tarzana, Calif., was named after Edgar Rice Burroughs’ fictional character – Tarzan!
Believe it. In 1927 and 1928 residents of the fledgling Tarzana development and their much more successful neighbor, Runnymede, wanted a post office and applied for one. They wanted to use the name Runnymede, but there was already a Runnymede, California, and so a contest was held to choose a name and the residents formally chose to name their community Tarzana. In 1930, the Tarzana post office opened its doors, and the Tarzana Chamber of Commerce called to order its first meeting. When asked what he thought of the name “City of Tarzana,” Burroughs quipped that it sounded like “a steamboat.”
The drabble for today is “Tarzana,” and it was inspired by the process involved in naming the community.
“Hello, is this the Postmaster General.”
“This is Fred in California. We received a rejection from you. It says we can’t call ourselves ‘Runnymede, California.”
“Correct. It’s in use.”
“Several towns are named Lincoln or Jefferson.”
“Yes, but in different states. Each state can only have one town of each name.”
“So we can’t be Runnymede, but we could be Dallas or Cincinnati?”
“Sure, you can be Dallas, California. Sounds better than watered-down fermented honey. You want me to register Dallas for you?”
“No, we’re thinking Tarzana. How about that?”
“Why not. I hear it’s a jungle out there!”
June 19: On this day in 1903, the New York Yankee first baseman, Lou Gehrig was born in New York City. The Iron Horse played seventeen seasons for the Yankees, during which time he won the Triple Crown, two most valuable player awards and was a member of six World Series Championship teams. Born Heinrich Ludwig Gehrig, played in 2,130 consecutive games as was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Lou wanted to play Tarzan on the silver screen and posed for pictures dressed as Tarzan, cause Edgar Rice Burroughs to send a telegram to Gehrig, “Having seen several pictures of you as Tarzan and paid about "50 for newspaper clippings on the subject, I want to congratulate you on being a swell first baseman.”
The drabble for today is ‘Batter Up,” and it's a fictional encounter between two members of Murders' Row, and it was inspired by Gehrig’s desire to portray Tarzan in the movies.
Babe Ruth washed a hot dog down with a cold beer. “What’s the deal with you playing Tarzan? Weissmuller’s got that gig tied up.”
“Gotta do something after baseball. I’m bigger than he is, stronger than he is, and dare I say it, better looking.”
“Yeah, but can you wrassle a crocodile? I bet you can’t even swim."
“I’m a great swimmer. I’ve been practicing swinging on ropes all winter. I worked out with Weissmuller twice in February. He can’t hit a curve ball.”
Babe polished off another hot dog. “Don’t imagine there’s much call for that in the jungle.”
ART IS ART
June 20: On this day in 2017, artist Robert Kennedy Abbett passed away in Bridgewater, Connecticut. Well known and respected as a wildlife artist, Abbett illustrated book covers from the early 1950s through the 1970s including war novels, detective novels, historical fiction, science fiction, and, of course, the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. He illustrated twenty of the Tarzan novels and all eleven of the Barsoom novels for Ballantine Books during the 1960s. The first ERB book I bought was The Chessman of Mars with his cover.
Here are three examples of Abbett’s work, one Barsoom painting, one wildlife painting, and one racy book cover.
The drabble for today is “Art is Art,” and it is taken from an interview with Robert Abbett conducted by Frederic Whitaker for the American Artist Magazine June 1965. The entire article and other information about Mr. Abbett abounds at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag33/3336.html
“Each job I undertake is a new project. It really is a challenge to keep oneself geared up, to retain the sensitivity required, for it is easy to grow stale. I am asked, don't you ever paint pictures for the fun of the thing? The answer is I haven't the time to paint easel pictures even if I were so inclined, and my work is my fun and my fine art. Into it I put all the art of which I am capable and to my way of thinking, fully as much as the typical easel painter puts into his."
ART IS ART
June 21: On this day in 1935, The New Yorker Magazine published the article “Tarzan’s Mama - The Talk of the Town: Tarzan” written by Russell Maloney and Harold Ross. The article was quite short. Details about Tarzan Ice Cream and other product tie-ins are at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag60/6097.html
The drabble for today is “Mama Said” and it’s the New Yorker article in its entirety.
The Lily Tulip-Corporation's latest product is the Tarzan Ice Cream Cup. In order to popularize the product, a Mr. Bergman, planned to rig up a Tarzan Ice Cream Truck, full of animals, with a real Tarzan in leopard-skin to tour the country and make speeches about Tarzan cups.
It was quite a problem to locate a real Tarzan, Mr. Bergman found one by getting a sturdy giant six feet four, and weighed two hundred-and thirty-five pounds. Everything was set for the tour when Tarzan called Mr. Bergman and told him it was off.
"Mother won't let me go," he said.
A SCHEDULE IS JUST A PIECE OF PAPER
June 22: On this day in 1932, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a letter to his son, Jack (John Coleman Burroughs). The return address was ERB Inc. in Tarzana. In the letter he references that James Pierce is working on a Marx Brothers’ picture and has attracted the attention of Cecil Demille, and another producer. ERB notes that NBC and Columbia are considering Tarzan (for radio in those days) but he doesn’t have an answer yet. He complained about the contractor building a beach house for the Burroughs’ family, who continues to make errors and is well behind schedule and over budget.
The entire letter, may be read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag62/erblet08.jpg
Pierce is the big guy in the photograph.
The drabble for today is “A Schedule is Just a Piece of Paper,” and it was inspired by Burroughs’ letter and folks suffering through home remodels everywhere. Credit to Robert Heinlein for Cheops Law as it appeared in his novel, “Time enough For Love.”
ERB complained to the contractor that the construction of the beach house was over budget and behind schedule. The contractor replied, “Schedules change. That was then, this is now.”
A SCHEDULE IS JUST A PIECE OF PAPER
“What about the budget?”
“You change stuff, the cost goes up!”
“What about your mistakes?”
“What you call mistakes, I call unforeseen problems. Those are your problems, not mine.”
“Doesn’t seem right. No matter what happens, I pay for it and I have to wait longer.”
“It’s the law.”
“Cheops law. Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.”
“Would have been nice to know before you started!”
TARZAN THE BRAVE
June 23: On this day in 1950, Lex Barker and the rest of the cast and crew for “Tarzan’s Peril," boarded airplanes to fly to Africa to begin filming the movie. The film featured Lex, Virginia Huston as Jane and Dorothy Dandridge as Melmendi, Queen of the Ashuba. The film was also released as “Jungle Queen,” “Tarzan and the Jungle Queen,” and “Tarzan’s Mate in Peril.”
Everything you ever wanted to know about the film is at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag19/1951.html
The drabble for today is “Tarzan the Brave,” and it was inspired by the film, “Tarzan’s Peril.”
Queen Melmendi looked at Tarzan in scorn. “Your mate was in danger, but you hesitated before saving her. A brave man doesn’t think, he just does.”
TARZAN THE BRAVE
Tarzan shook his head. “You’re wrong about that. Only a fool acts without thinking. You know the saying, look before you leap, don’t you? The jungle is filled with the bones of the foolish.”
“She could have died while you stood motionless.”
“She didn’t. The brave man sees and thinks before acting. Then knowing and understanding the danger he faces, he acts in spite of the risks. That’s the difference between bravery and stupidity.”
June 24: On this day in 1941, actress Laraine Stephens was born in Oakland, California. A coloratura soprano, she sang opera before becoming an actress. Her television credits include the role of Doria in the 1968 Tarzan TV episode, “Rendezvous for Revenge.” Doria was the angry girlfriend of a supposedly dead poacher in the story. The episode was the 55th episode and was originally broadcast on March 15, 1968. A detailed summary of the episode is available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag74/7436.html.
Her television credits included Leave It to Beaver, Surfside 6, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Laramie, Laredo, The F.B.I., Tarzan, The Name of the Game, I Dream of Jeannie, Love, American Style, Nanny and the Professor, Cade's County, The Mod Squad, Marcus Welby, M.D., Mission: Impossible, Mannix, McCloud, Barnaby Jones, Cannon, Movin' On, The Quest, Police Story, Police Woman, Hawaii Five-O, The Next Step Beyond, Vegas, The Love Boat, T. J. Hooker, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Fantasy Island, among others. She appeared in the films 40 Guns to Apache Pass, Hellfighters, and The Thousand Plane Raid, and in the TV movies The Screaming Woman; Adventures of Nick Carter; Jarrett; The Girl on the Late, Late Show; The Rangers; Risko; The Courage and the Passion; Crash; Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders; Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders II; Power; and Scruples.
The 100 word drabble for today is ‘Heartbroken,’ and it’s based on the Tarzan episode, “Rendezvous for Revenge.”
Doria watched Tarzan throw her boyfriend Dan off a cliff. She shot Tarzan twice and then jumped. Weeks later Tarzan was recovering when Doria arrived with a flamethrower, grenades, and guns. She forced Tarzan to accompany her to the cliff where Dan waited in a wheelchair.
“Jump, Tarzan. You broke my boyfriend. I’m going to break you.”
After a flurry of grenades and gunfire, Dan was dead. Tarzan and Doria saved each other. Tarzan held his injured arm and Doria was crying.
She asked, “Tarzan are you okay?”
“Yes, it’s better to have a broken arm than a broken heart.”
ALL THE NEWS
June 25: On this day in 1898 the Pocatello Tribune, a local Idaho newspaper published an article stating that Ed Burroughs had purchased a stationery and photography shop at 233 West Center Street in Pocatello, Idaho. Burroughs advertised that he could supply readers with any magazine published in America or Anywhere else. He developed photographs. He printed numerous handbills advertising his shop, and his first book, Minidoka, was written on the backs of undistributed handbills. Minidoka, waited 100 years to be published.
Burroughs operated the store for about eighteen months. The winter of 1899 was harsh and Burroughs sold the store back to its previous owner, V. C. Roeder before spring.
The photo included with this post is of ERB’s arrival in Idaho by train. This photo and several more are included in an excellent article about this period of ERB’s life at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag16/1647.html
The drabble for today, “All The News,” is 100 words from the short article that was printed in the Pocatello, Tribune in 1898.
Mr. V. C. Roeder has sold his book and stationery store to Mr. E.R. Burroughs who is now in charge. Mr. Roeder has not yet decided upon what he will do, but if he does not go to war with the volunteer engineers now being recruited by Mr. F.F.J. Mills at Salt Lake, will probably locate some place in California. Mr. Roeder's successor, Mr. Burroughs, is a recent arrival in Pocatello but a young gentleman of due x abilities, and we have no doubt "Roeder's", as it has always been known, will continue as popular as ever under his management.
ALL THE NEWS
June 26: On this day in 1912, Thomas Newell Metcalf, editor at Munsey publications and the man who purchased ‘Under the Moons of Mars” and “Tarzan of the Apes” penned a letter to Edgar Rice Burroughs and sent it to him at 2008 Park Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. He makes an oblique reference to the $700 check for “Tarzan of the Apes” and then asks whether ERB wants Tarzan published under the ‘Norman / Normal Bean penname or not.
He insists that ERB not use such cheap thin paper in the future and that ERB double space his stories rather than single space them.
The entire letter may be read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag28/2833.html
The drabble for today is “Normal Bean,” a 100 word excerpt from the letter by Thomas Metcalf.
About your pen name. I have a number of letters saying that people were very keen for Mr. Bean and his story of Mars and asking if we will run some more work of his. Do you think it’s advisable to run this story under the name "Normal Bean", or shall I ignore any requests for some of that gentleman's work and run it under "Normal Bean", or your own name? I am willing enough to abide by any decision you may care to make, but would like to take advantage of the popularity of "Under the Moons of Mars.”
SUPPLY CHAIN PROBLEMS
June 27: On this day in 1946, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote one of his several letters to Thelma Terry, whom he’d met in Australia during World War II. Ed was back in in Tarzana and, like most Americans, was dealing with the shortages of everyday items in the aftermath of the war. That’s something we can all understand right now. Even though the war was over, ERB maintained a victory garden / orchard that he was proud of. He recommended that Thelma marry a Yank if she can, saying, “I think we make pretty good husbands – we are such suckers.”
You can read the letter and several more at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag15/1524.html
The drabble for today is “Supply Chain Problems,” an it’s a 100 word excerpt from that letter. What goes around, comes around.
"It’s practically impossible to get lumber or even nails. We’re supposed to be the richest country in the world, and I guess we are; but for some time I’ve been trying to buy one sack of cement, and only today, after phoning several building supply concerns did I locate a sack.
SUPPLY CHAIN PROBLEMS
""And meat! There just isn't any.
And bread! We’re feeding the world (for which we will get no thanks), and our house wives are standing in line to buy bread, and seldom getting any. And in America! America, the land of the free and the home of the naïve!"
June 28: On this day in 1933, Edgar Rice Burroughs was accepted into the International Mark Twain Society. The Society was founded in 1930 by Cyril Clemens as a social and literary discussion group, and later sent its book collection to the Library of Congress to form a Society collection in the Rare Book & Special Collections Division. The collection encompasses books published between the late 19th century and the late 1950s, and includes works in Irish, French, Finnish, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, German, and Czech. Notable writers were selected by the Society as Knights or Daughters of Mark Twain, and asked to send in a copy of one of their works - specifically, one that they considered their favorite.
Mark Twain had this to say about censorship: "Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.”
On the matter of censorship, recently, some people have questioned whether or not ERB’s Red Martians wore clothing or not (they didn’t – only a harness to hold their weapons and jewelry) and even gone so far as to say that when ERB used the term “naked” that he really didn’t mean it (He did). Several illustrations of Dejah Thoris are available on the web, some clothed and some unclothed. Many versions are at www.erbzine.com.
Facebook’s policy doesn’t allow nudity and so I’ve included a cover from a Dynamite comic, one where she is at least somewhat clothed. One could argue that Dejah is only wearing jewelry in the illustration.
The drabble for today, “Birthday Suit,” is a 100 word collection of three quotations from Edgar Rice Burroughs concerning clothing and nudity. The first sentence is ERB’s description of Dejah Thoris when she made her first appearance in “A Princess of Mars.” Chapter Eight: A Fair Captive From the Sky.
“She was as destitute of clothes as the green Martians who accompanied her; indeed, save for her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely naked, nor could any apparel have enhanced the beauty of her perfect and symmetrical figure.”
“This was the life! Ah, how he loved it. Civilization held nothing like this in its narrow and circumscribed sphere, hemmed in by restrictions and conventionalities. Even clothes were a hindrance and a nuisance.
“Clothes therefore, must be the insignia of the superiority of man over all other animals, for surely there could be no other reason for wearing the hideous things.”
ON THE ROCKS
June 29: On this day in 1901, actress Frieda Inescort was born in Edinburg, Scotland. She is best known for creating the role of Sorel Bliss in the Noel Coward play “Hay Fever.” Born as Frieda Wrightman, her film roles included “Mrs. Austin Lancing in the 1939 film, “Tarzan finds a Son.” She is a member of the expedition searching for ‘Boy.”
Her first film appearance was in 1935’s “Dark Angel” and her last as Hope Quentin on an episode of television’s Perry Mason. She was the female lead opposite Bela Lugosi in 1943’s “The Return of the Vampire.” IMBD lists 74 credits for her.
The drabble for today, “On the Rocks,” was inspired by the search of “Boy” by an expedition from England in the film, “Tarzan Finds a Son.” It’s important to note that “Boy” was identified as the lost Greystoke child in the film.
Austin Lancing and his expedition had arrived in Africa to search for the lost Greystoke boy. They hired bearers and a guide, but when it came time to enter the jungle, his wife was nowhere to be found.
ON THE ROCKS
After searching the city, he found her in a hotel bar. “Dear, it’s time to go. What the devil are you doing?”
“Searching for the child, of course.”
“Why in God’s name would you look for the boy in bar?”
“Beastly hot outside. Ceiling fans and better lighting in here. They make a magnificent gin and tonic. Could I order you one?”
June 30: On this day in 1995, actor Gale Gordon died in Escondido, California at age eighty-nine. Born Charles Thomas Aldrich Jr., Gordon starred on radio and television.
He voiced Cecil Clayton alongside James Pierce and Joan Burroughs Pierce in the 1932 radio serial, “Tarzan of the Apes,” and voiced the character, O’Rourke, on several episodes of “Tarzan and the Fire of Tohr.” On radio he appeared in numerous shows including “Fibber McGee and Molly,” and was the first voice of Flash Gordon.
On television, he appeared in “The Real McCoys,” “The Donna Reed Show,” “The Lucy Show,” “Dennis the Menace,” “The Danny Thomas Show,” and several more. He was a published author and rancher His two books were “Nursery Rhymes for Hollywood Babies” and “Leaves From the Story Trees.” He cultivated a carob grove and was one of the few commercial carob producers in the US.
For details about his “Tarzan” radio appearances and to hear all the episodes, visit: https://www.erbzine.com/mag27/2728.html
The 100 word drabble for today is “Diverted Funds” and it was inspired by current events and the 1932 radio show, “Tarzan of the Apes.”
The safari funded by Cecil Clayton, Professor Porter, and Jane Porter camped for the night. The Professor inventoried their supplies and confronted Clayton. “We’re low on food and ammunition. There’s no medical supplies. Didn’t I give you ample money to purchase supplies?”
Clayton said unashamedly, “You did, but I spent it to commission a portrait of myself wearing my safari gear.”
“You used the money that hundreds of people contributed toward this safari for other purposes. We could starve or be killed by wildlife. How dare you?”
“I really wanted to, and in my defense, it’s a really nice portrait!”
See Days 1 - 15 at ERBzine 7597
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