Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
Volume 7696

ERB 100-Word Drabbles
MAY V Edition :: Days 1-15
by Robert Allen Lupton
See Days 16 - 30 at ERBzine 7696a

With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman

May 1:
On this day in 2008, Danton Burroughs, the keeper of the flame, passed away on the very day that was to become Chairman of Edgar Rice Burroughs Incorporated. I met Danton a few times and talked to him by telephone several more. He was open, friendly, and the greatest ambassador for his grandfather’s work.
He would have been so proud that Edgar Rice Burroughs was awarded a star on the Walk of Fame in Palm Springs on May 3, 2023
    After the presentation, I encountered his wife, Linda and his daughters, Dejah and Llana Jane. I was walking to the post office (only a mile and ½) to have my first day covers cancelled with the special cancellation stamp that Henry Franke III commissioned. I was wearing an Edgar Rice Burroughs themed t-shirt and Linda stopped me on the sidewalk. Wonderful impromptu visit.
    There are several articles about Danton at, many by Bill Hillman. is a good place to start.
Here’s to you, Danton Burroughs! Your eyes were always bright with wonder and your heart was always full of welcome.
Fittingly, I hope, the one hundred word drabble for today, ‘Live the Dream,” was the conclusion of the eulogy written by Bill Hillman and delivered on May 17, 2008.


Dan was a dreamer.
I think all of us who’ve been touched
by Edgar Rice Burroughs share this dream.
He kept the dream alive.
Our imaginations have carried us to distant worlds and exotic lands
where we lived fantastic adventures.
Close your eyes . . .  . . .
. . . and I’m sure you can see
Danton under the hurtling moons of Barsoom
Fighting shoulder to shoulder with John Carter and Tars Tarkas . . .
and maybe even his illustrious grandfather
facing overwhelming odds . . .
And shouting in unison
I STILL LIVE – and he does!

May 2:
On this day in 1993, the Sunday Tarzan comic story arc, “The Romance,” written by Don Kraar and illustrated by Gray Morrow began. The story ran for twelve weeks.
    Phyllida Carswell, a famous romance novelist arrived in Nairobi, In order to bypass customs, a smuggler hid stolen diamonds in her purse. Latter her vehicle got stuck in the mud and Tarzan helped free it. At the Greystoke estate, Phyllida discovered the hidden diamonds and blamed her spinster secretary and former convict, Imogene Pruhl, for the problem.
The smugglers stopped the novelist and her entourage and demanded the diamonds. Phyllida told them that Lord Greystoke had the diamonds. Tarzan, of course, came to help, but Imogene Pruhl and Seamus Flynn, also a former convict, defeated the smugglers without Tarzan’s help and then fall in love. Happy ending.
    The entire run of the story arc may be read at:
    The 100 word drabble for today, “Someone for Every One,” was inspired by the story arc, “The Romance.” Like Gracie Slick sang, “Don’t you want somebody to love?”


Tarzan smiled. “Ms. Carswell, it seems like your secretary and my friend, Seamus have a lot in common.”

“Indeed, birds of feather, jailbirds, that is to say.”
“I think they’ve fallen in love."
“Romance waits in the most unlikely places, people and things. Age and history aren’t a barrier for love. The heart wants what the heart wants.”

“They’re a bit mature to behave like it’s mating season in the jungle.”
“Nonsense. This isn’t one of my books. Romance isn’t only for beautiful people. I’m thankful love happens for regular people. We all have dreams and deserve to be happy.”

May 3:
On this day in 1920, British artist Harry Bishop was born in Painswick, Gloucestershire, UK. He attended the Gloucester School of Art, served in the Bomber Command for the Royal Air Force during World War Two and taught art at the Mitcham Grammar School in 1952.
    He drew a Tarzan comic strip for the magazine “TV Tornado” beginning in 1967. He’d previously illustrated “Tarna the Jungle Boy” for “Swift” Magazine and “Morg of the Mammoths” for ‘Lion.”
    He was great at drawing horses, which is no mean feat, and illustrated several western comics including “Cal McCord,” “Buck Jones,” “Billy the Kid,” “Wyatt Earp,” “Rex Keene,” and “Gun Law.” See if the illustration from “Gun Law” reminds you of anyone.
    Unfortunately, a serious eye infection brought his career to an end in 1985.
    The drabble for today is “Deadline?” and it was inspired by Harry Bishop, who always turned his work in on time.


The new artist, Wilson McCoy, turned in his illustrations for TV Tornado and met Harry Bishop. “I’m late too, our artwork was due yesterday.”

“This is next week’s submission – turned in early.”
“You don’t worry about deadlines?”
“If I’m late, they’ll publish a reprint. If they fire me, I’ll work somewhere else.”
“So deadlines don’t bother you?”
“It does, but I flew 30 missions over Germany for the RAF. If you missed a flight, you were court-martialed. If we were late over Berlin or late flying home, the Germans could shoot us down. Those were deadlines, this is a job.”

May 4:
Star Wars Day and on this day in 1877, screenwriter, Robert Saxmar, was born in Mobile, Alabama. Robert wrote “The Revenge of Tarzan,” “The Pullman Mystery,” and “Money and Mystery. His wife, Alice Eyton, who started as stenographer at Paramount authored several short stories and many more screenplays than Robert. She was killed when her “Snow Maiden” Halloween costume caught fire. You can’t make this stuff up.
    The Revenge of Tarzan, akaThe Return of Tarzan,” is a lost film that starred Gene Pollar as Tarzan and Karla Schramm as Jane. It was Pollar’s last film and Saxmar’s last film. Schramm appeared in one more film, playing Jane in “The Son of Tarzan,” which was also released in 1920.
Details about the film are located at:
    The drabble for today is, “Lost, and Hopefully Forgotten.” Yes, I know that Pollar did quit Hollywood and return to being a fireman, but not in California, but it makes a better story this way.


Robert Saxmar thanked one the firemen who’d tried to save his wife’s life when she burned to death in her Halloween costume. “Wait, I know you. You’re Gene, you played Tarzan in that film I wrote.”

“I remember. Thanks a lot. Your writing was so bad it ended my career.”
“You think so. I blamed your acting for ending mine.”
“I read that all copies of the film were destroyed or lost.”
“I hope so, Gene. I’d hate for the film to last to have lasted longer than our careers.”
“Well, we didn’t set the bar very high, did we?”

May 5:
  Cinco de Mayo, the day the Mexicans defeated the French at the battle of Puebla in 1862. On this day in 1923, Argosy All-Story Weekly published the first installment of “The Moon Maid.” The cover was by P. J. Monahan and “Stout”, no first name and not to be confused with William Stout who assisted on the Tarzan Sunday Pages from 1971-1975, did one interior illustration. “The Moon Maid” was serialized in five issues. It was combined with “The Moon Men” and “The Red Hawk” for the first edition, published as “The Moon Maid” by A.C. McClurg in 1926.
    The book remained consistently in print through the Ballantine/ Del Rey’s 1992 edition with Lawrence Schwinger cover art. An edition of 50 copies was produced in October, 2000 for the ECOF in Clarksville, Tennessee. I need a copy.
    The history of the creation of the combined novel, the publication history, and an EText version are all available at:
    Today’s 100 word drabble, “Coming Next Week,” is excerpted from the advertisement for “The Moon Maid” which appeared in the April 29, 1923 edition of Argosy All-Story Weekly.” “Earth” wasn’t capitalized in the advertisement.


Author of the Tarzan tales and the Martian stories reaches out into interplanetary space in his latest and most fascinating serial and tells a story of adventurous earth men who brought their loves and hates to the moon.

The earth’s satellite seems a cold dead thing, spinning drearily in airless space, desolate, barren, forbidding. The keen mind of Mr. Burroughs takes this unpromising bit of stellar waste, uncovers its secret, peoples it with strange races, and relates a vivid, gripping story of what happened when men from another world entered its life. The tale is called The Moon Maid.”

May 6:
And for those of you inclined toward the dark side, may the sith be with you. On this day in 1966, The House of Greystoke, a publishing imprint of the Burroughs Bibliophiles published an photographic reprint of “The Efficiency Expert,” which was originally published by Argosy All-Story Weekly on October 8, 1921. The edition featured a cover by Frank Frazetta.
    There are four interior illustrations in this reprint version, the chapter headings by Roger B. Morrison from the original Argosy All-Story edition. Work by J. Allen St. John was used on the contents page, inside the front cover, and on the rear cover of the book. In all fairness, this edition, the first publication since the story’s pulp magazine appearance, is more of a pamphlet than a book.
    Publishing details, several illustrations, and an electronic version of the novel are available at:
The story features Jimmie Torrence, a former star athlete and college graduate, who doesn’t understand why he can’t find an immediate executive position, a wannabe safecracker known as The Lizard, and the proverbial prostitute with a heart of gold, Little Eva, aka Edith Hudson. Edith and the Lizard try to help Jimmie. The story ends happily for most of the characters, but not for all.
    The 100 word drabble for today, “Work is Where You Find It,” was inspired by “The Efficiency Expert,” and Jimmie’s search for work. The song, “Working at the Car Wash Blues,” by Jim Croce provided even more inspiration. If you think about it, Croce’s song and ERB’s story have a lot in common. It’s not the best piece of poetry ever written, and with apologies, here goes.


I just got out of college
Graduated by the skin of my teeth
Applied to find an executive position
But bossman work seems out of my reach.
My efficient and expert abilities
Qualified me to drive a milk delivery truck
But the drivers went on strike and again I’m out of luck
Tried prizefighting, but I ended up on my back
The promoter said, “Nice try, Kid, but don’t come back.
I’m not hobnobbin’ with the elite, I’m back walkin’ dirty streets
And I missed Rockefeller, if he tried to call
But I’m still upright and too proud to crawl.

May 7:
On this day in 1958, actor Sheldon Lewis died at age 90 in San Gabriel, California. He appeared in more than 90 films from 1914 through 1936, including “Tarzan the Tiger,” “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” “Orphans of the Storm,” “The Monster Walks, “Seven Footprints to Satan,” “The Thing,” and “The Iron Claw.” He portrayed Achmet Zek in “Tarzan the Tiger.”
    He was married to actress Virginia Pearson briefly, they divorced in 1928 with Virginia claiming jealousy and abuse. Nevertheless, the two remained together the rest of their lives.  She died only a month after Sheldon. The divorce was apparently only a ploy to improve Virginia’s box office appeal. Fans in those days liked their female stars unmarried. It wasn’t too successful, Virginia only made three films after the divorce.
    Details about ‘Tarzan the Tiger are located at:
    The 100 word drabble for today, “Home for Dinner,” and it was inspired by the sham divorce between Sheldon Lewis and his lifelong mate, Virginia Pearson.


“Sheldon, I want a divorce.”
“Whatever for? Have I done something wrong? Is there another man?”
“You’ve done nothing wrong. You’re my Tarzan and a tiger in the – well you know. The studio says I’ll sell more tickets divorced than married.”

“Okay, I’d never stand in the way of good box office. I’ve always known that Americans like their bad guys dead, but I didn’t know they wanted their women unmarried.”

“I’ve scheduled the divorce for three o’clock on Wednesday. We should be done in time for us to be home for dinner. I’m thinking pasta and a nice chianti.”

May 8:
On this day in 1924, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a letter to Henry Luce, the editor of Time Magazine, about how much ERB enjoyed an article in the April 28th, 1924 edition of Time. The article by Walter Duranty drew comparisons between Tarzanism and Marxism.
    Six Tarzan novels had been published in Russia and a Moscow publisher observed that all 250,000 printed copies sold quickly. He commented further, “The supply is far inferior to the demand. We could easily sell a million.”
    The entire Time article and ERB’s letter may be read in their entirety at:
Walter Duranty was the Moscow Bureau chief for the New York Times from 1922 – 1936. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932.
    The 100 word drabble for today “Cultural Immaturity,” was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs and it’s excerpted from his May 8, 1924 letter to Henry Luce,


I got a real kick out of Mr. Walter Duranty's explanation that Tarzanitis in Russia was doubtless due to the fact that that newly emancipated nation "represents the average cultural level of the American schoolboy between 11 and 16, and its uncomplimentary reflection upon the American and British peoples.

"The British are notoriously the worst offenders, seen in view of the fact that they have been strenuously warned against me by their reviewers. (one of whom recently described me as a man with the mind of a child of six) but then the reviewer is naturally handicapped by limited circulation."

May 9:
On this day in 1953, the article, “Me Tarzan, You Fan,” aka, “Thirty-five Years of Tarzan,” written by Thomas Wood, was published by Collier’s Magazine. The article focuses on Tarzan films, especially those by Sol Lessor. It covers the films’ international popularity, Lessor’s film rights, Tarzan’s lack of loquaciousness, and several other details about the films. The article claims 140,00,000 million viewers worldwide for each film. Box office, baby!!
    The entire article may be read at:
    The 100 word drabble for today, “Ideal Existence,’ is taken from that article, wherein the comments are attributed to Sol Lessor, who was the producer of several Tarzan films.


"In the old days all Tarzan had to do was to fight animals, barehanded. Times have changed. World War II brought mechanized warfare to the jungle. He has to watch for machine guns, armored trucks, booby traps and bombs.

"Tarzan used to be considered a big primitive man who beat his chest and yelled. Little boys imitated him everywhere, but now he is looked up to as a symbol of clean living and wholesomeness.

"Out there in the jungle, Tarzan lives in peace without plumbing, automobiles or taxes. It's the ideal existence. He's got nothing to worry about except enemies."

May 10:
On this day in 1931, George T. McWhorter was born in Washington D. C. George was the founder and curator for the Edgar rice Burroughs Memorial Collection housed by the University of Louisville in Louisville Kentucky. George took the editorial reins of the Burroughs Bulletin and published one issue a quarter beginning in January 1990. One issue was dedicated to a specific work by Edgar Rice Burroughs and they are a remarkable resource.
    George was a child prodigy with a magnificent singing voice. At the age of ten, he was a featured soloist on a nation-wide Christmas radio broadcast. He interrupted his voice studies and entered the US Army in 1951, where he served as a radio specialist.
    After his discharge he appeared in numerous stage and operatic productions. It would take far too long to list them.
    To read more about the remarkable like of this remarkable man, read his biography at:
    I only met George three times, but talked to him by phone on many occasions. He was always glad to help. The world needs more people like him.
    The drabble for today is "Third Times a Charm," and it’s taken from George’s article in the September 2012  issue of “The Owl,” a magazine published by the University of Louisville.


“Tarzan of the Apes” was the author’s third story. All-Story published “Tarzan of the Apes” in a special 1912 issue. The response from readers was overwhelming. The publishers realized they had a winner on their hands. So Burroughs set out to find a book publisher for Tarzan. No luck. The major book publishers he contacted included Rand-McNally, A.C. McClurg, and Reilly & Britton, all rejected it After appearing in such newspapers as the New York Evening World and the Los Angeles Record, A.C. McClurg, which had previously rejected it, now offered to publish it, and did on June 17, 1914.

May 11:
On this day in 2006, The Hardcover Theater Company of Minneapolis premiered the play, “A Princess of Mars.” The production was presented over a dozen times and the last performance was on June 5, 2006. Steve Schroer wrote the script and designed the props. The props, scenery, and costumes were limited by the budget and resources of a small local theater. Having participated in several local theater productions over the years, that means the budget is limited to what’s in the costume room and what you can beg or borrow. Not necessarily a bad thing. It’s amazing what folks can come up with.
    John Townsend wrote a review for the Minneapolis-St Paul Star Tribune, published on May 16, 2006 and reproduced at:
Amber Swenson, who portrayed Dejah Thoris, has an IMBD page,
    The drabble for today, is “Princess on Stage,” and it is taken from Townsend’s review, with care taken to include the names of the cast as much as possible.


John Carter (Jami Rasmussen) is abruptly transported to Mars and held captive by Green warriors.

Dejah Thoris (Amber Swenson), a princess, is also taken prisoner. Carter finds true love.

Under Schroer's brisk direction, the two-dimensionality of Burroughs' figures is played to heightened effect. The dialogue is delivered with utmost earnestness, which is also a reminder of how seriously the average reader of its day would have taken it.

Nathaniel Churchill plays the Red monarch Sab Than, whom Dejah Thoris feels she must marry for the sake of ending war. Kevin Carnahan finds depth and pathos as her father, Tardos Kosis.

May 12:
On this day in 1982, artist Hulbert Rogers died. Rogers was the cover illustrator for the first installment of “Tarzan and the Magic Men,” published by ALL-STORY WEEKLY on September 19, 1936.
    Rogers was the primary cover artist for “ASTONDING SCIENCE FICTION from 1939 through 1953 and he also illustrated covers and interiors for ADVENTURE, DECTECTIVE STORY, THE WHISPERER, THE WIZARD, ACE-HIGH, WEST, ROMANCE, LOVE STORY and SPORT STORY. This talented and prolific artist worked in the art department for the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, and became the art editor for THE NEW YORK TIMES.
    During the great depression, Rogers moved to New Mexico and lived in worked in commune of artists and bohemians for five years.
Among Hubert Rogers' many exceptional cover illustrations in addition to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan and the Magic Men” for the September 19, 1936 cover of ARGOSY; are numerous covers of ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION illustrating E. E. Smith’s “Skylark” space operas or works by Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein; and this classic October 1937 cover of ADVENTURE illustrating Thomas McMorrow’s story, “Here’s Luck.”
    Publishing details and countless illustrations of “Tarzan the Magnificent,” the novel containing “Tarzan and the Magic Men,” and “Tarzan and the Elephant Men,” abound at:
    The drabble for today is “Astounding,” and it was inspired by “Tarzan and the Magic Men.”


Robert Wood, an American travel writer on safari, was captured by the Kaji, a tribe of warrior women, who along with the neighboring Zuli tribe, were controlled by brothers who each possessed a magic jewel.

After many adventures, Tarzan saved himself and Wood.
“Thank you, Tarzan. Come to America with me.”
“No, when I first learned that I was a man, I was appalled to discover that humanity is cursed with self-destructive insanity.”

“But as you grew older you’ve learned otherwise.”
“No, the more I’ve learned, the more certain I am that my initial impression was correct. People are crazy.”

May 13:
On this day in 1958, the story arc, “Tarzan and the Convict,” by John Celardo and Dick Van Buren began. The story arc ran for sixty-five days. I liked this story. Good plot and excellent illustrations. A touch of Les Miserables with a strong message of honor and redemption. One of the best of the dailies.
    A convicted murderer was being escorted to his execution when he overpowered his guard and escaped. He arranged passage on a tramp steamer to Africa. He pretended to be Dr. Smith and gained Tarzan’s trust. Tarzan saved a young native boy from a lion, but the boy was badly injured. They returned the child to his tribe, only to be blamed for his injuries and held captive. The child’s condition worsened and the chief agreed to let “Dr. Smith” treat the boy. “If he dies, you die.”
    After surgery, the child improved, but the witch doctor, threatened by “Dr. Smith’s” success, tried to poison the child. Tarzan intervened and the witch doctor was exiled.
    The child recovered. Men hoping to kill Dr. Smith arrived in the jungle and the witch doctor told them where to find him. This alliance captured the chief’s son and offered to trade the boy for Smith.
    The tribesmen, Tarzan, and Smith overcame the men. As he died, their leader revealed that he was the real murderer and that Smith had been exonerated. Smith decided to stay in Africa and build a hospital.
    You can read the entire story at:
    The 100 drabble for today is "Scarlet Letter,” and it was inspired by “Tarzan and the Convict.”


Tarzan shook hands with the former convict. “Dr. Smith, I wish you luck building your hospital. Now that your innocence has been established, will you return home?”

“No, I’ll stay in Africa and build a hospital.”
“A noble endeavor, but you could being sailing to America within three days.”
“No, I’ll stay where I’m welcome. Even with my innocence determined, the public’s presumption of my guilt will haunt me forever. I might as well wear a scarlet letter. Perception is reality.”

Tarzan said, “That’s quite cynical.”
“Nope. A person is innocent until proven guilty, unless the public thinks he’s guilty.”

May 14:
Mother’s Day. On this day in 1933, the Tarzan Sunday comic story arc, “Wrath of the Gods,” concluded. “Wrath of the Gods” was part two of the overarching “Egyptian Saga,” written by George Carlin and illustrated by Hal Foster. The Egyptian Saga began on November 20, 1932 and ran until June 10t, 1934.
    The May 14th installment was titled “The Transformation of Tarzan,” The Egyptian population believed that Tarzan had been transformed into the god, Thoth. The high priest insisted that if Tarzan was the real Thoth, he could survive an ordeal by fire and he ignited the costume that Tarzan was wearing. Tarzan tore off his costume and the priest called for the faithful to destroy the imposter.
    This page and all the other Hal Forster pages may be viewed at This one is located at:
    Today’s 100 word drabble, "Honor thy Mother,” was inspired more by Mother’s Day than by “The Transformation of Tarzan,” and also by Philip Jose Farmer and the last paragraph in the novel, “Tarzan of the Apes.”


Princess Nikotris of Egypt wanted Tarzan free and helped him disguise himself as the god, Thoth. “The people will accept you. If you speak, pledge honor to Isis, the mother of all gods. Today is her day.”

“The only mother you honor is this Isis goddess?"
“Today is set aside to honor Isis. On another day we honor all mothers? Do your people have a day to honor their mothers?”

“We do. It’s traditional to bring gifts to one’s mother on that day.”
“Jewels, gold, flowers?”
“I bring bananas to my mother. My mother was a lovely beast, an ape.”

May 15:
On this day, the Los Angeles Times published an extensive obituary for Danton Burroughs. The title could not have been more appropriate, “Tarzan’s Creator’s Heir Protected the Legacy.” Written by Valerie J. Nelson, a Times staff writer, the article quotes Gerald Fecht, president of the Museum of the San Fernando Valley, Bill Hillman, editor of ERBzine, and Jim Sullos, President of ERB Inc.
Valarie Nelson has been with the LA Times for over 25 years.
    I’ve attached the entire article, but it might be easier to read at:
The 100 word drabble for today, “LA Times – Danton Tribute," is 100 words taken from that article.


Danton, who had been battling Parkinson’s disease, died of heart failure only a day after a fire at his home destroyed a room filled with family memorabilia. The cause of the fire is still under investigation said Alex Cornelius, a family spokesman.

Bill Hillman, editor of Edgar Rice Burroughs-related websites told the Times that “it was heartbreaking for Danton to put his life’s work into preserving material for the family and see it go up in flames.”

The day he died, Danton Burroughs was to be named chairman of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., the company his grandfather formed in 1923.


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