Rediscovered: Further ERBivoring

Kevin Cook, noted pulp and book collector, chimes in with some comments on Edgar Rice Burroughs: “Unless you have a fortune hidden away somewhere, I would vote against dropping all the other authors you collect in favor of ERB as you jokingly suggested on the blog.

“Just purchasing the October 1912 issue of All-Story and a first edition of Tarzan of the Apes in dust jacket will probably run you $100,000 if you want quality copies. Of course, a first with a facsimile jacket and an All-Story replica will cost about $99,999 less!

“The most successful ‘imitator’ of Tarzan was William L. Chester with his Kioga novels, especially the first two, Hawk of the Wilderness and Kioga of the Wilderness. In fact, the honest truth is that Chester was a better writer than Burroughs.

“I do not know what Lupoff stated in his talk, but to my mind the first Tarzan imitation was ‘Polaris of the Snows,’ the polar Tarzan, by Charles B. Stilson. Polaris debuted in All-Story in December 1915, just three years after Tarzan first appeared. (But, Stilson is famous for so disliking the ending of Tarzan of the Apes that he wrote his own ending to the novel.)”

Now that the topic comes up again, I believe Lupoff’s goal was to find Tarzan clones that otherwise he didn’t mention in his book Master of Adventure — something like that.  In any case, one way or another we can be sure the clones were practically dropping out of the trees.

I actually mentioned one in my talk about ERB and Robert E. Howard. Never published professionally. Norris Chambers in an interview mostly about REH said that he had done his own Tarzan variant as a teenager, but in his scenario the hero was raised — not by apes or wolves — but by whales.

I believe my comment was: “That’s different!”

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