Monday, December 31, 2012


It's been 100 years since Edgar Rice Burroughs penned his two enduring classics, A PRINCESS OF MARS and TARZAN OF THE APES. He followed them with dozens of tales of adventure that have never stopped thrilling readers. Lots of his books are available even today. I defy anyone to come up empty handed after visiting any well-stocked new or used bookstore.

Many of his stories featured not only heroic figures such as John Carter and David Innes, but also a generous serving of beasts and monsters, as well. In yesterday's Burroughs' Centennial segment, I posted an article from CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN #5 that listed numerous creatures that Burroughs created to add thrills and chills to his (mostly) excellently-written stories. With exotic names like Banth, Thark, Gantor and Brocol, we are treated to an almost never ending lineup of alien beings, not to mention the earth-bound monsters from prehistory -- and lest we forget -- the giant apes found in the Tarzan novels.

Burroughs also briefly flirted with the Frankenstein legacy in his book, THE MONSTER MEN. Set on a remote island in the Pacific, it tells the tale of Professor Maxon, who creates 13 artificial humans in his scientific quest. The last one, Number 13, is selected to -- in true Frankensteinia form -- wed his daughter!

In today's post I have included two articles featuring the works and creations of Edgar Rice Burroughs in the short-lived run of Larry Ivie's MONSTERS AND HEROES. One of the first "fan" magazines to ever reach newsstand distribution, M&H included sections on monster movies, comic strips such as his Altron-Boy, pulp adventure, and even characters from the radio serials.

It's not many writers -- especially genre writers -- who have a city named after them. Tucked away off busy Ventura Blvd. in California's San Fernando Valley is the quiet little town of Tarzana, where Burroughs spent many years creating his classic adventure yarns. And, on any given day, if you listen close enough, you can almost hear Tarzan calling to Tantor or little Nikima through the Eucalyptus trees.

Each issue of MONSTERS & HEROES featured a book cover from a
selected titled covered in one of the articles.

An early edition of THE MONSTER MEN with
cover art by J. Allen St. John.

This edition featured a cover and interior illistrations
by Mahlon Blaine.

An entry in the Pellucidar series. The Hollow Earth
was home to many 'a prehistoric beast.

A beatuiful rendition of John Carter and Dejah Thoris
by the incomparable Frank Frazetta.



Sunday, December 30, 2012


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.
(continued tomorrow)

Saturday, December 29, 2012


It took almost 20 years and over 140 issues, but FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND finally published a filmbook of one of the most notable Universal horror films ever, THE MUMMY.

Printed in two parts in issue #'s 143 and 144 (May-June 1978) they more than made up for it with a massive, nearly 30-page extravaganza! There is no credit given for authorship of this article, but, in light of the pun at the end of Part Two, it may very well have been Forrest J Ackerman himself who penned the filmbook.

Included is a postscript article entitled, "A Close Encounter With King Tut", by "Dr. Walter J. Daugherty, F.R.A.S.", the same "Walt Daugherty" credited as Special Photographer in countless issues of FM.