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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
OCTOBER V Edition :: Days 16-31
by Robert Allen Lupton
Back to Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7743
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
MAKE THE PEOPLE HAPPY
October 16, 2023 and 12 years ago on this day 2011, the Coventry Telegraph published an article about the upcoming Tarzan film, titled “Tarzan Remake. The article focused on writer/director, Craig Brewer. The Coventry Telegraph, a newspaper founded in 1891 serves Coventry, UK and has a circulation of slightly less than 4000.
As it turned out, Brewer received co-writing and screenplay credit with Adam Cozad. “The Legend of Tarzan’ was directed by David Yates.
You can read some of entire article at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag36/3639.html
The drabble for today is “Make the People Happy,” and it is an excerpt from that article
I’m so excited about it because I just turned my script into the studio. I'm waiting to see what they think. My producing team loves it, and some other people at the studio have read it so I'm waiting to see. It’s the best thing that I've ever written.
MAKE THE PEOPLE HAPPY
With Tarzan it’s hard because you got the kids raised on the Disney movie, then you got the people that were raised on Weissmuller's black and white movies, then you got the people who love the books and the comics, so I’ve a lot of people I have to make happy."
I DRAW WHAT I READ
October 17, 2023 and fifty-nine years ago on this day in 1962, Canaveral Press published its fourth Edgar Rice Burroughs title, “The Land that Time Forgot.” The novel had been out of print since 1940. Originally published in book form by A. C. McClurg and reprinted by Grosset and Dunlap, the book had been out of print for about 22 years. Of course, the determined collector could always accumulate the original pulp editions. (No mean feat, even in the early 1960s. You’d need three issues from 1918.)
The Canaveral edition was illustrated by Mahlon Blaine, who illustrated the cover and did seven interior illustrations. The edition ran for 318 pages. I always found Blaine’s illustrations strangely frightening.
The drabble for today, “I Draw What I Read,” is a fictitious conversation between Mahlon Blaine and Richard Lupoff at Canaveral Press.
“Mahlon, your interior illustrations for “The Land That Time Forgot” are more gruesome than I expected.”
I DRAW WHAT I READ
“Richard, in the books, dinosaurs ate somebody on almost every page. Men killed each other with clubs, spears, ropes, and axes. The tribes were named by their weapons of choice. If a woman survived to reach the peak of humanity, her reward was a life of captivity as a baby factory for winged humans. I couldn’t possible draw it gruesomely enough.”
“Could you lighten it up?”
“Ask the author.”
“I can’t. Burroughs passed away.”
“Then no, I drew it the way he wrote it.”
October 18: On this day 97 years ago in 1930, Rex Maxon’s adaption of “Tarzan and the Lost Empire,” for the Tarzan daily newspaper strip came to an end after 84 installments. As was ERB’s preference, the daily strip did not contain word balloons, but prose below the illustrations. Edgar Rice Burroughs received daily credit. The heading for each strip was “Tarzan and the Lost Empire – by Edgar Rice Burroughs. R. W. Palmer actually wrote the daily continuity.
The entire daily comic strip adaption may be read at its entirety beginning at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag30/3050.html
The drabble for today, “Commitment Point,” was inspired by the daily comic arc and Roman history.
The Lost Empire was ruled by men descended from a lost Roman Legion. Tarzan stumbled upon the Empire, while trying to find his friend, Von Harben. Tarzan became embroiled in a revolution led by the evil Fulvis Fupus.
Tarzan assembled a 5000 man Waziri army and marched on the empire. Fulvis surrendered.
Van Harben said, “I was worried, Tarzan, until I saw your Waziri. I’d have been executed if you hadn’t arrived in time. I was afraid you wouldn’t come.
“I committed my forces three days ago. There wasn’t a Rubicon to cross, so I made do with the Zambesi.”
October 19: On this day in 2010 Variety Magazine and the Toronto Sun newspaper both reported the death of actor Johnny Sheffield, who played Boy in eight Tarzan films. He also played Bomba in the Bomba films and even a pilot episode for, “Bantu, the Zebra Boy, which never made it to television. Sheffield completed a business degree at UCLA and worked in real estate.
You can watch the pilot episode for Bantu, the Zebra Boy at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=NJ4LhaX4qHs
Details about Johnny Sheffield: https://www.erbzine.com/mag31/3198.html
The drabble for today is, “Childhood Behavior” and it was inspired by Johnny Sheffield’s appearances as Boy in Tarzan films.
Joan Burroughs said, “Dad, I just saw “Tarzan Finds A Son.” They called Tarzan’s son, Boy, not Korak.”
“I know. I wasn’t happy about it, but the way they portrayed the character didn’t resemble Jack Clayton, aka Korak.”
“I liked Korak. He was brave and killed several bad men. He saved Tarzan.”
Edgar Rice Burroughs replied. ‘That’s how I wrote him, but the executives said that a bloodthirsty young man wasn’t good box office. Parents saw Korak as a bad role model. They wanted a pleasant child.”
“Then those parents have conveniently forgotten how bloodthirsty they were themselves as children.”
October 20: On this day in 1969, actor Rex Ingram died in Los Angeles, California. Rex appeared in the first Tarzan film, Tarzan of the Apes in 1918 and in 1955’s Tarzan’s Hidden Jungle.” His two roles in Tarzan films were not his primary roles. Rex had a major role in 1935’s Green Pastures ( He played God), played Jim in the 1939 version of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” opposite Mickey Rooney, Cabin in the Sky (He played the Devil) and in his best known film appearance was as the genie in 1940s The Thief of Bagdad.”
He also appeared in more than a dozen Broadway productions. His television work included, Daktari, The Rifleman, I Spy, Gunsmoke, and the Bill Cosby Show.
Ingram graduated from Northwestern University Medical School in 1919 and was a licensed physician.
The drabble for today, “I’m Alive,” is a combination of two quotes attributed to Rex Ingram. The first part is about how his career began and the second about his first stage appearance after his imprisonment for violation of the Mann Act, which is taken from Ingram’s essay, “I Came Back From the Dead,” originally published in Ebony Magazine.
“I was standing on a Hollywood corner waiting to cross the street when I was discovered by a talent scout and persuaded to play a jungle native in the first Tarzan picture.
After my release from prison, I stepped out on stage in a cold sweat. I’ll never forget the reception that audience gave me. It was deafening. They roared, clapped, cheered, and whistled for two minutes, yelling ‘come on, REX.’ I felt good. I was crying inside but couldn’t show it in my eyes. When the cheering stopped I began my lines.… I knew then that I wasn’t dead.”
MUMPS FOR THE CREW
October 21: On this day in 1966, the seventh episode, The Prodigal Puma,” of the Ron Ely Tarzan television series, was broadcast. The episode featured Olympic Decathlon champion, Rafer Johnson, Alan Caillou, Steward Raffil, and Gigi Perreau. Interestingly, pumas live in the Americas, not in Africa, but this series was filmed in Mexico and Brazil.
Johnson appeared in two Tarzan films, “Tarzan and the Jungle Boy” and “Tarzan and the Great River. Ghislaine Elizabeth Marie Thérèse Perreau-Saussine began acting at age 2 ½ and has over 86 credits film and television credits. She voiced the animated series “Crash,” as recently as 2020,
An excellent synopsis of the episode is at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag74/7422.html
The highlight of the episode was a long fight between Ely and Rafer, who also had excellent fight scenes with Mike Henry in his Tarzan Films.
The drabble, “Mumps for the Crew,” for today is an excerpt form an interview with Gigi Perreau by Nick Thomas prior to Gigi’s appease at Cinecon in 2019. The interview was published in the Mansfield News Journal in August 14, 2019. One of her early films was “For Heaven’s Sake,” which also featured Bob Cummings and Joan Bennett. Clifton Webb and Edmund Gwenn played angels assigned to find unborn children find good parents. Clifton Webb was terrified when he learned that Giigi had the mumps. Gigi didn’t have the mumps when she filmed The Prodigal Puma, but her character had an attitude. She drained a riverboat’s fuel while tied up and disarmed a smuggler with a gun.
I got the mumps during filming and he came unglued when he found out,” she recalled. “He insisted the whole production shut down for several days — because he was afraid of catching them, saying mumps can make a man sterile — until a doctor assured him I was not contagious anymore. I don’t think he was very comfortable around children — we sneeze and cough and carry on — but he was a lovely man and very professional. Making the film was a wonderful experience for me.
MUMPS FOR THE CREW
The studio may have screened it when it was finished. I don’t remember ever seeing it.”
RADIO KILLED THE BOOK STORE
October 22: On this day in 1932, Signal Oil Company organized the Tarzan Club, not to be confused with the Tarzan Clans of America. Signal Oil sponsored the Tarzan Radio Show. Within a year the club’s membership was over 125,000 and Signal Oil had to withdraw from the organization because they couldn’t keep up. Club members earned points for convincing people to buy Signal Oil products and members earned prizes – rifles (really, rifles), cameras, watches, and Tarzan books.
By 1934, membership was over 400,000. Signal Oil didn’t renew their sponsorship. The program was too successful.
The drabble for today is taken from ERB’s comments about radio, made in 1931 and1935. Call it “Radio Killed the Book Store.”
“There’s one factor that may have more effect on reducing book sales than any number of depressions, and that is radio, to which we are looking for far greater returns than our book royalties ever brought us. Already, with two programs, we’re netting more than we do from the sale of all our books, which, taken in connection with the fact that there are hundreds of similar programs on the air, suggests that people are taking their fiction this way instead of through books. Perhaps in my radio contract I’ll insist upon the reservation to me of the interplanetary rights.”
RADIO KILLED THE BOOK STORE
October 23: On this day in 1945, Edgar Rice Burroughs, who was still in Honolulu wrote a letter to hisdaughter, Joan. He starts by mentioned finding a place to live rather than moving in with Joan and her husband, Jim Pierce. He continued to discuss located cartons of Camel cigarettes and having the army feed him. He said it was the 57th day he’d been mostly bedridden. He concluded the letter with a P. S. in which he told Joan that he’d broken off his relationship with Dorothy Dalberg, writing, “The last time I wrote Dorothy I told her the best thing she could do was to go back to Dick to George and let things work themselves out. I haven’t heard from her for a long time.”
Read the entire letter and several more: https://www.erbzine.com/mag10/1027.html#23%20October
The 100 word drabble today, ‘Living Arrangements,” written by ERB, Is an excerpt from his letter to Joan.
“Don't think that I don’t appreciate your willingness to take me in, but it’s better otherwise. Those things don’t work out. I want you to keep loving me, which you couldn't do if you had to live with me. I’m a cantankerous old so-and-so.
It’s not just my family I wouldn't inflict myself on – it’s all and sundry.
You ask how much I’d pay for a place. All I can afford. Ask Ralph how much that is. He probably knows better than I do, but I'd go pretty high for a nice place to live, having no wives to support.”
LAMONT JOHNSON: TARZAN RADIO ACTOR
October 24: On this day in 2010, actor Lamont Johnson died. He was the voice of Tarzan in 64 shows in the 1952 Tarzan Radio Series, “Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle” from Commodore Productions.
Lamont had over 86 director credits for film and television and an additional 47 credits as an actor. Lamont Johnson seems to have performed on radio from the mid-1940s through the early 1950s in a variety of roles on such shows as The Adventures of Frank Merriwell, Alias Jane Doe, Broadway is My Beat, Let's Pretend, The Modern Adventures of Casanova and Wendy Warren and the News. He went into television in the early 1950s where he acted and directed for several years. He eventually concentrated on film work, which he also began in the early 1950s as an actor, before becoming a respected director of such films as Kona Coast, One On One, A Gunfight, Lipstick, The Groundstar Conspiracy, The McKenzie Break and Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone.
For a detailed commentary on the radio show and all of the episodes: https://www.erbzine.com/mag23/2337.html
The drabble for today is a fictional interview with Lamont Johnson, actor, director, and producer.
“Mr. Johnson, why did you have a radio career before entering television.”
LAMONT JOHNSON: TARZAN RADIO ACTOR
“No television when I started radio.”
“Really, what was the biggest difference in radio and television?”
“On radio, you had to create mystery, drama, and terror with your voice. On television, you can do that with bad lighting, a whisper, and wide eyes.”
“Which do you like better?”
“I could do radio in my pajamas. We got the script right before the show, read it once, and did it in one take. On television, we could spend all day filming five minutes. It was harder, but not better.”
THE GHOSTLY STRIP
October 25: On this day in 2020, according to author, Christopher Paul Carey, he penned the first words to “Victory Harben: Fires of Halos,” the fourth and final volume in the Swords of Eternity super arc. The novel is published by Edgar Rice Burroughs and is available at: https://edgarriceburroughs.com/.../victory-harben-fires.../ and at: https://www.amazon.com/Victory-Harben-Fires.../dp/1945462493
The book includes the bonus novelette, “Beyond the Farthest Star: Rescue on Zandar” by Mike Wolfer.
ERB Inc. also has a puzzle available.
The drabble for today, “The Ghostly Script,” is taken from the blurb for the book on Amazon:
When Gridley Wave contact is inexplicably broken, Victory Harben returns to the Earth's core to solve the mystery. Soon Victory finds the riddles of her past are hopelessly entangled with the machinations of the queen of the Mahars, the inner world's dethroned reptilian overlords. Hurled into the cosmic void, Victory is hunted by a vengeful being whose flaming sword absorbs souls of the slain, delivering them to the ravenous lords of Halos. As Victory seeks the key to her destiny, malevolent forces gather, unleashing the secret rulers of the afterlife in an unholy tempest that threatens to shatter reality itself.
THE GHOSTLY STRIP
SMALL SCREEN, SMALL ACTORS
October 26: On this day in 1981, actor Glenn Anders, who appeared in Tarzan's Peril died in New Jersey.
Glenn began his career in vaudeville on the Orpheum circuit and made his Broadway debut in 1919 in a play entitled “Just Around the Corner.” Mr. Anders had a very long and distinguished career on Broadway and during his career appeared in three Pulitzer Prize winning plays. Those plays were: “Hell Bent for Heaven” (1924) written by Hatcher Hughes; ‘They Knew What They Wanted” (1924) written by Sidney Howard and “Strange Interlude” (1928) written by Eugene O'Neill. Most of his career was spent on stage but he also had some noteworthy film appearances. He made ten movies from 1925 to 1951. His most memorable film role was that of Grisby the lawyer in “Lady from Shanghai,” The (1948) starring Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. His first film was “Sally of the Sawdust” (1925), directed by D. W. Griffith and starring W. C. Fields.
The plot of Tarzan's Peril involved convicts selling weapons to a native tribe, and besides Mr. Anders, it featured Lex Barker as Tarzan, Virginia Huston as Jane, and Dorothy Dandridge as Melmendi, Queen of the Ashuba tribe. The film was also released at Jungle Queen and as Tarzan’s Mate in Peril. In the UK it was titled “Tarzan and the Jungle Queen.” It was the first Tarzan film actually filmed in Africa. Movie details: https://www.erbzine.com/mag19/1951.html
The drabble for today is, “Small Screen, Small Actors,” and it was inspired by Glenn Anders career. It’s a fictional interview with the actor.
“Mr. Anders, you only made ten films, and you had a remarkable stage career. You never did television, did you?”
SMALL SCREEN, SMALL ACTORS
“I’m proud to say that I didn’t. Little bitty faces on a little bitty screen, usually with static and interference. I’d rather be back in vaudeville, working the Orpheum Circuit, playing the boondocks, and eating canned tuna fish than do television.”
“That seems like an overreaction to me.”
“I retired and moved to Mexico rather than stay in Hollywood and do television, which is mostly badly rewritten Shakespeare.”
“Sir, television isn’t that bad.”
“It’s only good if you like it.”
EVEN CRITICS NEED WORK
October 27: On this day in 1929 “Lee Side O’ L. A.” written by Lee Shippey and published by the Los Angeles Times featured an article about Edgar Rice Burroughs. The lede was “Edgar Rice Burroughs might be the literary critic’s best friend.”
The column is subtitled, “Personal Glimpses of World Famous Southlanders.” The entire article may be read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag13/1365.html#Personal
The drabble for today, “Even Critics Need Work, is an excerpt from that column.
Edgar Rice Burroughs might be called the literary critics' best friend. For fifteen years they have taken great delight in ridiculing Tarzan of the Apes. One London critic declared Burroughs must have the mind of a child, as no one else could vision such romantic and wildly improbable stories. And others all over the world have broken into print with similarly unkind assertions. In fact, if it weren't for such writers as Burroughs, some literary critics never could break into print.
EVEN CRITICS NEED WORK
And so great has been the influence of their criticisms that "Tarzan" has been translated into sixteen foreign languages.
October 28: On this day in 1951, prolific and amazing author Joe R. Lansdale was born in Gladewater, Texas. Joe has written in several genres, horror, mystery, western, adventure, and crime – mostly with a touch of a clever, but vicious humor. I love it. He was selected to complete an unfinished Tarzan manuscript. Edgar Rice Burroughs had written 82 pages. Lansdale completed the novel, which was published by Dark Horse Books in 1995.
For details: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0733.html
Lansdale has written several books. I don’t have all of them, but I keep trying. Along the way, he’s amassed more awards than most writers have books. Read him and visit his website: https://www.joerlansdale.com/
If you haven’t read his work, you’re missing something. Here are a couple of quotations contributed to Joe R. Lansdale.
“My father always encouraged me to get an education, but he was also a guy that when he was younger, had ridden the rails from town to town to box and wrestle for money.”
“When you live in a small town behind the Pine Curtain (East Texas), you live inside your head a lot.”
“Let me tell you, if you have never seen an agitated squirrel you have seen very little, nor have you heard much, because the sound of an angry squirrel is not to be forgotten.” I grew up in a small Oklahoma town, and I can vouch for this one. I'd also point out that a pissed off squirrel is faster than you are.
The drabble for today, “Selective Expectations,” was written by Pete James, who edited the title for Dark Horse Books. He credits Danton Burroughs for approval of the text, along with Dark Horse Publisher, Mike Richardson and of course the author. In spite of James’ comment about the book not meeting expectations, I have to say that I enjoyed it – as I do all of Lansdale’s work.
"I knew the project was going to meet with mixed reviews. Lansdale is a sort of cilantro of writers: love his stuff or it leaves a bad taste, no gray area. I relied on Danton Burroughs's/Burroughs Inc. approval of the text and concentrated on illustrations and design. We hoped to meet the expectations of older, longtime Burroughs fans and a newer generation of comics readers, and apparently missed. I won't apologize for this project, nor will I throw under the bus the hard-working folks who contributed to it, but I will say that it was a blast to pull together."
LISTEN AND LEARN
October 29: On this day in 1921, Argosy All-Story Weekly published the fourth and final installment of “The Efficiency Expert.” The story remained out of print until published by the House of Greystoke, the publishing arm of the Burroughs Bibliophiles on May 6, 1966.
The cover of Argosy All-Story Weekly was by frequent ERB artist Modest Stein, and it could have been of Little Eva in “The Efficiency Expert,” but it was to illustrate “The Super Swing,” a Shadowers, Inc. novel by David Fox, a pseudonym of Isabel Ostander. The issue also contained an installment of a Semi-Dual novel, “Wolf of Erlik,” by J. U. Giesy and Junius B. Smith. Some guy named Max Brand was included, as was a non-science fiction story, “Run, Race Hawss,” by Murry Leinster.
Details about the book, illustrations and the entire novel are at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0768.html
The novel focuses on the adventures of Jimmy Torrence, Edith, aka Little Eva, and a petty criminal only known as the Lizard.
The 100 word drabble for today, “Listen and Learn,” is inspired by the 47,000 word novel, “The Efficiency Expert.”
The Lizard said, “Jimmy, you want a job as a business manager, but you’ve never managed anything. How does that work?”
LISTEN AND LEARN
“I can teach people to be more efficient, Efficiency is better ways of doing what’s already being done.”
“Sounds like a scam. If you don’t know the business, how ya gonna make it better?”
“The workers know how, but they don’t know that they know. They’ll tell me and l’ll write a report.”
“Do the workers get the credit?”
“Don’t be silly.”
“So management is stealing other people’s ideas. Don’t seem legal.”
“Relax. Politicians do it all the time.”
TASTES LIKE WHAT?
October 30: Halloween Eve - On this day in 1920, A. C. McClurg published the first edition of “Thuvia, Maid of Mars.” McClurg used the same P. J. Monahan illustration for the cover that had appeared on the April 8, 1916 cover of All-Story Weekly. The first edition contains ten interior sepia plates by J. Allen St. John.
As a matter of policy, I almost never refer to the same event in ERB history twice on these posts, but I particularly enjoyed this one, so here it is again, originally posted in 2019.
Henry Heins estimated the word count at 45,000 words, making “Thuvia,” one of the shortest of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novels. The first edition print run was approximately 17,000 copies.
Thuvia, a Martian princess and Carthoris, son of John Carter and Dejah Thoris, were falling in love. Carthoris learned that Thuvia could mentally control Banths. Banths were like lions on steroids. Ten legs, more teeth and at least twice as large.
Details about the novels, dozens of illustrations, and the complete text of the book are free to see and read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0425.html
The 100 word ‘Thuvia, Maid of Mars,” inspired drabble of the day is “Tastes Like What?”
A banth, a Barsoomian lion threatened Thuvia and her companions. Thuvia made mental contact with the banth and convinced him to attack a party of Thern warriors who were chasing them.
TASTES LIKE WHAT?
The Therns were self-rightous in their anger. John Carter, father of her companion, Carthoris, had destroyed their predatory religion. They never forgave him.
Carthoris sheathed his long-sword. “Why’d the banth leave us and attack the Therns.”
“Because I told him to attack the Therns.”
“It can’t be that simple. Do all banths obey you?”
“Well, you have to know what to say. I told him Therns taste like chicken.”
WAITING FOR THE PLANE
October 31: On this day in 1942, Edgar Rice Burroughs, the world’s oldest war correspondent wrote a letter to his daughter, Joan. ERB’s correspondent credentials had been approved and he was a fully accredited United Press correspondent. ERB was impatient to be sent “somewhere.” He also related the adventures that his son Hulbert had experienced on Guadalcanal.
The entire letter is available to read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0429.html#31.10.42
The drabble for today, “Waiting for the Plane,” is an excerpt from the letter that Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote to daughter, Joan, on Halloween, 1942.
"I’m impatiently awaiting to be sent "somewhere". My correspondent's credentials finally came through from the War Department. I’m now fully accredited as a United Press correspondent. The UP bureau chief has received cabled instructions from New York to send me out. He’s waiting for a spot to send me and a place on a plane. If my lifetime experience runs true to form, the war will be over when I arrive. I always get to a fire after it’s out.
WAITING FOR THE PLANE
All my life I’ve wanted to be a war correspondent. After all, I’m a professional writer; not a professional soldier."
OCTOBER V: 16-31 ILLUSTRATIONS COLLAGE
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