Translate

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.


14 comments:

John on the Sunset Coast said...

Thanks for posting this, Pap. It was a very creative, interesting use of familiar literature to teach (in this case) English. Of course, for socio-political reasons I'm not sure Tarzan would be an acceptable story to use anymore.

Pappy said...

John, I've never heard a lot of criticism of Tarzan and Edgar Rice Burroughs for those "socio-political" reasons you mention. It seems in the past few decades the character himself has been sort of shuttled into the background...everyone knows who Tarzan is, but there is no longer a popular movie franchise, television show, etc., those things people now use in lieu of having to read.

Alicia American said...

OMG Pappy I didnt no Tarzan used such big words yo OMG!!! He's 2 educ8ed 4 me yo ucchh!!

OMG Pappy 800 of our followerers got deleteded last nite on tweeter!!!!! It seems like either a twitter purge or major hackery attackery. Hopefully it's over, we dont seam 2B loosing any1 else rite now :( Hopefully our account will surveeve!! Who nose??? But now we R below 66.6 thousand agen so if we get back up than Deb will freak agen. OMG but on tha brite side 2day we R listed as #1 in NYC on Reverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/thoseamericangirls

That mite drop a lot by tomorro if we are still down a buncha tweeter followerers so we plan on enjoying it wile we can LOL

Neil Hansen said...

I bought one of these workbookson eBay to see the lovely Russ manning linework. Very nifty to have.

Grant said...

Speaking of TV, I haven't seen the Ron Ely show in forever, but I seem to remember it being pretty "enlightened" when it comes to jungle animals, and when it comes to racial matters (two things a lot of earlier Tarzan stories wouldn't exactly be accused of very often). I'm not saying the show wouldn't get criticized for being dated, but people criticize almost EVERYTHING for being dated (and not just "politically correct" people).

Pappy said...

Neil, I didn't know these were available, but then what am I saying? If it is in print it can be (eventually) found, and if you have enough money, you can buy it.

I make very rare purchases from eBay, but whenever I have gone looking for something specific I have found it.

Pappy said...

Grant, I don't believe I ever saw one of the Tarzan TV shows since I was in the U.S. Army in Germany at the time it was on TV. I understood the show took place in the Amazon, rather than Africa? Is that correct?

Neil Hansen said...

They are rerunning the Ron Ely Tarzan on Saturdays on the channel Heroes & Icons. Even caught a marathon on the CDEcades channel.

Pappy said...

Neil, thanks...I don't have access to those channels, but I'll keep a lookout in case they run on any channels I have.

Neil Hansen said...

By the way, speaking of Tarzan, the animated Filmation 1970s series is being out out on VF by Warner Bros. Don't know if it is already out or eventual to emerge. What is noted is that they used Burne Hogarth's version of Tarzan as a visual guide to the character.

Pappy said...

Neil, the Filmation Tarzan is out. Reviews I have read on the quality of the DVD are not encouraging. Personally, I will skip it unless I find it in a bargain bin or something.

Neil Hansen said...

Pappy, thanks kindly not only for the info, but for a great blog.

M. Bouffant said...

I do believe you (& we) are missing p. 23, esp. since I just confirmed it by checking the color version.

Pappy said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Bouffant...I have corrected the omission.