Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American pulp story writer born in Chicago, Illinois on September 1, 1875. His stories often combined elements of fantasy, science-fiction and high adventure. Over the course of his lifetime, Burroughs published over seventy novels. He passed away in his home in Encino, California from heart complications on March 19, 1950.
Although Burroughs is most widely recognized as the creator of famed jungle hero Tarzan, his first professional work was actually a serielized novel titled Under the Moons of Mars published in 1910. This story featured the character of John Carter, a Civil War hero who is mysteriously transported to the planet Mars (or Barsoom as the natives call it) where he befriends a Barsoomian soldier and falls in love with a Martian princess. Colloquially known as the "Barsoom Series", eleven books featuring John Carter were published between 1912 and 1948. A similar formula, though less popular, was used for the Carson of Venus series which included four books featuring the titular hero Carson Napier; a fifth posthumously published volume containing a Carson novella and an unrelated short story served as a late coda.
Another of Burroughs' unique environments involved the fictitious Inner-Earth world known as Pellucidar. The Pellucidar series featured adventurer David Innes and first appeared in the 1914 novel At the Earth's Core. Seven Pellucidar novels were written between 1914 and 1944, the fourth being a crossover novel with Burroughs' most popular creation.
The long series featuring Tarzan provided lasting fame for Burroughs. Tarzan was actually John Clayton, the son of a British nobleman whose family was marooned on the coast of equatorial Africa. Raised by apes, John Clayton became more famously known under his jungle name - Tarzan. Edgar Rice Burroughs authored twenty-five books featuring the jungle lord, one of which included the 1914 novel The Son of Tarzan, which introduced the character of Jack Clayton, better known as Korak.
Early comic book adaptations of Burroughs' work were published by Gold Key Comics, an imprint of Western Publishing. In the early 1970s, Gold Key discontinued publication of their comic book lines and DC Comics acquired the licenses for Tarzan, Korak, John Carter, Carson of Venus and the Pellucidar stories. They continued the numbering sequence from the two existing titles Tarzan of the Apes, beginning with issue #207 and Korak, Son of Tarzan, beginning with issue #46.
- Most of Edgar Rice Burroughs' properties are now in the public domain. However, they weren't at the time of the DC's licensed comics.
Links and References
- Edgar Rice Burroughs at the Marvel Database Project
- Edgar Rice Burroughs at Wikipedia
- Edgar Rice Burroughs at the Free Library