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Tarzan and the Golden Lion John Carter

Tarzan of the Comics

A version of this article appeared in Comic Book Marketplace #42 which should be sited in all references. Anyway, Tarzan of the Comics was the title that Comic Book Marketplace gave to the article. It was really intended to be a treatment of all Edgar Rice Burroughs characters in the comics. Most of the illustrations here are from Big Little Books published in the United States between about 1930 and 1950.
Matthew H. Gore, mhgore@aol.com
Computer Services CPC
1978 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104

In 1964, the baby boom rediscovery of fantastic heroes, the so called Silver Age, was underway. In 1964, Tarzan, perhaps the greatest fantastic hero of them all, certainly a giant figure in the American myth structure, came to comic books in original stories carrying the spirit intended by the character's creator, for the first time. It had taken 52 years.

In 1911, Edgar Rice Burroughs created Tarzan, the quintessential jungle man. Written between December 1, 1911, and May 14, 1912, Tarzan of the Apes was rejected by every major American publisher before seeing publication in the October 1912, issue of Frank A. Munsey's All-Story Magazine. On publication the success of Tarzan was immediate and incredible; the surprise smash hit of 1912. Tarzan is still, perhaps, the single most significant American contribution to world popular culture, is renowned as the world's most recognizable fictional character, and has been translated into more languages than any other literary creation.
Return of Tarzan

Tarzan was ideal for the comic media and found his way into them almost from their inception. In fact, an entire genre of comic strip and comic book fantasy worlds developed based on the basic precepts established by Burroughs in Tarzan of the Apes and other stories that followed.

Joseph H. Neebe acquired the rights to a comic strip adaptation of Tarzan for Campbell-Ewald Advertising Agency in 1928, and approached J. Allen St. John, noted Burroughs illustrator, to draw the feature. St. John, however, declined. Drawn by Harold R. Foster, a staff artist for the Campbell-Ewald Advertising Agency, Tarzan first saw publication in comic strip form beginning on January 7, 1929. Tarzan tied with Buck Rogers, which debuted on the same day, as the first serious adventure comic strip.

The Tarzan strip was a gamble. Metropolitan Newspaper Service, the strip's distributor, had no idea if newspaper readers would accept a serious adventure story but Tarzan of the Apes was an immediate and phenomenal comic strip success. The original story, adapting the first Tarzan novel, ran six days a week for ten weeks (January 7 to March 16, 1929).

Foster proved to be the first great artist to render Tarzan for the comic strip format. Trained by Chicago Art Institute, National Academy of Design, and Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, it is safe to say that Hal Foster never intended to become a "great comic artist." He initially agreed to draw only the first installment of Tarzan and quit once this concluded. Public response to the strip insured its success, but Foster declined to return.
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle

Metropolitan's scramble for a replacement artist found Rex Maxon to draw Return of Tarzan adapted by George Carlin, Don Gordon, and perhaps others. Twelve weeks after the conclusion of Tarzan of the Apes, on June 10, 1929, Return of Tarzan began the Tarzan comic strip's regular run.

In March 1931, Maxon began a Tarzan Sunday comic page for United Features Syndicate which had absorbed Metropolitan in 1930, but only drew it for a few months before Hal Foster returned to Tarzan. Foster's best work on the character can be found on the Sunday comic pages which he drew from September 27, 1931, to May 2, 1937, before turning to his own creation, Prince Valiant.

Foster's replacement, Burne Hogarth, the second great Tarzan comic artist, studied art history, drawing, and anthropology at Chicago's Crane College Academy of Fine Arts, Northwestern University, and the Chicago Art Institute. His first strip appeared on May 9, 1937. Like Foster, Hogarth stretched the boundaries of the medium with his treatment of Tarzan and proved to be a profound influence on artists who would follow him. Hogarth, however, gradually grew dissatisfied with the restrictions placed on him by United Features and left Tarzan for his own creation, Drago, in 1945. Drago never found a wide audience. Hogarth returned to Tarzan in 1947, with editorial control only to leave again in 1950 after a conflict with the syndicate over the proceeds of foreign reprint rights.
Beasts of Tarzan

Tarzan first appeared in what can be described as comic book form in 1929 when Grosset and Dunlap published an 80 page, hardcover, collection of newspaper strips. From this point on, Tarzan and other characters created by Burroughs were almost constantly featured in American comic books. The newspaper strip origins of Tarzan comics proved, however, to be a curse rather than a blessing to the comic book treatment of the character. All through the Golden Age, Tarzan comics were devoted exclusively to reprints of the newspaper strips. And, while these newspaper strips were often excellent examples of the genre they did not always lend themselves ideally to the comic book format nor could they ever be anything more than reprints.

Two of Edgar Rice Burroughs' creations appeared in original comic book adaptations, however. In 1939, Western Publishing acquired the rights to adapt John Carter of Mars for their comic book imprint, Dell Comics. An anonymous artist began the feature in issue number 30 of Dell's Funnies, in April 1939. In issue 34, John Coleman Burroughs took over as artist on the feature. John Coleman Burroughs' John Carter of Mars continued in the pages of Funnies through number 56 in 1941. On December 7, of that year John Carter debuted as a Sunday newspaper page, also with art by Burroughs. This Sunday page ran for 69 weeks before concluding on March 28, 1943.
Tarzan Escapes

In 1940, Hawley Publications received a license to adapt Burroughs' Pellucidar, Burroughs' world at the Earth's core, to comic book form. Intended as a regular feature and drawn by John Coleman Burroughs, David Innes of Pellucidar appeared only in issue number 2 of Hi-Spot Comics, November 1940. Both before and after that, Red Ryder dominated the comic.

Eighteen years after Tarzan first appeared in a roughly comic book form, Western Publishing, again under their Dell imprint published the first original Tarzan comic book story. Jesse Mace Marsh drew and Gaylord Dubois wrote Tarzan and the Devil Ogre (published as 4-Color #134, February 1947). Enjoying moderate success with the character, Dell employed the same creative team to follow Devil Ogre with Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr (4-Color #161, August 1947). Dell granted Tarzan his own continuing comic book early in the next year (#1, January-February 1948).
Pal-ul-don, Burroughs' Map

With the two issues of 4-Color to feature Tarzan and the first issues of the Tarzan title, Dell began to develop their own "Jungle World." By the late-1940s, Tarzan was so well known that little attention had to be given to the novels. Dubois' stories attempted to meld the original ape-man and the newspaper strip character with the then popular motion picture version of Tarzan. The two issues of 4-Color had at least a modicum of Burroughs influence and the first issue of Tarzan was similar to Tarzan the Magnificent but by issue three Dell's Jungle World, created with obvious motion picture influence, dominated. A tree house replaced Tarzan's mansion at Jungle's edge, Burroughs' blond Jane became a brunette, Korak the killer became "boy," and Tarzan as a cultured articulate British nobleman disappeared. In the twentieth issue of Dell's Tarzan (March-April 1951), Marsh and Dubois mapped the Jungle World, largely ignoring the map created by Burroughs.

Before vilifying Dubois and Marsh, it should be clarified that even Edgar Rice Burroughs succumbed to movie influence in his novel Tarzan and the Forbidden City which reads so much like a Johnny Weissmuller script that doubt of Burroughs' authorship existed. The Tarzan/Weissmuller mythos dominated America's Tarzan myth structure from the release of Tarzan the Ape Man in 1932, or for about fifteen years by the time Dell began producing original Tarzan comic book stories. In the newspaper strip, Rex Maxon began including adaptations of the films as early as March of 1933.
Tarzan and the Lost Empire

Gaylord Dubois spent a productive career of about 32 years with Western Publishing. A graduate of Boston University and General Theological Seminary, his works were always wholesome, usually entertaining, but seldom inspired. He wrote Big Little Books and novels as well as contributing to the majority of non-Disney "adventure" comic books bearing the Dell imprint. For Dell's Tarzan Dubois wrote or adapted almost every lead story from 1947 to 1971 as well as the majority of backup features including the popular Brothers of the Spear from 1950 to 1960.

Jesse Mace Marsh worked for Disney Studios from 1939 to 1948. At Disney he contributed to Pinocchio, Fantasia and other projects. Marsh began working for Western Publishing in 1945, while still at Disney, and continued with the company until his death in 1966. Marsh produced an amazing volume of work for the Dell imprint including such stalwart titles as Gene Autry, Daniel Boone, and Davy Crockett. His work on Tarzan began with the introduction of original stories in 1947 and continued to 1965. Marsh also drew three issues of John Carter of Mars which appeared as part of the 4-Color series. Marsh's art while always competent seldom transcended this level.
Tarzan and the Ant Men

Edgar Rice Burroughs ceased to actively control his own creations in 1948. Two years later, in 1950, the author died. For twelve years after Burroughs' death, his works languished. First, one volume and then another slipped out of print. Publication under the Burroughs imprint came to a halt despite moderate demand for titles. Left alone by Burroughs Inc., Western Publishing saw no reason to improve or modify the Tarzan comics bearing their Dell banner despite mediocrity and slipping sales. Even the Tarzan newspaper comic strip languished and, in the opinion of many followers, reached a new low when speech balloons were introduced in 1958.

During this period, however, the great American paperback book publishing boom began and the massive baby boom generation began to reach their teens. Here was a vast potential audience unexposed to Burroughs except for the film, comic strip, and comic book versions of Tarzan.
Tarzan the Umtamed

In 1962, Jack Biblo and Jack Tannen, owners of a New York City used book store suspected that some of Burroughs' work might have slipped into the public domain and be free game for anyone with access to a press and a desire to reprint. A copyright search proved that approximately half of all of Burroughs' copyrights had lapsed 27 years after first publication. Biblo and Tannen established their own publishing house, Canaveral Press, and launched an ambitious program of reprinting the public domain material in illustrated hard-bound editions.

Not to be outdone, editor Donald A. Wollheim of Ace Books announced a series of paperback reprints. Beginning with Ace Books 1962 paperback edition of At the Earth's Core, Ace Books reopened America's eyes to Burroughs' creations. Going one step further, Ballantine Books secured permission from Burroughs Inc. to reprint material still covered by copyright. Affordable paperback editions propelled Burroughs works to renewed mass popularity. Still, Western Publishing's comic book series, sporting the Gold Key imprint since #132, continued unchanged with sales still declining.
Tarzan the Terrible

Then came 1964. Tarzan, at last, met the Silver Age. Actually, the first Silver Age treatment of a Burroughs character came with the first issue of Gold Key's Korak, Son of Tarzan in January, 1964. Drawn by Russell Manning, the first of the great Tarzan artists to originate material specifically for comic books, and reputedly written by Gaylord Dubois, Korak, Son of Tarzan awakened comic fans to the potential of long dormant characters and began the return to their Burroughs' roots. Gold Key's abandonment of Boy was a rather radical move for the company but the flagship Burroughs' title, Tarzan, remained unchanged.

Russ Manning met and was befriended by Jesse Marsh after leaving military service in 1953, and introduced to Western Publishing. A former student of Los Angeles Art Institute and the New York School of Visual Arts, Manning was well recommended to the Dell art staff. There he produced a great deal of artwork for many titles including Sea Hunt, Wyatt Earp, Brothers of the Spear, Magnus Robot Fighter, and others. Manning's introduction to Tarzan came in 1954 when he produced a Tarzan issue of March of Comics (#114), and a back-up feature for Tarzan (#63). Manning continued to produced Tarzan material as fill-ins and back-ups until Korak's debut in 1964.
Tarzan in the Land of the Giant Apes

Gold Key followed Korak's success and critical acclaim with John Carter of Mars #1, April 1964. Although this title only reprinted Dell's 4-Color appearances of John Carter drawn by Jesse Marsh, it did seem to indicate renewed enthusiasm for Burroughs' characters at Western Publishing. John Carter expired when the convenient reprint material was exhausted.

It was not Gold Key, however, that brought Tarzan into the Silver Age. Charlton Comics entered the Burroughs market when they issued Jungle Tales of Tarzan #1 (December 1964). Charlton's Tarzan effort, edited by Pat Masulli and based on three stories, Capture of Tarzan, The Fight for the Balu, and Tarzan's Way of Life, allowed to slip into the public domain, shook Gold Key. In Charlton's first issue, Masulli stated, "the true flavor of Tarzan as created by Mr. Burroughs has rarely been tasted in comic books. We intend to change that. We intend to be as true to the original as possible. We pledge ourselves to a series of comics that will thrill and inspire, delight and entrance as did the original masterworks."
Son of Tarzan

Jungle Tales of Tarzan reportedly sold well enough to justify its continued existence. The creative team of Masulli, Sam Glanzman, and Joe Gill, kept their pledge to the readers. However, even though the stories Sam Glanzman drew and Joe Gill adapted were free of copyright, Western Publishing and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., argued that Tarzan was still a trademark. Jungle Tales of Tarzan folded after only four issues.

Still, the apparent success of Jungle Tales of Tarzan prompted Gold Key to switch Russ Manning from Korak to Tarzan of the Apes with two stories Descent into the Past and Fury of Gayat in issue #154 (November 1965), although Manning continued to make contributions to Korak. Issue 154 also carried part of the Ape-English dictionary Burroughs created for Tarzan Clans of America in 1939. In the next issue, #155 (December 1965), Manning turned his genius to an adaptation of Burroughs' original novel, Tarzan of the Apes. At last, the potential of the character was realized in comic book form, 36 years after Tarzan first touched the medium. These comics, still largely ignored by many collectors, are quite inexpensive.
Tarzan's Revenge

Although Gold Key's Tarzan was still supposedly written by Dubois, Edgar Rice Burroughs' original stories came to dominate the comic. The combination of Manning's art and Burroughs' story gave credibility to Gold Key's title, lead to praise from critics and fans, and, presumably, increased sales. A series of graphic adaptations of Burroughs' novels followed Tarzan of the Apes. Most were serialized, generally over two issues. With the introduction of the Tarzan television series on NBC on September 8, 1966, Gold Key exploited photo covers of Ron Ely, television's Tarzan, on every other issue. Korak continued with original stories.

At least one issue of Korak has a lead story that could have been written by no one other than Russ Manning. Korak # 21 (February 1968) sports a lead feature with Manning art. This story is unique among Gold Key's Burroughs comics because it alone brings characters from another non-Burroughs title into its continuity. In February 1963, Manning debuted Magnus Robot Fighter for Gold Key with a back-up feature titled Captain Johner and the Aliens. It is these aliens that provide the drama in Korak # 21's The Alien Jungle.
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar

In December 1967, the acclaim that had greeted Manning's Tarzan prompted Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., to offer the daily newspaper strip to Manning, which he accepted. Unfortunately, this eventually brought his run on the Gold Key Tarzan comic book to a close. Again, Manning's efforts of the Tarzan daily were critically successful. In January 1968, ERB, Inc. gave control of the Sunday Tarzan page to Manning, as well. Still, Manning's art did not save the strips from commercial failure. As one critic noted, "jungle stories were tied to a mindset that, by the seventies, seemed very dated."

Tarzan's popularity, or at least the popularity of Gold Key's version, declined greatly by the early-1970s. After Manning left Western Publishing a number of artists supplied Tarzan and Korak. Unfortunately, Gold Key's stories were seldom credited or signed. It is thought that Dubois continued to write both features. Some artists known to have contributed to them include Gray Morrow (who followed Manning to the Sunday newspaper strip), Mike Royer, Doug Wildey, and Warren Tufts. Poor sales of the Tarzan comic books prompted Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., to reconsider, and then drop, their contract with Western Publishing when it expired.
Tarzan of the Apes

National Periodical Publishing gained the Burroughs license for Detective Comics. Besides Tarzan and Korak, D.C. acquired comic book rights for all of Burroughs' literary properties and began the most ambitious comic book treatment of Burroughs' work to date. Tarzan and Korak continued from the Gold Key titles. D.C.'s Tarzan began with issue number 207 (April 1972) and Korak followed with number 46 (June 1972). Both titles acquired new Burroughs back-up features. A third title, Edgar Rice Burroughs Weird Worlds, debuted with an August 1972 first issue. Korak was eventually retitled Tarzan Family with number 60 (December 1975).

Joe Kubert as artist, writer, and editor dominated D.C.'s venture into the worlds of Burroughs. Trained at New York City's High School of Music and Art, Kubert entered the comic field as a teenager working for the Chesler shop in 1939. By the 1970s, Kubert was the consummate comic book man having worked for MLJ, Holyoke, Fiction House, Quality, Harvey, Interfaith, Avon, St. John, E.C., Timely, Atlas, Lev Gleason, Will Eisner, and D.C. His experience at St. John allowed him to create his own jungle man, Tor, whom he revived for D.C. in the 1970s.
Tarzan the Fearless

Kubert, Tarzan's forth great comic artist, provided the majority of covers for both Tarzan and Korak and the cover for the first issue of Weird Worlds. He also wrote or adapted stories for Tarzan while also drawing the feature. Kubert was assisted by D.C. editorial assistant Allan Asherman who also provided many factual text features. Both Tarzan and Korak reclaimed their Burroughs roots while under Kubert's oversight. Korak's wife Meriem was introduced as a dominant part of the plot line in that series while in the pages of Tarzan Kubert adapted a number of Burroughs' novels and stories to comic book form. These adaptations included Tarzan of the Apes as Origin of the Ape Man (Tarzan # 207-210), Return of Tarzan (Tarzan # 219-223), Tarzan and the Lion Man (Tarzan # 231-234), Tarzan and the Castaways (Tarzan # 240-243, finished art by Franc Reyes, Nestor Redondo, and Rudy Florese), Jungle Murders (Tarzan # 245-246, finished art by Nestor Redondo), and Tarzan and the Champion (Tarzan # 248-249, finished art by Rudy Florese). Kubert also adapted several of the stories from Jungle Tales of Tarzan, Captive, Balu of the Great Apes, and Nightmare, in issues 212-214, respectively. After Kubert severed his association with Tarzan, one more novel, Tarzan the Untamed, was adapted (Tarzan #250-256) by Gerry Conway (#250-254), Denny O'Neil (#255-256), and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.
Story of Johnny Weissmuller

In the pages of Korak, D.C. had no Burroughs' originals to adapt. Still, the Korak stories written by Len Wein, Joe Kubert, Robert Kanigher, and Tony Isabella were true to tradition incorporating characters and locations from Burroughs' Tarzan stories. As a D.C. character, Korak left a trail of 27 chapters through several comic titles beginning with Korak # 46-59, continuing in Tarzan # 230-234 (all giant-sized issues), and concluding as the lead feature in Tarzan Family # 60-66. The artist to pen the feature were Frank Thorne (Korak # 46-51), Murphy Anderson (Korak # 52-56), Rudy Florese (Korak # 57-59, Tarzan Family # 60-64), James Sherman (Tarzan Family # 65-66), Joe Kubert (Tarzan # 230), Russ Heath (Tarzan # 230), and Alex Nino (Tarzan # 231-234).

Western Publishing gave some attention to John Carter as early as 1939, and Hawley Publications adapted, if only briefly, Pellucidar in 1940, but D.C. was the first comic book publisher to venture far beyond the Jungle World. Besides the Tarzan and Korak features running in their own titles, D.C. made use of a number of other Burroughs' creations as both back-up stories in their two primary titles and as features in the pages of Weird Worlds.
Tarzan Twins

The publisher used John Carter of Mars in three titles, Tarzan, Weird Worlds, and Tarzan Family. Marv Wolfman adapted Burroughs' novel A Princess of Mars in five chapters; Arrival, Prisoner of the Tharks, and Tharks appeared in Tarzan # 207-209 and Trial By Fear and Escape appeared in Weird Worlds # 1-2. Murphy Anderson penciled four chapters and Gray Morrow penciled one. Wolfman also adapted Gods of Mars in five chapters; Into the Valley of Death, Thuvia, Deathknell, Beneath the Omean Sea, and Reunion appeared in Weird Worlds # 3-7. Sal Amendola was the primary penciler for Gods. In Tarzan Family # 62-64, three John Carter stories appeared. Apparently only vaguely related to anything Burroughs wrote, these stories, John Carter of Mars, Death Has Three Heads, and Lights of Doom, were all penciled by Noly Zamora and at least the first two were written by D.C. stalwart Bob Kanigher. D.C. also concocted a non-John Carter Mars story, Amazon of Barsoom by Kanigher and Zamora, which appeared in Tarzan Family # 60.
New Adventures of Tarzan

Another Burroughs space adventurer, Carson of Venus, appeared as a back-up feature in Korak. Pirates of Venus, serialized into eight chapters began in Korak # 46 and concluded in # 53. All eight chapters, Mars. . . or Bust, Girl in the Garden, Battle Cry, Gathering Tarel, Terror from the Sky, Mutiny at Sea, Duare. . . Princess of Venus, and Catastrophe, were drawn by Michael W. Kaluta who also wrote the last two chapters. Len Wein wrote the first six chapters. Kaluta began an adaptation of Lost on Venus in Korak. Three chapters, Into the Land of Noobol, Lost on Venus, and Babes in the Woods, were published in # 54-56. A forth chapter, Into the Noobolian Valley by Kaluta and Phil Trumbo, was announced for Korak # 57 but appeared as a back-up in Tarzan # 230 instead. Lost was left unconcluded but the first seven chapters of Pirates of Venus were reprinted in Tarzan Family # 60-65.
Tarzan Twins (softcover)

Artist Alan Weiss and writer Len Wein adapted one of Burroughs' Pellucidar novels, At the Earth's Core, into four chapters. World Within appeared in Korak # 46 and Arena of Sudden Death, Slaves of the Mahars, and Temple of the Damned were featured in Weird Worlds # 1-3. Four more Pellucidar stories, all written by Denny O'Neil, appeared in Weird Worlds # 4-7. Kaluta drew Jubal the Ugly One in # 4 and Dan Green drew Combat, Return, and Trap in issues 5-7. Finally, artist Gerry Talaoc and writer Elliot Maggin created a Pellucidar story, The Amulet, the Power, and the Hero, which was featured in Tarzan Family # 66.

Marv Wolfman adapted the Burroughs' novel Beyond the Farthest Star into six untitled chapters which were presented in Tarzan # 213-218. Dan Green drew the first three chapters, Howard Chaykin drew the forth, and Murphy Anderson drew the final two. Another story, uncredited but titled Beyond the Farthest Star, appeared in Tarzan Family # 61.
Jour

As well as their six original Burroughs features, D.C. also used quite a bit of reprint material in their titles. Most of these reprints were from the newspaper strips by Russ Manning but several stories by Hal Foster were also used. However, none of the D.C. titles were particularly commercially successful.

Weird Worlds abandoned all Burroughs characters after issue seven (August-September, 1973) and Korak was renamed Tarzan Family with issue 60 (December, 1975). Tarzan Family lasted for seven issues and was cancelled after number 66 (December, 1976). Tarzan, the last D.C. Burroughs title to fail, was cancelled after issue 258 (February, 1977).

After D.C. abandoned Burroughs, Marvel Comics captured the contract. Marvel introduced two titles, Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, Warlord of Mars to their line in June, 1977. Both titles ran for 28 issues and three annuals before being cancelled with their October, 1979, issues. John Buscema's treatment of Tarzan in the first eighteen issues Marvel's title was competent if hardly inspired. The first few issues retold Tarzan's origin. On the other hand, Marv Wolfman wrote better than average tales for the John Carter series which featured art by Gil Kane, Chris Claremont, Walter Simonson, and Frank Miller, among others. Of particular interest in the John Carter run is the twelve issue original epic, Master Assassin of Mars, featured in issues 16-27.

Marvel, like D.C., had less success with their Burroughs' titles than they had hoped. Still, four years after their two titles were cancelled, Marvel devoted an issue of Marvel Super Special to yet another adaptation of Tarzan's origin, this time written by Sharman DiVono and Mark Evanier and drawn by Dan Spiegle. In turn, Marvel reprinted this story as two issues of Tarzan of the Apes cover dated July and August, 1984.

After August 1984, almost eight years passed without an American comic book treatment of any Burroughs' characters. Then, in March 1992, Malibu Comics debuted Tarzan the Warrior, which was again faithful to Burroughs original concept and ran for five issues. Malibu followed Warrior with Tarzan: Love Lies and the Lost City in August 1992 which concluded with issue three. Finally, in November 1992, Tarzan: The Beckoning appeared from Malibu and ran for six issues.

In January 1995, Dark Horse Comics premiered their first treatment of a Burroughs character from their recently captured license. Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan the Lost Adventure was a delightful attempt to return Burroughs' writings to their roots. Dark Horse presented an unpublished Burroughs' novella, fleshed out by writer Joe R. Lansdale and illustrated by Arthur Suydam and Tom Yeates, in pulp magazine format. Other titles in the works from Dark Horse include a four issue treatment titled Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan vs. Predator at the Earth's Core written by Walter Simonson with Lee Weeks art, Tarzan: Mogambi a one-shot to be written by Darko Macan and illustrated by Igor Korde, a four issue series titled Tarzan and John Carter of Mars written by Bruce Jones and drawn by Bret Blevins, and finally, an ongoing Tarzan series planned for 1996.


Edgar Rice Burroughs Comic Book Chronology
1929  The Illustrated Tarzan Book (Grosset & Dunlap), 80 pages, 7"x9", hardcover, dust-jacket, 50. Reprints Harold Foster's first daily comic strips.
1934  Tarzan of the Apes (Metropolitan Newspaper Service), # 1, hardcover, 68 pages, 4"x12", strip reprints.
1934  The Illustrated Tarzan Book (Grosset & Dunlap), hardcover, second printing, 76 pages, 7"x9", 25.
April 1936  Tip Top Comics (United Features Syndicate #1-187; St. John # 188), #1 April 1936- #188 September 1954. Tarzan strip reprints appear in #1-64, 66, 71, 75, 76, 79-131, 133-188. Tarzan covers appear on # 1-3, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 32-34, 36, 37, 39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 50, 52. #7 features a biography of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
April 1938  Comics on Parade (United Features Syndicate), #1 April 1938- #29 August 1940. Strip reprints.
1938  Famous Feature Stories (Dell Comics), #1 1938. 68 pages, 7"x11". Six page Tarzan text story with illustrations by Juanita Bennett.
April 1939  Funnies (Dell Comics), #30 April 1938- #56 1941. John Carter of Mars begins by an anonymous artist. Art on feature taken over by John Coleman Burroughs in #34. This adaptation predates the John Carter newspaper strip and is the first Burroughs story to be adapted as an original comic book series.
April 1939  Popular Comics (Dell Comics), #38 April 1939- # 43 September 1939. Three page Tarzan text stories with spot illustrations only. These adapt Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle. This feature moves to Crackajack Funnies.
September 1939  Crackajack Funnies (Dell Comics), #15 September 1939- #46 June 1941. Three page Tarzan text stories with spot illustrations only. These adapt Tarzan and the City of Gold in #15-25, 27-29. Issues #30-34, and 36 also have this feature.
1939  Large Feature Comic, Series I (Dell Comics), #5 1939. Bound in color card covers, 8"x11 3/8", 76 pages, black and white. Harold Foster Tarzan reprints from 1929, with additional art including splash pages by Juanita Bennett. First full comic devoted to Tarzan in the comic book format.
November 1940  Hi-Spot Comics, (Hawley Publications), #2 November 1940. Features David Innes of Pellucidar by Edgar Rice Burroughs and art by John Coleman Burroughs. Second Burroughs story to be adapted as original comic book series.
1940  Single Series (United Features Syndicate), #20 1940. 68 pages, 64 are Harold Foster Sunday Tarzan reprints from 1932-1933.
July 1941  Sparkler Comics, second series (United Features Syndicate), #1 July 1941- #92 March 1950. Issues # 1-86, 90-92 reportedly all have Burne Hogarth Tarzan strip reprints. Issues # 14, 21, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 39, 47, 50, 53 all have Tarzan covers by Hogarth. Issues # 44 and 83 have Tarzan covers by other artists.
circa 1944  Jeep Comics (R. B. Leffingwell & Company), # 1-29 mid-1940s. U.S. Armed Forces giveaways. Tarzan strip reprints.
February 1946  Sport Stars (Parent's Magazine Institute), # 1 February-March 1946, "How Tarzan Got That Way," Johnny Weissmuller biography.
February 1947  Tarzan and the Devil Ogre (Dell Comics), 4-Color # 134 February 1947. First original comic book Tarzan story with cover and interior art by Jesse Mace Marsh.
August 1947  Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr (Dell Comics), 4-Color # 161 August 1947. Second original comic book Tarzan story with cover and interior art by Jesse Mace Marsh.
January 1948  Tarzan (Dell Comics), #1 January-February 1948- #131 July-August 1962. First original comic book Tarzan series. #1-7 have covers by Marsh, # 8-12 have covers by Gollub. Photo covers, primarily featuring Lex Barker, begin with # 13. Marsh drew most issues with Gaylord Dubois providing scripts. However, in the 1960s, replacement artists drawing in Marsh's style become more frequent. #63 features Russ Manning art on one of the Tarzan stories, perhaps his first on the character. This title continues under the Gold Key imprint.
1950  Tarzan Comic (Donald F. Peters), Vol. 1, # 1 1950- Vol. 2, # 15 October 1951. Volume 1 are all 68 pages, volume 2 are all 36 pages. Tarzan strip reprints, first British Tarzan title.
September 1951  Tarzan: the Grand Adventure Comic (Westworld), Vol. 1, # 1 September 15, 1951- Vol. 2, # 36 April 3, 1953. Issues in volume 1 were every other week, volume 2 was weekly. Most issues have strip reprints with a very few original stories mixed in making this the first British title to feature original stories. Continues as Tarzan Adventures.
February 1952  John Carter of Mars (Dell Comics), 4-Color, #375 February 1952, #437 November 1952, #488 August 1953. All have Marsh art and are the first three original comic book treatments of John Carter.
1952  March of Comics (Dell Comics), #82 1952- #366 1972. Beginning with issue #82 in 1952, March of Comics presented one Tarzan issue each year until Western Publishing lost the rights to the character in 1972. Issues with Tarzan are:

82 (1952) Lex Barker photo cover.

98 (1953) Lex Barker photo cover.

114 (1954) 1st Russ Manning art on Tarzan?

125 (1955) Lex Barker photo cover.

144 (1956) Russ Manning art.

155 (1957) Photo cover.

172 (1958)

185 (1959) Photo cover.

204 (1960), 223 (1961), 240 (1962), 252 (1963), 262 (1964), 272 (1965), 286 (1966), 300 (1967), 318 (1968), 332 (1969), 342 (1970), 354 (1971), 366 (1972)

August 1952  Tarzan's Jungle Annual (Dell Comics), #1 August 1952- #7 September 1958. Each yearly issue was a 100 page Dell Giant. Reportedly there were two different number fives issued in about 1956.
April 8, 1953  Tarzan Adventures (Westworld), a continuation of Westworld's Tarzan: the Grand Adventure Comic. Vol. 3, # 1 April 8, 1953- Vol. 9, # 32 December 26, 1959. Strip reprints with a few original British stories.
1953  John Carter of Mars (World Distributors), # 1-2 1953. 28 pages, British reprints from Dell's 4-Color issues.
November 1959  Tarzan's Jungle World (Dell Comics), Dell Giant #25 November 1959. Jesse Marsh art.
November 1960  Tarzan, King of the Jungle (Dell Comics), Dell Giant #37 November 1960 and Dell Giant #51 November 1961. Both have Jesse Marsh art.
November 1962  Tarzan (Gold Key), continuation of the Dell Comics series. #132 November 1962- #137 October 1963. Jesse Marsh or Marsh style art in all issues. Title continues as Tarzan of the Apes.
November 1963  Tarzan of the Apes (Gold Key), continuation of Gold Key's Tarzan. #138 November 1963- #206 February 1972. Jesse Marsh or Marsh style art #138-153. First Russ Manning art on Tarzan series #154. Manning art #154-161, 163, 164, 166, 167, 172-177, reprints #178, 202. Doug Wildey art #162, 179-187. Other artists include Mal Keefer, Paul Norris, and Mike Royer. #162, 165, 168, 171 have Ron Ely photo covers. First Korak, Son of Tarzan #139 December 1963. #155 origin of Tarzan.
January 1964  Korak, Son of Tarzan (Gold Key), #1 January 1964- #45 January 1972. Russ Manning art #1-11, 21. Warren Tufts art # 12-13.
April 1964  John Carter of Mars (Gold Key), #1 April 1964- #3 October 1964. Reprints of the Dell 4-Color issues.
December 1964  Jungle Tales of Tarzan (Charlton Comics), #1 December 1964- #4 July 1965. #1-3 have Glanzman art, #4 is by Montes/Bache.
September 1965  Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (Gold Key), #1 September, 1965. Giant issue with newsprint cover, Jesse Marsh reprints.
Jan. 14, 1967  TV Tornado (City), #1 January 14, 1967- #88 September 14, 1968. #1 begins Tarzan by Harry Bishop, perhaps the first original British continuing Tarzan series. Stories continue as part of City's TV Century 21.
May 1, 1967  Tarzan World Adventure Library (World Distributors), #1 May 1, 1967- #4 August 4, 1967. All 68 page issues. British reprints of Gold Key issues.
July 1967  Tarzan of the Apes (Top Comics/Gold Key). #1 July 1967. Reprints Gold Key's Tarzan of the Apes #169.
1967  The Illustrated Tarzan Book (Burroughs Bibliophile # 2), 7"x9", $5. Reprints the 1929 edition.
1967  TV Tornado Annual (City), annual issues unnumbered. Each hardcover issues has at least one original British Tarzan story.
Sept. 21, 1968  TV Century 21 (City), #190 September 21, 1968- #242 September 20, 1969. Tarzan begins in 190. Stories continue in TV 21 & Joe 90.
Sept. 27, 1969  TV 21 & Joe 90 (City/IPC), #1 September 27, 1969- #68 September 25, 1971. Original British Tarzan stories by Don Lawrence begin in #1.
1969  Golden Comics Digest (Gold Key), #4 1969 and #9 1970. Both are 168 page digest sized issues of Manning and Marsh Tarzan reprints.
1970  Tarzan Story Digest (Gold Key), #1 June 1970. Gold Key Tarzan reprints.
1971  Tarzan of the Apes (Top Sellers), #1 1971- #100 1975. 36 page British reprints of Gold Key issues.
April 1972  Tarzan (DC), #207 April 1972- #258 February 1977. First Joe Kubert art on Tarzan. Continuation of Gold Key's Tarzan of the Apes.
June 1972  Korak, Son of Tarzan (DC), #46 June 1972- #56 March 1974, #57 June 1975- #59 October 1975. Continuation of Gold Key's Korak, Son of Tarzan. Continues as D.C.'s Tarzan Family.
Fall 1972  Tarzan Comic Digest (DC), #1 Fall 1972. Kubert cover art, Manning interior art.
August 1972  Weird Worlds (DC), #1 August-September 1972- #7 August-September 1973. All issues feature original John Carter, Warlord of Mars and original Pellucidar stories.
1972  Tarzan of the Apes Pocketbook (Top Sellers), no number, 1972. 260 pages of Dell/Gold Key British reprints.
1972  Tarzan of the Apes Super Special Adventure (Williams), #1-2 1972. British 52 page Dell reprints.
August 1973  DC 100 Page Super Spectacular (DC), #DC-19 August 1973. All reprints of Manning's Tarzan strips.
1973  Limited Collector's Edition (DC), #C-22 1973, #C-29 1974. C-22 reprints the origin of Tarzan from #207-210 of the DC series. C-29 reprints "Return of Tarzan" from the DC series.
1974  Aurora Comic Scenes Instruction Booklet- Tarzan (Aurora Plastics Co.), #181-140 1974. Printed on high quality stock, 8 pages, 6" x 9 3/4". Neal Adams art. Comic was provided with the Tarzan model kit from Aurora and also has instructions for assembly of the model.
Sept. 1975  Marvel Movie Premiere (Marvel Comics), #1 September 1975. Black and white magazine adapts the motion picture based on Burrough's Land that Time Forgot.
Dec. 1975  Tarzan Family (DC), #60 December 1975- #66 December 1976. Title continued from D.C.'s Korak, Son of Tarzan. Other Burroughs characters featured include Carson of Venus and John Carter of Mars as well as adaptations of some Pellucidar stories.
June 11, 1977  Tarzan Weekly (Byblos), #1 June 11, 1977- present? This british title presents Tarzan reprints from various U.S. sources.
June 1977  John Carter, Warlord of Mars (Marvel Comics), #1 June 1977- #28 October 1979, Annual #1 1977- #3 1979. Issues 1-10 and Annual 1 feature art by Gil Kane who also provided covers. Issue 15 also sports Kane art. Walter Simonson drew issue 15 and Frank Miller issue 18. Issues 16-27 feature the epic "Master Assassin of Mars" stories written by Marv Wolfman and drawn, mostly, by Chris Claremont.
June 1977  Tarzan (Marvel Comics), #1 June 1977- #28 October 1979, Annual #1 1977- #3 1979. Issues 1-18 have art by John Buscema.
Summer 1978  Tarzan Special (Byblos), Not numbered, Summer 1978- Winter 1981. Summer 1978 was 68 pages, Summer 1979 was 52 pages. All issues of this British comic have U.S. reprints from various sources.
1983  Marvel Super Special (Marvel Comics), #29 1983. Magazine size, color. The origin of Tarzan retold again as adapted by Sharman DiVono and Mark Evanier with art by Dan Spiegle.
July 1984  Tarzan of the Apes (Marvel Comics), #1 July 1984- #2 August 1984. Reprints Marvel Super Special #29.
March 1992  Tarzan the Warrior (Malibu Comics), #1 March 1992- #5. Tarzan returns after being absent from comics for almost eight years.
Aug. 1992  Tarzan: Love, Lies and the Lost City (Malibu Comics), #1 August 1992- #3 September 1992. Issue 1 was 68 pages. The series featured Simonson and Wagner scripts.
Nov. 1992  Tarzan: The Beckoning (Malibu Comics), #1 November 1992- #6 April 1993. Tom Yeates provides art for this series.
January 1995  Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan the Lost Adventure (Dark Horse Comics), #1 January 1995- #4 April 1995. This square-bound black and white title attempts to recapture the atmosphere of the original Tarzan stories as they were published in pulp magazines. Issues one and two, at least, have covers by Arthur Suydam and interior illustrations by Tom Yeates. Writer Joe R. Lansdale completed an unpublished Burroughs draft for this series. This title is, perhaps, the most worthy Tarzan series since the D.C. title of the early-1970s.
June 1995  Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan: A Tale of Mugambi (Dark Horse Comics), #1. Single issue written by Darko Macan and illustrated by Igor Korde. Originally intended for Malibu.
July 1995  Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan vs. Predator at the Earth's Core (Dark Horse Comics), #1 July 1995- #4 October 1995. Walter Simonson scripts and Lee Weeks art.
January 1996  Tarzan / John Carter: Warlords of Mars (Dark Horse Comics), #1 January 1996-#4 April 1996. Mini-series written by Bruce Jones and illustrated by Bret Blevins.
July 1996  Tarzan (Dark Horse Comics), #1 July 1996-#20 March 1998. Dark Horse initiated the first ongoing Tarzan series since Marvel's efforts in the late-1970s.
1996  Tarzan In the Land That Time Forgot and The Pool of Time (Dark Horse Comics), squarebound issue with cardboard cover. 1970s Russ Manning newspaper strips as packaged for European album sales.
April 1997  Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Return of Tarzan (Dark Horse Comics), #1 April 1997-#3 June 1997. Nicely from the 1916 Burroughs novel by Tom Yeates.
May 1998  Tarzan / Carson of Venus (Dark Horse Comics), #1 May 1998-#4 August 1998.
September 1998  Dark Horse Presents (Dark Horse Comics), #135 September 1998, #143 May 1999. Holding the rights to the Burroughs properties, Dark Horse proceeded to use them in their ongoing anthology title in at least two issues. #143 features Tom Yeates on Tarzan: Tales Of Pellucidar.
1999  Disney's Tarzan (Dark Horse Comics), #1-#2, Two issue adaptation of the Disney animated film.
April 1999  Tarzan The Savage Heart (Dark Horse Comics), #1 April 1999-#4 July 1999. Written and drawn by Mike Grell, Tarzan newspaper strip artist.
May 1999  Tarzan Comics Library (Dark Horse Comics), #1 May 1999-#3 November 1999. Squarebound issues with cardboard covers. Reprints 1960s-70s Russ Manning Tarzan. #1 Tarzan of the Apes (primarily reprints from the Dell and Gold Key series, most importantly #155-#157). #2 Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar (primarily reprints from the Dell and Gold Key series, most importantly #159-#161). #3 Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan the Untamed (primarily reprints from the Dell and Gold Key series, most importantly #163-#164, #166-#167).
September 1999  Batman / Tarzan: Claws Of The Cat-Woman (Dark Horse Comics), #1 September 1999-#4 December 1999.
November 1999  Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan- The Rivers of Blood (Dark Horse Comics), #1 November 1999-#4 February 2000. Igor Kordey was the primary creative energy behind this series. Intended to be eight issues, it was cancelled after four.
2001  Superman / Tarzan, Sons of the Jungle (Dark Horse Comics), #1-#3.

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