Friday, August 26, 2016
Number 1937: Happy 104th birthday, Tarzan!
In 2012 I posted Tarzan #155, which was an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel Tarzan of the Apes, first published in 1912. I did it to observe Tarzan’s 100th anniversary, and for the 104th anniversary I have the same adaptation, taken from the same comic, as an educational tool in the form of a school workbook.
It was designed and produced by Glen Johnson, at the time a teacher at the Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah. For many years Navajo children were taken from the reservation and taught at boarding schools under the aegis of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The system was well-meaning but often racially insensitive, and it was ultimately closed down. Glen is a comics fan, and made many contacts with newspaper syndicates and comic book artists to secure permission to use comics as teaching tools. I have probably forgotten the whole story behind this workbook (Glen gave it to me when it was published in 1972, and memories fade), but I recall that Glen knew artist Russ Manning. The workbook is from stats made from the original art. The stats for the story were prepared for the reprint in Gold Key‘s Tarzan #178 (1968).
After page one of the story I have included one of Johnson’s worksheets the students filled out. I am showing it as an example; every page of the story is accompanied by such a worksheet.
The cover of the workbook was drawn by a local artist, Ned Young, then a teenager, who is now a professional artist and illustrator. You can see his modern work at the Ned Young Studio website.
My 2012 posting of the color comics version. Just click on the thumbnail.