Tarzan, Jungle King of Popular Culture

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About the Book

From his first appearance in 1912, Tarzan became a multimedia franchise whose cultural influence extended well beyond mere entertainment. The original 20th century superhero, the Lord of the Apes was the inspiration behind such early archetypes as The Shadow and Doc Savage, themselves the basis for heroes like Batman and Superman.
Long before Comic-Cons and Trekkies, the first Tarzan fan club was formed in America in 1916, pioneering the fandom movement that pervades modern pop culture.
This book examines Tarzan in his various media representations—hunter, warrior, secret agent, fighter of communists and Nazis—and in his numerous story arcs, including crossover adventures featuring historical characters like Arthur Conan Doyle and Nikola Tesla.

About the Author(s)

David Lemmo is a veteran of three decades in the antiquarian books business. Some of his specialties included Edgar Rice Burroughs, pop culture, and comic books. In 2011, he helped create the North Coast Mangani, a chapter of the Burroughs Bibliophiles. He lives in McKinleyville, California.

Bibliographic Details

David Lemmo
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: 65 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6695-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2622-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction: A Continuity of Popular Culture 3
1—“Your son deserted Thursday. Letter will follow.” 9
2—Edgar’s Improbable Tale 20
3—Letters Still Come In About “Tarzan” 25
4—Tarzan Takes on a Pop Cultural Life of His Own 30
5—Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. 39
6—The Tarzan Gravy Train 50
7—Tarzan the Invincible 65
8—Tarzanmania 73
9—Tarzan as Folk Hero 85
10—Edgar’s Epic Adventures 99
11—“The Greatest Single Fictional Achievement of Our Time” 116
12—The Burroughs Bibliophiles 130
13—The Return of Tarzan 142
14—Ape-Man at the Popular Culture Crossroads of the Future 164
15—Into the Future 177
Chapter Notes 203
Bibliography 208
Index 211

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Booklist Starred Review.
  • “If you’re looking for a well-researched and well-written history of Edgar Rice Burrough’s best-known fictional creation, you needn’t look any further. Tarzan fans will devour this book”—Booklist
  • “A ‘must’ for the legions of Burroughs fans, Tarzan, Jungle King of Popular Culture is highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library 20th Century American Literature & Popular Culture collections”—Midwest Book Review.