Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
Volume 0832
ERB Artists and Comics Sections
 Portfolio Eclectica
Russ Manning ~ LA: September 1, 1975 ~ 100 Anniversary of ERB

Click for full size of promo splash bar


ERBzine 0831d



Example of early Manning single-page art in Tarzan Dell comics

Annual 7
Manning's Tarzan in Japanese ReprintsManning's Tarzan in Japanese Reprints
No. 7 ~ July 23, 1977Tarzan Monthly ~ No. 5 ~ BeastmanTarzan Monthly ~ No. 5 ~ Tarzan and the Paradise SeekersTarzan Monthly No. 4 ~ 1978
Manning Tarzan Sunday page art
???? Davy Crockett Dell Comic???Buck Jones ComicsKorak, of Tarzan Comic Books
Russ Manning Tribute ~ 1983Tarzan Record Album: (1988) EMI Russ Manning
Nenomonee Falls Gazette: Manning reprints on good paper
Brothers of the Spear featured in Comic World

Tarzan in the Land That Time Forgot ~ The Cradle of the Gods

(circa 1972)

RUSS MANNING has begun work on a new series of quarterly Tarzan comic books, written, drawn, colored, and edited by Manning himself, under the direction of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Each issue will be 48 pages, in color, well-printed on good paper stock, in the standard format -- though somewhat taller than American comic books. Six issues have already been assigned. Although plans originally called for the completion of all six stories before publication, the present schedule indicates publication will commence very soon.
The new magazine has meant that the already overworked creator has had to discontinue the daily syndicated TARZAN strip, which he has written and drawn for six years, at least for the next several months.  (The final Manning daily feature appeared July 29th, completing "Return to the Earth's Core," possibly the best of all the Tarzan newspaper adventures.) Manning, who will continue the Sunday strip, was perhaps unique among current adventure strip artists, doing virtually all his own work, writing, penciling, inking, and lettering TARZAN with very little assistance. When he discontinued the daily strip, Manning told the WORLD, "It's impossible for a single person to write and draw an adventure strip, daily and Sundays over several years. The workload becomes too great."

United Features Syndicate has scheduled six months of reprints, beginning -- curiously -- with the current Burne Hogarth-Dan Barry adaptation of the original Pellucidar story, At the Earth's Core, which appeared for the first time in 1947.

The new stories will be all-original, not adaptations -- though, like ERB himself, Manning will set some of the tales in already established locales. The first in the series, "Tarzan in the Land that Time Forgot," is well underway, and although a final decision had not been reached at press time, it may become the first part of a two-part -- 96-page -- graphic novel laid in ERB's famed lost world near the South Pole, Kaspak. (Film production of Burroughs' own novel, The Land That Time Forgot, has now started in England.

Edgar Rice Burroughs' stories and characters are enormously popular in Europe, where he is recognized as a major writer, a creator whose stories are often described as "the most Burroughs-like" of all the sequels to ERB's own, marks the first time any American graphic story creator has had the opportunity to tell his stories at album-length, without the problems of serialization, and it may represent a new step in the development of the graphic story.

At least for the time being, however, this new series will not be published here. Current plans call for National Comics to produce all the ERB comic books in the U.S., and for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. to produce all foreign comics editions. The possibility does exist, nonetheless -- and graphic story fans and enthusiasts will be following developments eagerly.

Debut: Gold Key Comics in 1963
Creators: Chase Craig (editor) and Russ Manning (writer/artist)

When cartoonist Russ Manning heard Gold Key Comics editor Chase Craig was seeking a writer for a new series set in the year 4000 AD, he instantly applied for the job. Manning, a long-time fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs and other writers of fantastic adventures in addition to being an artist with credits throughout the Dell/Gold Key line was loaded with ideas.

What emerged, from an initial concept by Craig fleshed out by Manning, was a sort of future Tarzan. Magnus (whose name, Manning said later, was inspired by Maximus, a character in Leonard Starr's newspaper strip, Mary Perkins On Stage) was raised apart from human society, by Robot 1A. Physically perfect and expertly trained in martial arts, Magnus was capable of taking on a steel-plated robot with his bare hands. In addition, 1A had built a device into Magnus's head, enabling him to receive robot-to-robot radio signals. Magnus's mission was to save the world from over-dependence on robots particularly those that had inexplicably turned evil. All this came out in the first issue of Magnus, Robot Fighter, 4000 AD, which was dated February, 1963.

Story-wise, Magnus was one of the better science fiction series in comics but where it really excelled was in Manning's art. The city of North Am (which covers most of the North American continent in Magnus's time) is a direct descendant of the futuristic cityscapes of pulp magazine artist Frank R. Paul, as is seen in cartoon art from Adam Strange to The Jetsons. But Manning's clean, clear touch made it seem even brighter, more open and airy, than usual.

The Magnus series was about as successful as most of the non-licensed adventure comics the company launched in the early 1960s. It flourished while the superheroes were at their peak, then languished. Manning's last issue was #21 (February, 1968). Dan Spiegle (Crossfire, Space Family Robinson) and Paul Norris (Aquaman, Brick Bradford) then did a few issues, after which it went to reprints. It was published only sporadically during the 1970s. The last issue was #46 (January, 1977).

In the late 1980s, comic book characters belonging to Western Printing (the company behind the Gold Key imprint) were acquired by a start-up company. First under the name Valiant Comics and then as Acclaim Comics, the new publisher began putting out new comic books about the character in 1990, and continued for most of the decade. But there's been some tinkering with the basic concept.

As envisioned by Valiant Comics' first editor, Jim Shooter (who started his comics career writing The Legion of Super Heroes and went on to become the controversial 1980s editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics), Magnus's world became less unambiguous in terms of moral values. The "evil" robots, it turns out, are merely those that have developed free will, and thus can oppose humans. Is it right to re-enslave them? Also, in keeping with the '90s style of comics, things became grimmer 'n' grittier. For example, some of the truly evil robots in this version consume the energy of human bodies they "eat" people, in other words. And Magnus himself was turned into a fanatical hater of all things technological.

This version seems to have been a good deal more successful. Since his revival, Magnus's story has become intertwined with that of Dr. Solar, Turok and other Dell/Gold Key characters, as well as new ones owned by Valiant/Acclaim, all of which have been woven together into a typical superhero universe. He's had crossovers with Nexus, Predators, and other established characters, just like the other '90s guys. And over twice as many issues of the new version have been published there aren't any coming out right now, but that may be a temporary condition.

As science fiction writer Frederick Pohl once remarked, "The future ain't what it used to be." 

Classic Star Wars : The Early Adventures by Russ Manning.
Written by: Russ Manning
Art by: Russ Manning
Cover by: Al Williamson
Even with less than twenty minutes of "screen time" to his credit, the most popular character from the Star Wars trilogy is Boba Fett. Dark Horse offers a number of comics featuring the merciless bounty hunter, but it all starts here, in this trade paperback collecting Russ Manning's Star Wars newspaper strips. It was in these strips, which originally ran in 1979 and 1980, that Boba Fett made his very first appearance in print, making this a true must-have item for anyone looking to become a Jedi Master! The artwork has been colored, reformatted, and expertly retouched by Rick Hoberg, who worked with Manning on the original strips. Relive the adventures that thrilled readers seventeen years ago! Experience the very first comics appearance of the infamous Boba Fett (dated prior to his motion-picture debut)! And delight in Star Wars legend Al Williamson's new color cover, dedicated to Manning!

This title contains: Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures #1-9

Classic Star Wars : Volume 1 : In Deadly Puirsuit. Cover Art by Al WilliamsonClassic Star Wars : Volume 2 : The Rebel Storm. Cover Art by Al WilliamsonClassic Star Wars : Volume 3 : Escape to Hoth. Cover Art by Al Williamson

Russ Manning Art: Early Years for Fanzines and Tarzan Cover for a European Release

Two Pages from The Pool of Time

2. Illustrated Bio & Comics
All Sundays and Daily Tarzans
3. Bibliography
4. Luana Art
with Fran Frazetta
5. Star Wars
Strips I
6. Star Wars
Strips II
7. Chessmen of Mars
Unreleased Comics Art I
8. John Carter of Mars
Unreleased Comics Art II
9. Russ Manning 
Portfolio Eclectica
10. Career Timeline
IIllustrated I
11. Career Timeline II
Illustrated II
12. Career Timeline
Illustrated III
13. Russ Manning 
The Writer
.Brothers of the Spear
Gold Key Tarzan Comics
14. Russ Manning

Visit our thousands of other sites at:
All ERB Images© and Tarzan® are Copyright ERB, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work © 1996-2002/2004/2006/2021 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners