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One of Frank Frazetta’s legendary paintings from the Barsoom series (above). Thanks to his idea to incorporate and publish his own books, Burroughs was able to enjoy the good life that eluded so many of his contemporaries (right).


OF TORN, a medieval adventure, proved to be a difficult sale, and after much discussion with his editor at THE ALL-STORY Burroughs decided to put it aside in favor of a story that would ultimately change his life. That story was TARZAN OF THE APES, published in its entirety in the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY with a cover illustration by Clinton Pettee. The story was an immediate hit, and readers demanded more. In the decades that followed Burroughs published twenty-three official sequels. Tarzan became a cottage industry for Burroughs, who wisely incorporated himself in 1923 so he could publish his own works. In addition to magazines and books, Tarzan appeared in numerous motion pictures (including THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN, a 1935 flick shot in Guatemala and partially financed by Burroughs himself), comic books, a radio series, and a popular newspaper strip. And then there was the merchandising, which brought (and continues to bring) even more money into the Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. coffers. According to McWhorter, Tarzan has appeared on everything from toys and clothing to ice cream, cigar bands, and even a slot machine. “Burroughs was a very astute


businessman when it came to the value of his literary properties,” McWhorter observes. Tarzan and John Carter may be Burroughs’ best-known characters today, but they are just the tip of his creative output. Over the course of his career Burroughs produced dozens of unrelated novels and short stories, most of which were serialized in the pulps before being reprinted in book form. They include seven PELLUCIDAR novels, five “Carson of Venus” novels, several westerns, a handful of historical thrillers, and even some contemporary fiction. Writing made Burroughs a wealthy man. Unfortunately, he


had difficulty managing his money well and spent extravagantly on such things as his ranch in Tarzana, California; thoroughbred horses, and even an airplane. Financial mismanagement was an issue that would plague him for much of his professional life. In April1940, Burroughs moved his family to Honolulu, Hawaii.


He continued to write, selling several short stories to various pulp magazines. Then, on December 7, 1941, Burroughs’ world exploded, almost literally. While playing tennis he heard what sounded like an artillery drill on the other side of the island. But


FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND • MAR/APR 2012 31


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