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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
AUGUST V Edition :: Days 16-31
by Robert Allen Lupton
Back to Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7741
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
THE GOOD FIGHT
August 16, 2023: On this day in 1892, artist Harold Rudolf Foster, best known as Hal Foster, was born in Halifax, NS, Canada. He immigrated from Winnipeg to the United States by riding a bicycle to Chicago.
Foster created the long running comic strip, “Prince Valiant,” but before that he illustrated “Tarzan” in both daily and Sunday comics. A summary of his “Tarzan’ work is at: https://www.erbzine.com/foster/
Foster won more awards than I can mention in this article and he influenced other artists, who are regularly identified as giants in the field, including Jack Kirby, Wally wood, Frank Frazetta, Carl Barks, Joe Kubert, Steve Ditco, All Williamson, Bill Ward, and Dave Sims (There’s never an aardvark with a sword around when you need one.)
Foster’s first Tarzan Sunday strip was September 27, 1931 and the last was May 2, 1937. His Tarzan dailies, an adaption of “Tarzan of the Apes,” ran from January 7, 1929 through June 8, 1939 – sixty pages.
The first Prince Valiant page appeared on February 13, 1937 (according to Wikipedia) and the last, #1788, in 1971 after which John Cullen Murphy took over the strip, which still continues to this day with art by Thomas Yeates. ERBzine's reprints of Foster's Prince Valiant start at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag42/4201.html
The drabble for today, “The Good Fight,” was inspired by Foster’s work, with a little tongue-in-cheek.
Tarzan dove into the river, killed three hundred crocodiles, towed the boat ashore with his teeth, and battled a pride of lions to save the passengers.
THE GOOD FIGHT
A woman fanned herself and said, “Thank you. Arn you the brave one.”
Tarzan replied, “I’m not a knight in shining armor. I try to foster a good relationship with the animals, but a man must protect the weak, after all, it isn’t beauty that kills the beast.”
“I’ve never seen a man so brave.”
“Cowards die a thousand deaths, the valiant die but once.”
“But not yet. Valiant still lives after 86 years.”
August 17, 2023: On this day in 1935, Ralph Rothmund, Secretary and General Manager at ERB Inc., sent out a cascade of submissions for Burroughs’ 1930 western, “That Damned Dude,” using the title, “The Brass Heart” and the pseudonym, “John Mann. The story was rejected 24 times before it was accepted by “Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1939, where it was serialized after the magazine changed its title to “Thrilling Adventures” in March, 1940 under a new title, “The Terrible Tenderfoot.’ ERB Inc. published the book as “The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County in 1940. https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0777.html
The cover art for the first installment of “The Terrible Tenderfoot” was by Arthur Mitchell. C. A. Murphy drew several black and white interior illustrations. ERB's name was on all three installments.
For details about the story and an electronic version, go to: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0777.html#ta
The drabble for today, Naming Rights,” was inspired by the long journey traveled by this western tale before it found a home.
Ralph Rothman walked into Edgar Rice Burroughs’ office and said, “We finally sold “That Damn Dude” to Thrilling Wonder Magazine, but they’re gonna change the name.”
“Yes, to “Thrilling Adventures,” but that’s not all. The story gets a new name and they insist on using your name, not the John Mann pseudonym.”
“Using The Brass Heart title, are they?”
“No, they’ll call it “The Terrible Tenderfoot.”
“Can’t tell you how much I hate that. Let’s get the hardcover out right away.”
“New title, “The Gracious Greenhorn.”
“Oh, hell no, Ralph, you keep the books. I’ll write the stories.”
SELL THE SIZZLE
August 18, 2023: On this day in 1908. Edgar Rice Burroughs left his position as the manager at the stenographic office of Sears to go into business with a partner. ERB/Sears Connection: https://www.erbzine.com/mag12/1288.html
He and Dentzer, first name unknown, formed an advertising agency, “Burroughs and Dentzer, Advertising Contractors." Their intent was to sell a correspondence course to prepare people for a career as salesmen.
The business did poorly and by the time Joan's brother Hulbert was born a year later, the Burroughs family was in a penniless state. Needless to say, the business failed.
In 1908, a fledging salesman named Dale Carnegie took his first job, selling correspondence courses.
The 100 drabble for today, “Sell the Sizzle,” was inspired by the gentlemen’s efforts to form their own company.
“Denzler,” said Edgar Rice Burroughs, “we aren’t making any money. This isn’t working. Maybe we should both take our own salesman’s class.”
SELL THE SIZZLE
“No, we wrote it. I don’t need to read it. I’m tired of Saltines and peanut butter. We’ve only got fifty dollars left."
“No, I’m afraid we don’t. This salesman named Dale Carnegie came by and I bought forty-five dollars’ worth of correspondence courses from him.”
“Do you think people who buy his courses turn around and sell a lot of courses?”
“I have no idea, but what I do know, is that Carnegie guy darn sure does.”
RITE OF PASSAGE
August 19, 2023: On this day in 2001, the last Sunday Tarzan comic strip illustrated by Gray Morrow was published. “The Capture of Tarzan,” written by Alan Gross, was the story arc and it ran for only six weeks. Morrow illustrated the strip from March 6, 1983, so eighteen years, five months and 13 days. Not bad. 1093 strips if I didn’t mess up the count.
All the Gray Morrow Sunday pages are available to read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag22/2292.html or https://www.erbzine.com/mag34/3499.html His first and last page are included herein.
The 100 word drabble for today, “Rite of Passage,” was inspired by the story arc, “The Capture of Tarzan,” https://www.erbzine.com/mag34/3490.html
Two native boys decided to capture Tarzan to prove that they weren’t children any more, but ready to be warriors. Wanting to impress a girl had nothing to do with it”
RITE OF PASSAGE
“One said, “To capture Tarzan, a man must be smart like me.”
The other, “To capture Tarzan, you must be strong like me.”
The girl said, “Whoever brings Tarzan to the village, is the winner.”
Traps, tracking, schemes, and fighting all failed. Kwame invited Tarzan to lunch and Tarzan accepted.
Sometimes all it takes to conquer someone, is a BLT and a milkshake. That way no one gets hurt.
REWRITE AND REDRAW
August 20, 2023: On this day in 1937, Edgar Rice Burroughs began revising, or rather expanding his story, “The Lad and the Lion.” Working from August 20, 1937 until August 31, 1937, Burroughs added 21,000 words to the pulp magazine version of the story, which was approximately 20,000 words in length – doubling the size of the story, His revision framed the story in a mythical European kingdom, not Lutha, and he moved sections of the original version of the story from near the end to near the beginning of the rewrite.
John Coleman Burroughs illustrated the dust wrapper and also drew black and white illustrations for the first edition, published February 15, 1938.
Details about the novel and an electronic version are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0760.html
The drabble for today is “Rewrite and Redraw,” and it was inspired by the story, “The Lad and the Lion,” as rewritten and published by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
“John,’ said Edgar Rice Burroughs. “I’ve finished rewriting “The Lad and the Lion.” I’ve made the story twice as long. A lot of takes place in Europe. How are you coming on the illustrations?”
REWRITE AND REDRAW
“I thought I was finished. All of my drawings illustrate scenes that take place in Africa. I didn’t expect a European tour.”
“The book goes to the printer in a couple weeks. Is there time to for another illustration?”
“Not and keep your publishing schedule.”
“What, I wrote 21,000 words in eleven days.”
“Dad, a picture’s worth a thousand words, or in this case, twenty-one thousand.”
FATHER OF DIAMONDS
August 21, 2023: On this day in 1904, Karlton Kadell, aka Carlton KaDell, was born in Danville, Indiana. Karlton voiced Tarzan in the radio shows, “Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher” and “Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr.”
KaDell also voiced characters in the radio shows, “Big Town,” “Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy,” “Red Ryder,” “Fibber McGee and Molly,” “The Great Guildersleeve,” and several more.
IMBD only lists five film credits for KaDell, including 1932s “The All-American,” and 1962s “Night of Evil.”
“Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher,” ran for 39 episodes and you can hear them all at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag31/3140.html
“Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr” also ran for 39 episodes. All of which are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag31/3141.html
The 100 word drabble for today, “Father of Diamonds,” is an excerpt from the introduction to each episode of “Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher,” written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
We bring you Tarzan, that immortal fictional character of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Deep in the heart of Africa rises a mighty cone-shaped mountain, an extinct volcano, in the huge crater of which lies The Forbidden City of Asher... To reach this stronghold two safaris endure hardships and perils that bring death to some and high adventure to all... One safari bent on the rescue of the son of its leader... the other, headed by a wily and unscrupulous Oriental, seeks the Father of Diamonds... And through the intrigue, mystery, and danger moves the majestic figure, Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle.
FATHER OF DIAMONDS
NONE OF MY BUSINESS
August 22, 2023: On this day 2008, actress Mimi Dillard died in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Her credits included “ Felony Squad,” “The Manchurian Candidate,” “South Pacific,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Seven Days in May,” “Perry Mason,” “The Cincinnati Kid,” “The Man from Uncle,” “Tarzan,” “The Ballad of Andy Crocker,” “My Three Sons,” “The Flying Nun,” and “The Man from ORGY.”
Sadly, it’s difficult to find much information about Mimi. Her appearance on Ron Ely’s Tarzan series was in episode #5, “The Prisoner,” where she played Nione. Details about every episode of Ron Ely’s television Tarzan series are located at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag74/7420.html
The drabble for today, None of My Business,” was inspired by Mimi Dillard’s career and a warped sense of humor.
On the set of Felony Squad, actor Howard Duff finished a scene with Mimi Dillard. ‘Mimi, you’ve been on this show before.”
NONE OF MY BUSINESS
“I have, I’ve done lots of shows.”
“Dick Van Dyke,” “Tarzan,” “Perry Mason, Donna Reed,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “The Man From Uncle.”
“I remember you from Tarzan. You played the chief of a native tribe. A bossy woman if I recall.”
“Is that a bad thing?”
“No, I’ve always had a weakness for bossy women.”
“Howard, that’s too much information. I don’t hear confessions, even though I’ll film an episode of “The Flying Nun” next week.
NOT WITH THE SAME BRUSH
August 23, 2023: On this day in 1921, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ German publisher, Tauchnitz, requested permission to publish "Jungle Tales of Tarzan," instead of “Tarzan the Terrible” a story with strong anti-German content.
During WW1, ERB contributed to the war effort by writing patriotic newspaper articles. Pro-American and anti-German themes were incorporated into some of short stories and novels he wrote during this period. Call it patriotism or propaganda. “The Land That Time Forgot,” “Tarzan the Untamed,” and “Tarzan the Terrible” are three of those novels. “The Little Door” was consider unacceptable, even in America, and it wasn’t published until 2001 in “Forgotten Tales of Love and Murder.”
The Little Door is available to read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag51/5109.html
Tarzan the Terrible publishing history at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0494.html
Burroughs was attacked by the German press, and he tried to mitigate the damage. In 1925, Carl Stephenson, writing as Stefan Sorel, published a vicious anti-Burroughs article, “Tarzan the German-Devourer, which virtually destroyed sales in Germany. https://www.erbzine.com/mag32/3296.html
The drabble, is, “Not With The Same Brush,” and it is excerpted from Burroughs’s defense of his supposedly anti-German novels.
"They reflect what I thought and felt at the time I wrote them. I cannot apologize for an honest conviction however mistaken it may have been.
NOT WITH THE SAME BRUSH
The villains I created "were the types that the German people themselves have inveighed most bitterly against, the cruel, ruthless, arrogant German officer.
“I’ve no hesitancy in offending those whom I consider a menace to society regardless of nationality or their purchasing power. If I never sell another book in Germany I’d remain as antagonistic toward Hauptman Fritz Schneider, as the vast majority of the German people are and, I hope, always will be."
AND SO IT BEGINS
August 24, 2023: On this day in 1911, Thomas Metcalf of The Frank A. Munsey Company wrote a letter to Mr. E. R. Burroughs accepting the unfinished manuscript of the novel, “Dejah Thoris, Martian Princess.” Burroughs finished the manuscript and All-Story Magazine published it as “Under the Moons of Mars.” We know the story as “A Princess of Mars.” https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0421.html
The letter is available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag28/b110824.jpg
The 100 word drabble for today is, “And So It Begins,” an excerpt from the letter to Edgar Rice Burroughs from Thomas Metcalf.
It’s with considerable interest that I’ve read “Dejah Thoris, Martian Princess.” There’re many things about the story which I like, but there are points about which I’m not so keen. The story shows a great deal of imagination and ingenuity; but I’m unable to judge the total effect, on account of its unfinished condition. I think it’s rather slow in getting under way and it seems to me that you treat too casually and vaguely Carter’s leaving the earth and arriving on Mars. You often fall into long-windedness and tell many things which seem to me unessential to the story.
AND SO IT BEGINS
X MARKS THE SPOT
August 25, 2023: On this day in 1949, Dell Books released the paperback and map-back edition of “The Cave Girl,” by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Artist Jean des Vignes illustrated the beautiful cover for this book and Ruth Belew drew the map on the back, ”Wild island home of Nadara the Cave Girl.” An edition of “Tarzan and the Lost Empire” was also published in the mapback series.
From 1943 through 1951, Dell books published about 551 books in the ‘mapback’ series, although occasionally a book in the series was published without a map. Dell's most memorable design innovation was not on the front but on the back covers ... the entire back covers given over to maps, or variously charts, blueprints, or what have you to represent story locale or scene of the crime: a stretch of California highway, the interior of an apartment, a sheik's 'city of stones.' It was an enjoyable if slightly goofy gimmick and, amazingly, managed to last nearly ten years.
Publishing details for “The Cave Girl” are located at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0755.html
The drabble for today is “X Marks the Spot.” Inspired by the mapback edtion of “The Cave Girl.”
Captain Cecil Burlingham said, “Mrs. Smith-Jones, this is the island where we believe that your son, Waldo, was shipwrecked. It’s a big island.”
X MARKS THE SPOT
“It’s reported my son is living in a cave with some wild woman."
The captain replied, “Where should we begin our search?”
“That won’t be a problem, my good man. I have a map. It’s printed on the back of a book. It tells me where my poor Waldo is being held in thrall and subjected to who knows what heathen customs.”
The captain said, “Yes ma’am” and mumbled under his breath. “I should be so lucky.”
WITNESS OR WARRIOR
August 26, 2023: On this day in 1946, actor Rickie James Sorensen was born in Los Angeles, California. He passed away at age 46 in Lynwood, California. His 42 IMBD acting credits included “Tarzan’s Fight For Life,” “Tarzan and the Trappers,” “The Cat From Outer Space,” ‘My Friend Flicka,” “Perry Mason,” “One Hundred and One Dalmatians,” and the role for which he was best known, Arthur Pendragon in “The Sword and the Stone.”
In Tarzan’s Fight for Life, Rickie played Tartu, a boy who was officially adopted by Tarzan and Jane (Gordon Scott and Eve Brent). Tartu, aka Sorenson, also appeared in “Tarzan and the Trappers, a film edited from the first three episodes of a proposed TV series, where the child was known as “Boy” rather than Tartu.
Details about “Tarzan’s Fight For Life:” https://www.erbzine.com/mag19/1955.html
Details about “Tarzan and the Trappers:” https://www.erbzine.com/mag19/1956.html
The drabble for today is “Witness or Warrior,” inspired by Tarzan’s Fight for Life” and “The Sword and the Stone,” I considered calling the drabble, “Wart, me Worry,” but I just couldn’t.
Tarzan took his adopted son, Tartu, on a journey through the middle terrace of the mightiest jungle trees. They ventured to the highest treetops.
WITNESS OR WARRIOR
Tarzan said, “Boy, what can you see from the tallest tree that you can’t see when we were on the ground?”
“I see lions stalk their prey, I see alligators hiding in wait, I see mighty snakes near our home, and I see warring tribes preparing to do battle over boundary lines that are invisible from here.”
“What does that teach you?”
“It’s far better to stay above the fray and watch, than be in it.”
August 27, 2023: On this day in 1949, “The Evening Observer,” a newspaper in Dunkirk, New York, published the article, “TARZAN TO LIVE ON YEARS AFTER BURRROUGHS,” an interview with Edgar Rice Burroughs conducted by Patricia Clary. The date line for the article was “Hollywood (UP).
The entire article has been faithfully reproduced at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag17/1757.html#tarzantoliveon
Burroughs predicted that “Nothing can ever kill Tarzan. Tarzan is ageless.” Looks like he was right.
The 100 drabble for today is, “Always,” an excerpt from that article. Just for the record, I don’t remember Lex Barker speaking with an Oxford accent.
Burroughs is 76 and a shut-in crippled by heart attacks. But he said the jungle lord he created 35 years ago to feed his family will live forever.
The invalid father of Tarzan gets his greatest pleasure from seeing the ape-man still swinging through the jungle.
The movie Tarzans talk mostly in grunts which is supposed to be good box office. But the jungle-lord Burroughs wrote about was an English aristocrat who addressed the monkeys in Oxford accents.
"He told me I came nearest to his idea of Tarzan," said the current ape-man, Lex Barker, himself an aristocrat from Princeton.
MINT, IN BOX
August 28, 2023: On this day in 1996, the first two episodes of “Tarzan: The Epic Adventures” were released to American television. The episodes were titled “Tarzan’s Return,” Parts One and Two. https://www.erbzine.com/mag76/7671.html
Written by Burton Armus and directed by Brian Yuzna, the series featured Joe Lara as Tarzan. Lydie Denier, who played Jane in the 1991 Tarzan series with Wolf Larson, appeared in episode number one as Olga de Coude.
Tarzan is in Paris where he is becoming more uncomfortable with civilization and yearns for the jungle. The first two episodes involve a "Journey to the Center of the Earth."
In order to close the hole to the other world, Tarzan must find the gem stolen from the gateway. After almost sort of devoured by a gigantic snake in the first half, Tarzan follows Rokoff to Pellucidar at the Earth's core. Rokoff plots with the Queen of the Mahars, who eat human flesh.
Everything, or almost everything you want to know about the series: https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0014a.html
The drabble for today, “Mint, in Box,” was inspired by Tarzan: The Epic Adventures.
Tarzan searched the jungle for the evil prince, Nicolai Rokoff, and to save Colette, Lydie Denier, from being sold as slave.
MINT, IN BOX
During their excape through jungle, Tarzan was forced to battle a gigantic snake. Witnesses thought Tarzan was killed when he jumped into the snake’s mouth.”
“My God, it ate him,” said Colette.
Joshua Mugambi said, “No, look. He cracks the beast’s jaws and walks away. I thought he would be easier to swallow.”
“He looked so much smaller in that plastic package. I never should have opened it.”
Lydie replied, “Once you open it, it ruins the value.”
August 29, 2023: In 1876, director, screenwriter, and producer, Henry MacRae was born.in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
MacRae was very prolific, with 164 director credits, 67 producer credits, and 38 screenwriting credits. He directed “Tarzan the Tiger,” and produced “The Green Hornet” and “Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe.” He directed numerous westerns.
Tarzan the Tiger was his first “Talking Picture,” considered a transitional film between silents and talkies. One version was released as a silent and a second one with a partial soundtrack that included music, jungle noises, and Tarzan’s yell. The film was thought to be lost, but recently a version with the sound track was discovered. Details about Tarzan the Tiger are located at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag5/0593.html
The drabble for today. “Masked Man, was inspired by Macrae’s prolific career.
Actor Gordon Jones asked producer Henry Macrae, “Why do I have to wear this stupid mask. Real hornets don’t have masks. Kato doesn’t wear a mask. The Green Hornet on the radio doesn’t wear a mask.”
“Actually, he does, but you can’t hear a mask, can you. You’re playing two roles, the Green Hornet and his secret identity, Brett Reid”
“Mr. Macrae, Frank Merrill didn’t wear a mask in Tarzan the Tiger.”
“No, but he probably wishes that he had.”
“Buster Crabbe doesn’t wear a mask in Flash Gordon.”
“No, he doesn’t, Gordon, but there’s just something about your face.”
THE LAST PICTURE SHOW
August 30, 2023: On this day in 1951, actor Timothy James Bottoms, was born in Santa Barbara, California. Happy Birthday. Bottoms’ many films included “The Last Picture Show,” “The Paper Chase,” “Rollercoaster,” “The Man in the Iron Mask,” “Texasville,” and “The Land That Time Forgot,” the 2009 version where his character was named, “Captain Burroughs.
Details about this film are located at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag21/2117a.html
IMDB lists 121 credits for this talented and prolific actor.
The drabble for today is The Last Picture Show and it was inspired by Timothy Bottoms’ films.
On the set of Ayslum’s, “The Land That Time Forgot,” Timothy Bottoms addressed the director, C. Thomas Howell, “Tom, who wrote this crap. I read the book and there isn’t a Captain Burroughs. Now, Burroughs wrote the book, but he isn’t in it.”
THE LAST PICTURE SHOW
“Yeah, we changed all the characters’ names.”
“If you hoped that would make this script better, it didn’t. You should have followed the book.”
“We got what we got.”
“I starred in “The Last Picture Show” years ago, but his film could be the final nail. After folks see it, it could be the last picture show!”
August 31, 2023: Today is the 1900th Drabble. On this day in the world of Edgar Rice Burroughs and a somewhat relevant 100 drabble. Also, on this day ninety-two years ago in 1931, Better Homes and Gardens published the article, “A Place to Play In.” written by Margaret McOmie. The article is an interview with Edgar Rice Burroughs about his writing and about the beauty of his home in California.
The entire article has been faithfully reproduced at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag16/1683.html#garden
The drabble for today. “Garden Delight,” is a compilation of quotations attributed to ERB in that article.
"To me, a garden is a place to enjoy living, not just a place to rest in! It must be informal, as big as possible, and have pools and many trees. Include, if you can, a rolling countryside where you may ride, explore, and on which you may gaze with a far-away look. A garden is the greatest sport in the world! The greatest thing about gardening is that nothing is ever finished, there’s always something to plan.
We all play here. We have a lot of fun out of it. After all, that's what a garden is for."
AUGUST V: 1-15 ILLUSTRATIONS COLLAGE
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