Shelf Life: Happy to Be Feeling Like a Dum Dum by Ron Marz

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan, Tarzan and Hollywood, Tarzan of the Apes, The Tarzan Files

Ron Marz, writing in Comic Book Resources, about the just completed Dum Dum:

The town of Clinton, Connecticut, is like any number of small New England villages. Perched on the Long Island sound, it’s a picturesque place, especially stately William Stanton Andrews Memorial Town Hall on East Main Street. Almost a hundred years old, the town hall has an impressive atrium, with an ornate golden chandelier and an imposing statue of a red stag. Beyond the atrium, there’s a fairly large movie theater that even has a balcony.

When I arrived at the Town Hall last Friday morning, the theater was showing a two-part episode of the 1960s “Tarzan” TV series starring Ron Ely as the lord of the jungle. Not what you’d expect of a government building that houses the offices of town assessor, tax collector and first selectman… unless you knew that the Edgar Rice Burroughs Dum Dum was calling Clinton home for the weekend.

Read the rest at ComicBookResources

One think I want to ccomment on here, though, is this paragraph:

It would be impossible not to notice the Dum Dum was populated by an aging fanbase.. . . . .My generation discovered Burroughs in the 1970s paperback boom, lured in by the covers of Neal Adams and Boris Vallejo on the two dozen Tarzan novels, and Gino D’Achille on the eleven-volume Mars series. I don’t want to believe that my generation of Burroughs fandom is the last one. That’s one of the reasons I’m writing what I’m writing: to spread the stories and characters to others, and hopefully pass the torch.

What caught my attention about that is that we usually talk about the great Edgar Rice Burroughs revival of the 1960’s and Ron has me thinking that that wave really was followed by another wave in the 70’s.  For me it was the Ace and Ballantine Paperbacks and Canaveral hardcovers — Krenkel and Abbett, with Frazetta coming in at the end.  Adams, Vallejo, and Shields were all later.

My thought,though, is that there really have been …what….three full waves of Burroughs discvoery?  Or is it four?  There is the initial pulp period from 1912 up to say theend of the 1920’s….then what about the 1930’s?  Tarzan was alive and well through then, as well as John Carter.  Then things went quiet in the 50’s after Burroughs died; then the huge reawakening in the 1960’s, followed by the wave Marz talks about in the 70’s.  But what about since then?  Is it over? Or has it been taken over by the movies that “stripmine” Burroughs — Star Wars, Avatar, and so on?

I don’t know.

I do know that when we did our John Carter Teen Reading Project in 2012 and exposed a bunch of teens who were used to reading Harry Potter, Hunger Games, etc to A Princess of Mars they loved it.  But there is no new wave.

Like Marz, I’d like to pass the torch, and I hope we aren’t the last faint echo . . . .

One thought on “Shelf Life: Happy to Be Feeling Like a Dum Dum by Ron Marz

  • I’ll have to attend one before my hair turns grey! Hopefully younger people will keep on discovering and rediscovering Burroughs over the years.

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