Monday, July 06, 2015

Number 1757: Dinosaurs attack!

Dinosaurs break out of the Valley of Monsters, in the land of Pal-Ul-Don, a part of Tarzan’s fantasy Africa. The lost city of Cathne is threatened by the prehistoric beasts and their ape-like riders, the Torodons. We see Tarzan fighting off the menace while riding his giant eagle, Argus. It’s all in a day’s work for the original jungle lord.

Over the past few years I have shown several Tarzan stories, written by Gaylord Dubois and drawn by Jesse Marsh. They all take place in that Africa of the imagination. Nowadays we know that parts of the real Africa are threatened by quasi-military types who terrorize and murder. Over the years I have watched and read news stories of depredations and horror that make me think it would be better to be invaded by dinosaurs. Dinosaurs don’t shoot machine guns.

From Tarzan’s Jungle Annual #3 (1954).


J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

That's why I love your blog, Mr. Pappy. Russ Manning's Pal ul Don was (is) one of my favorite places to visit in my fantasies as a kid, so thank you for letting me know there was an earlier version...
And we have the little N'kima too! I was sure she was an invention of those Filmation cartoons of the 70's...
Lord Greystoke was indeed a paternalistic figure as a ruler of the Waziri tribe, but that "dreamland" Africa surely beats the real one... a continent so pillaged that no Tarzan can help.

Ryan Anthony said...

Why does Tarzan wear swimming gear here? That doesn't fit.

I'm currently reading "The Son of Tarzan," the fourth novel in Burroughs' original series. At this point, there are no giant birds or dinosaurs, and there's been only one lost city. And Tarzan has pretty much given up the jungle life to settle down with Jane as the rich Lord Greystoke in England. But, obviously, Burroughs couldn't write 24 books about that--it would've gotten pretty boring.

One thing about Marsh's Tarzan that is incorrect is his physique: in the novels, Tarzan is described as having giant muscles, developed from years of swinging from trees, etc. But it's an inaccuracy that most subsequent artists have followed.

Pappy said...

Ryan, I have read the Tarzan novels by ERB...but I read them all before I was in my mid-teens, so to try to pinpoint where Tarzan went into Pal-Ul-Don I shall leave to Burroughs scholars to answer. There were the lost cities, of course, and lost remnants of early civilizations.

They were all part of the lost world tradition popular in fiction. So many places on our planet were still "undiscovered" (by white men/explorers) that they were ripe for conjecture. If Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger and crew found dinosaurs on a mesa in an unexplored area then who is say it isn't possible? If Tarzan wanders into a part of Africa where dinosaurs still live then why not? It is all in fun.

I think the giant muscles thing is overdone. Johnny Weissmuller was Tarzan of the movies for years, and he was well formed and muscular, but didn't have humongous biceps. (He was an Olympic swimmer, after all.) Marsh's Tarzan looked more like Weissmuller. I don't remember if I've mentioned it, but the Dell Tarzan was more of a mash-up of the movies and books. The comic book Tarzan had to speak correctly, not in pidgin English, but Boy was allowed, rather than ERB's Korak, son of Tarzan. (Not until the sixties, anyway.)

Pappy said...

J D, I was and am a fan of Russ Manning's Tarzan, especially the daily comic strips.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

@Ryan: the Old Librarian says: Tarzan The Terrible (book n. 8).
Yes, the goggles he wears are a terrible faux pas. To me, giant muscles are fine for Conan, but a more balanced complexion in Hogart's (and possibly Manning's) tradition is better for Greystoke.