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I must have become a Tarzan fan by the time I was 7 years old, if not sooner. One of my earliest exposures to the character may have been March of Comics number 252, featuring Tarzan, published in 1963, which I picked up for free at Sears in Shillington, Pennnsylvania.
I was born on April 13, 1956, grew up in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, and went to college in Rochester, New York. The moves from state to state before my college years were because of my father's line of work, medical director at miscellaneous plants (i.e., New Holland Machine Company in Pennsylvania.) But for me, the majority of those growing up years were in Pennsylvania, which I now consider my home state.
I became a fan of comic books and heroic fantasy in general during my teen years. I developed the collectors' bug, and became a "completist" at that. Although I collected Burrough's books, I was never actually a very prolific reader. I believe that I read only about half of the Tarzan books, and not any of Burroughs' other books, to be honest with you. But the illustrations, the cover paintings, never ceased to captivate me. And once I obtained a copy of Tarzan of the Movies by Gabe Essoe, probably when it was published in 1968, I longed to see faithful adaptions of Burrough’s Tarzan in comic books and motion pictures.
But the fact to the matter is, I was drawn to Tarzan in particular because of my own fantasies to run around in the woods in an almost naked state. Perhaps I shouldn’t have taken Tarzan’s skills for granted, though. I didn't need to wrestle with wild animals in Pennsylvania.
I had an unusual interest for my age in how the corporate world presented my favorite characters to the public-at-large. I was a paper tiger, so to speak, and demanded answers to my questions in typewritten letters to the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate, between 1971 and 1976. They took me very seriously, and I am forever grateful for their dedicated replies. Here is our correspondence, complete with carbon copies of my letters, and their original letters and postmarked envelopes.~ John Mozzer
THE YOUNG JOHN MOZZER
Age 15 and Age 16
SEE LISTS OF ERB WORKS COMPILED BY HULBERT BURROUGHS
Go to ERBzine 7867
THE NOVELS OF ERB WITH PUBLICATIONS DATES AND ILLUSTRATORS
As of February 15, 1971
ERB NOVELS: Date Written ~ Story Number ~ Working Titles ~ Magazine Titles ~ Book Titles
Information Gathered From ERB's Working Notebook
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