Friday, March 10, 2017

Edgar Rice Burroughs - the new "Sunday" comic strips

Many of my readers may know that on the Official Edgar Rice Burroughs site, there are ongoing comic strips of various ERB series and characters, done in the style of a weekly color Sunday strip. Some strips feature new stories, and some are adaptations of ERB novels. The strips are available by monthly or annual subscription at the site.

The Pellucidar strip tells a new tale of the ongoing adventures of David Innes and family, and some of the Sunday installments featured a crossover with Tarzan. Perhaps this is not such a big deal, given that ERB himself crossed-over the two series in the novel Tarzan at the Earth's Core, and the two series also crossed over many times in authorized comic books and prior Sunday strips (these crossovers are documented in my Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World, Volume 1 and Volume  2, Black Coat Press, 2010).

The first storyline in the New Adventures of Tarzan strip, by veteran comics scribe Roy Thomasfeatures La and the beast-men of Opar, as well as Jane, and D'Arnot. No date is given, but the second storyline picks up straight from the first, and it is noted as the "late 1940s." Now, many Wold Newton fans know that Tarzan visited Opar in 1946 and found it deserted;* there was no sign of La, or anyone else, as noted in Philip José Farmer's Tarzan Alive: A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke.** But based on the new Sunday strips, it appears that La somehow returned a few years after 1946. I am sure that a creatively mythographical explanation will arise for all this.

Of note, the second New Adventures of Tarzan storyline features crossovers with ERB's The Monster Men (a granddaughter of Professor Maxon) and H.G. Wells' The Island of Doctor Moreau! (The latter is in the public domain, so no issues there.)

This is not the first time that a Tarzan comic featured a crossover with The Monster Men. As I noted in Crossovers 2:

TARZAN AND THE MONSTER MEN
Tarzan encounters the nephew of Professor Maxon, the creator of the original Monster Men, and battles a new generation of the monstrous creatures.
Story by Don Glut, Danny Bulanadi, and Dave Stevens, edited by Russ Manning, in Tarzan Weekly #2 and 3, June 18 and 25, 1977. The story brings the events of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel The Monster Men into the Crossover Universe.


*Perhaps this mystery will be explained in an authorized Tarzan story someday! 

**I am of course fully aware that Mr. Farmer, in Tarzan Alive, identified Tarzan at the Earth's Core as a "fictional" adventure of Lord Greystoke. And yet, in his timeline of the Ape Man's life, he noted the date when it would have occurred, had the events been true. Other than Tarzan, Pellucidar is my favorite ERB series and I am loathe to dismiss it from my own interpretation of the Wold Newton Universe or the larger Crossover Universe. Perhaps Mr. Farmer's love of all things ERB compelled him to note the date for Tarzan at the Earth's Core, despite the fact that it may have contradicted the realistic biographical premise of Tarzan Alive.

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