I would be sorely remiss if I did not take the time to recognize another milestone that occurred this year -- the centennial of Edgar Rice Burrough's iconic fictional creations, TARZAN OF THE APES and A PRINCESS OF MARS (both published in 1912). To those of you who have marvelled at the fantastic worlds created by this great American author, you know what I'm talking about when I say that there are few who can "swing through the trees" with him. To those of you who have not had the extreme pleasure of reading any of his tales, I can't urge you enough to try TARZAN OF THE APES, A PRINCESS OF MARS, AT THE EARTH'S CORE, PIRATES OF VENUS, or really, any of his other work. Burroughs has been enshrined in the imagination of millions and his work will last eternally for as long as man reads the printed word.
Burroughs could hold his own in the realm of monsters, as well. He created many beasts and creatures in his stories, from the giant gorillas that populated Tarzan's jungle to the Tharks and Warhoon's of Baroom (Burroughs' Mars). He even penned THE MONSTER MEN, a tale that has been often compared to Shelley's Frankenstein.
There is a vast and rich legacy of "ERB-dom" in the popular media, and his work has found its way into everything from books and magazines to films, audio recordings, and toys. His penchant for creating fabulous and fantastic creatures on both alien worlds and right here on terra firma was not overlooked by the early monster magazines. In CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN #5 (1964), Richard A. Lupoff provided a retrospective entitled, "Monsters of Edgar Rice Burroughs".
|One of my all-time favorite Frazetta pen and ink drawings,|
this one depicting Dian the Beautiful and a flying reptile
creature known as a Mahar.
|Another interpretation of the same scene, this time by the|
superb fantasy and "good girl" artist, Joe Jusko.
|Not generally considered one of the greatest Tarzan|
novels, I have read this one several times, mainly because
I'm so attracted to one of my favorite Frazetta Ace
covers showing Tarzan and La, the High Priestess of Opar.
|A thrilling scene from Pellucidar, the Hollow Earth, by Boris Vallejo.|
|John Carter and Dejah Thoris against the Great White Apes of Barsoom.|