Friday, September 27, 2013

Tarzan 101 | Fans and Fan Publishing

Celebrating Tarzan's 101st anniversary by walking through Scott Tracy Griffin's Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration.

We've talked before about some of the children's fan clubs that sprang up around Tarzan over the years, but grown-ups also appreciate the ape man and have organized groups and publications in celebration of that passion.

The earliest successful endeavor was started by Vernell Coriell, a childhood member of the Tarzan Clans youth club who didn't give up his fandom in adulthood. He corresponded with other fans like the legendary Forrest J. Ackerman and Ray Bradbury, and in 1948 launched the first Burroughs fanzine, The Burroughs Bulletin, with the writer's blessing.

It was through the Bulletin that readers organized the first all-ages fan club/literary society, The Burroughs Bibliophiles. The group held its first meeting at the 1960 Worldcon in Pittsburgh. The Bulletin remains in publication today and the Bibliophiles still exist, though they went dormant in the '80s when Coriell's health prevented his being as active as he had been.

Fortunately, a new leader emerged. Librarian George T. McWhorter had founded the Edgar Rice Burroughs Memorial Collection in 1976 and continued adding to it, including buying Coriell's large Burroughs collection when Coriell died in 1987. Then, three years after Coriell's death, McWhorter also assumed publication of the Bulletin and resurrected the Bibliophiles.

Though the quarterly Bulletin and its monthly spin-off publication, the Gridley Wave, are the grandparents of Burroughs fanzines, they're certainly not the only publications dedicated to Burroughs' work. ERBania has been around since 1956 and Hugo Award-winning ERBDom started publication in 1960. Griffin includes a list of dozens of other Burroughs-focused publications, including Edgar Rice Burroughs News Dateline, TarzineThe Burroughs Newsbeat, and The Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs. ERB, Inc.'s official Tarzan website also has an excellent list of clubs and publications with contact information for each.

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